Leviticus 6

Leviticus 6 has God continuing to define the offerings that were to be used to address sin.  In this chapter, the sin is around what might happen between people:

  • deceiving his neighbor in a matter of deposit or security, or through robbery
  • has oppressed his neighbor
  • has found something lost and lied about it

Three kinds of sin that occur between people.

Often in society today, these might even go unnoticed or accepted if they are rather small.  A little white lie, finding something that has been lost, a bit of deceiving or oppressing – those are just things that might happen when people put self-first and want to be on top.  It might happen accidentally, or in some cases, totally intentionally, but in cases where they are small or unintended, we just let them slide.  But God doesn’t.  God knows the heart and He also expects us to not only confess but be forgiven of our sin.

What’s that look like?  First it involves the need to “restore it in full….give it to him to whom it belongs”.  When we realize the sin we need to make restitution and also “add a fifth to it”.  We need to make people whole when we find that we’ve sinned, even accidentally.  But there was also required a “compensation to the Lord” in the form of a burnt offering and a sin offering.  Contrary to our thinking, sin has no levels.  There isn’t this magical amount of sin that requires us to deal with it.  Sin is sin and all sin must be addressed.  There are no sins so small they just disappear without forgiveness.

God gives instruction to Aaron and his sons in how to manage the sin and burnt offerings here.  One key is that “fire shall be kept burning on the altar continually; it shall not go out”.  There was to be careful attention paid to the altar so the flame never expired.  That meant someone had to pay attention and keep the flame burning.  It was a source of dealing with the sin of people, and central to God’s plan to cover man’s sin and set them free.  So the role of the priests was critical to spiritual health.  They had to be on top of it all the time.

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