Welcome to a very authentic and brutally honest study of the book of Leviticus. If you have been following this series very closely, you may have noticed I’ve skipped some days (gasp!). This study is all about being real with the Bible, studying the hard books and gleaning relevant truth that will point us toward Christ.
Ideally, we would study the Bible daily, leaving every devotional session with worshipping hearts and minds focused on our great Savior. We wouldn’t be intimidated by books like Leviticus, and we would never, ever, ever get bored with them either.
However, we happen to function in a very real world, and the ideal is not always available. Therefore, I have skipped a few days. I will admit having been a teensy bit bored with the regulations regarding sacrifice. And yes, I have even wandered to more dynamic books like Matthew and James a few times this week. Honestly, I feel like I can’t help it! Still, I am confident that God provides impactful truth and encouragement in the book of Leviticus, so I am not giving up.
If you have put down your Bible for a few days also, I challenge you to rally your spirit and embrace it again with me. That is the beauty of reality… the freedom to drop a daily Bible reading also gives us the liberty to pick it up again.
Here we go… Leviticus 5, give us your best shot!
What does this tell me about God:
- The laws’ function (reminding us of our helplessness) is an undeserved grace.
Humanity is absolutely helpless. We absolutely need something to “fix” and pay for our stupidity and the consequences of it. My struggle to keep a daily routine of studying the Bible is a perfect example: We just can’t help it! Leviticus 5:1-13 continue the instructions for offering a sin offering, the sacrifice to atone for unknown or unintentional sin.
Have you ever pointed out someone’s faults to them? I am a professional failure, but I still hate it when my short-comings are pointed out. I often prefer to go along thinking I’m miss awesome pants and get my poop in a group (my husbands favorite phrase) in my own time.
But God knows that if he left us to think we had it all together, we would sidestep the fact that WE NEED GOD! A relationship with Him is what we were created for. Without it, we are purposeless and void of true joy.
The law, the sacrifices, the attention to detail–all are given as a grace to us. The WORST thing God could do is let humanity keep thinking we are fine and dandy. The BEST thing He could do is give us a standard of rules, if you will, for us to fail at… constantly. As we daily miss the mark, we daily realize how much we need God, and that is the best place for us!
- God provides a chance for people to right their wrongs.
We see all throughout Scripture that people can do nothing apart from God. He does all of the work when it comes to atonement, forgiveness, and washing us clean. Still, in Leviticus 5:14-6:7, God makes a way for people to participate in “making things right.” The 5th and final sacrifice God provides for us is the Restitution, or Guilt, offering. It is just like the sin offering, but the restitution offering requires the sinner to pay back a sin that could be valued monetarily. It reminds us that sin has a price, and we can do our part to make it right by paying the cost of our offense, either toward God or other people. Like all other sacrifices, Jesus became our restitution offering when He died on the cross. As the song says, “Jesus paid it all.”
How can I live in light of this:
- I should confess my sin.
Verse 5 says “he is to confess he has committed that sin.” As I said above, I like to go on thinking that I am doing alright, that God and I are “cool.” My prayers focused on gratefulness, worship, and requests.
This verse reminds me to stop and actually confess my sin to God. I used to think that the liturgical prayers of my Anglican friends were stiff, repetitive, and lacked intimacy. Now I realize that using a prescribed prayer acts as a prompt to help me address the important aspects of my relationship with God. I am deeply moved when I pray this example from the Book of Common Prayers:
Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your Name. Amen.
Other thoughts or questions:
- Question: Leviticus hasn’t mentioned atonement for intentional sins yet. Does God assume we will try not to sin purposefully?
This is our reality: Leviticus might require extra focus (and extra coffee) in order to be consumed by the readers (you and me), but in every day that I take on that challenge, I am completely blessed. I do, in fact, leave with a worshipping heart and a mind focused on God.