Leviticus 6:7 (HCSB)
7 In this way the priest will make atonement on his behalf before the Lord, and he will be forgiven for anything he may have done to incur guilt.”
This passage deals with the restitution offering. Unlike the sin offering in the preceding passage, these trespasses require restitution. There has been a sin that requires not just a sacrifice, but also the sinner to make restitution, along with interest.
There are three categories described here. First is an unintentional sin that involves one of the holy items of the tabernacle. The second is an unknowing violation of God’s commands. And the third is a deception of another person. Here are some thoughts:
- It is interesting that a sin that is against, and impacts, another person is categorized with two other sins that appear to place God as the target. And what reinforces the equivalence, is that Leviticus 6:2 states that even the deception of another person, “offends the Lord.” So sin, even though we might think it is limited to human victims, is actually all offenses against God.
- Restitution is not only returning what was stolen, taken, or impacted, it includes an addition 20% tacked on. I suppose this serves, obviously, as a deterrent to those who might be considering acting deceptively, or in sin. But it would seem this also sets the standard for the Christian as far as making amends, fostering peace, and displaying the love and grace of Christ, by providing an additional amount above and beyond that which was the original target.
- All three categories follow the same pattern of providing a sacrifice, making restitution, then the priest makes atonement on the sinner’s behalf. How backwards we have it when we think repentance, admittance of sin, and restitution might come from atonement. Atonement is the culmination of the process of recognition of wrong-doing, admittance of it, and making right the wrong, via both resources and sacrifice: it is a restorative process of our dark hearts.
Lord, thank You for a system that allows for the restoration of us, despite our sin. Thank You for being just, for requiring restitution, for showing us there are consequences. I pray we would avoid those sins, but knowing we are broken, I pray we pursue You when we realize what we have done, and restore what we steal, break, and prevent. Amen.