FORGIVENESS AND RESTITUTION
Leviticus 6:2-7, "If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and lie unto his neighbour... Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found, Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass-offering. And he shall bring his trespass-offering unto the LORD, a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass-offering, unto the priest: And the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD: and it shall be forgiven him for any thing of all that he hath done in trespassing therein."
When an individual sins it always involves trespassing against God and in the passage above, and in most cases, it also involves a sin against another. The example given us in today's passage is about one who committed two sins, he stole something that didn't belong to him, and he lied about the incident. This person was guilty of breaking two of God's commandments: the 8th commandment thou shalt not steal, and the 9th commandment thou shalt not bear false witness.
God prescribed a two fold remedy about how the offending sinner could make his sin right. He had to get right with God and he had to make right the sin that was committed against the owner of the property that had been stolen. Forgiveness from God required acknowledgement in the life of the sinner and a sacrifice that could atone for his sin. The sinner was required to bring a ram without blemish to the priest and he would offer it as a trespass-offering. God also prescribed one other act, it is called restitution. The thief was required to to return what was taken and then had to add "the fifth part more." Then and only then could the person know he had accomplished God's remedy and atonement.
Today we are all sinners, every person has trespassed against God, in multiple ways and on multiple occasions. God has prescribed that we get right with Him by restoring fellowship with Him, and by making restitution when our sin is against another. Jesus is the trespass-offering, the Word of God prescribes the way to get right with God in 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." God has prescribed that we confess our sins, that doesn't mean we are revealing them to God, He already knows we have sinned, to confess means to say the exact same thing God says about it. A heart of true contrition is going to acknowledge God's position on the matter and we are going to completely agree with God in the matter. And again, if our sin also is against another person we have to make it right with them. You owe something to that person, and you need to make it right.
If you don't know Jesus as your Saviour today, you need to trust Him as the only One who can forgive sins. If you know Christ, but are living with some unconfessed sin in your life, get right today. And if you have sinned against another person, after getting right with God, you need to make restitution, get it right, make it right with that person.
Your Friend and HIS,
QUESTIONS TO PONDER
1. Have your sins been forgiven by Jesus? If so, what did you do for that to happen?
2. Have you ever sinned against another person? Did you make it right, and what did you do?
3. When we sin, how do we get right with God, and others?
4. Is there anything in your life today that God is unaware of? Of course not, so why not deal with it and get it right with Him.