Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Leviticus Lessons: Offerings V

Hello Fam,

I hope that everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! It has been a while since I have did a WFTD, but the show must always move forward. My family and I have definitely gone through some challenges in 2009, but now it is 2010 and our eyes are always focused on the Lord!

In keeping with the same theme, we will continue with Leviticus Lessons about Offerings. Last time, we talked about the Peace Offering.  Today, we will be talking about the Sin Offering (see Lev 4; 5:1-13; 6:24-30) which is different than the previously discussed offerings.  Simply put, the sin offering was a way to ask God to forgive you for your sin, but lets go into some details.

The Reason

The reason for the sin offering was for the atonement of the people.  TheFreeDictionary.com defines atonement as "[a]mends or reparation made for an injury or wrong".  In looking at all of Leviticus 4 and 5:1-13, you will notice that blood is the key ingredient in which God requires to be burnt. The Burnt, Meat, and Peace Offerings were all ones that were voluntary and provided a sweet-savory aroma for the Lord.  The Sin and Tresspass (which we'll discuss the next time) Offerings did no such thing.
He is merciful and will forgive based on Christ's sacrifice, which these offerings represent, but even though He accepts the offerings, He takes no satisfaction in sin.1
Therefore, there would have been no communion with God on that occasion.  At least in this case, "[n]o restitution was necessary because of the nature of the sin."2


Those Affected

It did not matter who you were as all were required to provide a sacrifice for a sin offering if one was required.  Also, it did not matter if you voluntarily or involuntarily committed it.  You were still held accountable for your actions.  Even the priests had to perform a sin offering if they sinned.
It has been wisely said that if the teacher sins he teaches sin, therefore high position means high responsibility.3
The Priests instructions for atonement were given in Leviticus 4:1-12.  Then in the rest of Chapter 4, the other leaders, the community, and the individual members of the community had instructions on how to provide a Sin Offering.   In Leviticus 4:13, it says:
If the whole Israelite community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD's commands, even though the community is unaware of the matter, they are guilty.
The members of the community and the leaders were held to the same standard.  If they did not know of a sin, they were still guilty (see Lev. 4:22;27).  When you look at Leviticus 5:1-13, you will find that it did not matter if you knew of your sin or were totally oblivious - you were still guilty.


The Offering Material

In the other offerings, I did mention the types of animals used and I will here as well.  The Priests and the community were to provide a young male bull without defect for their sin offering.  For the leaders, they were to bring a male goat without defect.  Then when we get down to the individual members of the community (who were not leaders) we find that they were to use either a FEMALE goat or lamb without blemish.

This gives us a slight twist on things. For the first time during an offering, we see that God allows the use of female animals for sacrificial offering.
The offering of the leader or ruler was male, a symbolising their position of authority, whereas the member of the congregation who had no authority brought a female goat. In each case the sacrifice had to be perfect, that is without defect or blemish.3
Looking in verses 1-13 of chapter 5, we see that God does provide other ways for sacrifice for those who could not provide a goat or lamb or dove or pigeon.  He made it so everyone could say, "God, I'm sorry".


The very last thing that I want to point out about the Sin Offering is in Leviticus 6:26-28.  It says:
(26) The priest who offers it shall eat it; it is to be eaten in a holy place, in the courtyard of the Tent of Meeting. (27) Whatever touches any of the flesh will become holy, and if any of the blood is spattered on a garment, you must wash it in a holy place. (28) The clay pot the meat is cooked in must be broken; but if it is cooked in a bronze pot, the pot is to be scoured and rinsed with water.
Isn't it amazing that even during an offering that God did not find pleasing, He still found it not robbery to make the meat that was eaten Holy!  I mean this says that whatever touched the sacrificial flesh would become holy.  The Priests were able to partake in the meat that was considered Holy.  The same animal that was alive the day before was just a regular unblemished animal.  The next day it is Holy.  Imagine what had happened if some of that meat had escaped out onto the black market - everybody would have had a piece of holiness *lol*.

Be blessed family and have a great rest of the week.

~Antoine


1 Ritenbaugh, John W. "The Offerings of Leviticus (Part Six): The Sin Offering". Church of the Great God. August 2003.

2 The Sacrificial Offerings of Leviticus chapters 1-7.

3 "The Sin Offering". Watton on the Web.
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