• William T. Howe Ph.D.

February 2, 2021

Daily Reading: Leviticus 5-7

Leviticus 6:5

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.

Restitution. That is an old word, and today seems to be an outdated concept. But God's Word teaches it throughout. Praise the Lord for the promise of forgiveness of sin! Praise the Lord for verses like I 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. Praise the Lord, Amen, Hallelujah for God's all-encompassing forgiveness of sins in the lives of believers!

But all the way back in the Law of God given to Moses, we are commanded to not only make our sins right with God, but also toward those we have sinned against. Today's verse teaches such. Notice also the very next verse in Leviticus. 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: Not only is the one who committed a trespass of this nature supposed to "make it right" with Almighty God, they were to make it right with the one that was defrauded.

If a person steals $100 from another they can make that right by giving the person back the $100 and make it right with God through prayerful confession. In fact, according to the Law of God, the one committing the trespass was supposed to add a fifth part to it. So, for a $100 infraction the restitution would be $120. Now, that is old fashioned teaching right there!

I once read of a businessman who came to Christ, he was born again by the Spirit of the Living God through faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not long after, he placed an ad in his local newspaper saying something like this: "I (whatever his name was) have received Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour. Because of this, any person that I have defrauded in business I will make it right. If you have a claim against me please respond according to the information below. No amount will be disputed."

In the spirit of Zacchaeus, this man showed forth in a very real and tangible way that which Jesus said in Luke 19:9, This day is salvation come to this house. Such salvation is not based upon the restitution, the restitution was based upon the salvation.

However there are sins that cannot be made right no matter how much the transgressor would want to make them right. You can repay $120 dollars, but you cannot repay the damage done through, for example, bearing false witness which Exodus 20:16 clearly condemns. No wonder this is one of the six things the Lord hates as given to us in Proverbs 6:16-19. In fact, none of those six things can be made right through restitution. Only through mercy, grace, and love can some things be forgiven between individuals. Between God and man, only through Christ can things be made right.

Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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