Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Leviticus: Fellowship With A Holy God
Part I: Acceptable Relationship With A Holy God, Leviticus 1:1-7:38
E. The Trespass Offering: The Need For Handling Sins Of Violating Another's Rights
(Leviticus 5:14-6:7)
  1. Introduction
    1. Sin is not only unwholesome in itself, but it produces troubling damages to innocent people, an evil that not only harms society, but festers temptations in the afflicted to take vengeance and so sin in response.
    2. Leviticus 5:14-6:7 instructs us on the edifying response to such trespasses as it teaches the details of the trespass offering. We view it for instructional application in our own lives as follows:
  2. The Trespass Offering: The Need For Handling Sins Of Violating Another's Rights, Lev. 5:14-6:7.
    1. After God's presence filled the tabernacle in Exodus 40:34-38, in great contrast to the Lord's having presented Himself with staggering harshness in perfect righteousness on Mount Sinai, He gently spoke from the tabernacle to Moses on how Israel could enjoy fellowship with Him, Leviticus 1:1-2.
    2. That fellowship required not only wholehearted commitment to the Lord (burnt offering, Lev. 1:1-17), the donation of one's whole life to God (grain offering, Leviticus 2:1-16), a full application of Christ's atonement (peace offering, Leviticus 3:1-17) and handling sins of weakness (sin offering, Leviticus 4:1-5:13), but also handling sins that harm innocent parties (trespass offering, Leviticus 5:14-6:7):
      1. For sins that harmed God's rights, one had to offer a trespass offering plus 120 % reparations, 5:14-19:
        1. If a party unintentionally committed a trespass of God's property (Lev. 5:14-16; Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 183), he was to sacrifice an unblemished ram (Lev. 5:15, 18; 6:6) though a cleansed leper used a lamb (Lev. 14:12, 21) and the poor man a bird (14:30), Ibid., and he was to pay a reparations fee of 120 %. [For a defiled Nazarite vow, a lamb was used, Numbers 6:12, Ibid.] Typical violations included (1) improperly using God's sacrificial foods, (2) failing to offer required gifts to God, (3) failing to keep a vow to God and (4) failing to fulfill a required service to the Lord, Ibid.
        2. If one's sin involved an intentional act that was not knowingly sinful at the time, but that the guilty party later realized was wrong (Lev. 5:17-19), the same sacrifice and reparations were required, Ibid.
      2. For sins that harmed the property rights of another human, Leviticus 6:1-7 required a trespass offering and a 120 % reparation fee to be paid to the victim to compensate for his loss and pain and suffering:
        1. Sins involving "embezzlement, theft, extortion, and failure to return lost property" violated another party's rights at the added mental and financial cost to him; this required a guilt offering to be made to the Lord plus the restoration of the item lost plus twenty per cent in reparations, Leviticus 6:1-5.
        2. This was a sin that offended the Lord, for harming the rights of another person, one who is made in the image of God, is thus a sin against God Himself (cf. Genesis 9:6), requiring atonement by way of the trespass offering unto the Lord, Leviticus 6:6-7 with Leviticus 19:18b.
        3. However, since the sin's effects were measured in terms of mental and financial harm to the human victim involved, the victim was to receive what item had been lost in the trespass itself plus the added reparation of twenty per cent for his pain and suffering due to the trespass' effects, Lev. 6:5.
        4. If the victim had died since being wronged, and he left no surviving kin to whom the guilty party could pay his reparations fee, the guilty was to donate the reparation to the Lord. In practical terms, this meant the reparation was given to the temple priest for his personal use, Numbers 5:8-10, Ibid.
    3. The trespass offering typologically shows Christ's atonement covers not only sin, but the injury that sin produces to the innocent party, be he God or the human victim involved, and the guilty party's responsibility to make restitution to the victim of his sin for the pain and suffering his sin has caused him.
Lesson: Even if we have UNINTENTIONALLY wronged God or another person, that wrong requires God's gracious forgiveness and what RESTITUTION we owe for the DAMAGE it has caused.

Application: (1) Even if we unintentionally wrong God or another person in violating their rights or property, or if we intentionally perform an act we afterward realize is wrong, we must confess it to God and make restitution. (2) In realizing that our sin is damaging to other innocent people, may we (a) not only seek to avoid sinning, but (b) live carefully, not recklessly, which is itself a sin, cf. 2 Timothy 3:4b!