If you can make it right, you ought to do it.
Leviticus 5:14-6:7 describes cases when someone may sin against the “holy things” of God – the things of the tabernacle or the people’s worship – and when someone sins against his or her neighbor.
God seemed to be saying: “Make it right.”
Oftentimes, this is part of seeking forgiveness. True repentance results in changed action, and changed action likely will lead us to fix the things we’ve broken. Part of loving and honoring God is respecting the other people on this earth whom God has created.
And so we seek to make things right.
Jesus taught along these lines in the Sermon on the Mount: “So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24). We also might think about the example of Zacchaeus and Jesus’ response to that example (Luke 18:8-9).
We can see how Jesus tied reconciliation with those whom we have hurt to our reconciliation with God. The two go hand in hand. God desires his people to be people who care for one another, and especially for those within the family of God. This teaching began all the way back in Leviticus. Jesus didn’t abolish the law, after all (Matthew 5:17).
So you may want to think today about wrongs that you need to make right with the people around you. Is anything gnawing at your conscience? Take care of it today. And then go worship.
Leviticus 6 also has some interesting things to say about the priests. They were to keep the altar fire burning at all times. I suppose this was so people could come and offer sacrifices at any time. In other words, the way to atonement always was to be open to the people.
Surely you know you can reach out to God at any time. You don’t have to wait for Sunday mornings. The way always is open.
My job as pastor – and, frankly, your job as a kingdom of priests – is to keep that “fire” burning for anyone who would come. We keep sharing the good news, letting people know there is a way through the sin and strife of this life, and that way is Jesus Christ.
Finally, Leviticus 6 discusses food for the priests. When the priests ate from the offerings of the people, they were signifying to the people that God had accepted those offerings – that God was pleased. In a very visual way, a worshipper could know God had accepted him or her.
As Christians, we understand God’s acceptance of us by faith and by the very clear words of the testimony that has been handed down to us in Scripture. Passages like 1 John 1:9 assure us of our position with God.
That’s enough for today. Please keep reading Leviticus in the light of Jesus Christ. And let me know if you have any questions.