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November 23, 2018

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year

Text: Acts 27-28
Audio: Acts 27-28

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

Leviticus 5 (ESV)

“If anyone sins in that he hears a public adjuration to testify, and though he is a witness, whether he has seen or come to know the matter, yet does not speak, he shall bear his iniquity; or if anyone touches an unclean thing, whether a carcass of an unclean wild animal or a carcass of unclean livestock or a carcass of unclean swarming things, and it is hidden from him and he has become unclean, and he realizes his guilt; or if he touches human uncleanness, of whatever sort the uncleanness may be with which one becomes unclean, and it is hidden from him, when he comes to know it, and realizes his guilt; or if anyone utters with his lips a rash oath to do evil or to do good, any sort of rash oath that people swear, and it is hidden from him, when he comes to know it, and he realizes his guilt in any of these; when he realizes his guilt in any of these and confesses the sin he has committed,he shall bring to the Lord as his compensation for the sin that he has committed, a female from the flock, a lamb or a goat, for a sin offering. And the priest shall make atonement for him for his sin.

“But if he cannot afford a lamb, then he shall bring to the Lord as his compensation for the sin that he has committed two turtledoves or two pigeons, one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. He shall bring them to the priest, who shall offer first the one for the sin offering. He shall wring its head from its neck but shall not sever it completely, and he shall sprinkle some of the blood of the sin offering on the side of the altar, while the rest of the blood shall be drained out at the base of the altar; it is a sin offering. 10 Then he shall offer the second for a burnt offering according to the rule. And the priest shall make atonement for him for the sin that he has committed, and he shall be forgiven.

11 “But if he cannot afford two turtledoves or two pigeons, then he shall bring as his offering for the sin that he has committed a tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering. He shall put no oil on it and shall put no frankincense on it, for it is a sin offering. 12 And he shall bring it to the priest, and the priest shall take a handful of it as its memorial portion and burn this on the altar, on the Lord‘s food offerings; it is a sin offering. 13 Thus the priest shall make atonement for him for the sin which he has committed in any one of these things, and he shall be forgiven. And the remainder shall be for the priest, as in the grain offering.”

14 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 15 “If anyone commits a breach of faith and sins unintentionally in any of the holy things of the Lord, he shall bring to the Lord as his compensation, a ram without blemish out of the flock, valued in silver shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, for a guilt offering. 16 He shall also make restitution for what he has done amiss in the holy thing and shall add a fifth to it and give it to the priest. And the priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering, and he shall be forgiven.

17 “If anyone sins, doing any of the things that by the Lord‘s commandments ought not to be done, though he did not know it, then realizes his guilt, he shall bear his iniquity. 18 He shall bring to the priest a ram without blemish out of the flock, or its equivalent, for a guilt offering, and the priest shall make atonement for him for the mistake that he made unintentionally, and he shall be forgiven. 19 It is a guilt offering; he has indeed incurred guilt before the Lord.”

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Next: Leviticus 6

Back: Leviticus 4

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. The Twelve Days of Christmas?

    In the classic Christmas carol "The Twelve Days of Christmas", there are many things "my true love gave to me." On the second day of Christmas, the gift was two turtledoves. 

    In Leviticus 5, the two turtledoves were brought to the Lord as compensation for sin (one for a sin offering, the other for a burnt offering) which in a way is a gift of love to God (for sin). Turtledoves (or pigeons) were allowed to be used if the person guilty of sin was not able to afford a lamb for the offering (Leviticus 5:7) making restitution accessible to people of means and those with very little to offer.  

    Ignorance is not Bliss

    The famous proverb "Ignorance is bliss" is certainly not a proverb found in the Bible. In essence, the point of the proverb is that being clueless produces happiness where knowing the truth of something can take happiness away. 

    In Leviticus 5, we read that ignorance is not bliss. People who were guilty of a sin without even knowing it were still guilty. We see this in our society today – especially when each state has different laws. 

    For instance, in June of this year, a new law went into effect that prohibits any driver’s use of hand-held wireless communication devices. There were messages about the new law posted online. Local news covered it for weeks. Public service announcements made on TV. And, it was a hotly-debated subject for many months. 

    If you were living under a rock (or out of the country) for a few months and you didn't know about the new law and a police officer pulled you over for using your cell phone while driving, you could explain to the officer that you didn't know about the law. The only way a first-time offender would not have to pay the mandatory $100 fine is to show proof of purchase of a hands-free device. 

    Being ignorant of a law does not make you guiltless before it. Going 55 in a 25 because you "didn't know" the speed limit was 25 does not mean you won't get a huge ticket and fine. Even if an officer shows you grace in reducing your actual speed on your ticket, you are guilty of going 55 in a 25.

    I'm sure when you're standing before the judge or mailing in your fine, "bliss" would not describe how you feel. I also doubt ignorance would cause the judge to show you grace!

    It's interesting to note that throughout this chapter, the sins are unintentional sins – not sins done intentionally

    In his notes on Leviticus 5:17, (“If anyone sins, doing any of the things that by the Lord's commandments ought not to be done, though he did not know it, then realizes his guilt, he shall bear his iniquity"), Charles Spurgeon writes, "Ignorance of the law among those who dwelt in the camp of Israel was essentially sinful. The Israelite had no business to be ignorant. The law was plain and within his reach. If he neglected to study the statute, his breach of the statute could not be excused by his neglect. Willful ignorance of the Lord’s will is, in itself, sin, and the sin which comes of it is grievous in the sight of the Lord our God. Nevertheless, the solemn declaration of the text concerning the guilt of sins of ignorance need not drive us to despair, for a sacrifice is permitted for it. The offender, on discovering his error, might bring his offering and pay the trespass money for any damage he had caused by his action. And there was a promise given in connection with the atoning sacrifice that was, no doubt, often realized by the contrite in heart—'he will be forgiven' (Leviticus 5:18). May the Lord make us rejoice in the truth of God that 'the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin' (1John 1:7)."

    Spurgeon. (2017). The Spurgeon Study Bible: Notes (p. 134). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    I pray as we read, study and submit ourselves to the Word of God, we would do so (in part) to know God's laws so that we don't walk in ignorance.

    Even though in Christ we are freed from the penalty of sin, this should never cause us to callously break God's law either in ignorance (because we don't know God's Word) or intentionally (because we presume on God's grace). 

    While it's true all Christians, even mature, serious Christians sometimes go 26 miles an hour (or more) in a 25 zone, we are never to be reckless and justify even the slightest neglect or rebellion of God's law (even though we are not under the law but under grace). 

    Romans 6:14 says, "For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace."

    As followers of Christ, we should never be like an off-duty police officer speeding down the road knowing if he gets caught, he will not get a ticket. God may not give us a ticket for our infractions if we are in Christ but if our rebellion continues and we don't care about our sin, and we do not experience conviction of the Holy Spirit or contrition because of sin that we justify or minimize, perhaps we are guilty of the sin of presuming we are "in Christ" when we're not.

    Father, help us to not focus on our sin but on our love for you and others which should compel us to not sin. Keep us from being preoccupied with what we're doing and not doing while convicting us when we're disobedient so we do not grieve your Spirit and hinder our testimony to a watching world. Help us to never presume on your grace. We want to love you enough to obey you – NOT SO WE ARE accepted by you but BECAUSE WE ARE accepted by you. Thank you for your Word and your Spirit which leads us into all truth and all righteousness. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

  2. I thank You, Jesus, for Your immeasurable grace toward me, that You would suffer and die to ransom me fully from darkness, death, judgment, condemnation, and hell. May I never take Your love for granted, never presume upon Your grace, and never justify or excuse my sin — even if it is out of ignorance. I pray the new life You gave me will bring glory and honor to You. Amen. 

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