Leviticus 5-7
(Additional Rules for Sacrifices)
January 29th

Produced by The Listening for God Ministry
Copyright 2016

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Please refer to one or more Bible versions of your choice to read this section. We recommend that you read at least two versions for added understanding. For your convenience, we have provided six links below, each of which takes you directly to today's chapters in a specific version:

Key Verses

When any of you sin in that you have heard a public adjuration to testify and—though able to testify as one who has seen or learned of the matter—do not speak up, you are subject to punishment.

- Leviticus 5:1 (NRSV)

Summary of Chapters

These chapters record one additional type of sacrifice (guilt) and provide supplemental instructions for the four types of sacrifices described in chapter 1-4. The rules and regulations described in these chapters were an integral part of the Jewish worship traditions from the days of Moses until the last version of the temple was destroyed in A.D. 70 (1).

Chapter 5 continues the description of the offenses that require sin offerings and prescribes the required sacrifices. Note that the offenses could be for something not done or for something unwittingly done. The sacrifices were defined on a graduated scale: Those that could afford it would pay the penalty of a female lamb or goat – particularly valuable for breeding purposes. Those without could offer to bring two doves or two pigeons, and those who could do neither could bring a relatively modest amount of fine flour - 1/10th of an ephah (about 3 ˝ pounds).

The end of chapter 5 also defines the offenses that require a guilt offering: “Sinning unintentionally in regard to any of the LORD’s holy things (Leviticus 5:14 - NIV).” Also, disobeying any of the Commandments, whether intended or not, would fall into the same category. Either form of offense could only be atoned for with a ram.

Chapter 6 continues the discussion on guilt offerings by declaring that any person who steals from another must pay them back in full plus a penalty of 1/5th of the value. Only after making this restitution would this person be able to offer a sacrifice seeking forgiveness from the LORD.

This chapter also provides further details regarding sacrifices defined in earlier chapters, such as the burnt offering, the grain offering, and the sin offering. In this chapter, The LORD emphasizes the importance of keeping the fire continuously ablaze for the burnt offering. This requirement is mentioned in versus 9, 12, and 13.

    God spoke to Moses: “Command Aaron and his sons. Tell them, 'These are the instructions for the Whole-Burnt-Offering. Leave the Whole-Burnt-Offering on the Altar hearth through the night until morning, with the fire kept burning on the Altar. Then dress in your linen clothes with linen underwear next to your body. Remove the ashes remaining from the Whole-Burnt-Offering and place them beside the Altar. Then change clothes and carry the ashes outside the camp to a clean place. Meanwhile keep the fire on the Altar burning; it must not go out. Replenish the wood for the fire every morning, arrange the Whole-Burnt-Offering on it, and burn the fat of the Peace-Offering on top of it all. Keep the fire burning on the Altar continuously. It must not go out.' "

    - Leviticus 6:8-13 (MSG)

Reflection and Application

The sacrificial traditions and the relative value of different types of sacrifices may be outdated. However, the basic rules for respecting each other’s property are never out of fashion. The LORD wisely defines subtle forms of theft and extortion so that we cannot plead ignorance. Our world still struggles with obedience to these precepts, thousands of years after the authorship of Leviticus.

The concept of the eternally burning fire was an important one for the ancient Hebrews and for modern Christians as well. God wants us to be aware of his ever-present nature and desires for us to be in constant communication with him. Think about how frequently some of us check our emails and text messages throughout the typical day. For some of us, it’s as if we can’t imagine being more than five minutes behind the latest news with regard to work, friends, family, and the world at large. Unquestionably, there are situations when this type of diligence is necessary. In those cases we commit ourselves to constantly monitoring our inbox and are grateful that we have that capability.

Imagine if we checked in with God with this same sense of urgency. Modern technology enables us to connect to the internet and telephone networks from almost anywhere, but we are sometimes cut off from our information sources due to weak signals, power loss, or mechanical malfunctions due to wear and tear, heat, water, or other accidents. Our Creator is not vulnerable to any of these impediments. His signal is constant; he is all powerful, and always functioning. All we have to do is turn our attention to him, even just for a moment at a time, in order to give thanks, confess, or ask for help. If we wait patiently we may sense an answer.

For example, we may have just unintentionally offended someone and feel the weight of our sin. In addition to apologizing to that person we can immediately confess to God and ask for his forgiveness. We can also ask for his strength to help us replace jealously, selfish ambition and the like with the good fruit of the spirit such as gentleness and self-control (see Galatians 5:13:22 ).

Here is another perspective on God's word vs. cell phones:

    Bible vs Cell Phone
    I recently received an email that made me think a little and I wanted to share if with all of you.

    Ever wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phone?

    What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?
    What if we flipped through it several times a day?
    What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?
    What if we used it to receive messages from the text?
    What if we treated it like we couldn’t live without it?
    What if we gave it to Kids as gifts?
    What if we used it when we traveled?
    What if we used it in case of emergency?

    Think about how much you use your cell phone and your Bible. Which one gets the most of your time?

    - The Rev. Jackson Senyonga Pastor Senyonga's blog 5/17/10

Given that we can have access to the entire Bible on our smart phones, maybe we can dedicate part of our smart phone time to using it for that purpose. Maybe that is how you are reading this study right now. That is a smart idea and a good convenient way to have access to the Bible at any time. However, it is also good for us to have a hard copy of the Bible, one that we can read without being distracted by other aspects of our world. We need to have a Bible that is Holy - set apart from everything else.

"Keep the Candle Burning," performed by Point of Grace

Questions and Prayers for Further Reflection

    Related Questions
    1. What is the longest running fire that you have ever stoked (e.g. on a camping trip or in the family hearth)?
    2. What are some of the subtle forms of theft that are prevalent in our society today?
    3. What preparation do you make when you are about to address God?
    Recommended Prayer
    Father, please help me to properly prepare myself before addressing you

    Suggested Prayer Concerns
    Chefs and other kitchen workers


    (1) Harrison, R.K. Phd, D.D., Leviticus, an Introduction and Commentary, Inter-Varsity Press, Leicester England, Downers Grove, IL 1980 p.87

    Looking Ahead

    Tomorrow's reading: Leviticus 8-10 (Ordination of the First Priests)

    Comments and Questions
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