Any act of deception, lying, extortion, fraud or theft committed against another is deemed a sin against the LORD. With the guilt offering, He has commanded restitution be made to those wronged.
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “When a person sins and acts unfaithfully against the Lord, and deceives his companion in regard to a deposit or a security entrusted to him, or through robbery, or if he has extorted from his companion, 3 or has found what was lost and lied about it and sworn falsely, so that he sins in regard to any one of the things a man may do; 4 then it shall be, when he sins and becomes guilty, that he shall restore what he took by robbery or what he got by extortion, or the deposit which was entrusted to him or the lost thing which he found, 5 or anything about which he swore falsely; he shall make restitution for it in full and add to it one-fifth more. He shall give it to the one to whom it belongs on the day he presents his guilt offering. 6 Then he shall bring to the priest his guilt offering to the Lord, a ram without defect from the flock, according to your valuation, for a guilt offering, 7 and the priest shall make atonement for him before the Lord, and he will be forgiven for any one of the things which he may have done to incur guilt,” (6:1-7).
Consider Him Who Restores
God’s Law, emanating from His Nature and Character, clearly depicts Holy God Who would never defraud or deceive. In His Law we see the clear reflection of His Heart of Purity and Truth, and His provision to protect relationships amongst His children and reinstate fellowship with Him Who Restores.
- He Restores the one who has been wronged.
- “…he shall make restitution for it in full and add to it one-fifth more. He shall give it to the one to whom it belongs on the day he presents his guilt offering,” (6:5).
- He Restores the one who had committed the wrong.
- “Then he shall bring to the priest his guilt offering to the Lord, a ram without defect from the flock, according to your valuation, for a guilt offering, 7 and the priest shall make atonement for him before the Lord, and he will be forgiven for any one of the things which he may have done to incur guilt,” (6:5).
How do we respond to Him Who Restores?
As we consider His indictment, “When a person sins and acts unfaithfully against the Lord, and deceives his companion…” through any dishonest treatment of our brothers and sisters, we must come to grips with the seriousness of our interactions within the body of Christ. Sin against others is always sin against Him.
May our hearts line up with His desire for unbroken fellowship, understanding that the way we treat others is ultimately the way we treat Him. Broken fellowship with His children means broken fellowship with Him.
As we meditate on His commands, let us pray we would be intentional to answer His call to emulate Him Who Restores.
- When we are wronged, let us willingly offer forgiveness and love to others, trusting Him Who Restores with the outcome.
- So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity, (Colossians 3:12-14).
- When we wrong another, let us be quick to confess our sin against the LORD and to make restitution when needed.
- “Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering,” (Matthew 5:23-24).
- Let us lay aside our old self and commit to live our new life in obedience and faith in the power of Him Who Restores.
- What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? … 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin, (Romans 6:1-2, 5-7).
- Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. 9 For this, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law, (Romans 13:8-10).
- …that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. 25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another, (Ephesians 4:22-25).
- Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him— (Colossians 3:9-10).