-The Law of the guilt offerings is expounded upon in this fifth chapter. When a person is called on to make a solemn and earnest appeal as a witness, and he does not tell truthfully what he knows that person bears their guilt. Also, touching unclean things, beast or human, causes guilt. Swearing (this has to do with oaths) thoughtlessly, whether it be for evil or for good, bears guilt as the person becomes aware of it. When the guilt is realized, confession is mandatory as well as a guilt offering brought before the LORD. The wealthier are instructed to bring either a female lamb or a goat from the flock to the priest. If that is unaffordable, two turtledoves or two young pigeons were to be brought as sin offerings to the priests who stand before the LORD at His altar. The ones that had insufficient means for the above were allowed to bring the tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering to the priests who stand before the LORD. Stipulations for the how the sacrifices were to be performed were detailed in the text at the LORD’s direction. The priests would take his memorial portion as a handful “and offer it up in smoke on the altar, with the offerings of the LORD by fire (Leviticus 5:12).” So the priest would make atonement for the sin committed and the LORD would forgive that person. The rest of the offering would become the priest’s, like the grain offering (Leviticus 2:3,10; 5:13). In the final verses of the chapter, the LORD speaks on some matters of restitution over unintentional unfaithfulness against the LORD’s holy things. Restitution included replacement value plus 20% given to the priest for the holy things. Sacrifices without defect are again required to be brought to the priest to make things kosher removing the guilt of the offender.
-*Application* How many times in our modern society do people make oaths that they never intend to keep? The issue revolves around honesty, integrity, and truthfulness. Before Christ we bear the guilt of thoughtless words or motivations that inflict harm on others. We become guilty and need to bring our confession before the Savior to get things straight (1 John 1:9). He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin when we admit that we have a problem. We shouldn’t fool ourselves, we aren’t perfect and we do bear the responsibility when we screw up. While we don’t live under the Law any more like the children of Israel, we still need to make things right as much as we can with those we hurt, unintentionally or not, as we are led by His Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:18).
Verse to Memorize: Leviticus 5:5