Margin notes: Things I scribbled in the white spaces on July 16, 2K8

1 – “If the whole congregation of Israel sins unintentionally and the thing is hidden from the eyes of the assembly, and they do any one of the things that by the Lord’s commandments ought not to be done, and they realize their guilt,” (Leviticus 4:13, ESV)

RAF: We must realize that there are times when God’s people as a whole will slip into sin over time. The condition of the Church in a city, a region, even a nation can slid into sin in a general way. The law here regarding the sacrifice for such an occasion bring to mind the letters to the 7 churches in Revelation. In all but two of the 7, the group as a group had taken on a particular sinful bent. Thus the need even now to avoid movements and trends and fads within the Church. Sectarianism can lead us to such places as well. Once we have broken off into our “purer” group, the group atmosphere becomes the test of orthodoxy more than the ongoing vitality of intimacy with the Lord, and fidelity to His Word.

2 – “When a leader sins, doing unintentionally any one of all the things that by the commandments of the Lord his God ought not to be done, and realizes his guilt,” (Leviticus 4:22, ESV)

RAF: Leadership is not to treat its sins differently than others. The same public sacrifices are to be undertaken. There is no special treatment to be shown because they are leaders that somehow exempts them from the same rigors anyone else would go through. Classism in the Church is to be exposed and dealt with this way.

3 – or the sin which he has committed is made known to him, he shall bring as his offering a goat, a male without blemish,” (Leviticus 4:23, ESV)

RAF: Note too, as with the Congregation sinning as a whole, that we are not always immediately aware of our sin. How many time people are offended in being sinned against, and then compound the sin of the offender by automatically assuming they MUST know they’ve done thus and such. It very often is not so. And they will not, indeed will not repent until they are made aware of it. Not that they would refuse to do so if made aware, but remaining unaware they do not. Others offended will wait and wait and increase their offense at the other, only due to the fact they have never taken the time to go to the offender and tried to make the case known – keeping in mind they might not at all be aware of what they may have done. Jesus’ counsel in Matt. 5 & 18 takes on a rich dimension in considering this. How often husbands and wives for instance, remain hurt and angry with one another, over injuries done, of which the offender is completely oblivious – but which makes the offended grow more and more hurt and angry?

4 – “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;” (Leviticus 5:1, ESV)

RAF: We are not to be gossips. But, when a matter becomes a public issue, and information is needed to address the situation correctly, to remain silent about what we know is to pervert justice. We are duty bound to speak the truth and not remain silent.

5 – 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;” (Leviticus 5:2, ESV)

RAF: Unawareness of our sin, makes us no less guilty of it. See: 1 Corinthians 4:3-4

6 – 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;” (Leviticus 5:4, ESV)

RAF: Making foolish commitments is a sin.

7 – Fire shall be kept burning on the altar continually; it shall not go out.” (Leviticus 6:13, ESV)

RAF: There is an earnest expectation on God’s part, that we will be perpetually engaged in dealing with our sin, and that He is perpetually prepared to receive our offerings and forgive. What a wonderful expression of His willingness always to receive us. He made it a law that the fire of the altar should never go out.

8 – Then he presented Aaron’s sons, and Moses put some of the blood on the lobes of their right ears and on the thumbs of their right hands and on the big toes of their right feet. And Moses threw the blood against the sides of the altar.” (Leviticus 8:24, ESV)

RAF: As with the anointing oil, these things are to signify the need first to have ears consecrated to hear God, and hands consecrated to do His works, and feet consecrated to walk in His ways. This ought to be so the “kingdom” of priests we are in Christ Jesus. Oh to hear Him always, to set ourselves to be about His agenda in the world, and to walk in holiness all the days of our lives.

9 – And if she cannot afford a lamb, then she shall take two turtledoves or two pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. And the priest shall make atonement for her, and she shall be clean.’ ”” (Leviticus 12:8, ESV)

RAF: Thus we read in Luke 22:4, that Mary & Joseph brought such an offering – the offering of the poor.

10 – The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “When a person has on the skin of his body a swelling or an eruption or a spot, and it turns into a case of leprous disease on the skin of his body, then he shall be brought to Aaron the priest or to one of his sons the priests,” (Leviticus 13:1-2, ESV)

RAF: Leprosy, which is often used in Scripture as a type of sin, must be examined. Some sin, becomes infectious, and spreads to and damages others. Some sin does not. Sometimes, there are remedies and the passing of time – but all done under close scrutiny. Thus we are to deal with one another’s sins. Watching to see what is cured, and what is not. What has the potential to spread, and what does not. How deep and how serious, or whether it is but on the surface and will soon be cleared up. For the health of the whole body of Believers, sin must be watched over by those in leadership.


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