Monday, May 29th, 2023
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary Preacher's Homiletical
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Leviticus 6". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. https://studylight.org/
commentaries/ eng/ phc/ leviticus-6.html. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Leviticus 6". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. https://studylight.org/
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Trespass Offerings: and Priestly Consecration Offerings
Leviticus 6:2.—Trespass against the Lord and lie unto his neighbour. Wrong done to man is done to God. To deceive and defraud our neighbour is an insult to Jehovah. To harm man is to inflict injury on God; as to touch His people is to “touch the apple of His eye”; and as Saul’s persecution of the saints was persecution of Christ Himself (Acts 9:5). Take heed, lest acts of injustice to others so affect heaven as to evoke remonstrance and rebuke.
Leviticus 6:2-3.—Violence, or hath deceived, or sweareth falsely. Evil is fruitful in forms of development. Two distinct classes of wrong are here indicated: embezzlement of things placed confidingly by a neighbour in his hand, “that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship” [Lit. “something placed in his hand,” a deposit]; and now, plunder and fraud, a neighbour’s property being possessed with violence and seizure. When Adam revolted from obedience to God it introduced a fraudulent principle into human life which soon wrought wrong between man and man. He who can sin against the Lord will be found equally capable of sinning against man. Dishonesty heavenward is likely to be confirmed by dishonesty in transaction with neighbours. There is no guarantee of integrity where there is impiety. Righteousness before God means rightness towards man.
Leviticus 6:5.—Restore it in the principal. Reparation should follow repentance, and precede propitiation. First, set right the evil done to your neighbour, then come to the Lord for acceptance. It is an easy and delusive repentance of sin—sin done to men on every hand, sin continued for years, sin working sorrow in homes and in social circles—if the penitent may leave unremedied all this woful wrong among men, and free himself from further concern by simply on his knees lamenting all before God. No! if convinced of guilt, go and do right where your selfishness, and greed, and fraudulence have wrought havoc and misery; wipe out the blots of crime on human pathways, then come for appeasement and acceptance to the Lord. “Bring forth fruit meet for repentance” (Matthew 3:7-10).
Add a fifth part more. Let there be an overflow of generosity to compensate for former selfishness. And let Christian life be distinguished by a liberal diffusion of your possessions, in order both to lessen the cares of neighbours and attest the reality of your conversion. “Freely ye have received, freely give.”
Leviticus 6:6.—Bring his trespass offering. Zacchæus might pledge himself “if he had taken anything from any man by false accusation to restore him fourfold”; but to lavish reparation on man could not obliterate the guilt of his actions as concerns the law and holiness of God. There must be atonement. Good deeds and generous benefactions cannot expunge guiltiness of soul. And besides the actual trespasses, which reparation may in part requite, there remains the criminality of conscience, the impurity of soul, the impiety towards God. And “it is blood that maketh atonement for the soul.”
Leviticus 6:8-13.—The burnt offering, because of the burning upon the altar, etc. Every evening a lamb was sacrificed (Exodus 29:38), and these directions refer to the ritual; the burning was to be “all night until the morning.” And the altar fire was ceaselessly to be maintained; symbolic of
(1) the perpetual atonement needed by men;
(2) the continuous acceptance of worship by God:
(3) the uninterrupted relationship of Jehovah with Israel. In this Christian epoch we maintain no ceaseless fire, but we enjoy a ceaseless atonement, which assures us of undoubted acceptance and unbroken fellowship with God. Instead of the daily feeding of the altar fire with wood, we may devote afresh daily our love and obedience, for these should “never go out” in Christian lives.
Leviticus 6:14-18.—The meat offering. This section adds directions for the priests, supplementing the regulation given in Leviticus 2:1-3.
Leviticus 6:18.—Every one that toucheth them shall be holy. Either this contact with holy things claimed that the person so “touched” should be set apart for God, or the contact communicated a sanctity which henceforth secured his consecration. Derived sanctity: it is a law in continuous operation: many souls having been drawn to Christ through the influence of such contact with “holy things” as e.g. the Bible, the Sanctuary, etc.; or with holy persons, as godly parents, Christian friends, ministers of the Lord Jesus. Grace goes forth from them, as virtue went out from Jesus to heal. Seek such contact, if yet in your sins. Send out such sanctifying energy, if the sacred grace is in you.
Leviticus 6:19-23.—Consecration offerings for the priest “in the day when he is anointed.” With glad thank offerings the priest was to seal his dedication to the sacerdotal office. No tone or aspect of despondency would be proper to such an incident. It was to high privilege and honour the young priest was set apart: entire separation for the Divine service. And to what joyous life can we aspire comparable to this? “Yield yourselves unto God as those that are alive from the dead.” The entrance upon a sacred life is a blissful incident, and should be marked with festive dedications
Leviticus 6:24-30.—The sin offering killed before the Lord. Supplementary directions are supplied to Leviticus 4:1-5. So specially sacred was the blood of the sin offering that, if perchance a spray of the blood of the victim spurted out upon the priest’s garments, the stain must be dealt with as of solemn consequence, and even the vessel in which the stained garment was washed (Leviticus 6:27-28). Thus specific were Jehovah’s regulations that the atoning blood might not be profaned. How much more should “the precious blood of Christ” be cherished as “a holy thing,” and guarded from profanation! (Hebrews 10:29). From within that ancient temple a voice of appeal comes to us to this day that we solemnly regard the blood of atonement, and so value it that we prize its sanctifying virtue and honour its efficacy by a blameless life.
SECTIONAL HOMILIES, CHAPTER Leviticus 6:1-12
Topic: DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN TRESPASSES AGAINST GOD AND AGAINST MEN.
(Connect Leviticus 5:15-19 with Leviticus 6:1-7.)
The trespasses in ch. 5. relate to misconduct “in the holy things of the Lord”; the trespasses in ch. 6. refer to misdeeds in the common transactions and relations of life.
Distinction A: Note that the expression, “if a soul sin through ignorance,” which occurs in the former, is omitted in the latter. The reason for this is obvious—
I. The claims which stand connected with “the holy things of the Lord” must pass infinitely BEYOND THE REACH OF THE MOST ELEVATED HUMAN SENSIBILITY. Those claims may be continually interfered with, continually trespassed upon, and the trespassers be not aware of the fact.
1. Man’s conscience can never be the regulator in the sanctuary of God. How often may we have wronged God “in His holy things” without ever taking a note of it in the tablet of conscience, yea, without having the competency to detect it! [See Malachi 3:8.]
2. God’s holiness alone must fix the standard when God’s rights are in question. That higher light must shine on man’s conscience, therefore, to correct his “ignorance” of the laws which governed the sanctuary.
II. On the other hand, the HUMAN CONSCIENCE CAN READILY GRASP THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE HUMAN CLAIM, and can readily take cognizance of any interference with such claim.
1. When man’s rights are in question, conscience acts as a prompt and efficient standard. The wrong which the human eye can see and the human heart feel, the human conscience can judge. A man could not, “through ignorance,” tell a lie, swear falsely, act violently, deceive his neighbour, or find a lost thing and deny it. These were all plain and palpable acts, lying within the range of the most sluggish sensibility.
2. “Ignorance” is, therefore, not allowed as qualifying and condoning men’s conduct in the common affairs of life.
How blessed it is to know that the precious blood of Christ has settled all questions with respect to God or man, our sins of ignorance or our known sins! Here lies the deep and settled foundation of the believer’s peace. The Cross has divinely met all.
Distinction B: Note that when it was a question of trespass “in the holy things of the Lord,” the unblemished sacrifice was first introduced, and afterward “the principal” and “the fifth.” This order was reversed when it was a question of the common affairs of life. [Compare ch. Leviticus 5:15-16, with ch. Leviticus 6:4-7.] The reason of this is equally obvious—
I. When the Divine rights were infringed the BLOOD OF ATONEMENT was the prominent requirement.
If an Israelite had, by an act of trespass, deranged his relation with Jehovah, the order was sacrifice and restitution.
II. When human rights were infringed, RESTITUTION would naturally assume the leading place in the mind.
If an Israelite, by an act of trespass, had deranged his relation with his neighbour, the order was restitution and then sacrifice.
1. To wrong a fellow-man interferes with communion with God. And that communion can only be restored on the ground of atonement. Mere restitution would not avail. It might satisfy the injured man, but could form no basis of restored communion with God. To restore “the principal” and add “the fifth” would still leave the sin remaining; and “without shedding of blood is no remission.”
2. To set right the wrong to the injured man, restitution is efficacious. “If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there remember that thy brother hast aught against, thee, leave there thy gift before the altar and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift” (Matthew 5:23-24).
The claims which arise out of our human relations must not be disregarded. They must ever get their proper place in the heart. [Compare C. H. M.]
Topic: HARM DONE BY TRESPASS (Leviticus 6:2-4)
In the trespass against “the Lord,” considered in ch. 5., there was specific declaration as to “the harm done” by that trespass; and for that “harm” the trespasser had to “make amends” (ch. Leviticus 5:15-16). In this chapter trespasses against a “neighbour” are under consideration, and these trespasses are explained as being deeds of actual wrong. Not imaginary or sentimental trespasses, but acts. Which statement shows how truly the greatest enemy of mankind is man. Or, as Robert Burns declares it:
“Man’s inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn.”
In the same vein writes Young, in his “Night Thoughts”:
“Inhumanity is caught from man,
From smiling man.”
[See Addenda, p. 86, Injury.]
I. THE INJURY WROUGHT BY TRESPASS.
Ample terms are employed here to describe the forms of wrong-doing. We read of “violently taking,” “deceitfully getting,” and “swearing falsely about that which is found.”
1. Trespass defined. In every act of trespass practical and positive wrong was done; there was an act of evil by which another was injured. “Trespass” differed from “sin” in this: sin marked what man was in himself, trespass described what man had done. Deeds of wrong, therefore, are here under consideration; actual wrong and robbery.
2. Trespass conditioned. It might be wrought “in ignorance” (ch. Leviticus 5:15; Leviticus 5:17; Leviticus 5:19) when done against “the Lord”; and it is implied even in these acts of wrong against man that the trespasser did not deliberately, and “of malice aforethought” do these acts, but under impulse or through connivance, or simply from inattention. For it comes to be recognised as trespass afterwards, not at the time of the act. God has harsher names and heavier judgments for wrong-doing wrought in full consciousness and full light. Still, recognised or unrecognised, it is “trespass.”
3. Trespass weighed. Neither our conscience, nor our knowledge, nor our ability are allowed to be the standard by which our actions are measured, weighed, judged; but God’s truth. “Though he wist it not, yet is he guilty; he hath certainly trespassed against the Lord” (ch Leviticus 5:17-19). Man’s judgment of his own acts is not to be trusted. If a man’s conscience or his light were the standard, every man would weigh his conduct by a different rule; there would be no absolute standard of right and wrong. Evil then would consist, not in the act itself, but in man’s estimate or perception thereof. Sin has blinded our perceptions to the “sinfulness of sin”; but that does not alter the fact. God measures and weighs our trespasses by His Word.
4. Trespass recognised. Light comes in at last, and the wrong-doer discovers that he has committed a trespass. “When he knoweth of it” (Leviticus 5:4); and in due course transgression makes itself known to the transgressor. Light shines in the darkness, and its beams fall about every life, and will ultimately “bring to light the hidden things of darkness.” Conscience in man will awake, and memory will convict the sinner of his long-forgotten sin.
“Conscience … mutinies in a man’s bosom;
It fills one full of obstacles.”—Shakespeare.
“There is no future pang
Can deal that justice on the self-condemned
He deals on his own soul.”—Byron.
“Conscience is harder than our enemies,
Knows more, accuses with more nicety.”—George Eliot.
“Yet still there whispers the small voice within,
Heard thro’ gain’s silence, and o’er glory’s din;
Whatever creed be taught or land be trod,
Man’s conscience is the oracle of God.”—Byron.
II. THE REPARATION MADE FOR TRESPASS.
When the trespass was realised, it had to be expiated by sacrifice, and amends had to be made to the injured neighbour.
1. Trespass atoned. Blessed be God (whose voice within us, whose inspired Word, whose convincing Spirit brings home to us our trespass), that His grace has “found a Ransom.” “He shall bring his trespass offering unto the Lord,” etc. (Leviticus 6:6). He that sees Jesus in the trespass offering, sees trespass expiated, annihilated; for Christ has assumed its guiltiness, borne its judgment, paid its penalty. Not alone was “His soul made an offering for sin,” but “He was wounded for our transgressions” (Isaiah 53:5-10).
2. Trespass compensated. For the wrongs the trespasser has done to his neighbour restitution must be made: “He shall even restore it in the principal” (Leviticus 6:5). Our Lord has made full reparation for the wrong we had done—to God and man; satisfying God by His own merits given for our demerits, and blessing man by ensuring to him richer advantages than those which sin forfeited.
Wherefore this reparation after expiation? Thus: for a victim merely to die would leave the injured neighbour a loser still. Though the trespasser were punished, the injury would remain. The death of the wrong-doer would not restore defrauded rights. Yet until this was done satisfaction could not be regarded as perfect; nor could justice be said to have righted the wrong. Therefore, punishment fell upon the victim, and the wrong was also repaired. So that in the atonement for trespass we find—
1. Judgment inflicted. The victim’s life is forfeited, as was the sinner’s for his sin. And Christ gave His life as man’s substituted victim.
2. Injury compensated. The evil had to be remedied. Having wrought evil in time past of our lives (comp. Ephesians 2:2-3), we, saved by Christ Jesus, now give ourselves to earnest effort to repair the wrong done; to glorify God, whom we had wronged by disobedience and dishonour; to benefit men, whom we had harmed by sinful influence and example. To these are to be added:
3. Dues exceeded. More than the original loss had to be repaid; the wrong more than remedied. A “fifth part more” had to be “added thereto.” For there was in Christ’s obedience and virtue a surplus, an excess of merit presented to God, passing beyond man’s demerit. And in Christian devotedness and ministry there are blessings brought to men by man far more sacred, and tender, and consolatory, and helpful, which more than outweigh all the injury done to men by man. “Let him know that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way, shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins” (James 5:20). [See Addenda p. 87, Faithlessness.]
Topic: RESTITUTION MADE FOR WRONG (Leviticus 6:4-5)
Besides the original due was added a “fifth.” Consider—
i. How this was fulfilled for us in Christ. At His hands God received more than all whereof man had robbed Him.
ii. The consequence of this to those “in Christ.” They are “complete in Him” through whom we have received the atonement.
But the practical bearing of that transaction commands attention. Enquire in what way. and how far, this view of Christ’s act of reparation should prove an incentive and an example to us.
1. RESTITUTION MADE by those who are in fellowship with Christ.
By standing in behalf of man Christ, makes full restitution for man’s wrong and trespass; “hot with corruptible things, as silver and gold” (1 Peter 1:18-19), but by the value of His own offering and obedience He repays our trespasses.
1. In this sense, of satisfying God for our trespasses, we can make no restitution. If Christ has not made it we are lost. The rest of our lives, if wholly spent for God, could never atone for our acts of trespass. Each day would bring its own proper claim. Works of supererogation, therefore, we could have none.
2. Yet there is a sense in which the soul in fellowship with Christ will make restitution. Not, indeed, to win acceptance, but as showing how, according to his measure, through the Spirit, he sympathises with Christ. As he has, in days past, “as the servant of sin,” robbed God and man of their rights, so now, as “having been made free from sin,” he will “become the servant of righteousness” (Romans 6:22).
II. AMENDS SUPERADDED to the restitution offered.
In consequence of trespass, against God or man, more than their original claim was due to them.
1. Under the law, the claim on man was righteousness. If man dealt justly toward God and man nothing further could be claimed of him. But it became different when he had trespassed. Then, by God’s appointment—
2. Right was no longer the measure of man’s debt. The trespasser now is in no condition to attempt to deal out righteousness, either to God or man. The fact of our having become trespassers—
(1) Gives God a claim upon us which is not the bare claim of right. Above and beyond this, the trespasser is a debtor. He requires more than the righteousness which sinless souls could have rendered; additional “amends” have to be made; something more than an equivalent for man’s sin; this—Christ’s bounteous virtues; yea, and also—that we love Him for His grace to us.
The law did not ask love; it asked of man rectitude! But God now asks more than rectitude; He desires and expects gratitude, affection, consecration.
“For souls redeemed, for sins forgiven,
For means of grace, for hopes of heaven,
Father, what can to Thee be given,
Who givest all?”
(2) Calls us to unselfish devotion to others. As the recipients of grace we are called to exhibit grace in all our transactions with others. Not dealing out justice to men, but generosity, and kindness, and unselfishness. “Ye have heard that it hath been said, an eye for an eye; but I say unto you, resist not evil: do good to them that hate you; pray for them that despitefully use you” (Matthew 5:38-44).
“And when ye stand praying, forgive if ye have ought against any; that your Father also in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your heavenly Father forgive you your trespasses” (Mark 11:25-26). [Comp. also Luke 6:32-35.]
Yet how far is this principle of grace exceeding justice the rule of Christian lives? If we are just, how little concern have we as to being gracious in our dealings with fellow-men! We go to law (1 Corinthians 6:1-7); we claim our rights, little thinking of the added “fifth” of the trespass offering.
Grace, not right, must be the law, as it is the hope, of the trespasser. [Comp. Jukes on the Offerings.]
OUTLINES ON VERSES OF CHAPTER Leviticus 6:1-7
Leviticus 6:2. Theme: THE DUTY OF HONESTY.
History and civilisation began with promulgation of law from Sinai, which would regulate man’s conduct towards God and his neighbour. Israel in wilderness, not only a church, but commonwealth; hence, laws to govern civil and social relationships, as well as religions life. Society could not exist without respect to rights of property, and restraint of liberty. Israel in wilderness without laws would have been a horde of savages, where only the strongest would have survived. The Lord’s freemen were not to be out-laws and freebooters, but obedient servants of the most High. He would dwell with them, they were to dwell in peace with each other, and hold each other in mutual esteem. Every breach of trust, every species of dishonesty, strictly prohibited; when committed, amends to be made, and forgiveness sought. From the trespass offering we learn—
I. THAT PROPERTY—THOUGH NOT INTEGRALLY A HUMAN RIGHT—MAY BE LAWFULLY POSSESSED BY MAN.
Though the earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof, yet He hath given it to the children of men. Though a man absolutely possesses nothing but what he is, he may acquire the right to call worldly possessions lawfully his own. No community of goods among Israelites. Communism is Utopian; infringement upon the due interests of others, and therefore robbery. As trustees and stewards, in holding and using possessions, we must have respect (a) to the good of others, and (b) the claims of God.
II. THAT PROPERTY UNLAWFULLY POSSESSED, IS NOT ONLY A CRIME AGAINST MAN, BUT ALSO A SIN AGAINST GOD.
Every breach of trust, dishonest act, or fraudulent transaction, displeased Jehovah, and required atonement at the hands of the offender. Guilt was contracted when the law was dishonoured, and no circumstances were to be pleaded in extenuation of the guilt or in mitigation of the sacrifice demanded. The principle of this law has never been repealed; it is morally, as well as legally, criminal, to obtain property of any sort by any wrong means, either from individuals or societies. Revealed religion lies at the basis of all political, commercial and social morality.—F.W.B.
Leviticus 6:2. Theme: BREACH OF CONFIDENCE. “Lie unto his neighbour, or hath deceived his neighbour”.
I. Note some EXAMPLES OF THIS SIN.
1. Injury to, or loss of, borrowed goods. [See Kings Leviticus 6:5.]
2. Retaining a found article, knowing, not seeking, the owner.
3. Obtaining property under false pretences.
II. EFFECTS OF THIS SIN.
1. Diminishes the trust men should have in each other.
2 Lessens the stock of general kindness. [See Matthew 5:42.]
3. Fosters a spirit of dishonesty.
III. THE DIVINE VIEW OF THIS SIN.
1. Reparation to be made to man.
2. Confession and atonement to be made to God.—Rev. J. Comper Gray, Biblical Museum.
Theme: DEPOSITING PROPERTY.
I. A NEIGHBOURLY CONVENIENCE. To deposit valuable property with a neighbour was, and still is, a common practice in the East, where no establishments exist for the storing of private treasure.
1. How helpful a neighbour may become.
2. How grand is this confidence in another.
3. How mutually dependent we are one upon another.
4. How honourable we should be in all transactions.
5. How jealously we should strive to merit implicit trust [See Addenda, p. 86, Injury.]
II. A HAZARDOUS TRANSACTION.
1. Man’s reliableness is sorely discredited by continuous breaches of faith.
2. Treasure becomes often a serious anxiety to its possessor.
3. No security can be guaranteed in any earthly confidence. [See Addenda, p. 87, Faithlessness]
III. A DOUBTFUL ALTERNATIVE.
There was another method adopted, when a man was about to journey, if he could not trust his neighbour: he would conceal his treasures under ground.
1. What light this throws on Scripture phraseology.
The Hebrew word for treasure denotes hidden: and explains such phrases as “hidden riches of secret places” (Isaiah 45:3) and “search for her hid treasure” (Proverbs 2:4; Job 3:24).
2. What light this throws on Christ’s parables.
There was danger of a man forgetting the spot where he had long ago buried his treasure. Hence our Lord’s language concerning “treasure hid in the field” and “searching” “digging” to find it.
IV. A SPIRITUAL ANALOGY.
This committing treasure to a neighbour suggests Paul’s imagery of
The soul committed to Christ: “I Know whom I have trusted and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Timothy 1:12). [See also Leviticus 5:14 and Tim. Leviticus 6:20].
1. Christ is faithful to our trust.
2. We cannot safely risk our souls in other keeping.
Leviticus 6:5. Theme: THE BENEFICENCE OF A REDEEMED LIFE.
The same law in reference to “the fifth part” obtained in the case of a trespass against a man, as in a trespass against the Lord. The application of this regulation to the work of Christ indicates that man, as well as God, is a positive gainer by the Cross. The believer can say, as he gazes upon that Cross, “However I have been wronged, trespassed against, deceived, whatever ills have been done to me, I am a gainer by the Cross. I have not merely received back all that was lost, but much more beside.”
Thus, whether we think of the injured or the injurer, we are equally struck with the glorious triumphs of redemption, and the mighty practical results which flow from that gospel, which fills the soul with the happy assurance that “all trespasses” are “forgiven,” and that the root from whence those trespasses have sprung has been judged.
I. A TRESPASSER IS TRANSFORMED INTO A BENEFACTOR by the law of Divine grace.
He carries blessings—
1. Into the scenes which have been the witness of a man’s sins, his trespasses, and his injurious ways.
2. Among persons who have suffered in consequence of his evil doings, his deceits, and his transgressions.
3. The renewing grace of God having worked in him, he is sent back to those scenes and among those sufferers furnished with grace, in order that he should—
4. Not only repair the wrongs, but to allow the full tide of practical benevolence to flow forth in all his ways, yea, to “love his enemies, and do good to them that hate him, and to pray for them that despitefully use and persecute him.” Such are the rich, rare, and refreshing fruits of the grace of God that act in connection with our great Trespass Offering.
II. A GRACIOUS LIFE WILL ATTEST ITSELF IN GENEROUS CONDUCT.
Sinfulness and selfishness can have no licence in a redeemed life. Instead of the caviller against godliness being able to show that God’s people allow sin “that grace may abound,” sin is cut up by the roots; the sinner is turned from a curse into a blessing, from a moral plague into a channel of Divine mercy, from an emissary of Satan into a messenger of God, from a child of darkness into a son of the light, from a self-indulgent pleasure-seeker into a self-denying lover of God, from a slave of vile lusts into a willing-hearted servant of Christ, from a narrow-hearted miser into a benevolent minister to the needs of his fellow-men. The thief, the defrauder, is transformed into a generous donor; giving the “fifth” of his possessions,
2. Practical righteousness is the crowning witness of that life whose sin is expiated and forgiven. Away, then, with the oft repeated taunts, “Are we to do nothing?” “According to this gospel we may live as we list!” They who utter such language know not what grace means: have never felt its sanctifying and elevating influences. They forget that, while the blood of the trespass offering cleanses the conscience, the law of the offering sends the trespasser back to him whom he has wronged with “the principal” and “the fifth” in his hand. Noble testimony, this, both to the grace and righteousness of the God of Israel!
If the conscience has been set to rights, by the blood of the Cross, in reference to the claims of God, the conduct also must be set to rights by the holiness of the Cross in reference to the claims of practical righteousness. This hallowed union will never be dissolved by any mind which is governed by pure gospel morality. “He that doth not righteousness is not of God” (1 John 3:10).
III. DIVINE GRACE IS DISHONOURED in those whose conduct and character exhibit not the fair traces OF PRACTICAL HOLINESS.
1. God has given us in His Word those evidences by which we can discern those that belong to Him. “The Lord knoweth them that are His: and let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Timothy 2:19)
(a) We have no right to suppose that an evildoer belongs to God. The holy instincts of the Divine nature are shocked by such a thought. Difficulty is felt in accounting for evil practices in those who are regarded as Christians. But the Word of God settles the matter clearly and authoritatively:—“In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whoever doeth not righteousness is not of God,” etc. (1 John 3:9-10).
(b) Laxity and self-indulgence, specially the perils of our times, must be severely and sternly shunned.
2. An accommodating, easy profession of Christianity is rebuked by this law of the trespass offering. Every genuine Christian is called upon to give a clear testimony, a testimony resulting from the steady exhibition of “the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ unto the glory and praise of God.” Most deplorable is it to see such faulty manifestation abroad of the love and holiness which should distinguish Christian conduct.
Let us rebuke, by a life of self-denial and genuine benevolence, the culpable inactivity of professors. Christian life should abound in large and generous ministries. [Comp. C. H. M. on Leviticus.]
Leviticus 6:6-7. Theme: THE SIN OF DISHONESTY.
In the natural government of the world God has made the laws of nature on the side of goodness and virtue; and in the moral government of the universe the Divine favour is on the side of honesty, integrity and righteousness. The enactments of Sinai, and those from the door of the tabernacle, were a transcript of the holiness of the Divine character, fixing approval upon the right, and stigma upon the wrong. Men were to do to others as they would others should do to them, remembering that the eye of the Lord was upon them. Thus Israel was taught—
I. THAT THE SIN OF DISHONESTY INCURS THE JUST INDIGNATION OF HEAVEN.
Moses and others, who administered the laws among the people, would feel the sacredness and responsibility of their office, in that they were Jehovah’s deputies, and punished offenders in His name. Earthly rulers and governments should—
(a) Base their statutes upon Divine enactments; and
(b) Seek the reformation, as well as punishment, of the offender.
The appointed offering, and the appearance of the trespassers before the Lord, denoted that sin had been committed, that guilt had been incurred. All sin is hateful in the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
II. THAT THE SIN OF DISHONESTY MAY NEVERTHELESS BE FORGIVEN.
Specific directions were given respecting the offering required, that the offerer might have no doubt as to the way of forgiveness. Obedience would show that the trespasser—
(a) Acknowledged his offence;
(b) Was sorry for it;
(c) Was ready to make amends;
(d) Desired absolution.
The root and essence of sin is that it is committed against God; hence, only God can forgive it. In the gospel the law is not destroyed, but fulfilled; For Christ, our Sin, or Trespass Offering, procures complete and free pardon for all sin. Fools make a mock at the sin offering, but with the righteous it is in esteem.—F. W. B.
SECTIONAL HOMILIES Leviticus 6:8-13
THE LAW OF THE BURNT OFFERING (resumed)
Topic.—DIGNITY LINKED TO DUTY (Leviticus 6:8-12)
With the eighth verse of this chapter we traverse ground already gone over. Directions having been given for the institution of the burnt offering, Aaron and his sons now receive particulars as to their parts in the service. The burnt offering was the first and most important of all the ordinary oblations, pointing as it did to unreserved personal consecration, and universal Divine redemption. In the directions given to Aaron and his sons, we learn—
I. HOW APPARENTLY UNDIGNIFIED DUTIES MAY BE ASSOCIATED WITH THE MOST EXALTED SERVICE.
The Divine work to which the priests were appointed would distinguish them from the common people; ensure them reverent recognition; be their passports to social, as well as sacred eminence. Their spotless vestments were a symbol of their official purity. How undignified it would seem for the priest to be busy removing the ashes of the consumed sacrifice with his own hands to a clean place without the camp. But no work, however lowly, if done for God and at His command, can bring real degradation. Men always go up when they go to duty. David felt he would “rather be a door-keeper in the house of the Lord than,” etc. The priests were as great and dignified when removing the ashes of the offering as when they ascended to their loftiest sacerdotal duties. Let us think nothing mean or low that we can do in the service of our risen and loving Lord.
II. HOW THE ASSOCIATION OF LOWLY DUTIES WITH EXALTED SERVICE MAY BE A SALUTARY DISCIPLINE TO THE WORSHIPPER.
That the reasons for the sacrifices, and the laws relating to them were only partially given; and that in matters of precision and detail so much seemed mysterious and even unnecessary, would—
(a) Test the faith, (b) quicken vigilance, (c) stimulate energy, and (d) prepare for higher and more spiritual service. He that is faithful in the least will be in that which is greatest. Fidelity in what the world may deem small and meaningless will receive the recognition of heaven, and promotion to higher and holier service.—F. W. Brown.
OUTLINES ON VERSES, CHAPTER Leviticus 6:8-13
Leviticus 6:9. Theme: SACRED ATTIRE.
These directions concerning offering the burnt sacrifice relate to the priests; and denote tho divinely acceptable method of their ministrations. In all these specific ceremonial regulations there lay couched important spiritual suggestions.
I. IN HOLY ATTIRE they serve at the altar.
1. Suggestive of the essential holiness of Christ. By His grace all offerings were rendered a sweet savour to God.
2. Symbolic of their derived purity and righteousness. [Comp. Exodus 28:40-43 with Psalms 132:9; Revelation 3:4; Revelation 7:13-14; Revelation 19:8.]
3. Indicative of the spirit of service. Bring to God services and sacrifices with clean hands, and pure hearts, and holy lives. The state of the offerer affects the character of the offering. [See Hebrews 10:22.]
II. IN ALTERED GARMENTS they bear the ashes from the sanctuary.
1. The changed tone of feeling in the ministrant. He no longer serves in delight at God’s altar, but takes part in the act of out-casting the sin sacrifice. A saddened mood is upon him as he becomes for the moment associated with the repulsiveness of sin in carrying the ashes “without the camp.” There are two aspects of Christian ministry—joyous privilege, when clothed in the garments of salvation, and saddened reflection when realising the offensiveness of sin.
2. The altered scenes which a Christian frequents. He is not always within “the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High,” he has to go forth to outside scenes: the rougher, less hallowed scenes of life and human society. Yet, though laying aside the holiest priestly garb when he left the most sacred scenes, as a Christian soul necessarily haves behind him the sublimer thoughts and feelings he wore when in the very secret of God’s presence: still his changed garments were consecrated garments. The Christian must never lay aside his sanctity, nor his priestly profession. Everywhere, whether apart with God or busy amongst men, he must wear the consecrated attire.
Leviticus 6:12. Theme: DIVINE FIRE HUMANLY MAINTAINED.
“The fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out; and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning,” etc.
It might have been supposed that this “fire,” having been Divine in its origin, would have been Divinely maintained. That fire, so given, suggests—
I. DIVINE ENDOWMENTS COMMITTED TO THE CONTROL OF MEN.
As in the instances of that “fire,” supernaturally originated on that altar, and then left in man’s hands, so with—
1. Pure sympathies implanted within man.
2. Revelation in the Scriptures.
3. Quickened life in the regenerated soul.
4. Spiritual endowments to the believer.
5. Sacred affections in the Christian heart.
6. Holy enthusiasm firing an earnest nature.
From God they come: but man has them in his hands.
II. DIVINE ENDOWMENTS ENTRUSTED TO THE PRESERVATION OF MEN.
The priests had to keep that “fire” alive, or it would expire.
1. Having received the gifts of God we are responsible for their maintenance. God holds us as in trust with them.
2. How solemn the priestly office, which all are called to perform: feeding the Divine “fire” in our souls continually!
III. DIVINE ENDOWMENTS REQUIRING THE CO-OPERATIVE WATCHFULNESS OF MEN.
The priest’s eye would need to be often turned to the altar fire: “every morning” it needed care.
1. A watchful life is imperative if we would maintain godliness within.
2. Neglect will allow the extinction of the divinest gift. It needs scarcely that positive effort be made to “put out” the fire: it will go out of itself if not attended to.
(a) Daily prayer;
(b) Daily reading of the Scriptures;
(c) Daily fellowship with Christ;
(d) Daily watching against temptation.
Fail in these duties, and the “fire” will expire.
“Every morning” bring wood to the fire!
IV. DIVINE ENDOWMENTS ENDURING ONLY WHERE ACTIVELY MAINTAINED.
That fire did expire! At the destruction o the temple by Nebuchadnezzar.
1. May the Divine life in a soul go out?
2. May the Christian’s “first love” become extinct?
3. May the holy aspirations of a child of God droop?
4. May all sacred ardour, in prayer, in consecration, die away?
“Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”
“See that ye make your calling and election sure.”
Leviticus 6:13. Theme: FIRE NOT TO GO OUT.
I. Its typical import, as relating to the GOSPEL.
1. That we all constantly need the atonement. This fire was given for the use of all Israel without exception: all needed to offer atonement; Aaron as well as the people. We must all bring our offering to the altar. The fire, too, was for daily use And daily we need to come to God through the atonement.
2. That the Levitical sacrifices are insufficient for us. Thousands of victims were consumed on God’s altar, yet the fire continued to burn; indicating that full atonement had not been offered (Hebrews 10:1-4; Hebrews 10:11; Hebrews 9:9).
3. That God intended to supply a satisfactory sacrifice. The continuous fire, and the daily supply of wood, seemed to repeat Isaac’s inquiry, “Behold the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” (Genesis 22:7-8). God kept up the expectation of the Great Sacrifice.
4. That all who repudiated that Great Sacrifice must expect severest judgments. The victims consumed by that fire betokened the sinner’s deserts (Mark 9:43-45, etc.). “Who can dwell with the devouring fire? who can dwell with everlasting burnings?” (Isaiah 33:14).
II. Its mystical import, as relating to the CHURCH.
That altar represents the heart of man, from whence offerings of every kind go up to God (Hebrews 13:15-16).
1. That no offering can be accepted of God unless it be inflamed with heavenly fire.
Compare Nadab and Abihu’s doom (Leviticus 10:1-2); and the remonstrance of Isaiah (Isaiah 50:11).
2. That if God have kindled in our hearts a fire we must keep it alive by our own vigilance: “Stir up the gift of God that is in thee” (2 Timothy 1:6); “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die” (Revelation 3:2).
3. That every sacrifice, offered in God’s appointed way, will be accepted. Though unable to bring a kid or lamb or young pigeons, yet bring a small measure of flour (Leviticus 5:5-13). The sigh, tear, groan, will be accepted equally with the most fluent prayer; the widow’s mite equally with the offerings of the wealthy.
III. Its personal suggestion, indicating OUR DUTY.
1. Look to the Great Atonement as your only hope.
2. Surrender up yourselves as living sacrifices unto God.—C. Simeon. [See Addenda, p. 86, Enduring Fire.]
Leviticus 6:13. Theme: THE ALTAR FIRE.
“The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.”
A. This fire is typical of HOLY DESIRES, and of DIVINE LOVE; to which it bears an exact parallel in a variety of instances, in its various operations:—
i. Fire is an illuminating quality.
ii. It is a warming and healing quality.
iii. It will burn any combustible matter; separating metal from dross and rust.
iv. It is an ascending quality; greedily mounting to its proper seat, and will not rest till it incorporates with its own element.
v. It is a melting and softening quality. Iron and other metals are made pliable by it.
vi. It is a comforting and consoling quality.
vii. It is of an assimilating quality. It changes materials into its own nature, and sets them on fire.
viii. Without fire business would be arrested; nor could we exist. Parallel: “Man lives not by bread alone,” etc. “His Word was in mine heart as a burning fire.”
B. How may we QUENCH THE FIRE of holy desires and Divine love?
i. By inconsideration or unwatchfulness.
ii. By a trifling spirit, or permitting levity to prevail.
iii. Not keeping our eye single, our heart sincere.
iv. Fond conceits of ourselves; being wise above what is written.
v. Not harmonising our lives by the rule of God’s word.—Methodist Plans, by Rev. Wm. Stephens, A.D. 1786.
Leviticus 6:13. Theme: THE ALTAR FIRE A SYMBOL OF REGENERATING GRACE.
The ANALOGY between this fire and regenerating grace appears—
I. In its source and origin.
II. In its tendency.
III. In its nature and properties.
IV. In its permanency.
V. In its perpetuity.
The PRACTICAL LESSON gathered from the subject, is diligence in the use of means:—
1. Prayer: secret, family, social.
2. Study of God’s Word.
3. Meditation (Psalms 119:0; Malachi 3:16; Hebrews 10:25).
4. Attendance on the means of grace.
5. Faithful labour for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.—From Homiletic Monthly, by Rev G. F. Love. [See Addenda, page 86, Enduring Fire.]
Leviticus 6:18. Theme: THE UNEXTINGUISHABLE FIRE.
The Divine injunction to keep the fire upon the altar ever burning has been thought by some Biblical scholars to imply, that the wrath of God against sin will never expire, that the Divine punishment for sin is interminable. But we must remember that the fire on the altar consumed not the sinner but the sacrifice offered in the sinner’s stead And the fire did ultimately go out.
It seems more consistent with the moral teaching of the rite (and certainly beset with fewer difficulties) to take the fire (a) as symbolic of the fact that the constantly offered sacrifices met with abiding approval of the Lord; and (b) as an emblem of the deep devotion and constant love of the heart necessary to secure unbroken communion with heaven.
Our bodies are temples of the Holy Ghost; and, as priests unto God, “we are to offer up ourselves living sacrifices, holy and acceptable unto Him.” Fire is a Divine emblem by which God is represented to us; and by which God is manifested in us. Enthusiasm means God in us. The fire of consecration must be—
I. DIVINELY KINDLED. It must come from the presence of Jehovah, or we shall offer strange fire on the altar. The baptism of fire, like that of the Holy Ghost, is from above.
II. CONSTANTLY REPLENISHED. The altar fire was every day fed by the repeated sacrifices. Enthusiastic consecration can be sustained only by repeated supplies of appropriate fuel. We must pile up grateful memories, holy resolutions, self-denying services, etc. The flash of religious excitement will not suffice, God will not accept the white ashes of a former fire.
III. FREQUENTLY REVIVED. The fire must not be choked, or damped, it would need fresh air, and stirring: the fire in our hearts needs the fresh air from heaven—to be stirred by renewed efforts—we need to beware of extinguishing influences, such as unholy lusts, undue anxieties, unbelief in God, inattention to public and private devotions, etc.
IV. JUDICIOUSLY CONTROLLED. The fire upon the altar was kept within reasonable bounds, or it might have spread disaster through the whole camp. Zeal and consecration must be governed by intelligence, or they will degenerate into fanaticism and lead to bigotry and persecution. Let us seek to be clad with zeal as with a garment, and to possess holy fire in our souls.
The fire of consecration may be known by—
(a) Intense heat of love.
(b) Twofold flame of devotion—prayer and praise.
(c) Clear light of knowledge.
Such a fire within will be comforting, purifying, aggressive, ascending. Take fire, hold fire, spread fire; then when death comes we shall be translated to the land where we shall be as seraphs before the sapphire throne.—F. W. B.
SECTIONAL HOMILIES, CHAPTER Leviticus 6:14-30
THE PRIESTS’ MEAT OFFERING
Topic: PRIESTLY SERVICES AND PRIVILEGES (Leviticus 6:14-16)
“The sons of Aaron shall offer it before the Lord … the remainder shall Aaron and his sons eat.”
I. FULFILMENT OF SACRED FUNCTIONS.
Christ was typified in “Aaron.” Christians in “his sons.”
1. Consider the priestly ministrations of Jesus Christ within the sanctuary. (a) Within His Church on earth, in maintaining the love, and devotion, and piety which there are offered to God. (b) Within the heavenly sanctuary, in gathering up the prayers of His saints, adding His own virtues to human offerings, and interceding in the presence of God for us.
2. The subsidiary ministries of the Christian priesthood. (a) In consecrated lives. (b) In loving gifts. (c) In prayerful fellowship. (d) In useful agencies.
II. ENJOYMENT OF SPECIAL PRIVILEGES.
1. Christ feasts with His followers. “Aaron and his sons shall eat.” For our Lord appeals to us, “Eat, My friends; yea, eat and drink, O My beloved.” We have “fellowship with Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:4). Thus our Lord ate “the passover with His disciples.” Thus He “sups with us” (Revelation 3:20). Thus He will eat with His Church at the heavenly feast.
2. A repast reserved for the priesthood. None but “Aaron and his sons” might eat. There is a joy the world knows not of, a hidden life in Christ to which all but Christians are strangers, there are lofty fellowships with God which none but priestly souls can approach. Note, this feast was to be “in the holy place”—not the innermost court, type of “heaven itself,” but in “the court of the tabernacle of the congregation”—symbolic of the Church on earth. It thus points to the sacred favours enjoyed now in the spiritual life and in Christian communion.
Topic: DIVINE FRIENDSHIP (Leviticus 6:14-18)
The leading idea of this offering is communion with Jehovah. In the sacrifice presented the Divine and the human meet in hallowed fellowship and banquet together with great rejoicing. We learn:
I. THAT THE ALMIGHTY DEIGNS TO COMMUNE FAMILIARLY WITH MAN. At Sinai the people were commanded to keep distant; in the burnt offering, the whole of the sacrifice was consumed, indicating that the offerer deserved to be consumed for his iniquity; here a small portion only was consumed, the greater part was taken by the priests, and the meal was peculiarly sacred. “I have given it them for their portion of My offerings made by fire.” Thus Jehovah partook with the priests, and entered into intimate fellowship. Under the new dispensation we are all made priests unto God, through faith in His dear Son—we become partakers of the Divine nature; we enter His banqueting house, and His banner over us is love. He calls us not servants, but friends; sups with us in our hearts, at His table in the Church, and will, with us, hereafter at the marriage feast in heaven.
II. THAT MAN MUST NOT TAKE UNDUE ADVANTAGE OF SUCH DIVINE FAMILIARITY. The meat offering was to be solemnly and carefully presented: strict attention to be paid to dress and deportment: no ceremonial or personal impurity to be allowed: no leaven of any kind used. A sacred circle was drawn around the altar, the service invested with great importance, even the priests placed under restrictions. We may come with holy boldness and childlike confidence to God; but we must do so with becoming reverence. “God is a spirit,” etc. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty, but not levity and irreverence. Sincerity, thankfulness, and a sense of deep responsibility will give the right tone to our religious exercises.
III. THAT SUCH HALLOWED FELLOWSHIP IS ACCEPTABLE TO GOD AND PROFITABLE TO MAN. The people offered their flour, oil, and frankincense; the priests took their portion and ate it in the court of the tabernacle; the fragrant incense perfumed the air; Jehovah accepted all as a sweet savour, having respect to the obedience and reverence represented in the offering. The worshipper was taught his relation to the Lord, acceptance of Him, friendship with Him. Christ has not only become our Sin Offering, but our Meat Offering, in that He invites us to partake of His love: “My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.” Only by personal, spiritual participation of Christ, can we have fellowship with Him here, and companionship with Him in eternity. “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of His.”—F. W. B.
Topic: MINISTERIAL DEDICATION: THE PRIEST’S CONSECRATION OFFERING (Leviticus 6:19-23)
Here can be found suggestions concerning dedication and devotion to the ministerial office.
I. Consecration to the ministry: an event to be MARKED BY IMPRESSIVE SOLEMNITIES.
“The day when he is anointed.” What a day that is to a young minister! His entrance upon so solemn and responsible a work as that of becoming “a minister of the sanctuary” should be specially signalised.
“This is the offering unto the Lord in the day when he is anointed.” God asks that the consecration solemnities should be “unto” Him. For it signifies the setting apart of a life “unto the Lord,” and the placing upon His altar of every energy, faculty, affection, and aspiration.
“O Lord. Thy heavenly grace impart,
And fill my frail, inconstant heart:
Henceforth my chief desire shall be
To dedicate myself to Thee—
To Thee, my God, to Thee.”
II. Consecration to the ministry: an act to be CHARACTERISED BY COMPLETE SELF-DEVOTION.
1. Perpetuity is to mark the offering. “For a meat offering perpetual.” It is to be no temporary dedication, but a whole life-long devotion.
2. Continuity is to mark the offering. “Half of it in the morning, and half thereof at night”; i.e., it was to be a day-by-day dedication; the offering was to go on every morning and night. God asks not one demonstrative act of consecration at the outset of our official life, or our Christian life, but a ceaseless repetition, a daily reproduction of that act of devotion; “the love of our espousals” is to be daily enacted.
3. Entirety is to mark the offering. “It is a statute for ever; it shall be wholly burnt” (Leviticus 6:22). “Every meat offering for the priest shall be wholly burnt” (Leviticus 6:23). In the offering for the people God required only a “handful of flour” as a “memorial of it unto the Lord” (Leviticus 6:15); but He required the complete offering from a priest. No part of the price might be withheld: time, talents, all the man is and has—“wholly.”
“How can I, Lord, withhold
Life’s brightest hour
From Thee; or gathered gold,
Or any power?
Why should I keep one precious thing from Thee
When Thou hast given Thine own dear Self for me?”
III. Consecration to the ministry: a service to be ASSOCIATED WITH GRATITUDE AND JOY.
1. Emblems of thankfulness were to be laid on the altar. “Fine flour, and oil.” For it should be that the young minister, laying himself out for his high calling, should realise how much he owes his Lord, and ask: “What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits towards me?” To His grace we must ascribe all we have received of endowments, gifts, holy affections, enjoyment of His redemption, enlightenment by His Spirit, the call to ministerial work.
“To Thee, Thou bleeding Lamb,
I all things owe;
All that I have and am,
And all I know;
All that I have is now no longer mine,
And I am not my own; Lord I am Thine.”
2. Such joyous self-devotion is peculiarly fragrant to the Lord. “For a sweet savour unto the Lord” (Leviticus 6:21). There is so much that charms even the glorious Jehovah in a young life fully consecrated: the ardour and bloom of opening manhood laid wholly on His altar; the aspirations and affections of the heart withdrawn entirely from secular attractions and pursuits, and fixed on Christ and His service; the fervour of being dedicated to the sublime mission of winning souls for the Saviour and ministering in His courts.
“Accept these hands to labour,
These hearts to trust and love,
And deign with them to hasten
Thy kingdom from above.”
Topic: THE SIN OFFERING A SHADOW OF GOOD THINGS TO COME (Leviticus 6:24-30)
The sin offering was presented on the north side of the altar: in the fulness of time the world’s Great Sacrifice was offered on the north side of Jerusalem. How, as well as what to be presented clearly indicated in this, as in previous offerings. In directions given we learn:
I. HOW COMPLETE THE SIN OFFERING WAS. Though parts of the sacrifice were to be eaten by the priests when the oblation was made for the people, the whole was to be consumed by fire when presented for the priests. The sin offering atoned for every kind of sin, thus showing great completeness, and adaptation for priests and people, who in the sight of God need forgiveness and restoration to His favour. When a part of the offering was eaten by the priests it was shown how God and man were reconciled; when the offering was wholly burned it was shown how complete the atonement was, how fully pardon was secured.
II. HOW TRANSITORY THE SIN OFFERING WAS. Frequently repeated, it was only of temporary virtue. It borrowed all its efficacy from the great Sin Offering which it typified. “It was not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sin”; without the sacrifice of Christ they would have been of no avail. Altars and offerings have passed away, but Jesus hath procured “eternal redemption for us.”
III. HOW SACRED THE SIN OFFERING WAS. It was called “most holy,” great precaution was taken that it should not be desecrated, even the implements and vessels used in its observance were scrupulously guarded from ceremonial impurity. Priests were not allowed to partake if ceremonially defiled: showing that sin and holiness are alike contagious—may be communicated, intentionally or unintentionally, to persons, places, offices, things. How complete and sacred the sin offering of the Redeemer! If contempt for, and neglect of, Levitical rites was heinous in the sight of God, how much more so similar conduct when shown to what they foreshadowed!
Conclusion. The sin offering showed (a) the exceeding sinfulness of sin; (b) the absolute necessity of atonement being made for it; (c) the transcendant importance of deliverance from every taint of it. These truths fully taught and actually embodied in the glorious gospel of the blessed God.—F. W. B.
ILLUSTRATIVE ADDENDA TO CHAPTER 6
“Of all the things that have had record in the world, of the many sources of violence, injustice and cruelty, I do not know of anything else that is so cruel as man. It is only man that studies cruelty, and makes it exquisite, and prolongs it, and carries it out with appliances and art. From the despot on the throne to the despot of the household, all men alike carry vengeance, bitterness, wrath, hurtfulness, as characteristics of the race.”—H. W. Beecher.
“How should you feel if you were to enter the room where your child is sleeping, and find upon it a stealthy cat, stationed at the portal of life, and stopping its very breath? How should you feel were you to find upon your child a vampire that had fastened into its flesh its blood-sucking bill, and was fast consuming its vitality? How do you feel when one of your children tramples upon another? or when your neighbour’s children crush yours? or when ruffian violence strikes against those whose hearts for ever carry the core of your heart? Judge from your own feelings how God, with His infinite sensibility, must feel when He sees men rising up against their fellow-men: performing gross deeds of cruelly on every hand … devastating society by every infernal mischief that their ingenuity can invent.”—H. W. Beecher.
“Justice consists in doing no injury to men; decency, in giving them no offence.”—Cicero.
“Recompense injury with justice, and kindness with kindness.”—Confucius.
“He threatens many that hath injured one.”
“Brutus hath riv’d my heart:
A friend should bear his friend’s infirmities,
But Brutus makes mine greater than they are.”—Shakespeare.
“Virtue is not left to stand alone. He who practises it will have neighbours.—Confucius.
“Be as just and gracious unto me
As I am confident and kind to thee.
The perpetual fire of the Persian Magi and modern Parsees; the eternal fire, as it was called at Rome, kept perpetually burning by the Vestal virgins; and the Pur Asbeston “unextinguishable fire,” of the Greeks at Delphi, were evident imitations of this sacred fire.
“It was one of the distinguishing marks of the chieftainship of one of the Samoan nobility that his fire never went out. His attendants had a peculiar name for their special business of keeping his fire blazing all night long while he was asleep.”—Turner’s Polynesia.
“During the second temple this perpetual fire consisted of three parts or separate piles of wood on the same altar; on the largest one the daily sacrifice was burrt; the second, called the pile of incense, supplied the fire for the censers to burn the morning and evening incense; and the third was the perpetual fire from which the other two portions were fed. It never was quenched till the destruction of the temple by Nebuchadnezzar. Indeed we are positively assured that the pious priests who were carried captives into Persia, concealed it in a pit, where it remained till the time of Nehemiah, when it was restored to the altar (2Ma. 1:19-22). The authorities in the time of Christ, however, assure us that the perpetual fire was one of the five things wanting in the sacred temple.’—Elliott’s Commentary.
“Wake in our breasts the living fires,
The holy faith that warmed our sires.”
—Holmes. Army Hymn.
“Treason is there in its most horrid shape
Where trust is greatest! and the soul resign’d
Is stabbed by her own guards!”—Dryden.
“He who does not respect confidence will never find happiness in his path. The belief in virtue vanishes from his heart, the source of nobler actions becomes extinct in him.”—Auffenberg.
“Faith and unfaith can ne’er be equal powers;
Unfaith in aught is want of faith in all.”
“O what a goodly outside falsehood hath!”
—Merchant of Venice.
“Trust that man in nothing who hath not a conscience in everything.”—Sterne.
“A slender acquaintance with the world must convince every man that actions, not words, are the true criterion of the attachment of friends; and that the most liberal professions of goodwill are very far from being the surest marks of it.”—Geo. Washington.
“A foe to God was ne’er true friend to man,
Some sinister intent taints all he does.”
—YOUNG’S Night Thoughts.
“The highest compact we can make with our fellow is: Let there be truth between us two for evermore. It is sublime to feel and say of another: I never need meet, or speak, or write to him; we need not reinforce ourselves, or send tokens of remembrance; I rely on him as on myself; if he did this or thus I know it was right.”—Emerson.