READ: Leviticus 4-5
THINK: Have you ever hurt or offended someone and not realized it until later-perhaps after hearing about it from someone else? Chances are, you felt bad about it, even though you didn't mean any harm-the offense was unintentional. Because we as humans are so prone to sin, this scenario plays out time and again as we fail God's perfect standards without even knowing it. Thankfully, God is merciful and patient, having already provided a covering for our sin through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus. If we remain humble, repentant and trusting toward Him-confessing and forsaking our offenses as He makes us aware of them-God continually forgives and remains faithful.
RESPOND: What do you think it means for a person to sin "unintentionally"? In what way can an entire group or community sin in this way? What was the purpose of the sin offering and why was it necessary? (See 4:3 note.) In what way was the sin offering prophetic-pointing to the future? (See 4:3 note, subpoint 1.) In what way does the work of Jesus Christ replace the sin offering? (See 4:3 note, subpoint 2.) How do unintentional sins differ from intentional ones, involving willing rebellion against God? What must we do when we knowingly sin against God? What was symbolic about burning the remainder of the sacrifice "outside the camp"? (See 4:12 note.) In what way are Jesus' followers to "go to him outside the camp" (Hebrews 13:13)? (See 4:12 note.) How did God respond to sincere sacrifices, offered with humble hearts and repentant attitudes? What does 5:1 indicate about a people's responsibility when they see or hear of an obvious injustice? In what way is 5:4 a warning against speaking without thinking or making thoughtless promises? What does it mean for a person to "confess" his or her sin? (See 5:5 note.) What is necessary in order for confession to be sincere? What consideration did God make for people of different "financial" status so that everyone could afford a sin offering? (See 5:11 note.) How did the guilt offering differ from the sin offering, and what was required in addition to the sacrifice? (See 5:15 note.)
PRAY: Ask God to search your life and expose any hidden sin. Sincerely confess that sin and truly repent, determining to turn from it and to rely on God to live free from it.
ACT: Forgive anyone who has wronged you. Take the first step toward resolving any lingering issues and making things right with anyone who has offended you.
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