Friday, 21 May 2021
He must make full restitution
ADONAI said to Moshe, "Tell the people of Isra'el, 'When a man or woman commits any kind of sin against another person and thus breaks faith with ADONAI, he incurs guilt. He must confess the sin which he has committed; and he must make full restitution for his guilt, add twenty percent and give it to the victim of his sin.'" (B'midbar 5:5-7, CJB)
These verses are challenging. Making restitution for sin is not easy - it has a cost attach to it. I wonder how much we forget this principle, of making restitution?
We know that Yeshua has paid the price for our sin and instead of bringing a physical sacrifice when we repent, we can claim His eternal sacrifice. It sounds so easy! Yeshua has made that sacrifice, but I don't read anywhere in the Bible that He has taken away the need to make restitution to our neighbour ...
If therefore you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. (Matthew 5:23-24, NASB)
When we sin against our neighbour today, do we just "repent before the L-rd" or do we actively try to make it right with the other person? Sometimes it's not appropriate to always make the same kind of restitution - whereas sometimes it is right to go and seek forgiveness for the act from them, sometimes it's an extra effort to be loving and gracious in our interactions with them, sometimes it's a quiet gift to make amends. But I do think this principle is still alive in our days - this isn't just an Old Testament law!
Maybe we should remember that our sins against our neighbours can't just be put right with the L-rd and reflect on how serious that means it is. And next time you sin against your neighbour - well, don't just confess it before the L-rd to be forgiven, think about what restitution you need to make to make yourself right with both G-d and man.
So speak and so act, as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. (James 2:12, NASB)