Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com/
Leviticus 6:1-7 (NIV)
6 The Lord said to Moses: 2 “If anyone sins and is unfaithful to the Lord by deceiving a neighbor about something entrusted to them or left in their care or about something stolen, or if they cheat their neighbor, 3 or if they find lost property and lie about it, or if they swear falsely about any such sin that people may commit— 4 when they sin in any of these ways and realize their guilt, they must return what they have stolen or taken by extortion, or what was entrusted to them, or the lost property they found, 5 or whatever it was they swore falsely about. They must make restitution in full, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the owner on the day they present their guilt offering. 6 And as a penalty they must bring to the priest, that is, to the Lord, their guilt offering, a ram from the flock, one without defect and of the proper value. 7 In this way the priest will make atonement for them before the Lord, and they will be forgiven for any of the things they did that made them guilty.”
Yesterday we considered Jesus’ powerful teaching that we should not make “oaths”. When we make an oath, we are adding extra words to our promises, as a way of trying to convince others that we are telling the truth, and they should believe us. Jesus makes the radical statement that we should never do this, because it so often leads to sin. Instead, say ‘yes’ or ‘no’, and then do what you say. This week we will study some of the other teachings in the Bible regarding promises. This will help us understand why Jesus made his radical teaching. We start with God’s instructions in the Law of Moses, found in Leviticus 6. In this passage, God realistically assumes that people will lie from time to time, and provides for a sacrifice and restitution when they are caught. This restitution makes it possible to restore the damaged relationships. This teaching still stands. When you become aware of how you have misled others, ignoring your sin adds more sin to your sin. And apologies are not enough. You need to make amends.