Leviticus 4: We All Make Mistakes

Something is happening. I don’t quite know how to explain it. Actually, I do. I am getting excited about Leviticus. The reasons for this are 3-fold.

  1. I started reading a book called “God Behaving Badly” by David T. Lamb. Read the first line and see for yourself why this is going to be an awesome book. “How does one reconcile the loving God of the Old Testament with the harsh God of the New Testament?” Mind. Blown.
  2. I recently spent an evening with some of my “old” mentors. I started talking about what I had learned from Genesis and Exodus and I found myself becoming very energized. That usually means I have hit on something and need to keep chasing it down.
  3. I read Leviticus 4.


Have you ever wondered what to do if you sinned against God but didn’t know it? Well, today it your lucky day! Leviticus has a whole chapter devoted to just such an occasion!

And there is nothing super fancy here. Once you realize you were wrong you just do the burnt offering and fellowship offering stuff but with a little more blood sprinkling. Then you may go back to your little suburban tent knowing that all is forgiven. Isn’t that great!

But Wait, There’s More!

In case you thought you were going to be the only one looking silly bringing your sin offering to the Tabernacle, think again!

Leviticus 4 specifically names four different types of people who might have to perform this little operation: The Anointed Priest, the assembly (as in, all the people), the leaders, and an ordinary person (like you!).

Feeling a little dumb for not knowing all the rules? Would it make you feel better if you knew that the person behind you in the sin offering line was the high priest himself? You bet it would! And what if you looked and noticed that behind him were all the big shot leaders of the people?

You’re in good company.

You all made a mistake. It’s understandable. This stuff is all pretty new. But God isn’t going to hold it against you. He has a built in system for making it right. Everyone just has to be okay with the fact that everyone else knowing that they messed up. But everyone else will also know that because of the offering, all is forgiven.

Sign Me Up!

Wouldn’t you want to be a part of this community? Pretend for a minute that you don’t mind all the slaughtering and blood-sprinkling going on. Think about what happens on a regular basis amongst these people:

  • Everyone from the High Priest to the lowest commoner will make mistakes.
  • If they do make a mistake, they publicly perform the offering ritual for all to see. This sometimes involves carrying bull remains out of the camp. Don’t think people wouldn’t notice that!
  • When it is done, everyone knows that the matter is settled.

No one has to look good. No one has to have it all together. Everyone is free to live and learn together.

Not bad at all.

Alright. Time to get real here people. What is one big mistake you have made?


9 responses

  1. putting other things in life before God and even believing opinions about me or about issues etc. … not founded in His word
    (idolitry in other words)

    this has many many outcomes – but is the root of so much

  2. Love it. A “cover all” sacrifice, just in case.

    And for the record, I struggle with faith, most times. Not believing that God exists, but believing he is who he says he is, and not just some old guy in the sky who set the world into motion and is letting everything crash and burn.

  3. I should probably chime in with my own mistake.

    I told my fiance I would get counseling for an issue that had really hurt her and our relationship. I didn’t do it. That was stupid. Don’t do that!

    I went last friday.

  4. One time I told my wife (then girlfriend) to “just shut up” in a movie theatre.
    That was a mistake.

    Typically, I tend to think I am way smarter than I am. God has a long history of proving me wrong and it is always painful.

  5. Pingback: Check This Out « Badly Drawn Bible

  6. The first three offering types (burnt, gift, and fellowship) were all “good” . . . burnt offerings were freely given and are really a form of worship . . . gift offerings were freely-given gifts to the priests, and fellowship offerings were parties . . . the “sacrifice” was the main course of a feast eaten by the offerer and his/her friends and family. All “aromas pleasing to the Lord”.

    The last two (sin and guilt) have to do with wrongdoing and restitution, and are generally NOT “an aroma pleasing to the Lord”.

    Sorry that I’m commenting so many days back. I got behind and I’m just now catching up!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s