If someone incurs guilt in one of these ways, he must confess the sin he has committed,
I. CONFESSION OF SIX. "He shall confess that he hath sinned" (verse 5). It is believed that confession was always required from the offerer when he laid his hand on the victim's head. It was a marked feature in the ceremonies of the Day of Atonement; it is expressly enjoined here. This was not only necessary from all, but possible to all; within every one's power: none would be unable, and none would be unwilling, but the impenitent who were unprepared for pardon.
II. AN OFFERING WHICH EVERY ONE COULD PRESENT. He that could do so was to bring a lamb or kid (verse 6); he that could not might bring "two turtle-doves, or two young pigeons" (verse 7); if this were beyond his means, he might bring a portion of "fine flour" (verse 11). The costliness of the offering was thus graciously graduated to the circumstances of the offerer. And of so much importance did it appear to the Divine Legislator that the sacrifice should be within the reach of all, that he allowed a deviation from the otherwise unalterable rule that there must be the shedding of blood for the remission of sins (Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 9:22). The very poor might bring flour (verse 11), though, in order that there might be no mistake as to the import of it, it was specially prohibited to mix oil or frankincense with it (verse 11).
III. A PLACE OF APPROACH OPEN TO ALL. The transgressor, convinced of his error, was to take his offering "unto the Lord," by taking it "to the priest." The priest at the door of the tabernacle was always approachable; never a day when he might not be found.
IV. INSTRUCTIONS THAT ALL COULD UNDERSTAND. There could be no' doubt or difficulty as to what precise things were to be done. What offering should be presented, whither it should be taken, what should be done with it, - all this was so explicitly and clearly laid down in the Law (verses 6-12), that every Israelite who had the burden of conscious sin upon his soul, knew what he should do that the guilt might be removed, and that he himself might stand clear and pure in the sight of God. In the gospel of Christ we have analogous but fuller advantages. We have -
2. One offering that all can plead. No need of lamb, or goat, or turtle-dove, or even the humble measure of flour. The rich and the poor of the land may say, "Nothing in my hand I bring;" for they have but to plead the one Great and All-sufficient Sacrifice that has been presented, once for all (Romans 6:10; Hebrews 9:28; 1 Peter 3:18), and they will find mercy of the Lord. The richest can do no more; the poorest need do no less.
3. An open throne of grace. "In Christ Jesus our Lord we have boldness and access with confidence" (Ephesians 3:11, 12). No day nor hour when the way to the mercy-seat is barred; from every home and chamber the sin-laden, struggling soul finds its way thither: one earnest thought, and it is there!
4. Familiar knowledge of the will of God. Every unlettered man and untutored child may know what is "the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning us." Our statute-book, our New Testament, makes it clear as the day that, if we would find forgiveness of our sin, we must not only confess our transgression, but have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and by faith we shall be saved. - C.
i.e., labour as much as may be to draw them into particulars; as to say, In this and in this, at such and such a time, on such an occasion, and in such a place, I have sinned against my God; for it is not enough for a man to be sorrowful in the general, because he is a sinner; but he must draw himself out into particulars, in what manner, and with what sins he hath displeased God, otherwise he may deceive his own soul.
He shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing.Poland was bound for Havre, with a cargo of cotton on board. By some singular accident the cotton took fire clear down in the hold. The captain, finding that he could not reach the fire, undertook to smother it; but in vain. Then he caulked down the hatchways; but the deck grew so hot that neither passengers nor crew could stand on it. At length he fired a signal gun in distress, put all his people into the boats, and left the doomed ship to her fate. He watched her as she ploughed gallantly through the waves, with all her canvas on; but ere she sunk below the horizon, the fire burst forth in a sheet of flame to the mast-head. That ill-fated packet, carrying the fatal fire in her own hold, is a vivid picture of the moral condition of thousands of men and women. They cover their sins by all manner of concealments; they batten down the hatchways with a show of respectability, and, alas! sometimes with an outward profession of religion; but the deadly thing remains underneath in the heart, and if it does not burst forth in this world, it will in the next. Probably this reveals the reason why some Church members are so constantly halting and stumbling and fall so easily into backsliding. Their "first works" of repentance and confession to God were shallow.
(T. L. Cuyler.)
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