Come Out From Behind the Trees & Step Out of the Shadows: The Invitation of the Offering & Altar to Come Out of Hiding

Today’s selected passage continues in the Old Testament book of Leviticus as it was written and recorded by Moses the servant of the Lord. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters six through eight of this Old Testament book. IF A SOUL SIN! WHEN A SOUL DOTH SIN! SIN IS INEVITABLE! THE LORD GAVE THESE COMMANDMENTS KNOWING SOULS WOULD SIN! THE LORD GAVE THE COMMANDMENTS KNOWING SOULS WOULD SIN AGAINST HIM! LET THEM BRING FOR HIS SIN, WHICH HE HATH SINNED! AGAINST THEE AND THEE ONLY HAVE A SINNED! A SIN OFFERING! SIN OFFERINGS REQUIRE THE SPRINKLING OF BLOOD! SIN OFFERINGS REQUIRE THE POURING OUT OF BLOOD! PERSONAL SIN! INDIVIDUAL SIN! CORPORATE SIN! THE SIN OF THE COMMUNITY! IF THE WHOLE CONGREGATION OF ISRAEL SIN THROUGH IGNORANCE! THE THING BE HID FROM THE EYES OF THE ASSEMBLY! WHEN THEY SIN! SIN WAS EXPECTED! SIN WAS ANTICIPATED! THE SIN OF LEADERS! THE SIN OF LEADERSHIP! WHEN LEADERS SIN! THERE MUST BE NO NAÏVETÉ TO THINK THAT LEADERS CANNOT, DO NOT AND WILL NOT SIN! ATONEMENT CONCERNING SIN! IT SHALL BE FORGIVEN HIM! WILLFUL SIN! IGNORANT SIN! IT SHALL BE FORGIVEN HIM! WHEN HE SHALL BE GUILTY IN ONE OF THESE THINGS, THAT HE SHALL CONFESS THAT HE HATH SINNED! CONFESSION OF SIN! OFFERING IS NOT ENOUGH! COMMITTED SINS! CONFESSED SINS! SIN MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY OFFERING AND CONFESSION! CONFESSION, OFFERING, RESTORATION! IT SHALL BE FORGIVEN HIM FOR ANY THING OF ALL THAT HE HATH DONE IN TRESPASSING THEREIN! BECAUSE OF THE BURNING UPON THE ALTAR ALL NIGHT UNTO THE MORNING! THE FIRE OF THE ALTAR SHALL BE BURNING IN IT! THE FIRE UPON THE ALTAR SHALL BE BURNING IN IT; IT SHALL NOT BE PUT OUT! THE PRIEST SHALL BURN WOOD ON IT EVERY MORNING! THE FIRE SHALL EVER BE BURNING UPON THE ATLAR; IT SHALL NEVER GO OUT! THE OFFERINGS OF THE LORD MADE BY FIRE! THE OFFERING OF THE PRIESTS! CONFESSION AND OFFERING ARE HOLY BEFORE THE LORD!

When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find the LORD continuing to speak unto Moses concerning the sin and trespass offerings which were to be brought before and unto Him at the door of the Tabernacle. What is so incredibly interesting when you think about and consider the language that is found within these chapters is that when the LORD revealed the pattern and requirements concerning the offerings which were brought before and unto Him, He was sure to include the trespass offering—an offering which would be presented unto the LORD in the event that a soul sinned and transgressed against the LORD. It’s worth noting and pointing out that up until this point in the history of men upon the earth there has never been a specific requirement and/or law that was required by the LORD in terms of those who sinned against Him. If you study the Old Testament book of Genesis, as well as the Old Testament book of Exodus you will find that there was never a prescription that was provided by the LORD in the event that a soul sinned and transgressed against Him. This is quite unique and astounding considering the fact that the very first human beings made of flesh and blood which walked upon the face of the earth sinned and transgressed against the Lord by eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. What we must realize and recognize concerning this sin and transgression was that it wasn’t necessarily the eating of the fruit that was inherently evil, for the living God had declared unto Adam that he could freely eat of the fruit of any tree in the garden, save the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It is necessary that we recognize and understand that it wasn’t eating of the fruit, nor was it the fruit itself that was the sin and transgression against the Lord, but it was the transgression and sin which was committed against the commandment of the LORD. If and as you read the words which are found within the third chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis you will encounter for the very first time in all of scripture what sin and transgression truly looks like. Even more than this, it must be carefully considered that sin is in, transgression is transgression and iniquity is iniquity. Sin has been sin since the beginning of creation and since the generation of Adam and Eve, absolutely nothing has changed since then. I am convinced that in order for us to truly understand the language that is found within these chapters within the Old Testament book of Leviticus it is necessary that we turn and direct our attention to the third chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis, as well as the fifty-first chapter of the Old Testament poetic book of the Psalms. It’s in the third chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis we find the sin and transgression fo Adam and Eve in the garden, and it’s in the fifty-first chapter of the Old Testament book of Psalms we find David’s prayer of confession and repentance before and unto the living God. Consider if you will the words which are found in each of these Old Testament passages concerning sin and transgression, as well as confession and repentance before the LORD:

“Now the serpent was more subtitle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then our eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her: and he did eat. And the eyes of Botox them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And He said, Who told thee that you wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou should East not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LOD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat” (Genesis 3:1-13).

“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly form mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden parts thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise” (Psalm 51:1-17).

I have to admit that when I set out to write the words within this writing, I did not expect to write what I am about to write, however, I am absolutely and completely convinced there is something found within the account of Adam and Eve in the garden, as well as in David’s prayer of confession and repentance—even the laws and requirements which we find the Old Testament book of Leviticus that must be carefully considered and observed. If you turn and direct your attention to the words which are found within the third chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis you will find that after Adam and Eve had sinned and transgressed against the Lord they engaged in two distinct activities which were presented for us and for our consideration. As you read the account and narrative of Adam and Eve in the garden you will find that when they sinned against the Lord by transgressing against His commandment—not only did they sew fig leaves to cover themselves, but they also hid themselves from the face, the presence and the voice of the living God. What’s more, is that as you read the words which are found within these chapters you will find that Adam and Eve would potentially and possibly have remained in hiding from the presence of the LORD God had He not called out unto Adam as He walked in the garden in the cool of the day. Scripture is very clear that when they heard the voice of God walking in the garden they hid themselves among the trees in the garden from the presence of the LORD. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and come to terms with this, for I am convinced that it sets the stage for what we find and read in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh chapters of the Old Testament book of Leviticus. Upon reading the third chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis you will find that once the eyes of Adam and Eve were opened and they realized they were naked—the first thing they did was sew fig leaves together to cover themselves. Notice that it wasn’t because of their sin they sewed fig leaves together, but rather because of their nakedness and the shame that accompanied that knowledge of their nakedness. Immediately after they sewed fig leaves together they hid themselves among the trees of the garden, as those trees which were once for food and life for them were now walls and barriers they thought they could hide from. It’s worth noting that they sewed fig leaves together to cover their nakedness in response to their shame, and they hid among the trees of the garden in response to their guilt upon hearing the voice of the living God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. SEWING FIG LEAVES & HIDING AMONG TREES! Adam and Eve realized they were naked and were ashamed of their nakedness, and immediately they sought to cover themselves with coverings they had made. What’s more, is that I would dare say they would have been content to remain covered and out in the open were it not for hearing the voice of the living God walking among the trees in the garden of Eden during the cool of the day.

There is a great deal that could be said and even written concerning the sewing together of fig leaves in order to cover their nakedness, however, the crux of what I feel compelled to write about at this particular point is not as it pertains to covering nakedness, but rather hiding from the voice of the Lord God as He walked in the garden, and their attempt to hide from the presence of the LORD. There within the garden there was a president that was set in motion when men have sinned against the command of the LORD from that time until this present day. In the garden of Eden Adam and Eve sinned and transgressed against the commandment of the Lord, and as a result of their sin and transgression against the LORD—and hearing the voice of the living God walking in the garden—they proceeded to hide themselves among the trees of the garden. It is this concept of hiding themselves among the trees of the garden we must carefully consider and recognize, for this hiding which Adam and Eve partook in upon hearing the voice of the living God walking among them in the garden is intrinsically linked and connected to the words and language we find in the chapters which are before us in the Old Testament book of Leviticus. We must recognize and remember that there is and there has always been a tendency to hide ourselves from the presence of the LORD, and even from the voice of the presence of the LORD when we sin and transgress against us—and when we hear the voice of the living God walking among us within our lives. If we are being honest with ourselves and with the living God—the last thing we want to do when we sin and transgress against the commandment of the LORD is remain out in the open and allow our sin and transgression to be made known. When we sin and transgress against the LORD, the first and natural tendency is immediately to go into hiding and to do absolutely anything and everything to conceal both our sin, as well as ourselves. One of the last things we want when we sin and transgress against the commandment of the LORD is of us to be found out, and for our transgression to be made known by others—even by the living God. What Adam and Eve did there in the garden was set a precedent and mindset concerning sin and transgress that when we sin and transgress against the commandment of the living God the first and best thing to do is to not only attempt to cover ourselves and cover up our sins, but also to hide from the voice and presence of the living God. The trees of the garden were once sources of life and sustenance for Adam and Eve and now those things which were once life for them because barriers and walls between themselves and the living God who had created them

Now you might be wondering what on earth the sin and transgression of Adam has to do with the prayer of confession and repentance David prayed after he sinned against the LORD by engaging in adultery with Bathsheba, after attempting to hiding it and concealing it by bringing her husband home from battle after it was discovered that Bathsheba was pregnant, and by ultimately having Bathsheba’s husband killed in battle. In all reality, I would dare say that David might have attempted to keep his sin and transgression against the LORD hidden and concealed were it not for the prophet Nathan coming unto him and directly confronting him because of his iniquity and transgression. When David realized that his sin was known before and in the sight of the living God he immediately responded with a prayer of repentance and confession in the sight of the living God. Scripture is unclear what would and what could have potentially happened had David not been confronted by the prophet Nathan, but what we do know for sure is that when David was confronted by the prophet he repented before the LORD, and it is his prayer of repentance and confession which we find before us in the fifty-first chapter of the book of Psalms. When confronted by the prophet Nathan David came forth from the midst of the shadows and came forth from his place of hiding that he might repent and confess his sin before the LORD. With that being said, we must also notice that Adam and Eve would have remained hidden among the trees of the garden were it not for Adam hearing the voice of the LORD God calling out to him asking where he was. I assure you this was not some prehistoric or antediluvian game of hide and seek between the living God and Adam. When Adam heard the voice of the God call walking among the garden he hid, yet when he heard the voice of the living God call out to him he came out from his place of hiding and came out from behind his walls and barriers. Similarly, when David heard the voice of the living God speaking through the prophet and confronting him with his sin, he too came out from the shadows and came out of his place of hiding and into the open before the living God. Oh there is something about coming out of hiding, and something about coming out from behind the walls and barriers we place between ourselves and God, and are willing to live our lives out in the open and honest before the living God. There is something about our willingness to come clean before the living God, and something about our willingness to come out of the shadows and come out of hiding before the LORD and our willingness to be open and honest with the living God. There is something truly wonderful and powerful about having an open and honest dialogue with the living God after we have sinned and transgressed against his commandments and statutes. Perhaps the single greatest question I must present before and unto you at this juncture is whether or not you are willing to come out from the shadows and come out of hiding and live your life open and honest before the LORD—even though you might have sinned and transgressed against His commandments, His laws and statutes.

COME OUT FROM THE SHADOWS! COME OUT OF HIDING! THE ALTAR IS THE WAY OUT OF HIDING! THE ALTAR IS THE WAY OUT OF THE SHADOWS! THERE IS A WAY OUT OF HIDING! THERE IS AN INVITATION WHEN YOU HAVE SINNED AGAINST THE LORD! THE LORD HAS INVITED YOU TO COME OUT OF YOUR PLACE OF HIDING WHEN YOU HAVE SINNED AGAINST HIM! THE ALTAR IS OUT IN THE OPEN! THE ALTAR ISN’T HIDDEN! THE ALTAR INVITES YOU TO COME OUT! THERE’S A REASON THE ALTAR IS IN THE COURT OF THE TEMPLE! THERE’S A REASON THE OFFERINGS WERE BROUGHT TO THE DOOR OF THE TABERNACLE! As I read the words which are found within the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh chapter I can’t help but see a strong and powerful connection and link between what is written within those verses and what we find in the third chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis. In the third chapter of the book of Genesis we find Adam and Eve sinning and transgressing against the commandment of the Lord, and when their eyes were opened and they realized they were naked. In response to the shame they felt because of their nakedness they sewed fog leaves together to cover their nakedness. In response to the guilt they experienced and felt when they heard the voice of the presence of the living God walking in the garden during the cool of the day they hid themselves among the trees of the garden. Please don’t miss and lose sight of this absolutely incredible reality, for it is what we find here that actually stands and serves as the backdrop and foundation of what is written in the chapters which are before us in the book of Leviticus. I can’t help but see a wonderful and powerful link between the response Adam and Eve has when they sinned and transgressed against the command of the Lord and the instruction of the Lord which was given unto Moses concerning the trespass offering which was to be brought unto the door of the tabernacle. If you take the time to truly read the words which are found within these chapters found in the book of Leviticus you will discover that what the Lord was doing was beginning to reverse the response and reaction to sin which was introduced in the garden. Through the trespass offering I can’t help but find a wonderful and powerful invitation of the living God to all those souks who have sinned to come and present themselves before the Lord in order that they might find atonement and forgiveness for their sins. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we pay careful and close attention to this, for its as if the living God was declaring through the trespass offering that He no longer wanted His people hiding behind trees in response to their sin, nor attempting to make their own covering for themselves. Through the instruction concerning the altar and the trespass offering we find and read in these chapters of the book of Leviticus we find and discover the awesome and incredible reality that the living God no longer wanted men and women to hide themselves from His presence when they sinned and trespassed against Him, but rather to come forward and acknowledge their sin and transgression against Him at the place of His presence in the wilderness—and later in the land of Canaan at the temple.

What I read and what I find when I read the words which are found within these chapters in the Old Testament book of Leviticus is a strong and wonderful invitation given by the Lord to all those souls who had sinned and trespassed against His commandments and statutes to come and appear before Him rather than hiding themselves from His presence. As you study the pattern of the Tabernacle and the instruction the Lord gave unto Moses you will fine and discover that the sanctuary was to be that place in the midst of the children of Israel where the Lord would dwell among them. The Lord emphatically declared His pillar of cloud by day and His pillar of fire by night would be upon the Tabernacle and that His presence would be there as He spoke unto Moses and unto the children of Israel. This is incredibly significant for when you think about it you will understand that when the Lord invited those souls which have sinned to come unto the Tabernacle He was inviting them to come unto the place of the presence. Instead of running away from and instead of hiding from the presence of the living God when men have sinned the Lord was inviting them to do the opposite of what they would and have been inclined to do. It would be incredibly and it would be much easier to hide or attempt to hide from the presence of the Lord, and yet what we have within these chapters is the living God inviting men and women to no longer and no more run from His presence as Adam and Eve did, but rather to come boldly before and unto the place of His presence where they would find forgiveness for their sins, their transgressions and their iniquity. Oh how absolutely wonderful it is to think about and consider the awesome and wonderful reality that through the trespass offering, as well as through the altar the living God was inviting men and women to come out from their places of hiding and instead of trying to hide themselves from Him and from His presence they would come unto His presence and come to the place where His presence and glory would dwell and abide. How absolutely remarkable this truly is when you think about and consider this, for it brings us face to face with the absolutely wonderful reality that if and when a soul would sin and transgress against the command of the Lord and sin against the Lord—instead of hiding from His presence they were invited to come unto the place of His presence that they might present their offering before and unto the living God.

I can’t help but find an absolutely wonderful and remarkable truth that surrounds the children of Israel bringing their trespass offering before and unto the living God at the Tabernacle, for it you turn and direct your attention back to the words which we find in the fourth chapter you will find the living God giving instruction unto the children of Israel and to bring their trespass offering unto the door of the tabernacle. If you study the makeup of the camp of the children of Israel and the placement of the tabernacle you will find that the camp of Israel was to be found about the tabernacle with the sanctuary of the living God being in the midst of it. There were to be three of the tribes of Israel encamped on the western side of the Tabernacle while there were to be three tribes which were to be encamped on the eastern side of the Tabernacle. What’s more, is there were to be three tribes encamped to the north of the Tabernacle, as well as three tribes encamped on the southern side of the Tabernacle. These instructions would come later on within these Books of Moses, yet they warrant mentioning at this juncture. If you study the encampment or the children of Israel you will notice that the children of Israel were to camp round about the sanctuary with both the sanctuary and the altar being at the center of them. The reason this is so incredibly powerful is when you think about and consider the fact that when the living God instructed the children of Israel to come unto the door of the Tabernacle He was instructing them to come to that place which was in the center of the camp of Israel. To come unto the Tabernacle and to come unto the door of the Tabernacle was to come unto that place which was at the very heart and center of the camp of Israel. When the living God gave the children of Israel the command to come unto the door of the Tabernacle and bring with them their offering—that which He was doing was not only inviting them to come to the place of His presence, but He was also inviting them to come to the place which was at the very center of the camp of Israel. To bring ones trespass offering before and unto the living God was to not only come unto the place of the presence of God, but also to come unto the place which was in the midst and center of the people of Israel. We cannot and must not miss and lose sight of this absolutely tremendous and incredible reality, for to do so would be to miss and lose sight of the significant action the chicken of Israel took when they come unto the Tabernacle with their trespass offering. Not only was the Tabernacle a public place at the very heart of the camp of the children of Israel, but the door and entrance of the Tabernacle was also at the very heart of the camp of Israel. How incredibly interesting it is to think about and consider the fact that the children of Israel would come into and come unto a public place with their trespass offering which was the complete opposite of hiding from the presence of the Lord.

As I sit here this morning I can’t help but think about how incredibly easy it would have been for any number of the children of Israel to hide themselves among those within their household, and even within their tribe which was encamped round about the Tabernacle. If you think about and consider the reality of the Tabernacle you will find and encounter the tremendous reality that any number of the children of Israel could have hidden themselves within the camp of Israel, as they could have hid themselves in their own tent, in the midst of the camp of their family, in the midst of the families which surrounded them, in the midst of their tribe which was encamped before the Tabernacle, and even in the midst of the group of tribes which were camped before the Tabernacle. Pause for a moment and think about and consider the fact that as Adam and Eve attempted to hide themselves from the presence of the Lord because there was nothing else to hide themselves behind—the same was not the case for the children of Israel as any number of them could have very easily hidden in their tent which was in the midst of their family and household, which was in the midst of their tribe, which was in the midst of three other tribes, and which was ultimately among the twelve tribes of Israel. What’s more, is think about the journey and walk it would have taken if you rent was on the outskirts of the entire camp which camped before and around the tabernacle. Imagine committing a sin and trespass against the command of the living God and having your tent at the very outskirts of the entire camp of Israel itself, and having to come unto the door of the Tabernacle which was at the very heart and center of the entire camp. Imagine what type of journey that would have been for one whose tent was on the very outskirts of the camp as they had to not only make their way through the camp of Israel to come unto the door of the Tabernacle, but also as they had to bring with them their trespass offering unto the door of the Tabernacle and unto the priest who was anointed to minister before and around the altar. In all reality, coming unto the door of the Tabernacle required a tremendous amount of humility, and perhaps even courage within the hearts and souls of those who had committed a sin and trespass against the command of the living God, for they would not only have to parade their offering through the camp, but they would also have to make their way and come unto the door of the Tabernacle where the priests of the living God who ministered before and around the altar would be located. For any member of the people of Israel which came to the door of the Tabernacle with their trespass offering, they would have to come from a private place and into a very public place in order that they might bring their trespass offering before and unto the Lord their God at His holy sanctuary. Oh we must recognize and we must understand this reality, for to bring one’s trespass offering would require that soul which sinned against the LORD to come out from the private place of their tent and their private place in the midst of the camp of Israel and unto the public place of the door of the Tabernacle.

COMING OUT FROM PRIVATE PLACES INTO PUBLIC PLACES! Oh, it’s absolutely astonishing and remarkable that the door of the Tabernacle was a very public place within the midst of the camp of the children of Israel, and the altar would be a very public place as well. There is not a doubt in my mind that everyone knew where the door of the Tabernacle was and where the entrance to the Tabernacle was, for when the camp was set up round about the Tabernacle it would be set up in a specific order. What’s more, is that when you think about and consider the altar of burnt offering and sacrifice which was found in the court of the sanctuary you will find and discover that the altar was a very public place where everyone among the children of Israel knew of. With the fire burning upon the altar both day and night—undoubtedly the journey to the door of the Tabernacle would not only be a journey to the place of the presence of the living God, but it would also be a journey unto the place of the altar and a journey unto the place of the fire. Oh please recognize and understand this absolutely wonderful and incredible reality, for it is this wonderful reality that has the ability to truly speak to us concerning the trespass offering and the instruction concerning bringing the trespass offering before and unto the door of the Tabernacle. Through the instruction of the trespass offering the living God was inviting the children of Israel to come out from those personal and private places—particularly and especially when they sinned and transgressed against his command—and to come into a very public place at the very heart of the camp of the children of Israel. The trespass offering was not only an invitation to come out of hiding in the midst of the camp of the children of Israel, but it was also an invitation to come out from those private and personal places within ones tent, and even within ones household and tribe that they might come into an open and public place with their offering. It would be incredibly easy to think about and consider the fact that we could easily read over these chapters and think absolutely nothing concerning them. It would be incredibly easy to simply read these chapters and think there is absolutely no significance or importance that can be found in the midst of them. The truth of the matter, however, is that when you think about what is contained within them you will find that the trespass offering was more than just an offering which the LORD commanded the children of Israel to bring before and unto Him when they sinned. The trespass offering was an invitation to come out of hiding and to come out from those personal and private places we as human beings tend to love abiding in in order that we might come into wide open and public places before the LORD our God that we might find forgiveness for our sins.

MORE THAN JUST AN OFFERING! As I sit here this morning I can’t help but think about and consider the awesome and truly remarkable reality that the trespass offering was more than simply an offering which the children of Israel were to bring before the LORD when they had sinned and trespassed against the living God. The trespass offering was in invitation given by the living God unto the children of Israel—ultimately unto that soul which had sinned and trespassed against the living God—to come out of hiding and to come into the light. The trespass offering was an invitation to come out of the darkness and to come into the light, and while they weren’t instructed to make their sin and trespass known among the children of Israel themselves—only to the priest who was anointed to minister before and around the altar—their sin would be brought out of the darkness and into the light. Oh, if you think about and consider the life of David you will quickly and easily see that when he sinned and trespassed against the LORD he attempted to hide and conceal his sin, and tried keeping his sin in the dark in order that it might and would not be known among others. This is truly remarkable when you take the time to think about and consider it, for when you read the words and instruction given concerning the trespass offering you will find and discover that this offering was given unto the children of Israel—ultimately those souls which sinned a against the command of the Lord—to come out from the darkness and to come into the light where they could not only find forgiveness for their sin, but also confess their sin with and through their offering which they brought unto the Tabernacle. It’s absolutely wonderful and remarkable to think about and consider the tremendous fact that the children of Israel and those souls which sinned and trespassed against the LORD were invited to come out of hiding, and to come out from behind those walls and barriers they erected between themselves and the living God when they sinned and trespassed against the LORD. There is an account within the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ when Jesus is healing a blind man, and upon His initial touch Jesus asked the man what he saw—a question to which he responded by saying that he saw men as trees walking about upon the earth. This is absolutely necessary to think about and consider—particularly when you think about the fact that after Adam and Eve sinned and trespassed against the living God they hid themselves among the trees of the garden. If Adam and Eve sinned against the LORD and attempted to hide themselves among the trees of the garden, and if when asked what he saw this man answered Jesus saying he saw men walking as trees before and around him, then it is safe to say that the children of Israel could have very easily hidden themselves among the trees once more, as they could have very easily have hidden themselves among the trees of men which were round about them. “Surely no one will know the sin and transgression I have committed. Surely my sin cannot and will not be known. Surely no one saw the sin and transgression I committed against the Lord. I am safe amidst my household and my family members. I am safe amidst the tribe I belong to, and I am safe in the midst of the tribes which are in this section of the camp of Israel.” Oh, the trespass offering was a wonderful and powerful invitation for the children of Israel to come out of hiding and come out of the shadows in order that they might step into the light and come into the public place of the door of the Tabernacle with their offering that they might find forgiveness for their sin, their trespass, their iniquity and their transgression.

I sit here this morning thinking about that which is found and written within these chapters in the Old Testament book of Leviticus, and I can’t help but consider the fact that when you read the opening verse of the sixth chapter you will be met with an absolutely unbelievable statement which was made by the living God. If you read the words which are found within this verse you will encounter and come face to face with the absolutely incredible reality that when the Lord spoke unto the children of Israel concerning the trespass offering, He declared unto them that “If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD.” Pause for a moment and consider the tremendous weight and significance of those words, for what you will find within those words is an emphatic statement and declaration made by the living God concerning the children of Israel committing sin and trespasses against Him. While the language that is used in this verse seems to indicate the possibility of a soul sinning and trespassing against the Lord—the truth of the matter is that the language we should be using is not necessarily “IF” a soul sins and trespasses against the command of the Lord, but rather “WHEN” a soul sins against the Lord and trespasses against Him. If you turn and direct your attention to the third chapter of the New Testament book of Romans you will find it written that all men have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. These words of the apostle Paul seem to suggest the incredible and powerful reality that each and every soul—regardless of where they are from has indeed and has in fact sinned against the LORD, and has in fact fallen short of His glory. What’s more, is that if you read the words which the apostle John wrote in the first epistle written unto the Ephesian saints, you will notice a similar reality made within his writings. If you turn and direct your attention to the first chapter of the first epistle the apostle John wrote you will quickly encounter and come face to face with the following words which were written by him unto the Ephesian saints to whom he was writing. Consider if you will the words which are found within the opening chapter of this first epistle written by the apostle John beginning to read with the sixth verse:

“If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (1 John 1:6-10).

Please pay close and careful attention to the words which are found within these verses—not only within the epistle which the apostle Paul wrote unto the Romans, but also the first epistle which the apostle John wrote unto the Ephesian congregation—for within both of these passages you will come face to face with the reality that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, as well as the reality that if we say we have not sinned we make God a liar. What’s more, is that the apostle John also emphatically declared that if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is in us. If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us, and if we say that we have not sinned, we make God a liar, and His word is not in us. This is absolutely remarkable and astounding when you take the time to think about and consider it—particularly in light of what we find within these chapters in the Old Testament book of Leviticus, for the language that is found there uses the word “if” when speaking about that soul from among the children of Israel committing sin and trespass against the Lord. This is incredibly important and worth thinking about and considering, for although the word “if” is used when speaking of that soul committing sin and trespass against the Lord, we would be wise to understand and recognize that the better word to be used is not “if,” but “when.” If we are being honest with ourselves and with the Lord—when we read the words which are found within this chapter we must admit that sin is never and has never been a matter of “if,” but it has always been a matter of “when.” Although the word “if” is used within these chapters, we must recognize and understand that sin is inevitable and that it is perhaps even expected. When the living God created man in the garden of Eden He knew that there was the possibility that man could turn against Him, and that man could sin and trespass against Him by ignoring and disobeying His command against eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When the living God formed man from the dust of the earth and when He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, thus causing him to become a living soul, He created him with free will, which gave man the ability and opportunity to sin and transgress against the command of the Lord. This doesn’t mean that the Lord gave man free will so he would sin and transgress against him, but rather that as a result of man being given free will there was the possibility that he could indeed and could in fact sin and transgress against the command of the Lord.

When and as we read the words found within these chapters we must recognize and understand the absolutely tremendous reality that when the Lord gave the instruction for the trespass offering, He knew and understood that men would sin and transgress against Him. Consider the fact that the Lord was very much aware of man’s ability to sin and transgress against Him, for not only did He cover the earth with a flood which destroyed every living thing save that which was on the ark with Noah and his family, but the living God also destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of their sin, because of their transgression and their iniquity before the living God. The Lord was very much aware of the reality that men could and would sin and transgress and trespass against Him. Thus, when we read the words which are found within this chapter we must recognize that the Lord gave these commandments knowing that souls would sin against Him, and having anticipated the reality that sin would in fact be committed against Him in His sight. In all reality, we must recognize and understand that sin is inevitable and that sin is even anticipated within the heart and mind of God. Please note that this isn’t to say that the Lord expects men to sin against Him as in He watches and waits for it, but rather that He knows men can and will sin and transgress against His commandment. When the Lord gives these commandments unto the children of Israel, He does so knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that men has proven the absolutely incredible reality that they have the ability to sin and transgress against Him and against His commandment. Ever since Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden man has proven that they can sin against Him, and can violate His commandments and laws. The living God did in fact give men the Law and did in fact give men commandments which they were to obey, however, He knew they could not keep the laws and commandments perfectly without sinning and transgressing against the laws and commands of the Lord. In fact, if you turn and direct your attention back to the opening and beginning verses of the fourth chapter of the Old Testament book of Leviticus you will find the Lord referencing and speaking of that soul which sinned through ignorance against any of the commandments of the Lord concerning things which out not to be done, and did against any of them. This reality is absolutely astounding and astonishing, for the Lord gave the commandments knowing full well that man could not keep all the laws, all the commands and all the statutes He had given, and that men would sin and trespass against them—whether it was through ignorance and being unaware of what the Lord required and commanded, or through willful and deliberate action against the commandment of the living God. We must recognize and understand that the living God knew that man would sin and trespass against His commandments and statutes, and as a result of this knowledge, He ordained the trespass offering that they would have a means to come before Him that they might find forgiveness for their sins.

If you continue reading the words which are found within these chapters you will find the Lord speaking concerning men sinning and trespassing against His commandments and statutes, and the truth of the matter is that when speaking of men committing sin and transgression against Him—not only did He speak of personal and private sin, but He also spoke of sins of the community, as well as sins of the leadership and rulers among the children of Israel. Within these chapters you will find the absolutely unmistakable reality that there was the reality of personal sin which would be committed against the Lord on an individual level as men would sin and transgress against the command of the Lord alone and by themselves. The Lord was very much aware of the fact that men would sin personally and privately before Him, and that men would sin individually without and apart from those around them. With that being said, we must recognize that the living God also declared that there would be sins which would be committed by the entire congregation and community of the children of Israel. While it was true there would indeed be personal and private sins of individuals, it was also true there would be sins and transgressions which would be committed by the community and congregation as a whole. It was possible that individuals would sin and transgress against the commandment of the Lord, and individuals could bring their trespass offerings before and unto the living God, however, it was also true that the entire community and congregation could sin against the command of the Lord, and a trespass offering would have to be offered for the congregation and community as a whole. What’s more, is that as you continue reading the words within these chapters you will find that there was also sin which could and would be committed by the rulers and leaders among the children of Israel. When the Lord gave the commandment concerning the trespass offering—not only did He give the commandment concerning individual and personal sin which would be committed against Him, but He also gave the commandment concerning corporate and communal sin which would and could be committed against Him. The commandment concerning the trespass offering not only touched and affected the individuals who sinned against the command of the Lord, but also the entire community and congregation which would and could sin against the Lord. What’s more, is that it was possible—even inevitable—that rulers and leaders could and would also sin and transgress against the command of the Lord, and when they sinned they would need forgiveness for their sin as well. Oh that we would recognize and understand this absolutely incredible reality, and that we would understand that not only was there individual and personal sin which would and could be committed against the command of the Lord, but there was also communal and corporate sin which would and could be committed against the Lord. This was already evidenced in the thirty-second chapter of the book of Exodus concerning the golden calf, as well as in the wilderness on the way to the mountain of God in the wilderness when the children of Israel murmured and complained against Moss and the Lord concerning their lack of bread, as well as their lack of water. The children of Israel proved and demonstrated that corporate and communal sin was indeed possible, and that it was possible there was a tremendous need for forgiveness—not only on an individual level and basis, but also on the level and basis of the congregation and community, as well as leaders and rulers.

As I bring this writing to a close I feel the great and overwhelming need to bring and call your attention to the fact that when you think about the trespass offering you must not think that the only thing the Lord commanded and instructed was bringing the trespass offering unto the door of the Tabernacle and that was it. If and as you read the words which are found within these chapters you will find and discover the reality that accompanying the trespass offering was confession of that which was committed against the Lord. If you turn and direct your attention to the fifth chapter of this book you will find the Lord instructing that soul which sinned against the Lord to confess that they had sinned in the thing before the Lord, and should bring his trespass offering unto the Lord for his sin which he had sinned. What we must recognize and understand when reading the words within these chapters is that offering alone wasn’t enough for the children of Israel and for that soul which sinned and transgress against the command of the Lord. In addition to offering was confession of that sin which was committed against the commandment of the living God in the sight and presence of the priest. It is necessary that we recognize and understand this absolutely incredible reality, for when you think about and consider the reality that a soul can indeed and can in fact sin against the Lord, we must understand that in addition to bringing an offering before and unto the living God, that soul must also confess their sin before the Lord. This is what is so incredibly beautiful about David’s prayer of repentance and confession which is found in the Old Testament poetic book of the Psalms, for through and with this prayer David confessed his sin and transgression against the Lord before Him and in His sight. What’s more, is that even the first epistle which John wrote speaks to and suggests the reality of our confession of sin against the command of the Lord, and how He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sin. Oh when you think about and consider the words which are found within these chapters, please recognize and understand that offering alone wasn’t enough, for there must also be the added element of confession before the Lord concerning that thing which was done and committed against Him and against His commandments. The offering, coupled together with confession, and working together with the sacrifice upon the altar would bring about atonement and forgiveness for the sin which was committed against the living God. Oh that we would understand that the living God is ready and willing to forgive us our trespasses against Him, and even when Jesus taught his disciples to pray, He instructed them to ask the Father that He would forgive them their trespasses as they in turn forgave others of their trespasses against them.

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