One of the many interesting things that Dan and I have noticed since moving back to northern Michigan is how dark it is. If you step outside you can see a multitude of stars, unhindered by light pollution from a city. Feeling the breeze, smelling the fresh air, and gazing at the vast sky puts me at peace.
Even though this may remind me of how small I am, the greater realization is that God is even bigger. He created light to pierce through the darkest night and shine throughout the day. God also sent his son as a Light to the World. And like driving out, away from the noise and distraction of the city, we experience God when we get quiet before him.
As we continue in Leviticus, we see astounding parallels between the Old Testament traditions and the New Testament promise.
S – Scripture: Leviticus 5-7
- 5:5-6 – “When you become aware of your guilt in any of these ways, you must confess your sin. Then you must bring to the LORD as the penalty for your sin a female from the flock, either a sheep or a goat. This is a sin offering with which the priest will purify you from your sin, making you right with the LORD.”
- 5:11 – “If you cannot afford to bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons, you may bring two quarts of choice flour for your sin offering.”
- 6:12-12 – “Meanwhile, the fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must never go out. Each morning the priest will add fresh wood to the fire and arrange the burnt offering on it. He will then burn the fat of the peace offerings on it. Remember, the fire must be kept burning on the altar at all times. It must never go out.”
O – Observation:
- Realization, confession, and payment of the penalty (offering) was the progression towards the forgiveness of sin.
- The Israelites could offer what they had as a sin offering. It wasn’t necessarily about the type of offering, but the heart of the offerer.
- The fire on the alter, for the different types of offerings, had to be kept going all day and night. It was never to be allowed to go out.
A – Application:
I usually have to get up in the middle of the night and fumble around to get where I need to go. My eyes are heavy with sleep and I have to reach out my hand to feel where the doors and walls are. Sometimes I get a little afraid of what could be in the corner or my closet. Often, I’ve banged into something, giving out a painful yelp.
Then, I get to the little hallway with a window and a glimmer of light shines through. I take a breath and make it to my destination with more ease.
Have you ever felt like this when stuck in a sin? Maybe when you initially got into whatever habit it is and it fulfilled some perceived need for a time. It was satisfying or pleasurable, even, at the start. The “secret-keeping” part may have had a certain appeal as well. I’ve been there.
Then, something shifted. It became consuming and too much to keep up. You start to feel like you are fumbling around in the dark, burdened with guilt and shame. You fear the consequences of what would happen if you brought it into the light and the people you would hurt. I’ve been here too.
You see, keeping things in the dark is exactly where Satan wants you to be. He wants you to feel like you have to stay there because it keeps you away from God, which is his whole mission. His burden is guilt, shame, hopelessness, aloneness, and desperation.
Then, you do confess it to someone, maybe God. It’s brought into the light, or to the Light, you could say. You cut the distractions, the voices, the pain, and you surrender to God all of your baggage. You just dump your dirty laundry at the foot of the cross. And you know what you experience? Pure grace. It’s not judgement or condemnation. It’s grace driven by an unconditional love of a Father.
If you are trapped in sin, your first move is bringing it to the Light. It’s confessing to God and the people in your life that have been affected by your sin. Yes, there will be consequences that you probably will have to deal with. However, your ETERNITY is forever changed! And how you accept God’s grace and start a new life in him, will be a testimony to help others who are dealing with the same sin you had. Your victory will be someone else’s HOPE and LIGHT. Someone out there needs your story. They need to you fight and overcome your temptations and sin.
Here are some additional verses. Write one out that speaks to you and keep it in sight this week. Take action on the burden of sin in your life this week. Bring it to the light, no matter how hard it may be. You will have eternal grace in God and he will help you sort through the consequences. Trust him in that.
“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” 1 John 1:9
“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” James 5:16
“People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.” Proverbs 28:13
“The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.” John 1:9
“Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, ‘I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.'” John 8:12
P – Prayer:
God, thank you for your unconditional love and grace. Thank you for accepting us while we were still sinners. We don’t have to be perfect and sinless to come before you. You want us to come with our burden and give it all up to you.
God, I pray for those who are struggling with some deeply rooted sins. The burden must be so heavy. May they come to you this week and know your grace when they confess and believe. I pray that hearts and lives are changed because of your Good News. thank you for sending us your Light. Amen.