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Leviticus 5:1-13

God explains why sin offerings are needed.

Folly and Forgiveness


“Or suppose you make a foolish vow of any kind, whether its purpose is for good or for bad. When you realize its foolishness, you must admit your guilt.

“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.”
(Leviticus 5:4-6)


Have you ever sworn to do or not do something and then realized how foolish your promise was? God’s people are called to keep their word, even if they make promises that are tough to keep. Jesus was warning against swearing (in the sense of making vows or oaths) when he said, “Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37). Our word should be enough. If we feel we have to strengthen it with an oath, we should look for the reasons why that is. The only promises we ought not to keep are promises that lead to sin.

The entire system of sacrifices could not help a sinner unless he brought his offering with an attitude of repentance and a willingness to confess sin. Today, because of Christ’s death on the cross, we do not have to sacrifice animals. But it is still vital to confess sin, because confession shows realization of sin, awareness of God’s holiness, humility before God, and willingness to turn from this sin (Psalm 51:16-17). Even Jesus’ death will be of little value to us if we do not repent and follow him.


Is your word something that people can rely on? If not, why not? If it is due to mistakes you’ve made, talk with God about your sins—confess honestly to him.

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