TUESDAY November 27, 2018
These are the golden tumors which the Philistines returned as a trespass offering to the LORD: one for Ashdod, one for Gaza, one for Ashkelon, one for Gath, one for Ekron; and the golden rats, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both fortified cities and country villages, even as far as the large stone of Abel on which they set the ark of the LORD, which stone remains to this day in the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh.
1 Samuel 6:17-18
Why did the Philistines send back golden tumors and golden rats inside the Ark? They gave them as a “trespass offering.” In Israel, a trespass offering was made by sacrificing a ram or lamb. It also involved restitution. God forgave a person, but He also expected them to make good for any wrongdoing:
“If a person sins and commits a trespass against the LORD… he shall restore what he has stolen, or the thing which he has extorted, or what was delivered to him for safekeeping, or the lost thing which he found, or… sworn falsely. He shall restore its full value, add one-fifth more to it, and give it to whomever it belongs, on the day of his trespass offering” (Leviticus 6:2, 4-5).
The gold from the Philistines was restitution for taking the Ark and dishonoring God. A New Testament example of making restitution is that of Zacchaeus. He was a tax collector who extorted money from the people of Israel. Jesus forgave him of his sin. As a Christian, Zacchaeus restored all that he had taken from the people––fourfold (Luke 19:8).
Jesus has forgiven you for your sins, but have you made things right? Have you given a recompense for anything stolen or said and done to others?
Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, …to give him who has need.
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