“If a person commits a breach of faith and sins unintentionally against the holy things of the Lord, then he shall bring his guilt offering to the Lord, a ram without blemish from the flock, valued by you in shekels of silver, that is, the shekel of the sanctuary, as a guilt offering. – Leviticus 5:15
This law seems to relate particularly to sacrilege, and defrauds in spiritual matters; such as the neglect to consecrate or redeem the firstborn, the withholding of the first-fruits, tithes, and such like; and, according to the rabbins, making any secular gain of Divine things, keeping back any part of the price of things dedicated to God, or withholding what man had vowed to pay. Adam Clarke’s Commentary
Will any of us ever know the Scriptures in such a way, or be so led by the Spirit, as to never commit an unknown sin and thus incur guilt in our lives? Probably not. Anyone who says we can live without sinning before our resurrection has a shallow view of the human heart and no understanding of God’s righteous character. This offering demonstrates God’s grace to the Israelite by making a provision for not knowing it all, not understanding it all, and feeling a sense of God’s righteousness and of falling short, yet not knowing why.
The holy place, the first apartment of the tabernacle, illustrates God’s provision of the Holy Spirit, the scriptures, and the privilege of prayer.
From the spiritual perspective how much more do we need to use these simple safeguards to protect ourselves as Israel protected itself. We should take care in what we handle, what we allow our hearts, mind and eyes to handle. When we see something unclean or unwholesome even if by some accident, there is the need to be cleansed.
It should be noted that this sin offering was not optional, but mandatory because of unintentional sin or error of individuals or the entire congregation of Israel. Sins not done in a spirit of rebellion against the Lord and His covenant stipulations–whether sins of ignorance, sins without conscious intent, or intentional but non-defiant sins.
For if the sprinkling of [ceremonially] defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a [burnt] heifer is sufficient for the cleansing of the body, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal [Holy] Spirit willingly offered Himself unblemished [that is, without moral or spiritual imperfection as a sacrifice] to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works and lifeless observances to serve the ever living God? – Hebrews 9:13-14
- A Prayer on Ash Wednesday, February 10, 2016 (michaelmilton.org)