Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | April 9, 2023

“he shall make restitution in full for his wrong” – “Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance”

Today’s devotion comes from Numbers 5:5-10.  Here is a link to this Scripture –

I quote only the following verses.

“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, ‘When a man or woman commits any of the sins of mankind, acting unfaithfully against the LORD, and that person is guilty, then he shall confess his sins which he has committed, and he shall make restitution in full for his wrong and add to it one-fifth of it, and give it to him whom he has wronged.”  Numbers 5:5-10.    


Restitution is another pillar of justice.  As we see from today’s Scripture, it is not sufficient to only confess guilt.  We cannot steal someone’s money and only say:  “I am sorry.”  At least, we need to give the money back.

As a quick side note, today’s Scripture commands to even go further:  “and add to it one-fifth of it”.  Zaccheus even offered more in his meeting with Jesus.  “Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.”  And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham.”  Luke 19:8-9.

God loves justice.  

“Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches;  but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth;  for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD.”  Jeremiah 9:23-24.

We should then consider restitution to be an important part of justice.  

Restitution is also a fruit of repentance.  Restitution demonstrates that our repentance is sincere and and that we are eager to make amends with a full heart for the wrong that we did.  Let us consider the preaching of John the Baptist.

“So he began saying to the crowds who were going out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?  Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.  Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees;  so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

And the crowds were questioning him, saying, “Then what shall we do?”  And he would answer and say to them, “The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none;  and he who has food is to do likewise.”  And some tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?”  And he said to them, “Collect no more than what you have been ordered to.”  Some soldiers were questioning him, saying, “And what about us, what shall we do?”  And he said to them, “Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages.”   Luke 19:7-14.

But, there is hope!

Jesus grants repentance.  Jesus gives us the will to repent.  “He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”  Acts 5:31. 

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:10.

“for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”  Philippians 2:13.  

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 1:6. 


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