Summary: Without restitution, repentance is not complete!
Numbers 5:7’ then he shall confess the sin which he has committed. He shall make restitution for his trespass in full, plus one-fifth of it, and give it to the one he has wronged.’
Bang….I heard the loud noise of my son dropping his dinner plate on the floor - while he was rushing upstairs to watch TV and have his dinner - followed by pin-drop silence. It was 9 pm then, and it was the last portion of rice that was served to him. I was tired and exhausted, as I tiptoed to the living room, I found to my dismay, my son and my maid trying to scoop the rice that was strewn along with the curry on the floor. My son did not dare to look at me, but he was humbly bent on the floor and told the maid, ‘it’s okay I’ll eat this food today.’ This little guy was normally very finicky about cleanliness and now he was ready to eat the food from the floor. He felt guilty for his carelessness and wanted to make ’restitution’ for it, in his own childish way. I cooked fresh food and served him.
Well, the word ‘restitution’ is not commonly used, however, instead we use the words: amends, compensation, refund etc. I have something really important to share, you must hear this today! Without restitution, repentance is not complete! We have a perfect example of Zacchaeus here in Luke 19:8,”Then Zacchaeus said to the Lord, "Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold." His encounter with Jesus filled him with such joy, that he dug into his savings and promised to give away half to the poor and also promised to restore four-fold, as far as he could recollect or find by his books that he had wronged any man. He did not say, ‘I will return if I be sued, ‘, but voluntarily agreed to return. Read Exodus 22:1"If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and slaughters it or sells it, he shall restore five oxen for an ox and four sheep for a sheep.’ Paul Allen, Co-founder of Microsoft promised to give away the majority of his fortune when he dies. But listen, Zacchaeus did not wait for death to give away his property, but did it right away. He said, “I do it now.” That’s true repentance and immediate restitution. Praise the Lord!
I read the story of a man who became born again, though he was filled with joy for a while and ministered to people, yet, he had no peace of mind. Therefore, he went to the Police and reported himself regarding a crime he committed 10 years before he got born again. He had killed his girlfriend, carefully folded the body and threw it into the river. The police were surprised. He reported to the police because he knew that without restitution his repentance was not complete. His wife and children begged him not to do so but he refused. He said that it was better to die now and have life eternal than to live and later end up in hell fire. Of course, he was promptly jailed. That is what is called repentance.