Bible Pathways 2/6/2004
Read Leviticus 14 -- 15
In Today's Reading:
Purification after having skin diseases; signs of leprosy; uncleanness of men and women; sacrifice for cleansing from defilements
When the priest declared that an Israelite was a leper, God said: The priest shall pronounce him utterly unclean . . . . his clothes shall be rent (torn), and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean. . . . he shall dwell (live) alone; outside the camp shall his habitation be (Leviticus 13:44-46). To express his extreme grief and deep humiliation, this poor, wretched person had to pass through the camp for one last time, crying: Unclean! Unclean!
At first leprosy seems harmless — just a small white or pink spot on the skin and, in its earliest stages, it is totally painless. The spot might remain for months or even years before it begins to develop further. Eventually, leprosy produces an extremely repulsive disfigurement of the entire body, including spongy tumor-like swellings on the face and head. The movement of joints causes deep, painful, bleeding fissures. The fingers and toes become misshapen, rough, and ragged. The fingernails swell, curl up, and fall off. And, as leprosy progresses, the flesh develops offensive, running sores, and the gums begin to bleed. Eventually, as the years pass, the leper becomes thin and weak, plagued with diarrhea, incessant thirst, and burning fever.
During the ministry of Jesus many lepers were healed, which attested to His deity. On one occasion, ten. . . lepers, which stood afar off . . . lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. . . . One of them, when he saw he was healed . . . glorified God. . . . And He (Jesus) said, Arise, go your way: your faith has made you whole (Luke 17:12-13,15,19).
Leprosy illustrates how insignificant a sin may first appear, but how dreadful, loathsome, and eternally fatal it can become. Sin immediately separates us from God, for we are unclean. People controlled by sin exist in a state of living death unless they turn to Christ, truly repent, and forsake their sins.
Before Jesus came, there were only two recorded cases of leprosy that were healed — Miriam, a Jew (Numbers 12:10), and Naaman a Gentile Syrian (II Kings 5:1-14), both of whom were sovereignly healed by God. The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin (I John 1:7).
14:8 tarry abroad = stay outside his tent; 14:32 whose hand is not able = who cannot afford; 14:37 lower than the wall = below the surface of the plaster; 15:2 running issue = discharge; 15:33 of her flowers = with her monthly period.
By the priest who made atonement for the leper (Leviticus 14:20). The priest was symbolic of our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom we have now received the atonement (reconciliation) (Romans 5:11).
Government Officials: Rep. Vern Ehlers (MI) and Rep. Jim Turner (TX) · for the International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Mrs. Ione Boblitz · Country: Myanmar (formerly Burma) (48 million) in Southeast Asia · Major languages: Burmese and ethnic languages · Limited religious freedom · 87% Buddhist; 5% Protestant; 4% Muslim; 3% spirit worship, Hindu, and other Asian religions; 1% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Pray and thank God for all His blessings (Psalm 68:19).
Optional Reading: Mark 9
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:8