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Bible Pathways - February 6, 2006

February 6, 2006

Read Leviticus 14

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 discovered 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; without the camp shall his habitation be (Leviticus 13:44-46). In his extreme grief and deep humiliation, this poor, wretched person had to pass through the camp for one last time, crying: Unclean! Unclean!

When leprosy first appears, it 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 causes 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, an incessant thirst, and burning fever.

Other than leprosy used as a sign for Moses (Exodus 4:6-7), prior to Jesus healing lepers, only two cases of leprosy were recorded healed — Miriam (Numbers 12:10-16) and Naaman the Syrian (II Kings 5:1-14). In each case God sovereignly did the healing. Under 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, turned back, and . . . glorified God. . . . And He (Jesus) said . . . Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole (Luke 17:12-13,15,19).

Leprosy illustrates how insignificant a sin may first appear, but how dreadful, loathsome, and fatal it can become. Sin immediately separates us from God, for it makes us unclean. People controlled by sin exist in a state of living death, unless they turn to Christ, truly repent, and forsake their sins.

The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin (I John 1:7).

Word Studies:

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.

Christ Portrayed:

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).

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Lewis & Nesi Lee Finley · The Spanish International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Mrs. Sue Moore · Staff: Rita Guerra · Government Officials: Rep. Vern Ehlers (MI) and Rep. Jim Turner (TX) · Country: Guyana (705,000) on the northeastern coast of South America · Major languages: English and Amerindian dialects · The government is becoming increasingly Marxist, radical, and atheistic · 36% Hindu; 28% Protestant; 10% Roman Catholic; 9% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Praise the Lord for His loving-kindness and faithfulness (Psalm 138:2).

Optional Reading: Mark 8

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 12:2

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