Wow. I never noticed before how many verses here in Leviticus are dedicated to lepers. Do you thin this means something? Is there something about leprosy that we should learn?
lep·ro·sy a chronic, mildly infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae, affecting the peripheral nervous system, skin, and nasal mucosa and variously characterized by ulcerations, tubercular nodules, and loss of sensation that sometimes leads to traumatic amputation of the anesthetized part.
That’s what dictionary.com tells me. I’m alerted to the “loss of sensation.” Hmmm. Lots of verses about losing feeling.
Let’s keep going.
When we look at lepers in the Old Testament, we see that most, if not, each one was afflicted because they transgressed against God. Leprosy was a punishment. After you were found with leprosy, you were sent to live outside the camp, or in later times, the city. (Remember the lepers Jesus healed?)
Being a leper was an outward reflection of inward sin. (Wait until you see what happens to Miriam.) One was sent out from the people, not just because of the skin disease, but the moral disease that may spread through the people.
If one of the symptoms of leprosy is numbness, can we also say that it is a reflection of an inward numbness? A spiritual apathy? I was a high school teacher. I know the danger of apathy. The uncaring, unfeeling, unbelieving shrug or comment can bog down an entire room. It’s tough to more forward when a class is filled with that I-don’t-care attitude. It’s not fun.
The Israelites would not be able to move forward into what God promised for them if there was spiritual numbness. So, He isolated it. He isolated the people with leprosy. When they were tired of living outside of the place where God was, the priests would check their bodies for the disease. After they checked their bodies, they shaved them and cleansed them. I can imagine that those people looked different as they rejoined the camp. If we have spiritual numbness, we must get rid of what we thought before to move forward.We will look different. We should look different.
We should also cleanse ourselves. How? With the Word.
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.
Jesus is looking for us to be cleansed and ready to be presented. We cannot be presented as an uncaring, unfeeling bride. Who would want to be married to that?
So, reader, I encourage you to let the Word wash you today. Let it clean out all of the stuff that contributes to spiritual apathy. I pray that you all would look again at the world and at the future like you did when you first found your true Love. He is still just as radiant and just as powerful as ever. Shake off the bandages and worship Him. He is worth it.
The song that keeps running through my head is an older one from my daughter’s favorite band, Petra. I looked on youtube and could only find this video for it. It’s not the best quality, but I feel like I should include it.