Being sick is horrible. For the last week, I have been dealing with soreness, fever and just plain ol’ not feeling well. When sickness strikes- we have to slow down. We have to stop doing some things- and sometimes, it means removing ourselves from the normal day to day in order to keep others from getting sick. As we dig into Leviticus 13 – we see a disease that strikes to the very core of a person, and the separation that has to happen because of it. When we take a deeper look – we can see that it might relate to more of us than we think.
Leprosy is often a picture of sin in the Bible (Psalm 147:3, Isaiah 1:5-6, Jeremiah 8:2 and 30:12 and Mark 2:17). That does not mean that all that suffer from Leprosy, or diseases that relate to it, are in hidden sin because the are affected by it. I think we are quick to judge people in sickness and say “they must have done something to deserve it” – and honestly, that isn’t always the case. Sin is the cause of sickness- because we live in a fallen world. Sickness was never a part of God’s perfect plan – but it is a result of the fall of man. However, just because someone is sick, does not mean they are in hidden sin.
That being said, we can find some relational points on how we deal with sin and how the people deal with leprosy. Sin, like leprosy can be contagious, and must be dealt with. As we look through the verses of Leviticus 13, if we think of leprosy as sin, we can see some real ways we need to be mindful in our own lives.
We must remember that sin, like leprosy, is more than a skin disease- it goes a little deeper than that. When the priest came to check for leprosy, they looked at more than the skin. They looked at clothes and houses as well. Think of it like a mildew that might spread – if left unattended – it can get bad and fast. Leprosy did not start just with the skin – it was something that affected the skin. Sin doesn’t start with the act- it begins in the heart.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9
Sin is not a surface problem that can be solved by just fixing a situation- the symptoms and the root must be taken care of as well. Leprosy needed to be found – and if the house or the clothes were infected- that needed to be cared for as well. We must be sure we are caring for sin at its root – getting to the true heart of the matter. The reason? Sin spreads (v5-8)
Yes, just like disease, sin spreads. Sin has passed down from generation to generation – from Adam to me. As much as we pass on hair color and a funny laugh, we pass on our sin. The sins we do in secret, our children will often do is access. We often tell our children that they will become like those they spend the most time with – and that is true. Who are we choosing to spend the most quality time with. We must be around sinners- but we don’t have to fellowship (have deep relationship) there. Our relationships should be on purpose- to draw them to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. We need to guard our lives in order to be sure that those we are around are not drawing us into the sin that binds them. No one wants to roll around in the dirt of others. Because sin defiles.
The reason the person with leprosy had to leave the camp was that that leprosy made them unclean. The word unclean is used 54 times in Leviticus 13-15, so the point must be taken. Sin defiles us- it makes us unclean before the Lord. It and because we are unclean – we must be separated.
Lepers had to be separated from the rest of the camp. Our sin separates us from God. If we have come to salvation through Jesus Christ, we have a way back to the Father. But, even as a saved believer, we can have interrupted fellowship. If you have not entered a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you are separated because of that sin from God. It is so important that we deal with sin, so that we can be in fellowship with God.
The purification process was fire. The same is true for us as well. Although Jesus Christ has conquered hell for those who surrender their lives to Him, hell is still what we all deserve. Because of our sin. As believers in Jesus Christ, we also go through purification by fire- not hell. but our sins do still hold consequences.
The consequence for leprosy was temporal – but the consequence of sin is eternal. Tomorrow, we will focus on salvation.
*If you missed my daily post on Leviticus from when I was sick, have no fear. I am going back and going through those chapters as well. I am back on track now- although my post might be nightly for a time as I get caught back up. Thank you for grace!*
To see other post in our Leviticus study, you can start here: Leviticus: A Call To Holiness
Worshiping With My Life,