Mission Impossible

Leviticus 14:1-2
“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘This shall be the law of the leper for the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought to the priest.'”

IMG_1495Moses was given detailed instructions regarding the offerings required for a person who was healed of leprosy. This passage of Scripture, though somewhat tedious, is remarkable when we consider the fact that leprosy was incurable in the ancient world. The law of God contained provisions encouraging the people to expect Him to do the miraculous. A person diagnosed with leprosy could find hope in the power and promises of God. We often face difficulties in which there seems to be no hope. Rather than living in despair, or grasping at straws, we must learn to look into the Word, and trust in its promises. The hope Scripture brings is like an anchor for the soul; providing stability in troublesome times. The cleansing of the leper is also intriguing when we consider, the only Old Testament reference to a leper being healed was of Namaan the Syrian. He was a gentile soldier from Syria, who was known for his bravery. When it was discovered he was leprous, the king of Syria sent word to the King of Israel, requesting the God of Israel heal Naaman. When Elisha the prophet, heard of the request, he invited Naaman to his home. However, rather than meeting with him, Elisha sent a servant to instruct Naaman to go wash seven times in the Jordan River, and he would be healed. This great general was humiliated by the way he was treated, and started to leave. He was unwilling to follow Elisha’s instructions, until a servant exhorted him that he had nothing to lose. Upon following the prophet’s instructions, his leprosy was healed. Once healed, Naaman renounced his pagan religion and devoted himself to Jehovah. This story is a remarkable picture of salvation. Like sin, Naaman’s disease had no cure, yet God provided a solution. The solution involved laying his pride aside, and humbling himself under the mighty hand of God. Once Naaman approached God, His way, he was restored and became a follower of God.

Pastor Jim

 

Unclean

Leviticus 13:45
“Now the leper on whom the sore is, his clothes shall be torn and his head bare; and he shall cover his mustache, and cry, ‘Unclean! Unclean! ’”

IMG_1491Leprosy is a skin disease that effects the nervous system; resulting in spreading rash-like symptoms, disfiguration, pain, and ultimately, death. Due to the fact that leprosy is contagious, the nation of Israel was instructed to quarantine lepers until they were healed. Since leprosy was incurable in the ancient world, it would require an act of God for a leper to be healed. Because of the similarities in the growth, spread, and debilitating effects of the disease, leprosy has been considered to be an illustration of sin and it’s consequences.

David Guzik draws the following parallels between leprosy and sin:

· It begins as nothing.
· It is painless in its first stages.
· It grows slowly.
· It often remits for a while and then returns.
· It numbs the senses – one cannot feel in the afflicted area.
· It causes decay and deformity.
· It gives a person a repulsive appearance.

Jewish custom said you should not greet, or be within six feet of a leper. One Rabbi boasted that he threw rocks at lepers to keep them far from him. But Jesus was different. He loved lepers; He touched and healed them, when they had no hope at all.

Jesus does the same for sinners. While sin is deadly and repulsive, Jesus, Himself, is the cure. Any who come to Him, will have their sins forgiven and their lives forever changed.

Pastor Jim