Shall we turn in our Bibles to chapter eleven. As we get into chapter eleven, we begin to deal with the dietary laws that God had established. It is important for us to realize that these were more or less, health codes. They do not apply necessarily, to us today. We are not under the law. Yet there is a reason why God commanded the children of Israel to follow these dietary practices. Now, with some of the things that God forbid them to eat, I have no problem at all. Other things that were forbidden to eat, I rather enjoy. I like clam chowder, and shrimp, and lobster. And yet these were, crab legs, you know. These were some of the things that were forbidden to eat, under the law, but we’ll look at that, and see the reason why.
There is an interesting book, and while we’re in this particular section, written by a Dr. Maxwell. The book is entitled, “None of These Diseases”. For after God finished giving to them, the law, He gave to them a conditional promise. “If you will keep my law, and my statutes, then none of these diseases that I brought upon the Egyptians, will come upon you.” Dr. Maxwell takes the premise, and rightly so, that what God was establishing for them was a health code, and if they would be obedient, and follow the health code that God had given to them, they wouldn’t be plagued with a lot of the diseases that the Egyptians were plagued with. That really this is just good, sound, advice. Especially when you get into the aspects of the cleanliness, the washing after touching dead objects and so forth. After touching someone who has a running sore, things of this nature, you’re to wash and you’re to be unclean until the evening, and all. He points out, how wise was the law of God and pointed out how that medicine, for years, had such a high mortality rate because it used to be sort of a feeling among the surgeons, that the bloodier you looked when you came into the room, the more proficient a surgeon you were. So they would go from one patient, to the other not changing their garments, not washing their hands, coming in with bloody clothes and bloody hands, to perform a surgery, and were actually transmitting diseases from patient to patient; and, had a very high mortality rate.
The doctor who first suggested that they start washing thoroughly, sort of bacterial type washes was almost, he almost had his license taken away for his bizarre and novel ideas of washing. Yet he was able to demonstrate in the hospital that he was directing, a very sharp decrease, especially in infant mortality, when they started observing very careful patterns of washing, and bathing, and cleansing and all; and, going from patient to patient, and from operation to operation. “None of These Diseases, by Maxwell. You’ll find it a very fascinating book that deals with this particular section of scripture as God more or less gets now, into the health codes for the people.
As a sort of overall backdrop, it should be noted that God did not put the same prohibitions upon the Gentile believers, at the time of the church, that He put upon Israel. In other words when, the Gentiles began to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Jews, some of them, felt that they had to keep the law of Moses, and be circumcised in order to be saved. The first church council assembled in Jerusalem dealt with that very issue. It was determined that they would not put upon the Gentile believers, the yoke of bondage, which Peter called it, that is, the law; that they were not able to keep, neither were their fathers. James suggested that they write to them, telling them, “Just keep yourselves from idols and from things that are strangled, and if you do this, you do well.” You remember when Peter was on the housetop of Simon, the tanner in the city of Joppa. In prayer, about the noon hour, as they were fixing him lunch, he had a vision, a sheet let down from heaven. Upon the sheet were all kinds of animals, clean and unclean, according to the law of Moses. The Lord spoke to Peter and said, “Peter rise, kill an ape.” Peter said, “Not so Lord, I’ve never eaten anything that wasn’t kosher.” and the Lord said, “Don’t call that unclean which I have cleansed.”
So many of the things that were forbidden by the law, though we know, from a health standpoint why they were forbidden. Yet, they are not forbidden to the Gentiles today, yet we perhaps would probably be much healthier, in some cases, if we did not eat these things. If we do eat them than there are certain precautions that should be taken in their preparation, in order that you not get sick.
So, the Lord first of all begins with the animals that could be eaten, and should not be eaten.
[And in verse three, the general rule for animals that could be eaten were] those animals that divided the hoof, having cloven hooves and chewing the cud (11:3).
So these were the two things that had to be combined together. They divided the hoof, or had cloven hoofs, and chewed the cud. They then were edible animals. Now, if they just chewed the cud but didn’t divide the hoofs, then they were not to be eaten. And then he gives a list of some of these. You’re not to eat the camel. It chews the cud, but it doesn’t have the cloven hoofs. The rock hyrax. Now the hyrax is called in the scriptures, a coney. It looks something like a rabbit, but yet it, well it’s an interesting little animal, those that are going with us will see a bunch of hyraxes when we get to EnGedi. You wouldn’t want to eat one, I’m sure. The hare, the rabbit, because it chews the cud, but does not have cloven hoofs. Now we do know that wild rabbit especially, the danger of yellow fever, in eating wild rabbit, and so that is the reason why God, basically by the health standpoint, forbade eating the hare. Someone, I read one time, well not read, I had a fellow come to me one time and he said he didn’t believe the Bible and all, he was reading the bible, he came to this part where it says the hare because it chews the cud, and the rabbits don’t chew a cud, and thus he threw out the whole thing, didn’t believe in anything because the mistake was here. Tragic that over such a little thing a person would be willing to overthrow the entire scripture, and even more tragic in that a few years ago, scientific research proved that a rabbit does chew a cud. The swine or the pig. Now, we know that if you eat pork, then you want to be careful not to eat rare pork chops. Because you got to cook the worms thoroughly till their dead, or else you can get trichenosis. So, you got to really cook it well to eat it. That’s the way it is. Make sure they’re dead.
They are unclean to you. You are not to eat their flesh. You are not to touch their carcases (11:8).
Now, interestingly enough, with this particular law, when Jesus crossed the sea of Galilee with his disciples he came to the coast of the Gadarenes, and he met these men who were possessed with these evil spirits, and the evil spirits besought Him, begged Him, that He would not send them to the pit, the abusso, before their time. He granted them the liberty to go into these swine, that were grazing on the hillside nearby. When the demons came into the swine, they panicked, stampeded and went down into the sea. Jesus was just, in a sense, eliminating an unlawful practice, because these people weren’t to be keeping swine. Weren’t to be keeping pigs so, He got rid of that industry, much to their chagrin. Someone said that was the origin of deviled ham, but I don’t know about that.
Now, the things that are in the seas or in the rivers, lakes, basically you could eat those that had scales and fins. If they did not have scales or fins, they were not to be eaten. Thus, shrimp is not to be eaten, according to the law, but as I said, we’re not under the law. Now, we do know that as far as clams and shellfish, which was forbidden under the law, that there are times of the year when they are deadly poisonous. If you are in the habit of going down and getting your own clams or your own shellfish to eat. I can’t imagine why anybody would eat mussel, but I guess, if a person wanted, I used it too much for just bait and fishing and I just can’t, uh, have a hard time with that one. But, if the month of the year has an “r” in the month, then you better not eat them. No, the other way around. The months that do not have an “r” are the months in which they are poisonous. So basically the summer months. From May to August. We have quarantines on them actually here, along the beach. They are quarantined during those months, because they do excrete, during that time, a deadly poison if you eat them. Many people have died eating them. So God just forbid the eating of the shellfish and those fish that did not have fins or scales. Thus really a shark, was on that it doesn’t have scales. Halibut doesn’t have scales. Though they both have fins. But basically God just laid it out, they had to have fins and scales in order to be eaten.
Now, among the birds. The birds that were forbidden were the eagle, and the vulture, and the buzzard. That doesn’t bother me at all! The kite, the falcon, the raven and the ostrich, the short-eared owl, the seagull, and the hawk, after their kind, the little owl, the fisher owl, and the screech owl, the white owl, the jackdaw, and the carrion vulture. The stork, the heron after it’s kind, the hoopoe and the bat. Now, I’ve never really been bothered by that particular law. Notice chickens are not on there, ducks, geese, and so forth. There are some birds that could be eaten. Quail, pheasant, doves, but the others were not to be eaten.
Flying insects that creep upon all four, are not to be eaten. Now there are some, if their legs are jointed you can eat them, so that they hop. So grasshoppers are okay, and locusts are okay, and crickets are okay. Yuck! They may be okay, but no thanks!
Now, he then talks about the laws of cleanliness, if you touch the dead carcase of these animals, then you are to wash yourself. The cleanliness in touching these animals.
Then, the animals that have paws are not to be eaten. You’re not to eat your cat, or lions, or those animals of the cat family. Years ago in Santa Barbara, there was a place that had the best chicken tamales I ever ate. They were delicious, but unfortunately the proprietor was arrested when they found all of the cat skins in the back yard. They were sure good tamales though. Chicken tamales! Ooh wee! They were good!
Then other things that I don’t think will bother you. The mole and the mouse, the large lizard, the gecko, the sand reptile and sand lizard. They’re unclean. Again, if they fall on the ground, are dead, you pick them up, you’re to wash yourself. If they happen to die in one of your earthen vessels, or one of your clay pots, you’re to break it. If you find a lizard or something dead in it, just, they were to break it. If it fell upon your cooking utensils, your stove or whatever, you found a dead mouse or something, you were to destroy the cooking stove. And of course, they were usually just rocks and fires. So they were to destroy them, if you’d find a dead mouse or dead rat or so forth. Well, there are a lot of diseases carried by mice and rats, and thus from a health standpoint, a lot of wisdom here. And then if the dead bodies fall on seed, you can go ahead and plant the seed, it’s alright. But if you’ve watered the seed, and it falls on it, then you are to destroy the seed. So, basically that is the law in verse forty-four, and forty-five we find the Lord saying,
You shall therefore sanctify yourselves and you shall be holy, for I am holy (11:44).
So, God’s law for a holy people.
Therefore be holy for I am holy (11:45). [The end of verse 45.]
And also there towards the end of verse forty-four.
Now after childbirth a woman when she has had a male child, was considered unclean for seven days, the uncleanness meant that she could not go into the sanctuary to worship God. It was a ceremonial uncleanness. After bearing a male child, she was to be considered unclean for seven days. The same as her customary monthly impurity.
But on the eighth day the flesh of the foreskin shall be circumcised (12:2).
So, the child to be circumcised on the eighth day and from a scientific standpoint a very wise time is on the eighth day, that the blood begins to develop completely, the coagulating capacities, so that in the circumcision the blood will coagulate. Also, with a child, the sensation of pain begins with the head, and gradually moves down the body. By the eighth day, the pain sensation has not yet gone as far down as the genital area. So, really it is a painless operation for the child on the eighth day, any longer and it would be painful, and the blood will coagulate on the eighth day, so, it was the ideal day for circumcision.
Now, the woman should continue for another thirty-three days, in which she was not to touch any hallowed thing. But at the end of that time, she would come to the sanctuary for the purification rites. (12:4-5).
Now that was for a boy. If you had a girl it was different. You had to be unclean for two weeks, according to the customary impurity, and then sixty-six days in purification. Twice the time for a girl as the boy. That was the penalty for having a girl.
When the days of her purification are fulfilled whether for a son or a daughter, she shall bring to the priest a lamb of the first year as a burnt offering a young pigeon or a turtledove as a sin offering to the door of the tabernacle of meeting (12:6).
Now, they’re to bring a lamb and a young pigeon, turtledove and they offer it before the Lord. If she’s not able to bring a lamb, she may bring two turtle doves or two young pigeons.
Now, flipping over to the New Testament, the Gospel according to Luke, you remember when Mary had fulfilled the days of her purification, she came to the temple with two turtle doves. Indicating that Mary and Joseph were first of all, poor. They weren’t able to afford a lamb. Secondly, at this time when she came it was not for the rite of circumcision, but it was the rite of the cleansing of her purification, having born a child. So it was forty days after the birth of Jesus, that Simeon lifted him up in his arms and blessed God, because God had promised Simeon that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah. So he said, “Now Lord let your servant die in peace, for I have seen your salvation.” It was when Jesus was forty days old that this particular thing transpired there in the temple. She had finished the days of her purification, being poor, they brought the turtle doves instead of a lamb.
Now, in chapter thirteen, we get to the laws concerning leprosy. In the thirteenth chapter, basically you have the rules for the priest, in making a diagnosis. So mainly the indication of leprosy, was the sore, the redness, the swelling, out of which white hairs were growing. The leprosy causes a change in the hair, it seems to draw out the color, and the hair that grows from an area that is infected with leprosy, is white. So, that was basically the thing that they looked for. The white hair that was growing out of the sore, was basically the sign of leprosy. If there was any question, then a person was quarantined for seven days. After the seven day period, the priest would examine them again to see if there were any changes in the size or in the condition. Whether or not the brightness had gone away or there was a healing process. So, there was rigid, strict laws concerning the quarantining of these people who had communicable diseases.
Now up until a few years ago, maybe several years ago, when I was a boy. Seems like just a few years. I can remember quarantine signs on the houses. When there was chicken pox or measles, or scarlet fever. They had different colored cards for the different diseases, and the health officer from the county would come out and take a look at the kids, and see the marks of the scarlet fever, and they’d put up this yellow quarantine sign, or the red quarantine signs. People were quarantined, diphtheria and so forth and you weren’t allowed to go into the houses where there was a quarantine. A warning?, it helped, I suppose from spreading those diseases.
I would not be surprised but with the rapid increase of aids, that ultimately there will be some type of a quarantine that will be required for victims of aids. Already we begin to see the problems developing in the school systems where parents are insisting upon sending a child to school, who has aids antibodies in his system. Once you have aids, even when it is in the incubation stage, which is from two to five years, it is at that time, you can infect others. Thus, I would not be surprised but what even as, one time the lepers were totally isolated, that that might be a necessity to keep aids from plaguing our whole world. At the present time in Africa, it is estimated that thirty million people have aids. Thirty million people. Which means that in the next seven years, approximately thirty million people will die in Africa as a result of aids. Because, once you get the aids in your system, you have a two to five year incubation period, once it does break out in the full infection, you have two years to live. It is always, up to this point, fatal, once you break out with aids. It can incubate for several years, but once it breaks out, you have two to five years. So, usually when you get the aids virus in your system, you can figure you have seven years on the outside to live. During that period of time, you are infectious, you can infect others with aids. It is estimated that fifty percent of the homosexuals, practicing homosexuals in San Francisco now have the aids virus. Also it was true of those prostitutes that were tested in Berlin. Fifty percent of them had the aids virus. It used to be in the beginning, a plague that was pretty much confined to the homosexual community, but it is now being transmitted into the heterosexual community. I would not be surprised, as a protection to the general public, that there will come a time when, soon, I believe that those who have to handle food, will have to have a clearance card. Have to be tested for the aids virus, in order to work in a restaurant or food preparation. Even as they require the TB cards. Make sure that you do not have Tuberculosis, that this will ultimately become one of the tests.
Here in Leviticus, there was definitely the isolation of the individual. More or less a quarantine. The person was considered to be unclean, and had to really be outside of the community. It goes through and it gives you instructions on how to diagnose a person to see whether or not he does have the leprosy. I thought interesting in verse forty, as for the man whose hair is just falling from his head, he’s just bald. He’s clean. So, no problem. Also in verse forty five:
Now the leper on who the sore is, his clothes shall be torn. His head is bare, [shaved], he shall cover his mustache and he has to cry Unclean, unclean [so people will not get close to him]. And he shall be unclean all the days that he has the sore, he shall be unclean. He shall dwell alone, his habitation will be outside of the camp (13:45-46).
If there is a mold in a person’s clothing, then they were to set it apart and see if the mold grew after seven days. If it was active, growing. In your leather goods, or in your linen, or in your woolen goods. You’d bring it to the priest and he’d look at it, he’d set it aside, and the mold, if it grew, then the garment was to be burned. If it didn’t, then they would wash it to see if it had changed it’s color. If it didn’t change color then it meant that it was in the fabric, and it was burned again. But if it changed the color, then you wash it again and it’s a usable garment.
Now, in chapter 14, continuing on with the leper and leprosy…
The Lord spoke to Moses saying, This shall be the law of the leper for the day of his cleansing (14:1-2).
Which is a interesting provision in the law, in as much as, there is no human cure for leprosy. So the fact that God would make provision for a person to be cleansed of leprosy, means that God was making provisions for His doing, a sovereign work of grace in healing a person. God left the door open for His healing people of leprosy.
It is interesting to me that this was one of the commissions that Jesus gave to His disciples, they were to cleanse the lepers. And that Jesus, on several occasions, cleansed the lepers. He told the men, “Go show yourself to the priest. Be clean.” The leper came to Jesus and said, “Lord, if you will, You can make me clean.” Jesus said, “I will. Be thou clean.” So it is interesting that the Lord has cleansed lepers, a human physical impossibility. Our medical science, to the present day, cannot cleanse a leper. We can arrest leprosy, now known as Hanson’s disease, but we cannot cure leprosy. All we can do is bring it into an arrested state. Leprosy through the years, now, as I said, known as Hanson’s disease, after Dr. Gehart Hanson, who isolated the leprosy bacsilious. It has always been a feared, dreaded, loathsome disease. Probably because of the way that, those who have leprosy become disfigured, as the leprosy begins in the extremities of a person’s body, in their fingers, in their toes, and gradually begins to just rot away, killing the nerves, and then just rotting away the flesh until your fingers are gone, your hands are gone, your forearms are gone. It just gradually creeps on up and if it begins on your nose, it just begins to wipe your face out. Horrible, horribly disfiguring, and that’s probably one of the reasons why it was looked upon as such a awesome, horrible, ugly thing, because of the disfiguring of a person who had leprosy. It, because of it’s nature, became a type of sin in the scripture, and throughout scripture you will often find leprosy used as a type of sin. The fact that it just spreads by rotting process through the whole body. Spoke of how sin just spreads through you’re whole life in a rotting process. The insidious thing about leprosy is the fact that the first thing it destroys is the nerves, so that it’s totally painless. You would see a person with just a stub out here, and you would think, “Oh that must be horribly painful!” No, doesn’t feel a thing. Totally painless. It’s insidious because it does kill the nerves and so you have no sense of pain, thus one of the big problems of a person with leprosy is that they can put their hand on a hot stove, and just leave it there while the hand is burning. They don’t know that the hand is burning until they smell the flesh. Many of the problems arise out of the fact that they don’t feel the pain. Thus, have severe burns, and gang green sets in, and all that. It’s just really a frightening, awful thing, and became a type of sin.
The interesting thing about sin is the way it can deaden a person’s senses. You know, I see drugs as a very insidious thing because the first thing that a drug attacks is your capacity, or will so that you start taking drugs, and the first thing that is destroyed, is your willpower to resist. So you can become a victim so rapidly. You can become hooked so quickly, because the first thing that’s destroyed, is you’re capacity to resist. You’re good judgement. Sin has that effect. It destroys good judgement. Your sensitiveness, and soon you are doing things that you would have been appalled and shocked at! Had someone said, “In six months you’re going to be doing this, and that, and the other.” You would’ve said, “You’re crazy man! I’d never do that!” But when you allow sin to reside in your life, when you tolerate an area of evil, it’s amazing how it grows, like leprosy and can just take hold and ultimately destroy you.
So it became in the scriptures a very fitting symbol of sin in a person’s life. An interesting symbol because of the mystery of it’s origin. How does a person get leprosy? We don’t know. How is leprosy transmitted from one person to another? We don’t know. There have been attempts to deliberately infect a person with leprosy. In as much as you can’t inflict animals with leprosy, the only hope was to study it by infecting humans with leprosy and they would take men who had death sentences in prison, and they would give them the opportunity to have their sentence commuted to life or even to twenty five years, if they would be willing to be more or less human guinea pigs in the study of leprosy. Prisoners to save their own life, would volunteer or would accept that kind of a thing and so they would inject them with the live leprosy bacsilious, but it wouldn’t take. So they don’t know how it’s transmitted. The mystery of the origin of leprosy within a person. Even as we have, the bible talks about the mystery of lawlessness, and it says, “The lawlessness is sin and the mystery of the origin of sin, within an individual.” Where does it start in a child? How is it transmitted to the child? Where did the child learn that rebellion, lawlessness or rebellion? Where did the child learn to say, “I won’t do it. I’m not going to!” Where did that come from? The mystery of the origin and yet here it is, sin in all of us. Infected our whole society. There’s not a man without it, that rebellion. Thus, a type of sin, and thus even as leprosy itself is a type of sin, thus the cleansing of leprosy becomes a type of the work of Jesus Christ, who has cleansed us from our sins.
So it is interesting then to study the law in the day of the leper, that he was cleansed. Knowing that only God can cleanse a leper. Knowing also, that only God can forgive our sins and cleanse us from our sins. But God has left open that option of grace. Of washing us and cleansing us from our sins. So if a man, isolated by leprosy, living in the area outside of the city, because he could not live within the community. He had to live outside the city, and he usually lived in the garbage area. In each of the cities, there was one portion of the wall where people would dump their garbage over. The area was usually outside of the dung gate. So, people would just come and dump their garbage over the wall. Much like we have our trash areas today, but we do the cut and fill for the most part, and burning. In those days they would just burn the garbage. In Jerusalem, the valley where they dump the garbage was called Gehenna. There was always smoke coming up, because that’s the way they ridded the trash, was by burning it, and thus the name “Gehenna”, the eternal burnings, the place of those who reject Jesus Christ. From the valley of Gehenna, outside of Jerusalem there.
So, the priest would come out to this area where the lepers were living. If one felt that he had been cleansed, one felt that God had touched him and he watched and there was no further progression, and the skin was no longer that fiery, boily, red, but now was just natural pink. Or the whiteness had gone away. He would call for the priest who would come out and examine him. Upon inspection if he saw that indeed the redness, the inflammation was gone, then he would bring him in and he would take two birds. He would take cedar wood and scarlet and hyssop and he was to kill the one bird under running water. The water and the blood of the bird flowing together into the clay vessel. Then he was to dip the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop into that bloody water, and with the hyssop, sprinkle the bloody water on the leper, seven times. Then he was to take that second bird, and he was to dip that second bird in the bloody water, and then release it, that it might fly heavenward. Then the leper was set aside for seven days, at which time he would then bring an offering unto the Lord, and he would then be allowed to return home, and back into the community.
Now, as we see and look at this in the light of the cleansing of our sins through Jesus Christ. As I said this morning, I do believe, I do believe that when all of the facts are in, and when everything is known, like when the bible says, “Now we see through a glass darkly, now we know in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part will be done away, and we will know, even as we are known.” And when that day comes, when we know, even as we are known, when we know all things, the things that weren’t revealed for us in the bible, now we have revealed. I believe that we’ll discover that the cross upon which Jesus was crucified, was of cedar. The cedar wood was used here, because the cedar is impervious to rock. And leprosy, the rotting of leprosy, it became a good counter symbol. Impervious to rock. Scarlet was always used as the color of sacrifice, and always in the Old Testament, pointing ahead to Jesus Christ, who would sacrifice Himself. The blood of Christ shed upon the cross for the remission of our sins. Now, the interesting thing, the bloody water as the live bird was killed over the running water, collected in the basin, you remember when they pierced the side of Jesus that blood and water flowed forth. Then the two birds, both of them representing Jesus, the one, in His death, the shedding of His blood for our sins, the second being released, flying heavenward, symbolic of ascension of Jesus into glory.
Now, we are told that the high priest entered into the holy of holies once a year, with the blood of the sacrifice, which could not put away sins. But Jesus, entered into the heavens, not with the blood of an animal, but with His own blood. Not into a place made with hands, but into that of which the place made with hands was only a model. Entered into heaven itself, with His blood, to offer the eternal sacrifice before God, for our sins. So the bird flying heavenward, the blood dripping and falling from it’s wings, as it flew upward, as the symbol of the ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven, unto the Father’s throne, where the blood of the sacrifice became the propitiation for man’s sins once and for all. So, the beautiful type in the Old Testament in the cleansing of the leper, and the rites for the cleansing of the leper, as they were all pointing ahead to the beautiful work of Jesus Christ, and the cleansing of us from our sin. Only God can do it and restore us into fellowship with God. Back in the family. Now through Jesus Christ, I can come to God. Through Jesus Christ I am one with God. The door has been opened, the way has been made, and I can come to the Father. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, the life, and no man comes to the Father, but by Me.” And so, in the cleansing of the leper, in the ritual of the cleansing of the leper, that beautiful type of the work of Jesus Christ, on our behalf, in cleansing us from spiritual leprosy, sin.
Now, when he brought then the sacrifices after the seven days, they were to bring first of all, a lamb, and when the priest killed the sin offering, and the burnt offerings, and the holy place,
And the priest was to take some of the blood of the trespass offering, and the priest was to put it on the tip of the right ear of him was to be cleansed: on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot. And then he took some of the oil, put it in his hand, and he took some of the oil, [put it in his hand and then he put the oil] again on his right ear, on his right thumb, and upon the big toe of his right foot (14:14-15).
This was the ritual that was used in the dedicating of the priest, to their ministry. The idea being, that from now on, your ears are to be tuned to God. You are to hear the voice of God. You’re to live a life of consecration, listening to God. On the thumb, you’re to do the work of God, and on the big toe, you’re to walk in the path of God. So God, in a sense, having given you life from death, having cleansed you of your life from leprosy, you owe your life to God, and you owe yourself to a full commitment and consecration to God. He brought me back from death. The life that I now have, I owe to Him. So, when we receive that work of Jesus Christ, there should be the following commitment of ourselves: I owe my life to Him! Paul said, “Don’t you realize that you are not your own, you’ve been bought with a price? Therefore glorify God in your body and your spirit, which are His.” I owe my life to Him. He has given me life, and thus the life that I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God. I owe my life to Him, and I consecrate and dedicate that life that I now have unto the Lord. My ears to hear His voice, my hands to do His work, my feet to walk in His path. The life of consecration, because after all, if it weren’t for Him, I wouldn’t have any life. I would’ve been destroyed by my sin. I would be lost, I would be dead in my trespasses and sins. So, the redemption. I’ve been purchased by Jesus Christ means that I belong to Him. I belong to Him to be committed to Him. To be consecrated unto His service, unto His will, to hear His voice. I owe all that I am, to Him.
So as you continue on in the latter portion of chapter 14, it deals with a fungus, or a mold in your house. Again, the idea was to watch it for seven days, scrape it off and clean it up, and then watch it, and see if it comes back again, if it comes back again then they tear out that whole section of the wall of your house. They put new rocks in and they plaster it again. If it comes back again, hey your house has had it, you know, it’s in there, and so they just tear down the whole house, and they carry the rocks of the house outside to an unclean place. Out of the city, your house would just be carried out of town and dumped in the trash outside of town, and you’d have to build a new house. So, that’s the law that when you come into the land, you start building your houses, you have your rock houses, plastered walls and so forth, you find this fungus or mold or mildew that you can’t get rid of, then ultimately, if you can’t stop it, the house is destroyed. Too bad they didn’t have Lysol in those days.
In chapter 15, it deals with bodily discharges and usually a sore that’s running. A sore, a staff kind of an infection, and how they are to deal with the staff infections. How that anything that a person sits upon, the clothes that he wears, they’re all unclean. Very hygienic, and of course this is the kind of hygiene that they practice in hospitals today. In a lot of cases where the person does have an infection in their body, when you go to visit that person, you have to put on this white gown, and you have to put on the mask and the white cap. Then as soon as you come out of the room, you wash your hands, and you take the stuff off and you put it in this disposal that has warnings written all over it. The same kind of hygiene was ordered by God in the case of staff infections. When we used to go out and pick up bodies for the mortuary, we had to be extremely careful if a person had a staff infection. There’s a lot of liquid under the skin, if you broke that, oh man, you were in big trouble. So, we used to handle those cases with real care, and rightfully so. So, God’s orders here for good hygiene.
Then the laws concerning a woman during her menstrual period. The discharge of blood and how that she was considered unclean during this menstrual period and then if it continued after the seven days, and a woman had a hemorrhaging condition, during the whole time she was considered unclean. There were special hygienic kind of disciplines that were necessary to isolate the germs and the diseases of such an individual. Again, the book, “None of These Diseases”, by Dr. Maxwell, will give you an interesting and fascinating background to this particular chapter, as it deals with issues of blood, flowing from a person’s body. Discharges of blood from their bodies.
So, that brings us up to the fascinating sixteenth chapter as we get to Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, which we will have to put off until a week from Sunday night, when we return from Israel.
So, I want to commend you for staying with the studies through Leviticus. It isn’t easy. It is laws that pertain to another age, to another period of time. It’s an interesting lesson, you might say, in social studies, as we study the social habits of people. But yet, the wisdom is current, as if you read the book, none of the diseases you will discover, but the wisdom is extremely current. You understand the wisdom of God, in the instructing of the people in the various forms of hygiene and hygienic practices that they were to take, as well as their diet and so forth. You see where God’s wisdom was manifested years before the development of our scientific techniques and capacities of isolating various viruses, and being able to study under electron microscopes, the various facets of infections and so forth and so, and before we had the Center for Infectious Diseases and things of this nature. God just gave them some good advice, sound advice and again, you are amazed at the whole hygienic practices which were 4,000 years ahead of their time. So, that’s what makes that portion of the scripture rather interesting, and we try not to get too deeply involved in it, because it becomes very laborious, just sort of skim it and take a look at the surface. If you want to dig deeper, then I suggest the book, “None of These Diseases”.
May the Lord bless you, may you walk through Jesus Christ in fellowship with God, experiencing the power of His Spirit working in your life. Experiencing His love transforming you into His image, making you like Him. In Jesus’ name.