Leviticus 14:1-57

Daybreak for Students

Leviticus 14:1-57

OVERVIEW
DAYBREAK
Leviticus 14
This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought unto the priest. — Leviticus 14:2

When I was young, after washing up, I would have to report to my mom for her inspection. She would check me over, look at my hands and face, inspect my ears, and so on, to make sure I was clean. If I wasn’t clean enough, it was back to the soap and washcloth.

For a leper to be cleansed, he was required to show himself to the priest. Until declared clean, he was not permitted to enter the city, so the priest would have to go outside the walls or away from the tents to inspect the individual. In keeping with this provision of the Mosaic Law, even Jesus commanded the lepers he healed to go and show themselves to the priest (Matthew 8:2-4).

The disease of sin is, in the sight of God, much more unclean than leprosy. Lepers were not permitted to dwell around or in the presence of other people, but those with sin will not be permitted to dwell in the presence of God. They will be kept separated and barred from entering Heaven. However, even though there was no assurance that the leper would be cleansed of leprosy, we are assured that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us. We can all be cleansed of sin!

When a leper was cleansed, there would be a difference in his skin and flesh; he would be noticeably different from the way he was before he was cleansed. The same thing is true when we are cleansed from sin. There is a change; after being cleansed by the Blood of Jesus, our lives will be different — noticeably transformed — and clean. The Scripture tells us that old things are passed away and all things are become new; we are different creatures. If the priest inspected and found even a small trace of leprosy, he would determine that the individual was not cleansed. The same thing holds true for sin; if any trace of sin remains, one has not been cleansed.

Although we do not go to a priest to be inspected when we are cleansed from sin, those around us are continually, and very thoroughly, inspecting our Christian lives. No signs or traces of sin should be there.

What a wonderful privilege we have — to live lives that are clean and pure in the sight of God, and above reproach in the sight of man!

BACKGROUND

God had instructed the Israelites that the disease of leprosy rendered its victims “unclean.” While other cultures may have regarded this condition as a horrible disease, the concept of “unclean” was based on God’s laws, and leprosy was often used as an analogy of sin. Contact with a leper defiled whoever touched him, so while the cure of other diseases was called “healing,” that of leprosy was called “cleansing.”

Those afflicted with this disease had to keep themselves separate from others, and could not enter into walled cities (or the Israelite camp). Whenever the lepers were in the vicinity of other people they had to keep themselves covered and call out, “Unclean! Unclean!” to warn the uninfected individuals from getting close to them. In Bible times, if lepers got too close to uninfected people, they were pelted with stones to encourage them to move away.

In 1873, Dr. Armauer Hansen of Norway was the first to see the leprosy germ under a microscope, providing evidence that leprosy is caused by a germ. It is not hereditary. Medical treatments were developed in the following years, and in 1970, drug trials on the island of Malta led to an effective treatment for leprosy. In the years since then, millions of people have been successfully treated for leprosy, with virtually no relapse. However, leprosy still exists in many parts of the world.

AMPLIFIED OUTLINE

(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)

I.   The way of access to God
     C.   By ceremonial purity
           3.   Separations concerning leprosy 
                 d.   The cleansing of a leper (14:1-32)
                        (1)   The inspection (14:1-2)
                        (2)   The offering of two birds (14:3-7)
                        (3)   The personal cleansing (14:8-9)
                        (4)   The offering of the animals (14:10-32)
                 e.   The cleansing of leprosy in a house (14:33-53)
                        (1)   The identification of leprosy and its removal (14:33-42)
                        (2)   The continuance of leprosy in a house (14:43-47)
                        (3)   The cleansing of a house (14:48-53)
                 f.    Conclusion (14:54-57)

A CLOSER LOOK

  1. What sacrificial actions were required to be undertaken by the cleansed leper? 

  2. What might be a symbolic reason for sacrificing one of the two birds and letting the other go? 

  3. How are the actions required by the Mosaic Law similar to actions that might be taken by health officials during a modern-day epidemic?

  4. Other people “inspect” our lives as they observe our daily actions and reactions. What behaviors might they regard as “unclean”? What behaviors would they classify as “clean”?

CONCLUSION

Do those inspecting your life observe a life free from any trace of sin?