Just like before, I have a couple ideas and thoughts, but they are just my own personal ideas and applications for this passage. The last few chapters we talked about the dietary restrictions and how they would have trained the Israelites to be aware of what they were putting in their bodies. Today our passage deals with uncleanliness not from food but from skin ailments. Infections of the body are not that different than sin in our lives, so let’s see what parallels we have today.
If someone found themselves possibly unclean, the presented themselves to a priest to be examined. God had given them specific things to check, and the priests were in charge of making sure that the worship presented to God was clean. So if we parallel this with sin, the first step is examination. If something comes to mind that I’ve done that I think might be displeasing to God, I need it to be examined. Now in both the Old Testament case, and in ours, the person themselves can’t be trusted alone to do the examining. It is a holy examination. In our cae, we don’t need a priest to communicate to God since Jesus died (that was the significance of the veil being torn when He died). But we do still have two important things that need to be involved in this process: the Bible and prayer. These are our two ways to hear from God and so we use these as the measuring stick to examine our lives. Now I also want to say that the Bible doesn’t have a clear answer for every situation, and I think that’s intentional. Some things are left grey and some things seem to be a personal conviction. If the Bible does make it clear, than the answer is clear. I acted pridefully, the Bible says pride is a sin, therefore I sinned and am unclean. But for the other stuff prayer plays a significant role in the examination. Christianity isn’t about following a set of rules, it’s about following the person of Jesus. And so if we had a complete rule guide, we would have no need to talk to the person. The grey areas demand that we respond out of relationship. If you are unsure if you have some uncleanliness, ask Jesus. He will tell you. Because He wants you to be clean again.
The second thing I find interesting is the week of waiting to see if an infection has spread. I think this is a very important parallel that we mostly miss. Upon first sight of something unclean, there is an examination. If it is unknown if it is an infection that will spread, there is a period of waiting for the infection to be gone before some one is unclean. Now in our parallel, how many times do we deal with sin this fast? Just like the dietary restrictions were for training to be aware of righteousness, these seem to be training for dealing with a timely restoration to righteousness. If I was to deal with all my possible sin within a week of when I started becoming aware, then sin would never become a big infection in my life.
Just a thought…..
Tomorrow’s Reading: Leviticus 14, 15