February 16, 2017. Leviticus 11-13.
The LORD is speaking to Moses and Aaron in this next chapter. He shares His laws regarding eating animals of land, sea and air. These dietary laws would carefully outline what God wanted His people to eat (clean foods) and not to eat (unclean foods). It would seem these laws protected Israel from not only a bad diet, but from communicable diseases. This way of living become part of the Hebrew law, culture and religion.
It also set them apart from others and identified them to the world as uniquely belonging to a holy God. (Leviticus 11:45b) We recently studied about the tabernacle in Exodus, and the specific offerings that would allow a spiritual relationship with God, in the previous chapters of Leviticus. Now we are looking at the well-being for the physical of the individual. Don’t you love how the Lord is concerned with our whole being?! The Lord is interested in the whole of a person!
Chapter 12 we look at the purification following child birth. The male child was to be circumcised, and a standard sacrifice was to be offered whether male or female, by the mother. The understanding of original sin is to be remembered thru this ceremony that was offered to the LORD. Not everyone was of the same social status, so those who were not able to bring a lamb, the LORD gave allowances for the poor to bring either two turtle doves or two young pigeons. Even Mary, Jesus’ mother brought an offering of the poor, when her time of purification was complete following Jesus’ birth. (Luke 2:22-24) Children are regarded as a gift from God! (Psalm 127:3)
The priests are given yet another job in chapter 13. Looks like they would be the community health officers to the people. Their diagnoses of diseases would be for the good of the communities. Verses 9-44 shows the specifics of clearly diagnosing leprosy as a very serious matter. Leprosy was a horrible disease that would first appear as small spots, then bigger, and as things got worse would eat away parts of the body. Leprosy was considered a dramatic picture of sin. How it begins as nothing, and seems painless at first, then it grows slowly, it can also be numbing and eventually change the appearance of what one once was. The result of leprosy was to be considered unclean, and once diagnosed, changed everything at that point for the effected leper. (Leviticus 13:45-46)
Not a great place to leave us….so hang in there…’til tomorrow….