February 21

Leviticus 12-15

God was concerned about his people’s physical welfare - health issues, bodily functions and various infirmities.

He cared for their needs during their wilderness march (Deuteronomy 29:5), and if they obeyed him, He promised to shield them from the diseases they had seen in Egypt (Exodus 15:26; Deuteronomy 7:12–15). While it’s true that our greatest needs are spiritual, God still has the physical well-being of his people at heart.

The Hebrew word translated leprosy in Leviticus 14–15 includes various skin diseases and even mildew (13:47ff; 14:33ff), but there is more to these chapters than a description of symptoms and ceremonies. Disease is one of the images of sin (Psalms 147:3; Isaiah 1:5–6; Jeremiah 8:2; 30:12; Mark 2:17). We can learn what sin is like and how God wants us to deal with it as we study these chapters.

We must look beyond Moses to Jesus Christ, the Great Physician, who was wounded that we might be healed (Isaiah 53:5). These regulations for personal sanctity were holy commandments from the Lord, and it was a serious thing to disobey them (15:31– 33). For an unclean person to go to the tabernacle would be to defile the tabernacle and invite judgment (31). God warned the Israelites that violating the law given in Leviticus 15:24 would cause the couple to be “cut off from among their people” (20:18). Whether this meant death or excommunication, the penalty was serious.

God’s people today don’t live under the threat of such judgments, although “there is a sin unto death” (1 John 5:16; 1 Corinthians 11:30). But there should be no area in our lives from which God is excluded, and every relationship should be under his control. His words to us are still, “Be holy, for I am holy!”