Continuing a plan to get through the entire Bible in a year, follow as I journal through the reading. I have chosen a straightforward approach that begins in Genesis and ends in Revelation. This will not be an in-depth study or a comprehensive commentary. There are plenty of sources for such material. This is stage one Bible reading, taking the text at face value and sharing impressions.
Today’s reading comes from the book of Leviticus, chapters 14 and 15, listing further laws related to disease and other forms of uncleanliness. Some impressions from the text:
- The same quarantine procedures utilized to protect the encampment from leprous members was utilized in modified form to deal with infected homes. This again demonstrated a revelation of the nature of infection which was alien to that time, and a credential of the divine.
- It’s worthy noting the presumption which underscores these laws for dealing with illness and uncleanliness — the Israelites got sick. God was surely capable of bestowing miraculous health upon them and preventing illness of any kind. He had parted the Red Sea, dropped manna from heaven, and brought forth life-giving water from rock. But He didn’t. He chose to let them succumb to disease and deal with it. This interplay between God’s sovereign capacity and our personal responsibility remains the source of many theological headaches.
- It’s interesting that those who came down with illness, or women who gave birth, were required to present a sin offering at the tabernacle as part of their cleansing. “And the priest shall make atonement for him before the Lord for his discharge.” Was getting sick or having children a sin? Of course not. So why the atonement? Perhaps it acknowledged that sin was the underlying cause of the suffering endured in these times.
Return soon as we continue our year-long journey through the text of the Bible.
Catch up on the previous entries:
Laws for sacrificial offerings, and their relevance today. – Leviticus 1-4
Feeling sorry for sin does not absolve you of it. – Leviticus 5-7
God will not be trifled with. – Leviticus 8-10
God’s holy medicine. – Leviticus 11-13