Leviticus 14 Commentary: Cleansing from skin diseases.
The cleansing process is detailed here for anyone suffering from a skin disease. At this point the picture given is that this man is no longer sick and must be integrated back into the community.
Again we see a requirement for both sin and burnt offerings. A burnt offering is usual. With every burnt offering man is reconnecting back to God. It’s like a son reporting back from duty and enjoying the company of the LORD. It’s the sin offering which is interesting here. What is sinful about a man getting a skin disease? It’s a picture of the LORD’S view of sickness. The LORD hates sickness and doesn’t want man to suffer from it. It shouldn’t happen. It is like something foreign has happened to man from which he must come out.
Though sickness happens to one without invitation, the victim isn’t entirely innocent. Long before the victim was born sin entered the world and so did sickness, all at the initiative of man. So man is to blame for sickness. The sin offering is in order. But the complicated process for cleansing leaves us sweating!
While the rituals of cleansing are going on we notice a combination of medical procedures. We have complete shaving, washing of both self and clothes, and a complete repeat of some of the medical processes to ensure complete healing. There is some kind of a medical review process.
Similar processes are detailed for a mold. Interestingly the LORD says, “if I cause mold”. We are talking about a problem that the LORD allows to happen. There is still a process for such problems. You would think it is easier for the LORD to simply stop it or prevent it from happening in the very first place. But the LORD is lord of creation and we don’t know all things. What we have are instructions and principles for our day-to-day living.
Like the previous chapter, chapter 14 is long. You can almost read it as wrong. The procedures appear illogical and loosely connected to the matter at hand. While understanding, let alone appreciating this chapter is a difficult call, one thing remains intact. The difficulty we feel is intended to dull and in a way discredit the processes in order to create a yearning for something better. It should be shocking, wrong even, if these pages left us fully happy. Completeness is only found in Christ. The opposite is quite true of the saint who feels the Jesus life is incomplete and must be supplemented by rituals. These lines here are satirical in effect. We should however be grateful that we can now pray from the comfort of our sofas.
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