July 9


Leviticus 14-16

We are in the World Stream reading from the New American Standard Bible.

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

Lord, we see what it is you want in us. You want us clean, cleansed, holy, mindful of these things and you want us saved. It is good to know that we matter to you so much.  Thank you Lord.  Amen”

14 – This is the next installment of the two chapters [13,14] on skin diseases: dealing with infections of the skin, cleansing them, stopping infection as best as possible, and stopping the spread of infection. This meant dealing with and eradicating mildew, and keeping leprosy contained. It is interesting the way the priest is integrally involved in people’s cleanliness.  It’s very different from what we hear today when a rebellious person declares, “it’s my life, I’ll do what I want. My life isn’t anyone else’s business…”  Oh? We are each other’s business. We are God’s people. Our houses are God’s houses. They are not to be dens of diseases. Our lives do have import. We do affect each other.  When we will not clean ourselves, it affects other people. Infections and disease spreads through reckless living, dirty living, careless habits, etc. In the pagan world there are such horrible diseases that are rampant. And on the convers, these diseases are virtually nonexistent where there is Judeo-Christian culture and people have Leviticus and the dermatology field that has sprung from this book.

15 –  The issue of discharges were to be dealt with very specifically.  The delineation between male and female is described and the solution for cleansing is prescribed. Again, the priests involvement is clearly laid out. And this too is the Lord’s business.  Anyone who has sired, borne, and raised children knows that the cleansing of our young is vital to their health and survival. Neglect here will cascade into ailing health,a putrid environment, a decayed culture, and premature death. The fluids of semen among men and blood among women from menstruation were dire matters to deal with as God instructed them to. Life itself resided in and was transferred by way of these fluids and God is the God of life. Life needed to be handled precisely and fervently for they were to be a culture of life.  It became a curse in Hebrew culture to have either of these fluids fall to the ground… it symbolized life returning to dust as God told Adam he would after he had sinned.

16 – This explains the annual Day of Atonement.  It is the most grave matter in all Judaism.  It stood for forgiveness and the delivering from sin. Take special note that Aaron; Moses’ brother was given a grave warning of where to go, where to enter, where not to go and to execute a miscue in this would result in his death!  All of this was life and death. It is a foreshadowing of Judgment Day so “get it right gentlemen, you are the leaders in charge within this culture. It will eventually end up affecting he whole world.” This cultural modus operandi for receiving forgiveness so to remain or return into God’s Presence was a matter that would end up reverberating to the whole world for these people were to become a testimony to the whole world.  Sin needed to be called what it was and it needed to be expunged.  The goat was a symbol of the one who carried the sin away and continued away with this sin.  It was not to come back. Sin needed to be removed from each person, each family, each community, and each tribe.  This is mentioned ca. 900 years later in Zechariah ch. 3… in the removing of iniquity from the land.  In terms of the priest, he needed to be clean himself, and then adorned in the proper attire.  You knew that phrase, “cleanliness is next to godliness” came from somewhere, didn’t you?  Well here it is!  We are to come into God’s presence best we can and appropriately covered.  This is serious in the utmost sense.  And the result is here in Lv. 16: “…you will be clean from all your sins before the Lord.”  That is a wonder and a marvel.  This forgiveness and cleansing is the heart of the matter.  If this doesn’t happen, nothing else matters.
And all this is in complete contrast to the whole world’s dealing with sin: that being –when you sin and feel guilty because of the sin –> repeat it until it doesn’t feel sinful anymore. This didn’t make sin go away, it just completely immersed a soul into sin so much so that it inoculated him to the fact that this behavior was sending him careening down the road to perdition, banishment, and outer darkness.

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