Priesthood: 21. Leprosy Tried and All Out

Leviticus 13:9‑17  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 6
Here we have on the one hand cases where the priest has only to see and pronounce unclean: so distinct are the symptoms. On the other hand others are presented of the saddest appearance when the priest on looking has to pronounce the person clean. How important to have sure instruction from above! To judge by appearance, and not by the word, is sure to be unjust and unwise. We have to walk by faith, and this can only be by God's word and Spirit.
“When a sore of leprosy is in a man, he shall be brought to the priest;” and the priest shall look on [him], and, behold, [there is] a white rising in the skin, and it hath turned the hair white, and a trace of raw flesh [is] in the rising: it [is] an old leprosy in the skin of his flesh; and the priest shall pronounce him unclean; he shall not shut him up; for he [is] unclean. And if the leprosy break out much in the skin, and the leprosy cover all the skin of [him that hath] the sore, from his head even to his feet, wherever the eyes of the priest look, and the priest looketh, and, behold, the leprosy covereth all his flesh, he shall pronounce clean [him that hath] the sore: it is all turned white; he [is] clean. But on the day when raw flesh appeareth in him, he shall be unclean. And the priest shall look on the raw flesh, and shall pronounce him unclean; the raw flesh is unclean; it [is] leprosy. But if the raw flesh change again and be turned white, he shall come to the priest, and the priest shall look on him, and, behold, the sore is turned white, then the priest shall pronounce clean [him that hath] the sore; he [is] clean” (vers. 9-17).
In the first instance the combined proofs of leprosy rendered the priest's sentence indubitable. There was a white tumor in the skin, the hair was turned white, and a trace of raw or living flesh was in the tumor. All pointed to the fatal evil in the man, and an actual activity of evil. Waiting is needless in such circumstances. It is too plainly an inveterate and energetic plague in the man. To shut him up would mislead: he is unclean, and the priest pronounces so. To wait, when evil is manifest, is trifling with God and marl,
Immediately follows what to most would seem utterly hopeless; yet Jehovah prescribes quite a different judgment. Here the leprosy has broken out much in the skin, and covered it all from the man's head to his foot, so that before the priest's eye the leprosy has overspread all his outside, and all is turned white. Yet, strange to say, the priest on looking at a sight so deplorable was directed to pronounce him clean, as indeed he was. Where sin abounded, grace over-exceeded. It is the denial of sin, and the assertion of one's own righteousness, which cut off hope. Where there is no hiding, but the sin is out and the sins laid bare all over, God delights in saving. So it was that the cross displayed all the iniquity of man, and God's love to the uttermost. See in the crucified robber a living application of this great principle: “We indeed justly” adjudged to a death of torture; yet the man who concealed nothing of his sins going that day to be in Paradise with the Savior Son of God.
Quite different it is when “raw flesh” appears in the man (ver. 14). For the evil is active then, and indicates a deep-seated source. Sin is still reigning within, a surer sign of ruin than anything on the surface. “He shall be unclean,” says the word; and the priest when he sees the living flesh can but pronounce him unclean; for so it is, leprosy beyond mistake.
But after that we hear in ver. 16 of the raw flesh changing again, and turned white. This is encouraging enough for the man to “come” to the priest; who sees him, and that the sore is really turned white, whereon he pronounces him clean. The sore instead of working with energy within is turned white without; and he himself comes in the consciousness that he is clean, that it may be certified according to God's will. Divine healing produces liberty of spirit.
Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor pathics, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners shall inherit the kingdom of God. And these things were some of you; but ye got washed, but ye were sanctified, but ye were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God (1 Cor. 6:9-119Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9‑11)). How real and great is the depravity of man left to himself and Satan! How real and still greater is the delivering grace of God in the name of the Lord Jesus and by His own Spirit! In Jesus He has revealed Himself to us; and, as we were the slaves of lust and passion under the power of Satan, He by Jesus wrought a work to rescue all who believe with a sure title, and made it good in our souls by His Spirit. For where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty, as well as power, love, and a sound mind.