Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20080213.htm
THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Leviticus: Fellowship With A Holy God
Part III: Acceptable Living Before A Holy God, Leviticus 11:1-27:34
C. The Believer's Upright Response To Repentance Of Contagious Sin
Lesson and Application: Following excommunication for contagious sin, the afflicted is (1) personally to repent as certified by a spiritual leader's testimony. He is also (2) to live free of that sin for a probationary time to signify true repentance (Mtt. 3:7-8) (3) before (3) joining the full fellowship of God and His people, all with the charge that he heed Scripture and apply it in life. [(4) We might add that the charge be given to watch even one's exposure to articles that can lead him into contagious sin!]
- We learned in our last lesson that unrepentant sinners with contagious sins were to be excommunicated.
- However, the goal of such discipline is to drive the sinner to repentance, that he might be reinstated in the fellowship. The proper approach on this reconciliation is typologically taught in Leviticus 14 as follows:
- The Believer's Upright Response To Repentance Of Contagious Sin, Leviticus 14:1-57.
- Scholars debate whether the disease in Leviticus 13-14 is leprosy (Hansen's disease) or a reference to any of a number of contagious skin diseases and mildews, Bible Knowledge Com., O. T. , p. 192.
- Since the context deals with more than contagious conditions of the human skin, but with mold and mildews that could affect clothes and articles people used (Leviticus 113:47-59), the Hebrew word sara'at that the KJV translates as "leprosy" in this context means contagious states in general, Ibid., p. 192-193.
- Now, such states under the Law were God's judgment on sin (Deut. 28:15, 21-22), so they became a picture of excommunicable sin, Ps. 51:7 (Ryrie St. Bible, KJV, 1978 ed., ftn. to Ps. 51:7 and Lev. 13:2).
- So, we make typological applications in Leviticus 14:1-57 on right responses to repentance in such cases:
- If a person had claimed to have been healed of a contagious disease, the priest had to examine him outside the camp of God's fellowship, Leviticus 14:1-3a.
- If the priest diagnosed him as healed (Leviticus 14:3b), he would command the cured man to offer a two-bird sacrifice to signify his personal cleansing: one bird was to be slain over running water, with the blood and water collected in a clay vessel, and the other bird with cedar wood, scarlet and hyssop dipped in the blood-and-water fluid for sprinkling the cured person, Lev. 14:4-7a. Then, the living bird was released to fly away, typical of the Day of Atonement cleansings that involved larger animal sacrifices, Ibid., Bib. Know. Com., O. T., p. 193. This signified personal cleansing of the sinner, Ibid.
- Then, the healed man was to wash his clothes, shave off all his hair, and tarry a week more outside the camp, symbolizing time needed to certify he was cleansed, Lev. 14:8; cf. 1 Tim. 5:22, 24-25.
- After this probationary time, he was to shave off all his hair, including that of his eyebrows, re-wash his clothes, and the next day approach the tabernacle with another set of sacrificial animals, 14:9-10a.
- These included sacrifices for all four main sacrifice types used by regular members of the community, including the guilt, sin, burnt and grain offerings, Lev. 14:10b-13, 14-20; Ibid. This symbolized the complete reinstatement of the forgiven man into the fellowship of God and His people. Indeed, "The scope of these offerings and the use of both blood and oil are more reminiscent of the ordination service of Aaron and his sons (chap. 8) than of any other ritual," Ibid., p. 193-194.
- God made allowances for the poor: a cured man could bring a young ram versus a "full-grown ram" as was the usual case for guilt offerings, and two doves or young pigeons for the sin and burnt offerings, and a reduced amount of the amount of flour for the grain offering (Lev. 14:12-13, 21-32; Ibid., p. 194). This taught one's reinstatement to the fellowship was open to all by grace versus human merit.
- Of significance is the smearing of blood and of oil akin on the healed man similar to what was done in the ordination of priests: it was applied to the man's right ear lobe, the thumb on his right hand and the big toe on his right foot, with the rest of the oil being poured on his head, Lev. 14:14-18, 25-29. It typified sanctification and the need for the forgiven to heed God in all areas of life! (Lev. 14:18b, 29b)
- Leviticus 14:33-53 gave instructions for the cleansing of articles of contagious things, teaching we must watch that we not be brought under the power of various items that can lure us to sin, 1 Cor. 6:12.