Monday, August 30, 2010

Leviticus 13, 14, 15 Diagnosis and Treatment of Disease

Torah inside of the former Glockengasse synago...Image via Wikipedia
These chapters of Leviticus are pretty dry reading. However, in one verse, Leviticus 15:31, God summarizes their significance.

“Thus you shall keep the sons of Israel separated from their uncleanness, lest they die in their uncleanness by their defiling My tabernacle that is among them.”

God again underscores that He is a Holy God who cannot be approached by anyone who is unclean, either by virtue of disease or sin.  God wanted the Levitical priests to recognize the disease while God would provide the healing.  This is really an interesting approach.  Without a diagnosis, an ill person may fail to recognize exactly what ailment he had.  While he might heal over time, he would just attribute his healing to himself or to the disease taking its course.  However, once a priest identifies the problem and classifies someone as clean or unclean, an unclean person has to face his uncleanness and petition God for healing. Once healed, he could glorify God, offer the appropriate sacrifices, and return to the community.

During this process, the healed individual would probably have a developed a deeper relationship with God because he understood that he was ill and separated from the community, and later was healed and restored to community.  This illness could be seen as symbolic of man’s relationship with God, who wants us to recognize our illness, sin, and then receive His healing, forgiveness.

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