Leviticus 13 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“The person afflicted with an infectious skin disease is to have his clothes and his hair hanging loose, and he must cover his mouth and cry out, ‘Unclean, unclean!’ He will remain unclean as long as he has the infection; he is unclean. He must live alone in a place outside the camp.” Leviticus 13:45-46
This generation, especially the 18-25 yrs, has been described by sociologists as the “most narcissistic” in history. That is to say, everything in our culture is focused on the individual. Our “I-centered” culture is quickly losing all sense of Biblical community.
Perhaps, that is why “community” ranks high on the aspirations of so many people. “Me-centric” worlds, promote profound loneliness. When everyone lives only for himself, who can you trust to have your best interest in mind? More importantly, does G_d most value the individual, or the community? I say, both.
Yeshua prayed for all believers, “I wish that they were one, as You and I are One.” John 17:21
Given our breakdown of community, is it any wonder why chapters like this one in Leviticus seem so foreign? We tend to feel sorry for the individual, and picture ourselves running through the streets screaming, “Unclean!”
For a moment, try taking an elevated view of what G_d is doing. He is protecting Israel; preserving the PEOPLE (community) of the promise. He is also showing the importance of separating sin from the community. He is teaching the importance of accountability and, perhaps more importantly, He is making provisions for restoration.
Yeshua told His disciples, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees.” Matthew 16:6
Leaven is a symbol of sin, which spreads. Leaven is perhaps more synonymous with a philosophy, than with an action, because it grows in secret. An excellent picture of “leaven” is mold, or a virus…something you cannot see, yet grows to a point where it cannot be denied.
In that sense, there are times when people with persistent sinful philosophies, ideas and willful actions MUST be put out of the greater Messianic community…hopefully, for just a season. It protects both, the COMUNITY and the INDIVIDUAL. Individuals are then to be observed by the leaders. Unrepentant or unbelieving people will never return to G_dly community.
True believers cannot survive long-term, away from G_dly community. Eventually, they will repent. G_dly community leaders should recognize true repentance, and receive the returning prodigal with great joy. A repentant sinner, restored, is now a potentially productive member of the community.
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Wednesday, April 23, 2014