We have more instruction today on illness and what to do in the case of skin diseases. The ‘unclean’ label for those with certain skin conditions wasn’t to do with sinfulness but to protect the rest of the people from sickness which could have spread quickly and caused major problems for the fledgling nation. God’s mercy was to keep them away for a period of time until they were healthy enough to re-join everyone else.
It’s interesting that they were to go to the priest and show themselves if they were worried about a condition and it was the priest who made the decision based on what God said. Yet again, we see that God cares about the physical health of His people, He really wants us to be healthy inside and out.
We can draw parallels with the infectiousness of skin diseases with our thoughts, feelings and ideas (and even our theology). If we’re uncertain about ideas we hear, theologies we encounter or even prophetic words we are given, we are to sift them, pray over them, seek council from church leadership about them. I’ve often gone to church leaders if I’m not sure about something I’ve heard or is in a song or something about church life I don’t understand and they’re happy to guide and explain. We aren’t meant to go unquestioningly, blindly forward, Jesus restores sight to the blind, the Holy Spirit brings wisdom and revelation to us if we seek and ask. God is a Father who loves to reveal Himself to His children and He freely does it either through our own prayer, bible reading, meditation or through those in leadership or home groups.
Bad ideas can travel fast, especially in this age of the Internet where ideas can be forwarded as easily as the click of a ‘Like’ button. We need to be vigilant with what we are taking in and sharing and to not be afraid to question things. Much of the Old Testament talks of wisdom and meditation while in the New Testament we're told to “test everything” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Meditating (thinking about, speaking, soaking in, singing) scripture and talking to others when we're not quite sure is a great way to quarantine things in our heart to allow the bad ideas to die and the good ideas (the God ideas) to thrive and grow.
So, be vigilant, meditate, pray, “hold fast to what is good” let the rubbish die away.
Father God, help me to be vigilant in what I take in, help me to test what isn't right and hold on to what is good. Amen.