Why the Levitical Health Laws

Leviticus 13:2 KJV

When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising, a scab, or bright spot, and it be in the skin of his flesh like the plague of leprosy; then he shall be brought unto Aaron the priest, or unto one of his sons the priests:

One of the most difficult sections of Old Testament literature to wade through has to be the Levitical laws given to Moses by God. Leviticus Chapters 11-15 provide counsel to Israel on variety of health issues, but all dealing with clean and unclean matters.  Chapter 11 prescribes clean and unclean meats. Chapter 12 addresses effects of childbirth upon a woman’s Socio-spiritusl life. Chapters 13-14 provide direction for diagnosing, treating and cleansing leprosy. Chapter 15 covers skin and gland emissions and how they affect the public.

When we consider the doctrine of Biblical inspration, we may not question the authenticity of these teachings but it is a struggle to find something in the Levitical Health Laws which is profitable for instruction in Righteousness.  So why were these laws included in holy Scripture. Why not simply enter them into Israel’s historical documents?

But this genre IS part of holy Scripture and God has good reason to include it. A short answer should include the following:
1. This genre of Biblical literature reinforces the notion that God is concerned about the health and cleanliness of His people.
2. It further illustrates the distinction God makes between the holy and unholy, the clean and the unclean, good and evil. 
3. The sacred rituals involving the cleansing of the body further point to the conclusion that even daily human activity such as eating, sleeping and sexuality have spiritual implications. Jehovah has an interest in every area of human behavior.  He intends for us to encounter Him everywhere always, even in the mundane
4. Further, God has a claim on all human behavior and reserves the right to prescribe or prohibit behavior according to His purposes.
5.  At a time when medicine was less developed than in our day, God gave Moses and the priests insights for diagnosis of deadly contagious conditions which had pandemic  potential.

So while the Levitical Health Laws are no longer observed, they did serve a purpose of protecting God’s people from dangerous health conditions and death.  You may not find practical application from the ceremonial cleansing of the leper but it does show the kindness of God to provide restoration of the untouchables back into society as valuable citizens.  

Developing the Habit of Praise Day 7

Psalms 109:30 NLT

But I will give repeated thanks to the lord , praising him to everyone.

It is one thing for me to praise God in the privacy of my personal worship but it is quite another to have the boldness to speak of the praises of God to others around me. There is no fear at all in me that God will accept my praise. He eagerly glories in me praising Him. But others may not be so thrilled to hear men praise Him.  

The Pharisees were appalled when the crowds sang “Hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”  They rebuked Jesus for allowing what they thought was blasphemy. But Jesus’ reply is memorable: “If these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.”   (Luke 19:40)

The Psalmist is committed to praise God to others as well. “But I will give repeated thanks to the lord , praising him to everyone.”  Am I as ready to take the risk of reproach of others for broadcasting the praises of God publically? 

Jesus, today I commit to praise you to others. Open my eyes to opportunities I have to praise you to everyone.  May my lips be a ready instrument of praise for you wherever I am so that others may glorify my Father which is in heaven. May someone today, who is oblivious to you,  hear your praises through my worship. God, be glorified in me today.

Developing the Habit of Praise Day 6

Psalms 107:21-22 NLT

Let them praise the lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving and sing joyfully about his glorious acts.

The extravagant Love of God toward me should be enough for me to praise Him enthusiastically.  He has showered me with his love. He blessed me with an amazing wife and 6 beautiful children. He has provided for me, and many times in miraculous ways. He has forgiven me of my sins of pride, anger, and lust. He has given me a purpose to serve Him through the exposition of the Word. He has quenched my thirsts for emotional companionship, intellectual discovery. He has answered questions I’ve anguished over and left other questions unanswered for now. He has permitted me to see the transformation and spiritual growth of my children. He’s been their teacher, friend and guide when my efforts to correct them failed miserably.  He cares not just for me but for all those I care for.

Lord, today I praise you for your love. I bring to you my wife and children as an offering of thanksgiving and praise. You alone can love me and my family perfectly. I praise you Father for this treasure of love I have in You.

Developing a Habit of Praise Day 5

Psalms 69:34 NLT

Praise him, O heaven and earth, the seas and all that move in them.

Throughout the Psalms David urges that all creation render praise  to God. In David’s day religion was regional. The gods were believed to control only a limited domain. If an army engaged another army on religious “home turf” they expected victory. If you could enter another nation’s backyard and defeat them everyone concluded that your God was more powerful than your enemies’ God.

David is clear that Jehovah is Almighty in the entirety of earth and heaven and as such deserves the praise of not only Israel but the entire earth and heaven. In another passage he urges the creatures of nature to praise God. If the rocks and trees, flowers and bees have reason to praise God, how much more do I have reason to give Him praise too?

Today I praise you Lord that your dominion is over all the earth.  Truly all men and creatures are at your service.
“For thou hast created, hast all things created
Thou hast created all things.
And for thy pleasure they are created,
Thou art worthy o Lord!”

Developing the Habit of Praise Day 4

Psalms 111:2 NLT

How amazing are the deeds of the lord ! All who delight in him should ponder them.

I am seeking to be more intentional about praising God. When I take time to consider the works of the Lord both in Scripture and I my life I’m awestruck. His power is amazing, His glory is magnificent, His love is perfect.  Those who love God will see His greatness. Pondering his works is a favorite pastime of the saint. My image of God is limited by how saturated my mind is with Him. The more I think about anything the more enamored I become with it. When I am in love I see the only wonderful things about my lover and want to express my appreciation and affection to her.

Today I praise you Lord for your work in my life. You have brought beauty from ashes.  You have turned my mourning into dancing. What others meant for evil, You have made good. You alone deserve my praise. Your works are amazing.  

Developing a Habit of Praise Day 3

Acts 16:25 describes the story of Paul and Silas singing praises at midnight in a Philippian jail. The outcome of that unusual spirit of worship was
1. An earthquake damaged the prison.
2. The jailer, smitten with conviction and the fear of the Lord, repented and was baptized.
3. The jailer took Paul and Silas into his home and tended thier wounds.

Praise is a beautiful experience. The Psalmist remarked that it was comely (attractive) to the upright. This beauty is an often overlooked method of attracting outsiders to the faith. When outsiders see that we can be happy, even in trials they are drawn to our faith.

Jesus, I praise you today for the joy we find in knowing you.  I want others to see joy springing up out of my life and be drawn to know you too.

Developing a Habit of Praise Day 2

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.”  Praise desires to be heard, not for the glory of itself but for that of its object. Praise seeks to bring honor to its object by broadcasting it’s worth among others. May I never be too intimidated by the opinions of men to speak or sing praise to the Lord.

Today Lord, I praise you for the Victory found in knowing Jesus.  Yes, Sin has infected the race. We see it in from Main street to Pennsylvania Avenue.  It has left it’s wounds and it’s scars on every soul. But through his death on the cross, Jesus paid the debt of human depravity so that no sin can keep its hold on any soul who turns on faith to Christ. “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” (Romans 5:19)  …For sin shall not have dominion over you.” (Romans 6:14)  “If any man be in Christ he us a new creature, old things have passed away; behold all things are become new.”  (2 Corinthians 5:17)  “And this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.” (1 John 5:4)

Praise you Jesus for the Victory over sin you share with us as we walk with you in spiritual friendship.

Developing a Habit of Praise to God.

Today, August 1, 2015, I begin a devotional series on praise. I want to cultivate a habit of praise by listing a daily catalog of praise to God. As I meditate on His goodness mercy and love I will find things to praise Him for.

Praise should be intentional. If we don’t purpose to praise, we will default to our sinful nature of complaining and discontent. Praise should be habitual. Praise should befriend us everyday, all day.  We should never be without this friend. Praise is a true friend pointing us to the undeserved blessings of our existence and thriving.  The more we praise the more we will praise. Praise is contagious.  Yet catching this “germ” will not make other ill but healthy. Passing this “germ” makes one a blessing.

Today, I praise you, Lord, for the gift of music through which our souls find expressions of pathos and joy. Songs which exalt YOU, your deeds, your nature, your excellence lift us into your presence as we sing from the heart. Other songs give expression to our pain and our anchor of hope we have in our pain. Without music our souls would have no voice. But let our music be focused on YOU. For if the
expressions of our souls neglect you they eliminate the very source of satisfaction we seek for in living.