Text: Leviticus 14:33-57
33 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
34 When ye be come into the land of Canaan, which I give to you for a possession, and I put the plague of leprosy in a house of the land of your possession;
35 And he that owneth the house shall come and tell the priest, saying, It seemeth to me there is as it were a plague in the house:
36 Then the priest shall command that they empty the house, before the priest go into it to see the plague, that all that is in the house be not made unclean: and afterward the priest shall go in to see the house:
37 And he shall look on the plague, and, behold, if the plague be in the walls of the house with hollow strakes, greenish or reddish, which in sight are lower than the wall;
38 Then the priest shall go out of the house to the door of the house, and shut up the house seven days:
39 And the priest shall come again the seventh day, and shall look: and, behold, if the plague be spread in the walls of the house;
40 Then the priest shall command that they take away the stones in which the plague is, and they shall cast them into an unclean place without the city:
41 And he shall cause the house to be scraped within round about, and they shall pour out the dust that they scrape off without the city into an unclean place:
42 And they shall take other stones, and put them in the place of those stones; and he shall take other morter, and shall plaister the house.
43 And if the plague come again, and break out in the house, after that he hath taken away the stones, and after he hath scraped the house, and after it is plaistered;
44 Then the priest shall come and look, and, behold, if the plague be spread in the house, it is a fretting leprosy in the house: it is unclean.
45 And he shall break down the house, the stones of it, and the timber thereof, and all the morter of the house; and he shall carry them forth out of the city into an unclean place.
46 Moreover he that goeth into the house all the while that it is shut up shall be unclean until the even.
47 And he that lieth in the house shall wash his clothes; and he that eateth in the house shall wash his clothes.
48 And if the priest shall come in, and look upon it, and, behold, the plague hath not spread in the house, after the house was plaistered: then the priest shall pronounce the house clean, because the plague is healed.
49 And he shall take to cleanse the house two birds, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:
50 And he shall kill the one of the birds in an earthen vessel over running water:
51 And he shall take the cedar wood, and the hyssop, and the scarlet, and the living bird, and dip them in the blood of the slain bird, and in the running water, and sprinkle the house seven times:
52 And he shall cleanse the house with the blood of the bird, and with the running water, and with the living bird, and with the cedar wood, and with the hyssop, and with the scarlet:
53 But he shall let go the living bird out of the city into the open fields, and make an atonement for the house: and it shall be clean.
54 This is the law for all manner of plague of leprosy, and scall,
55 And for the leprosy of a garment, and of a house,
56 And for a rising, and for a scab, and for a bright spot:
57 To teach when it is unclean, and when it is clean: this is the law of leprosy.
KEY VERSE: “And he shall cleanse the house with the blood of the bird, and with the running water, and with the living bird, and with the cedar wood, and with the hyssop, and with the scarlet” (Leviticus 14:52).
Hyssop is a protected plant in Israel. It is a small, hardy shrub from the basil family. It is said to have cleansing properties. The hyssop plant in the Bible symbolises spiritual purification.
Certain rituals were performed to cleanse any house leprosy was found in the Old Testament. First, the house is shut up for seven days. After this period, the house is checked. If the house had signs of leprosy spreading, the entire house had to be pulled down. But if the disease did not spread, then the house was healed. The priest then performed a ceremony for cleansing the house which involved two live birds, cedar, hyssop, scarlet and running water from a river. One of the birds was killed over the basin of water, and the cedar, hyssop and the living bird was dipped into the water and the house was sprinkled with it, after which the living bird was set free.
Leprosy represents sin because it has the capacity to spread from the heart into every part of the body. The heart represents the house where the leprosy originates; for from the heart proceeds all evil thoughts which the entire body is compelled to act upon. The product of this process can be found in people’s harsh speeches, immoral actions, violent behaviours, wickedness and the likes.
Cleansing has to begin from the heart. Nothing so far has been found effective in achieving total cleansing for the sinful heart of man. Religious ceremonies and rituals, together with human efforts, have unfortunately yielded no results. The only solution to the ‘leprosy’ of sin lies in the precious blood of our sinless Christ who died on the cross to save humanity.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: The blood of Jesus is the all-time antidote to all forms of uncleanness.
THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Joshua 11-14
DCLM Daily Manna was written by Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi; is the founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church situated at KM 42 on the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Nigeria.