Monday, April 30, 2012

Can A Leper Change His Spot?

...heh heh see what I did there in the title?

A man cannot serve two masters, the savior said. I've been thinking about the balance in that. You serve one and hate the other. There isn't both. One or the other. We often tend to think that that there is our way, and we choose if we are going to submit to God. As if we were standing in a line at the DMV, Line A is submission to God, and Line B is submission to the Adversary, and then line C is doing it our own way.

What if it is a lot less like choosing a lane, and more black and white in the matter. More like a light switch is either on or off and you only have one choice or another.

What if it is really like we are either submitting to God, or we are submitting to the way of the adversary. There isn't our way, because to take on the mantle of OUR OWN way, is to be in the manner of the enemy per sey.

There is no "your way" -  there is either Gods authority, or the Authority of the Adversary.
You might be asking yourself what this has to do with Leprosy, and I'm getting to that. 

What is the sin of the Devil? He exalted himself, setting himself up to be like God.

So, What if the mark of leprosy is a symptom of submission to the way of the adversary?
Think about Mariam

Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married and they said, “Has the LORD indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us as well?” And the LORD heard it.  (Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth.)  Suddenly the LORD said to Moses and Aaron and to Miriam, “You three come out to the tent of meeting.” So the three of them came out. 5 Then the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud and stood at the doorway of the tent, and He called Aaron and Miriam. When they had both come forward,  He said,
   “Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, shall make Myself known to him in a vision. I shall speak with him in a dream.  “Not so, with My servant Moses,
He is faithful in all My household;  With him I speak mouth to mouth, Even openly, and not in dark sayings, And he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid
To speak against My servant, against Moses?

  So the anger of the LORD burned against them and He departed.  But when the cloud had withdrawn from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow. As Aaron turned toward Miriam, behold, she was leprous.
Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, “O God, heal her, I pray!” 14 But the LORD said to Moses, “If her father had but spit in her face, would she not bear her shame for seven days? Let her be shut up for seven days outside the camp, and afterward she may be received again.”  So Miriam was shut up outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on until Miriam was received again.
- numbers 12

You have Moses, Mariam and Aaron who all righteous following servants of God. They are all in submission to Him, until Miriam turns to Aaron and says, "aren't we all equal? Who does this guy think he is? Aren't we all the same? "  in these kinds of statements she is messing with an order that God laid out.   Moses is the leader, and they are to be submitted to his authority under God, but Miriam has a problem with that. She mumbles against him because she finds fault with something else. She seeks to elevate her and Aaron as equals. The result of her heart, shows leprosy.

Here is another example

But when he became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the LORD his God, for he entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.  Then Azariah the priest entered after him and with him eighty priests of the LORD, valiant men.They opposed Uzziah the king and said to him, “It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron who are consecrated to burn incense. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful and will have no honor from the LORD God.”  But Uzziah, with a censer in his hand for burning incense, was enraged; and while he was enraged with the priests, the leprosy broke out on his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, beside the altar of incense.  Azariah the chief priest and all the priests looked at him, and behold, he was leprous on his forehead; and they hurried him out of there, and he himself also hastened to get out because the LORD had smitten him.
 -2 chronicles 26

What if Leprosy is just a symptom of a pre-existing heart condition... that desire to be something more than what you think you are. That desire to elevate stature or deflate a position of one greater than yourself.

This is the passage that talks about the disease:

Then the LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying,  “When a man has on the skin of his body a swelling or a scab or a bright spot, and it becomes an infection of leprosy on the skin of his body, then he shall be brought to Aaron the priest or to one of his sons the priests.  The priest shall look at the mark on the skin of the body, and if the hair in the infection has turned white and the infection appears to be deeper than the skin of his body, it is an infection of leprosy; when the priest has looked at him, he shall pronounce him unclean.  But if the bright spot is white on the skin of his body, and it does not appear to be deeper than the skin, and the hair on it has not turned white, then the priest shall isolate him who has the infection for seven days.  The priest shall look at him on the seventh day, and if in his eyes the infection has not changed and the infection has not spread on the skin, then the priest shall isolate him for seven more days.  The priest shall look at him again on the seventh day, and if the infection has faded and the mark has not spread on the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him clean; it is only a scab. And he shall wash his clothes and be clean.

Now to go deep with this...  Think about the garden right..

The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die!  For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.

therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken.  So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.
-Gen 3

I'm seeing some of the same elements here..  with eve there is the elevation to the status like God. She throws off the submission to God's word by way of her Husband and in doing so, submits to the word of the serpent.  Just like Uzziah went off and disregarded the position of the priest, shucking the authority of God and by his pride, submitting to the authority of the adversary.

When we don't submit to God, we throw off his plan and his hand of protection and blessing. We disregard Life.
 Mankind is in the garden and he lets something in his heart, the idea that by his own hands, he can be something greater than what he esteems himself.  As a result, disease takes hold of man. Sin enters his body. He is set out side until the priest comes and deems that he is clean. What then must the man do?

“This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing. Now he shall be brought to the priest...
The one to be cleansed shall then wash his clothes and shave off all his hair and bathe in water and be clean. Now afterward, he may enter the camp, but he shall stay outside his tent for seven days.  - LEv 14

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.
- Revelation

We;re kicked out of the garden for our hearts being prone, and after The priest returns, our High priest, Jesus, Yeshua Ha Mashiac, He will judge us and he is coming back for that church without spot of wrinkle. There is that picture of the wife taking her place aside her husband. The picture of walking in the place where God has put you, in the recognition that HE is the one that elevates and deflates stature. It is HE that causes us to rise and fall. When we walk in that recognition as His bride, then our pride will continually be in check and disease will not take root. When we guard our hearts from falling into a place of susceptibility of pride or gossip or greed or envy, a place of self glorification... then God will be most glorified. We will recognize His authority. 

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.  But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.   Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,  that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.  So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself
-Ephesians 5

We are all lepers when we slander. When we hate. When we hold a grudge. When we think that we are greater than we are. When we think others are less than us. When we take on that attitude, aren't we really saying that We are great and passing judgement that others do not measure up to our standards? Is that in essence, us making ourselves like God?  It is no wonder that we were kicked out of the garden.  God is the one that make us clean. We should be constantly submitting our heart to His authority.

And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”  Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus *said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go, show yourself to the priest and present the offering that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”-  Matt 8

We have got to submit to God.  In submitting to Him, we are healed from our sickness, and we can wash clean and be restored to covenant relationship. We can walk in the fullness of who HE says we are and where we are supposed to be. 

in conclusion...

I'm still laughing at the Leopard changing his spots pun in the title.  That was really funny to me.    ....uh.... and seek first the kingdom of God.

1 comment:

  1. This was really good! I recognized some of the parallels... hee hee ;D