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Wednesday AM Bible Study
October 11, 2006
Theme: This chapter pictures the contaminated state of the world—fallen man's home.
So far, we've seen the contamination of leprosy in the man (13:1-46), and in the man's garments (13:47-59). We've also seen the ceremony for the cleansing of the man (14:1-32). Now, we see the contamination of leprosy in the man's home. The 'leprosy' being described is obviously not the same kind of leprosy that would be found in a man. It is most likely, as in the case of the garments, a kind of mildew or rot that spreads itself in the house of a man—weakening it, destroying it, and causing harm to whoever lives in it. The leprosy in the home is probably depicted last—even after the ceremony of the cleansing of the man—because it is the furthest thing removed from the man himself, but still something vitally connected to the man.
The contaminated house is a picture of the contamination that befell the earth—mankind's home—as a consequence of the fall of man. Adam's fall brought a curse upon the place in which God allowed him to live and work (Gen. 3:17-19). Even the house of a man can cry out against his sin and condemn him (Habakkuk 2:9-11). Today, all of creation groans under futility because of the fall of man—awaiting the full revealing of man's redemption through Christ (Romans 8:18-22).
I. LEPROSY IS DISCOVERED IN THE HOUSE (vv. 33-36).
A. Note that it was God who allowed the leprosy to inflict a man's house (vv. 33-34). Mankind's fall brought a curse on this earth—not because of any natural connection, but because God made man the superintendant of this earth.
B. The owner of the house must confess the truth and make it known to the priest, so that the priest can make a thorough examination of the house. Other things in the house must be removed so that they too will not be contaminated (vv. 35-36). God's people can be harmed by this fallen world. It not only harms him through natural disasters and exposure to the elements; but in his spiritually fallen state, man can also misread and misinterpret what he learns from creation and thus believe wrongly about God. God made creation to tell of Himself (Psalm 19:1-6; Romans 1:19-20); but fallen man reads a fallen creation and comes to fallen conclusions (e.g., evolution, animism, nihilism, etc.). Only through a renewed relationship with the Creator through Christ can we rightly understand creation.
II. AN EFFORT IS EXTENDED TO REMOVE THE LEPROSY FROM THE HOUSE (vv. 37-42).
A. A seven-day period of examination is ordered to see if a leprous spot in the house is truly spreading (vv. 37-39). If it is determined that it is spreading, then the priest shall command that take measures to completely remove the leprous area and scrape the entire house clean. Then, they shall rebuild the spot with new stones and re-plaster the wall (vv. 40-42).
B. This could be considered an illustration of the first cleansing of this earth at the flood. The wickedness of man was great on the earth (Gen. 6:5); and God sought to remove the bulk of mankind and to scrape the earth clean (2 Peter 3:5-6).
III. THE HOUSE IN WHICH LEPROSY RETURNS IS DESTROYED (vv. 43-47).
A. If the plague of leprosy returns in the house after such a cleansing, then the plague is shown to be deep-seated; and more drastic measures are required. After an examination by the priest, the entire house is to be destroyed (vv. 43-45). All who go into the house before its destruction are considered unclean until evening (vv. 46-47).
B. The promise of God is that He will one day allow this present created order to pass away; and in its place will be new heavens and a new earth “in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:10-13; see also Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; Rev. 21:1).
IV. THE HOUSE IN WHICH LEPROSY IS REMOVED IS DECLARED CLEAN (vv. 48-53).
A. The ceremony for the purification of a cleansed house is very much like that of a cleansed man (vv. 48-53; see also vv. 1-7). The ceremony pictures the death and resurrection of the Savior—who is the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45-49).
B. Just as Adam's fall brought a curse upon the creation over which he was placed, Jesus will be the cause of the glory of the new created order (Rev. 21:22-22:5).
V. A SUMMARY STATEMENT IS GIVEN IN CLOSING (vv. 54-57).
These closing words summarize the entire section of chapters 13-14. The purpose of this whole section is given here—“to teach when it is unclean and when it is clean”.