“Everyone who has tzara‘at sores is to wear torn clothes and unbound hair, cover his upper lip and cry, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ As long as he has sores, he will be unclean; since he is unclean, he must live in isolation; he must live outside the camp.“-Leviticus 13:45-46
Although there is a medical aspect to God’s rules in dealing with TZARA’AT, His commands were not about protecting the community from deadly diseases.
First, TZARA’AT was not deadly.
Second, TZARA-AT was more about maintaining ritual purity than anything else.
Nevertheless, the consequences of TZARA’AT were most devastating.
If the priest declared that you had TZARA’AT, you were put OUTSIDE THE CAMP.
This meant that you were separated from both your immediate family and the community.
And if your TZARA-AT was particularly severe, you could be banished for life!
Now here’s the real kicker.
You weren’t just banished from your spouse, children or tribe.
YOU WERE SEPARATED FROM GOD!!!
If you were deemed UNCLEAN and thus impure or unfit for life in God’s holy community, you were deemed unacceptable to the Lord Himself.
What could be more horrifying than that?!
Imagine if a priest contracted TZARA-AT.
Practically overnight, not only did he lose his honored status as a special servant of God, but was also subjected to the pain and humiliation of being driven outside of the camp.
So this is the situation in ancient Israel we need to grasp.
The Israelites’ dread of TZARA-AT was not a medical issue (though of course that played a part).
It was more about defilement and the resulting separation from not only the people of God but from God Himself that was the real issue at stake here.
Let’s consider a modern day example.
Let’s say you wake up one day with a rash that had broken out on, let’s say on your arm.
You then go to your Rabbi or Pastor to be examined.
And let’s say after you are examined, it is determined you are now UNCLEAN.
What happens next is that you are immediately informed you have to leave the congregation.
But not only that, you are also told you have to pack your bags and leave your family and the community.
And unless your skin condition clears up, you are going to be permanently exiled from the community of God.
Your relationship with the Creator of the Universe has ended.
Thank God that due to Yeshua’s sacrifice, this is not something we have to worry about today, but it was the terrifying reality that the Hebrews lived with.
Also consider that this is NOT Rabbinical tradition I’m talking about here.
This is the plain, clear and direct instructions straight from the Word of God.
Are you shocked?
Do you feel like God is being too harsh?
Does this sound like the maple-syrupy God of love the gentile churches are always talking about?
Here’s what you’ve got to understand and consider this to be the big takeaway from this post.
YHVH MUST PROTECT HIS HOLINESS AT ANY COST!!!
UNDER ABSOLUTELY NO CIRCUMSTANCES CAN HE ALLOW HIS HOLINESS TO BE DEFILED!!!
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES!!!
We are reminded of this fact over and over and over again in Scripture.
If God has to destroy whole nations and order the destruction men, women, and children in order to protect His Holiness, He will and in fact we will we see that is exactly what He did.
If God has to destroy the whole universe to guard His Holiness from UNCLEANNESS, then He will!
Wait a minute now.
Actually, in fact, we are told in the Book of Revelations that that is exactly what is going to happen!
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God!”