Encouragement Even While Reading About Defiling Skin Diseases


So yesterday was a weird Sunday.  The energy was…off.  The flow to the morning was…off.  And I walked away from my message feeling…off.

I asked our Sr. High minister what he does after a day when he feels like nothing landed, and he encouraged me to go get alone with the Word for a little while.  So I did.  Reluctantly.

Not because I don’t like reading the Bible, but because I’m reading Leviticus right now.  Specifically, the chapters on defiling skin diseases.  So I’m asking God, “How am I going to be encouraged and poured into about this when I’m reading laws regarding how a priest is supposed to handle a rash?  Come on, God.  Help me out here!”

In reading chapters 12 to 18 I found this common thread:

“the priest shall pronounce the affected person clean; then they will be clean (13:17)”

“You must keep the Israelites separate from things that make them unclean (15:31)”

“you must deny yourselves and do not do any work…because on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you. (16:29-30)”

Chapter upon chapter of how to purify skin rashes and discharges (as gross as this sound) became refreshing.  The “why” behind it all is a constant reminder to be holy.

In the first verse, I see that Jesus is the Great High Priest who cleanses me and I am clean.

In the second I see, again, a constant reminder to be holy.

In the third, I see that atonement is better than employment.

So even though I walked away from Sunday feeling like a failure, God wants me to be holy.  God wants me to remain faithful.  God wants me to stay separate from things that will dilute His Great Name (you know…like feeling sorry for myself).

Holiness is what God has called me to.  Not being the best youth pastor in Tulsa.  So, as weird as it is, I’ve been encouraged today by some of the grossest chapters in the Bible.  At first glance, they had nothing to do with my state of mind.  After spending time in them, I see the common thread of who God has called me to be and what Christ has done to accomplish that.  Amen.

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