“It is not in our choice to spread the gospel or not. It is our death if we do not.”

Peter Taylor Forsyth

TODAY’S READING: Leviticus 13–15

Leviticus 13 and 14 addresses leprosy on people, clothes, and houses (14:57). Leprous clothes probably referred to infestation and leprous houses probably to decay formed by fungus, mildew, mold, or dry rot (vv. 33–53).[1] Regardless, the whole reason for the laws of leprosy and bodily discharge is explained in Leviticus 15:31: “Thus you shall separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness, lest they die in their uncleanness when they defile My tabernacle that is among them.” God’s great missionary heart is to dwell with those He created, those He loved. God condescends to live with men and He is determined to live joyfully with men and women of all races and peoples. God by nature cannot condescend by compromising His holiness, and He knows His holiness would consume us, so He makes provision for our filth by eradicating it.

All the imagery of Leviticus is centered around the spiritual concept of priesthood. Leviticus 13 and 14 dwell more on the priest than on the leprosy. In these two chapters the words leper, leprous, and leprosy are mentioned 32 times, which is significant, but that pales compared to the 86 times “priest” is referenced. Leviticus is the story of a royal priesthood, a people who are to represent God to all the unreached peoples of the world and to advocate to God the desperate leprosy of those bound in sin and the evil of false religions. The function of both the Levites for Israel and the Church today is as representative of Jesus our great High Priest. John Owen, the Puritan chaplain to Oliver Cromwell, recounts the wonder of our High Priest not just being a mediator, but a husband:

Christ gives himself freely to us to be our Christ, our beloved, to fulfill all the purposes of his love, mercy, grace, and glory. Christ was set up to be the Mediator between God and his elect, and to enter into a marriage covenant with his people, a covenant that will never be broken

The Lord Jesus Christ, then, was set up and prepared to be a husband to his saints, his church. He undertook the work of Mediator for which he was especially filled with the Spirit. As Mediator he purchased for his people grace and glory. Now he offers himself to them in the promises of the gospel, making himself desirable to them. He convinces them of his good will, and that he is sufficient for their needs. And when they agree to receive him, which is all he requires or expects from them, he enters into a marriage contract to be theirs forever.

On the saints part, all that is required is their free, willing agreement to receive, embrace and submit to the Lord Jesus as Husband, Lord and Savior, to abide with him, subject their souls to him to be ruled by him forever. [2]

How assuring to be married to our High Priest! How comforting to know that the one who makes mediation for us is our husband! It is this covenantal love that the “unwed” Maldivian is dying to know. As Jehovah’s priests today, we are to love unreached peoples in marriage covenant commitment. We are to match-make in the Spirit of Jesus as both husband and priest. We are to arrange marriages between the nations and the great Lover of their souls who also happens to be their faithful and compassionate High Priest. Industrious matchmakers in the Maldives are long overdue. Maybe you?

[1] The Chronological Study Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008. 129.

[2] John Owen. Communion with God. Carlisle, PA: R. K. J. Law, The Banner of Truth Trust, 1991. 58-59.

Prayer Focus: Maldives (4 UPGs)

Today’s Unreached People Group: Maldivian, Malki
Population: 429,000
Language: Maldivian
Primary Religion: Islam
Evangelical: 0.00%
Estimated Workers Needed: 9

[Source: Joshua Project]

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