Lev 13:18 “If there is in the outer layer of someone’s skin a boil and it heals,
Lev 13:19 and in the place of the boil there comes a white swelling or a reddish-white spot, then it will be shown to the priest.
Lev 13:20 And the priest will look, and if he notices that it appears deeper than the skin and its hair has turned white, then the priest will pronounce him contaminated. It is a case of leprous disease that has broken out in the boil.
Lev 13:21 But if the priest examines it and notices that there is no white hair in it and it is not deeper than the skin, but has faded, then the priest will shut him up seven days.
Lev 13:22 And if it spreads in the skin, then the priest will pronounce him contaminated; it is a disease.
Lev 13:23 But if the spot remains in one place and does not spread, it is the scar of the boil, and the priest will pronounce him clean.
boils and scars
In cases of chronic leprosy, it was not always easy to tell if a person was experiencing a new problem, or scars of past infections. For such cases, the priests were told to prescribe a temporary isolation of the victim for seven days, so that he could tell whether the boil was healing or spreading.
In the community of Israel, leprosy had to be taken seriously, and that meant sometimes making a judgement call that temporarily resulted in someone’s loss of personal freedom. In the new covenant community, we often have to make such judgement calls ourselves. Sin is a serious problem, and while freedom is important to us, we sometimes have to put that important principle aside, to deal with the more important issue of holiness.
LORD, give us courage to make tough decisions about who we associate with. Keep us from being contaminated by sin.