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February 5 Today’s Reading — Leviticus 14-15
“A Running Issue”
The “running issue” described so graphically in Leviticus 15:1-33, is a sickening, revolting type and picture of something far more sickening and revolting in us.—The sin that is in us by nature, the corruption of our vile, base, depraved hearts, is a foul, obnoxious puss constantly oozing from our hearts, by which we are defiled and which defiles everything we touch. This is something worse than the leprosy seen in the flesh. This is the secret, hidden corruption and uncleanness of our hearts.
Our hearts are overflowing fountains of corruption, constantly oozing foulness, impurity, and uncleanness. If I could be more graphic in describing the corruption of our hearts, I would be. But the Holy Spirit here uses three very graphic pictures by which we are compelled to cry before God, “I know that in me, that is in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing” (Romans 7:18).
First, the corruption of our heart is portrayed under the picture of a man with a running issue out of his flesh (vv. 1-15). This running issue is the equivalent of what we call gonorrhea. What a proper picture that is of our hearts’ corruption! Gonorrhea is a vile plague contracted by illicit behavior. It is something you get from someone else. But it becomes a part of you. It is something you try to hide. But the corruption from deep within oozes foulness from your body. That pretty well describes the evil that is in us. We became sinners by the illicit, criminal, adulterous behavior of our father, Adam. The sin of our father is now ours, so much ours that sin is what we are. Oh, how we try to hide (from ourselves, from other people, and from God) what we really are! But the corruption constantly oozes foulness from within.
Second, the foulness and corruption of our nature is pictured by the spilling of a man’s seed (vv. 16-18). We are not told whether the seed spilt is spilt in some profane act, or in the conjugal privileges of a husband and wife, or nocturnally. But this entire chapter is describing things of the most private nature. I am therefore inclined to think that this particular text is dealing with that which occurs nocturnally. It speaks of something that is unavoidable. Because it is unavoidable, the natural outflow of a man’s body, we commonly associate nothing evil with it. But the Lord God declares a person unclean who is in anyway touched by a man’s seed. Why? The reason is clear. — Everything that comes out of a man, everything is corrupt and unclean.
The third uncleanness presented in this chapter is the uncleanness of a woman with an issue of blood (vv. 19-24). Isaiah declares that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags, discarded menstrual cloths. Here our very nature is described as the uncleanness of a woman’s discharge during her monthly cycle.
This is the doctrine taught by these three disgusting examples of foulness, examples so disgusting that we simply do not discuss them in public unless the matters are absolutely unavoidable: — We are corrupt; and everything that comes out of us is corrupt and corrupts everything it touches (Romans 7:18; Matthew 15:18-19). But our great, august, infinitely holy Lord God has made a way for us to be separated from our uncleanness and be clean before Him. Oh, bless his holy name and rejoice! God himself, he who cannot look upon iniquity, has made a way for unclean sinners to be made clean (vv. 13-15). “By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost” the sin-atoning blood of Christ separates chosen redeemed sinners from their uncleanness and makes the heaven born soul clean before God.