The Sin Mirror – Leprosy’s Lessons
Illness unfortunately is a fruit of the fallen world and state we live in. Here are some lessons from an old one – Leprosy.
“Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.”
God’s word is a preventative for sin. The Bible refers to Leprosy as particularly symbolic of sin. This should make us sit up and consider why this is so. It’s worth knowing and you’ll see why from the following…
Leprosy – a simplified look
Also known as Hansen disease, it is a chronic infection caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium leprae. The infection primarily occurs in the superficial parts of the body, especially the skin and nerves.
Leprosy is rarely fatal but unfortunately, the body’s immune response against the bacteria causes the “collateral damage” which is characteristic of leprosy, specifically nerve function impairment.
This leads to some of the classic debilitating consequences of leprosy. Depending on the nerves affected, one can…
- Lose the full function of foot, hand and facial movements ie: “Foot drop”, “Clawed hand” (fingers stuck in a fixed position), “Facial droop” (paralysis of one side of the face as seen in strokes).
- Leave one’s body parts in harm’s way because one no longer has sensation in it eg: burning one’s hand in hot water because you couldn’t feel it, something as trivial as a pebble in your shoe will not be felt and can wear a hole down to your bone if left in there during a long walk.
- Furthermore, bacterial infiltration into the face can lead to deformities with the collapse of the nose and disruption to the structures of the eye.
All of the this paints a sad but “typical” story of leprosy where one is silently infected with it and eventually breaks out with painless skin patches. Then comes the loss of movement in parts of the body. Then comes severe disfigurement with the loss of muscle bulk and non-healing skin ulcers. Sometimes, nerve destruction itself can cause severe pain.
The Sin Mirror
Therein lies the mirror to sin.
Initially you don’t notice it but it is slowly damaging you. It eventually works its way in from the background to the foreground, becoming more painfully and disturbingly obvious. With time, it robs you of your sensitivity, freedom and beauty.
One of the key mechanisms of damage in leprosy is the loss of sensation. So too with sin which eventually desensitises you to what is wrong…
“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.”
1 Timothy 4:1-2
Historically, leprosy was known as the separating sickness in Hawaii. How appropriate given that sin separates us from God.
The desensitisation of sin goes further than leprosy’s by not only claiming your body, but also your mind, your heart and ultimately your soul. Taking in the influences of a godless society unchecked desensitises you and is like a leprosy of your soul.
Leprosy doesn’t naturally go away, so too is the case with sin. You must firstly know you have it, then to Whom you must go to cure it.
Thank God we have a cure in both situations! He who not only touched the leper but also healed them body and soul!
Related: Sin: A Violation Of Purpose