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10 Lepers: A Bible Study

10 Lepers: A Bible Study

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10 Lepers: A Bible Study

ratings:
5/5 (1 rating)
Length:
158 pages
2 hours
Released:
Oct 25, 2013
ISBN:
9781620201503
Format:
Book

Description

Leprosy is a scary disease. Most people have a serious aversion to losing their sense of touch and growing numb and unable to feel another’s touch, or even sensing hot and cold temperatures. They have an aversion to losing fingers, toes, and noses. They have an aversion to losing their eyesight, their ability to walk or to pick up a penny, and even their ability to have a sexual relationship. Hopefully, you don’t have the physical disease of Leprosy. Did you know, though, that you might have “Spiritual Leprosy?” Yes, your lifestyle may be creating numbness to the activities that are unacceptable to family, to friends, and to God. You are living a life that has become self-serving, addictive, and destructive to the extent that those in your life want nothing more to do with you. You’re becoming immobile and non-functional in life because of a slavery to sin that has overtaken you. You are dying and may not even realize it yet. At one point in our lives, we are all leprous. The Ten Lepers will help you understand what spiritual Leprosy is and how to cure it.
Released:
Oct 25, 2013
ISBN:
9781620201503
Format:
Book

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10 Lepers - Michael E. Loomis

10 LEPERS

A Bible Study

© 2012 by Michael E. Loomis

All rights reserved

Printed in the United States of America

ISBN: 978-1-62020-100-8

eISBN: 978-1-62020-150-3

Unless otherwise indicated,

Scripture is from the King James Version.

Cover Design by Justin Hall

Page Layout by Justin Hall

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Full Title

Copyright

Preface

1: A Wicked Disease

2: A Physical Disease

3: A Spiritual Disease

4: An Infectious Disease

5: A Disease Run Rampant

6: God’s Accounting of Lepers

7: God’s Cleansing for Leprosy

8: Cleansed Reflections

Appendix A: Endnotes

Appendix B: Scripture Index

Appendix C: Subject index

More Information

In memory of Sam Centioli:

The first man to whom I publicly confirmed

my faith in Jesus Christ.

He became a friend and mentor

who too soon was called home

to be with the Lord.

PREFACE

Leprosy is a terrible and disfiguring disease. Numb to the touch, patches of red and scaly skin alert the unaware sufferer that something serious is occurring within his or her own body. The unknown malady does not respond to any medicine that they may have on hand. Instead, more numb red patches and sores are noticed on other parts of the body. And, in fact, the Leprosy may have been growing in their body for years. When the skin condition can no longer be covered by clothing and is no longer hidden, it is noticed by family members or friends, thus raising questions that embarrass the sufferer. When the disease is diagnosed, the infected person is avoided, ostracized by all those who once cared for the individual. All these family members know is that it is highly infectious and they don’t want it to spread to them or their other loved ones. The individual is forced out of their home and job.

The disease conjures the image of pain caused by rotting and infected body parts that soon fall away from the body. The inexperienced on-looker believes the fingers and toes of the sufferer will eventually fall off. The nose will fall away or will become severely misshapen. Sexual dysfunction will occur, particularly for the male. Blindness will come soon. Legs and hands will become deformed, making coordination and walking in any normal way impossible. Any minor cut or abrasion will not be repaired well by the body, causing abscesses and infection. Because the body cannot repair itself, one is sick and experiencing pain throughout the body.

Because of their ejection from home and hearth, shelter becomes a high priority that is not normally met well. They will now suffer from the elements of the weather. Because they are ostracized, their clothing will wear thin and will cause them more extensive exposure to the elements. Because they have no more support structure, or a very minimal one, they are not receiving the sustenance or nutrition necessary for them to keep the health they have, though degrading with the disease. Their downward slide to even poorer health progresses more quickly. Because they have no support structure, the sufferer is forced to beg, borrow, and steal the necessities of life, at least as long as they have the mobility to do so. The disease, at least historically, creates a downward spiral that can only end in death.

Even today, the progression of the disease of Leprosy can only be halted, not cured. Any ravages caused by the disease up to the point of arrest cannot be corrected. As a result, the patches of numbness, the decreased organ functions, and its crippling effects cannot be reversed.

This book, The Ten Lepers, takes a Biblical view of Leprosy and equates the destruction of the physical disease with the spiritual destruction caused by sin in the heart of mankind. But, in contrast to the physical disease of Leprosy, in the spiritual realm there is a cure for Spiritual Leprosy. And, in truth, the effects of spiritual Leprosy cannot only be cured, they can be reversed. It is my prayer that you will read this book, along with God’s Word, and will accept the free cure supplied by Jesus Christ and will then work toward the goal of ridding your life of the effects of a disease-ridden life caused by your spiritual Leprosy.

1: A WICKED DISEASE

PERSONALLY, I DON’T REALLY REMEMBER ever having heard the nuns say that Father Damien’s fingers and nose had fallen off. I do, though, remember my fellow Catholic school classmates telling me that leprosy causes one’s fingers, nose, and feet to fall off. Were they kidding me? This didn’t really happen with leprosy, right? All I know is that leprosy scared me silly!

Here was Father Damien, born Jozef De Veuster in Tremelo, Belgium¹, volunteering to go to some deserted tropical island. Relegated to a leper colony on a small beach where food and supplies came only from small boats or from donkeys led over the mountain pass, he chooses to go and live with lepers in what clearly becomes a life sentence when he becomes infected with the disease.

He’s living on an island that’s hot, rainy, and muggy. He can’t grow crops. People from the main Hawaiian Islands can’t easily supply him and his leper colony regularly. But, the man becomes a leader. He, with the help of his leprous friends, builds St. Philomena, the leper colony’s church. They build houses for the colony’s inhabitants. Molokai, his island, is never the same. Today it is remembered as a place where Fr. Damien took a stand to help others and became a legend and example of how a man can devote his life to serving his fellow man. In the end, it gave me hope that man may not be so bad after all.

Years later, I now see pictures of Fr. Damien in his last days. It doesn’t look like his nose or fingers are missing, though the write-ups that accompany this picture indicate that he is in the final stages of leprosy and is near death.² The facts indicate that he was quite sick. One leg was dragging as he walked. One foot was in bandages. An arm was in a sling. He ended his days in a flurry of building activities so that his family of lepers could have more houses in which to live before he, himself, died. As a child, I stood in fear and awe of this man who put himself through so much to serve others. I wanted to be like him but knew that I did not have the courage to follow his path.

My generation probably remembers seeing the movie or reading the touching story of Ben Hur, a Tale of the Christ.³ Ben Hur, a Jewish aristocrat who lives in Jerusalem, is persecuted and sent to row and die in the Roman galleys by the Roman tribune, Messala, who was his boyhood friend. Through an exciting and intricate story plot, Ben Hur is freed and is driven to seek out and find his mother and sister, also imprisoned by Messala.

When Messala’s aide finds them in the Roman dungeons, they are found to be leprous and are released from prison to avoid contaminating others. By and by, they leave the city only to be, again, relegated to life and death with other lepers outside the city where they live in the caves that weave beneath the city. They have no hope, are sickly, and are near death. As the story goes, but for this son and brother and Jesus Christ, they would have died the ignominious life of a leper: shamed, dishonored, despicable, untouchable, and disgraced. They are cured miraculously, the only known way to be cured of leprosy during that time period. It isn’t a true story, but it’s indicative of how lepers have been treated throughout the ages.

Today, I look at leprosy and know that it has been addressed by the medical research community, but this address has only been done within the last one hundred years. While a full cure has not yet been discovered, the disease has been arrested so that those who suffer from the disease may return to society after receiving short, effective treatments of antibiotics followed by a life-long medicinal regimen that affords the person a normal life. I thank the Lord for such work and treatment. Clearly, this type of successful medical work has not always been able to be done by man. Thus, leprosy has been a devastating illness for millennia.

Before this recent one hundred years, those with leprosy were forced to hide their disease for as long as possible. It was their terrible secret. Until found out, they would live a life of lies, hoping that no one discovered their horrible illness. When discovered by those around them—possibly when someone else noticed that the sufferer was experiencing no pain in an area that had been burned, cut, or injured in some way—the leper was taken away in order to prevent leprosy from spreading to others. Their worst fears were well founded.

With no cure, they were most certainly banished from family, friends, and society for life. Likely, they were removed from a life that had been at least somewhat comfortable, having had the companionship of friends and family, clothing, shelter, and food. Wherever they were sent, they were assuredly going to be poor. No one would want to touch them, and, therefore, no one would touch any type of product that they made if it was known to be made by a leper’s hands. Sure, family might be able to get food to them, but would that last? Would their families continue to support them for a lifetime or—more specifically—for their own lifetime? This kind of hope was too much to dream of for them. Thus, their life became one of severe poverty. They had no reason to expect anything better.

The disease of leprosy has much to teach today’s men and women. From a biblical perspective, leprosy speaks to us about sin. This sin is infectious, drawing its victims further and further from productive lives. It separates us from that which is good, service to our Lord Jesus Christ, our families, and those with whom we come into contact during our daily walk through life. Then, not only does the person who does not believe on Jesus Christ remain infected with the horrible leprous condition of this one sin, this man or woman is weakened further yet, becoming infected with other maladies that cause life to become even more dysfunctional and sinful. This may sound a bit confusing to the reader now, but it can be readily explained with the following example.

The leper for our example may be a drug addict. To support his habit, he may need to steal from family and friends, thus becoming a thief. Later, he may be pulled into selling the drugs he’s using, becoming a drug dealer. The crowd he runs with may also like alcohol, tempting him to start using alcohol in addition to his drugs; now he becomes an alcoholic in addition to everything else. One can easily add to the list of maladies that now infect the leper, though they are not specifically his leprous condition, only sins that have been added to the list. It’s clear that the person is not serving Jesus Christ. He is not even serving a society that is not God-fearing. He’s serving himself. Unless his leprosy is turned around or cured, his sin will cause a separation from Jesus Christ that is an eternal one.

In this study, a biblical study, we will look at several ways that leprosy affected the sufferer both physically and spiritually. Then, we’ll determine how we can treat the spiritual sin disease of leprosy.

2: A PHYSICAL DISEASE

LEPROSY IS ONE OF

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