Evening, February 26, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“Behold, if the leprosy has covered all his body, he shall pronounce clean him who has the infection.” — Leviticus 13:13
As strange enough as this regulation appears, there was wisdom in it, for the completion of the course of the disease proved that the constitution was sound. This evening it may be well for us to see the symbolic teaching of so curious a rule. We, too, are lepers, and may read the law of the leper as applicable to ourselves. When a man sees himself to be altogether lost and ruined, covered all over with the defilement of sin, and in no part free from pollution; when he disclaims all righteousness of his own, and pleads guilty before the Lord, then he is clean through the blood of Jesus, and the grace of God. Hidden, unfelt, unconfessed iniquity is the true leprosy; but when sin is seen and felt, it has received its deathblow, and the Lord looks with eyes of mercy upon the soul afflicted with it. Nothing is deadlier than self-righteousness, or more hopeful than contrition. We must confess that we are “nothing else but sin,” for no confession short of this will be the whole truth; and if the Holy Spirit is at work with us, convicting us of sin, there will be no difficulty about making such an acknowledgment—it will spring spontaneously from our lips. What comfort the text affords to truly awakened sinners! The exact circumstance which so grievously discouraged them is here turned into a sign and symptom of a hopeful state! Nakedness comes before clothing; digging out the foundation is the first thing in building—and a thorough sense of sin is one of the earliest works of grace in the heart. O you poor leprous sinner, utterly destitute of a single clean spot, take heart from the text, and come as you are to Jesus—
“For let our debts be what they may, however great or small,
As soon as we have nought to pay, our Lord forgives us all.
‘Tis perfect poverty alone that sets the soul at large:
While we can call one mite our own, we have no full discharge.”