One of the most dreaded diseases on earth is Hansen's Disease, or leprosy. Ever since my first visit to India, some 30 years ago, I have been familiar at first hand with the horrible deformities and social stigma of the disease, which affects millions of people the world over. (I believe India alone has three to four million lepers.)
On one of our visits, I was thinking about a passage I had recently read in Leviticus 13. There I read that leprosy made one unclean for a limited period of time'not indefinitely! After a while, once the infection of the disease had abated, the victim was allowed back into the camp. 'Why is it that in Indian society, as in most of the world, lepers are pariahs unwelcome in mainstream society?' I thought. There, for example, a leper cannot attend a school, gain admittance to a hospital, or even ride a taxi. Why are the leprous stigmatized for life?
The Word of God was proven right by 20th century medicine, as two generations ago it was recognized that after the period of a few years the leprosy does indeed run its course, its damage done (sadly). The contagious threat is once posed is no longer significant. There is no reason to ostracize the lepers, though there is a tremendous need for treatment. Modern medicine can treat leprosy -- nipping it in the bud -- for just a few dollars.
How sad that pagan society, in its heartlessness (Romans 1:31), has spurned both God and his merciful wisdom!
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