Morning & Evening Devotional Reading–
by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and edited by W. C. Neff
“If the leprosy has covered all his flesh, the priest shall pronounce him clean.”
This regulation appears to be quite strange, and yet there was wisdom in it. Treating the disease proved that the underlying health was sound. This evening it may be good for us to take a look at this rule, for we, too, are lepers; we may apply the law of the leper 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 sin is the true leprosy; but when sin is seen and felt, it has received its death-blow; the Lord looks with eyes of mercy upon the soul afflicted with it. Nothing is more deadly 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 in us, convincing us of sin, there will be no difficulty making such an acknowledgment; it will spring spontaneously from our lips.
What comfort does this text bring to truly awakened sinners? The very circumstance which so grievously discourages them is turned into a sign and symptom of a hopeful state! Stripping comes before dressing; excavation is the first task of building. In the same way, a thorough sense of sin is one of the earliest works of grace in the sinner’s heart.
O, poor leprous sinner, utterly destitute of a sound spot, take heart from this text, and come as you are to Jesus!
“Let our debts be what they may, however great or small;
When we have nothing we can pay, our Lord forgives us all.
‘Tis perfect poverty alone that sets the captive free;
If we bring pennies of our own, remaining captives we will be.”[M&E]