Leviticus 14:34 “When you enter the land of Canaan that I am giving you as a possession and I place a mildew contamination in a house in the land you possess.…”

Observation: These are among the instructions the Lord gives for dealing with contaminations that would bring uncleanness. The early part of the chapter dealt with personal uncleanness, such things as skin diseases, then in verse 33 the focus shifts to unclean things, with the first example being one’s home. It goes on to describe steps the priest must take to determine whether the uncleanness is spreading; if it is, then the house is to be “torn down with its stones, its beams and all its plaster and taken outside the city to an unclean place” (v. 45)

Application: Really Lord? To the dump? As severe as that treatment seems, the outrageous thing is that back in verse 34 the Lord says, “When I place a mildew contamination in the house.…” Father, what can you be thinking? Why on earth would you be about the business of causing mildew in a house, on purpose no less? Is this a test?

I can imagine how I would feel if the house belonged to a friend. “Poor Marty, God caused mildew in his house and now the construction dumpsters are hauling it out of town. I wonder what he did to tick off the Lord?” Or imagine something far worse: Marty’s house is passed over by the Lord and He stops at my place instead. And after the obligatory steps are taken by the priest, I hear the dread pronouncement: “To the dump!” Lord, is this how you treat your friends? I have my whole life tied up in that house. I’ve done what I can to follow you, yet you come along and arbitrarily choose mine to destroy. Why, Lord? Why would you cause such financial harm? Such embarrassment? I mean, what will the neighbors think?

The reality is, hurts will come. (Matt. 18:7) The idea here is that as surely as the sun will rise, new offenses will come into my life, sometimes at the hand of God Himself. If I could construct my own God He would protect me from the passing shadows of pain. All my days would be filled with sunshine and rippling streams. Going from glory to glory (2 Cor. 3:18) would be a breeze. Life would be one mountaintop experience after another.

But I am possessed by a God not of my design; rather, He is one whose love for me is so tender and consistent. Yet He is determined to make me like He is…unoffendable in the face of great offense, slow to anger when confronted by the most infuriating situation, peaceable in the midst of life’s greatest tumults. It is by my response to unfair offenses and tumult that my progress can be measured. So He lovingly, strategically stops by my house with a few spores of mildew so when it takes root and brings contamination to the whole thing, I can check my response. He already knows my heart, but without such tests, how could I measure my progress in Him?

Prayer: Father, you are in the business of conforming me perfectly to the image of your dear Son. So bring on the mold and mildew as you see fit, Lord. I long to get to a place where I respond in a way that delights your heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen