and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. — Isaiah 29:24
So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,
|March 14, 2009||
Volume 8 Number 6
Know My Heart
A leper fell upon his face pleading for Yahshua (Jesus) to cleanse him from his affliction:
12 And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Yahshua fell on his face, and begged him, saying, Lord, if you will, you can make me clean. -Luke 5
Humbling himself in faith, the leper said in effect, "I know you can heal me, if it is according to your will."
The leper had humility and he had faith. By asking Yahshua to heal him "if you will" he was also showing that he had submitted his will to the will of God. The healing was miraculous and instantaneous:
13 And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be you clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him. -Luke 5
Leprosy is a terrible and dreadful disease. Because of fear of its transmission to others, those who were afflicted by it were required to warn others that they were "unclean:"
45 And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be torn, and his head bear, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean. -Leviticus 13
Because leprosy is caused by bacteria which are related to those which cause tuberculosis, it normally takes a long time to acquire it and also to be healed of it. Therefore, the instantaneous healing of the leper by Yahshua was clearly a visible miracle, demonstrating the power of God.
There are examples in the Bible, however, where people were instantly afflicted with visible leprosy because of the condition of their heart. Miriam, for example, was the sister of Moses and Aaron. However, she, along with Aaron, lifted herself up in rebellion against Moses:
2 And they said, Has Yahweh indeed spoken only by Moses? has he not spoken also by us? And Yahweh heard it. -Numbers 12
Moses was the most humble man on earth:
3 (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) -Numbers 12
It was in Moses’ humility that Yahweh had chosen him, rather than Miriam or Aaron, with whom to speak directly:
8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the likeness of Yahweh shall he behold: why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? -Numbers 12
Angered in response to their rebellion in second-guessing Him in His choice of Moses, and not them, to speak to, Yahweh afflicted Miriam with leprosy:
9 And the anger of Yahweh was kindled against them; and he departed.
10 And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous. -Numbers 12
Aaron immediately responded in repentance for their sin. Having just been informed that Yahweh speaks directly to Moses, Aaron pleaded with Moses
11 And Aaron said to Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech you, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned. -Numbers 12
While the sin of rebellion may have been in their hearts before they challenged Moses, it took the visible affliction of leprosy to show it to Aaron. Their rebellion was not against Moses, it was really against Yahweh, who had sovereignly chosen the humble man, Moses, as His spokesman. Seeing the affliction as a clear sign of their disobedience against Yahweh, Aaron humbled himself unto sincere repentance for their sin. Miriam was healed.
In another example of a leprous affliction for sin against Yahweh, King Uzziah of Judah lifted himself up in prideful rebellion. When he became very powerful, famous, and strong, he entered the temple and offered incense:
16 But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against Yahweh his God, and went into the temple of Yahweh to burn incense upon the altar of incense. -2 Chronicles 26
Only the descendants of Aaron, the Levites, were ordained to serve in the temple, but Uzziah did it anyway. Even after more than eighty priests tried to stop him (see 2 Chronicles 26:17-18), Uzziah became even more rebellious. In the midst of his anger against the priests, he was stricken with leprosy:
19 Then Uzziah was angry, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was angry with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of Yahweh, from beside the incense altar. -2 Chronicles 26
Uzziah was at the peak of his power when he revealed what was in his heart, which was pride and rebellion against Yahweh. Refusing to be convicted of his sin and to humble himself unto repentance, Uzziah lost his health, his kingdom, and eventually his life.
The prophet Isaiah witnessed the results of King Uzziah’s unrepentant pride:
22 Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, write. -2 Chronicles 26
In the same year that Uzziah died, Isaiah saw a vision of Yahweh lifted up in His glory and holiness:
1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he did fly.
3 And one cried to another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is Yahweh of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. -Isaiah 6
This vision brought great humility to the heart of Isaiah. Seeing a glimpse of the awesome glory and holiness of Yahweh, Isaiah was convicted of his own sinfulness. Though he was not stricken with leprosy, he saw himself as unclean and he saw his people as unclean. Isaiah was brought to repentance:
5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for my eyes have seen the King, Yahweh of hosts. -Isaiah 6
Hearing the cry from Isaiah’s repentant heart, Yahweh sent a heavenly seraphim having a "live coal" in his hand to cleanse him of his sins:
7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged. -Isaiah 6
In the presence of the glory of Yahweh, Isaiah saw the need of his heart, which was forgiveness for his sins.
Shortly after Yahshua had healed the humble believing leper, crowds of people gathered around Him wanting similar physical healing. In one instance, a man stricken with palsy (paralysis) was let down through the roof so he could be healed. However, instead of immediately healing the man of his palsy, as He did the leper of his leprosy, Yahshua declared to him that his sins were forgiven!
20 And when he saw their faith, he said to him, Man, your sins are forgiven you. -Luke 5
The man’s real affliction wasn’t his palsy, it was his sin. After Yahshua forgave his sins, He then healed him of his palsy!
Like the man with palsy, or Miriam and Aaron, or King Uzziah, our real affliction may not be what we think. It may be spiritual rather than physical. It may be the sin that is hidden even from our own sight, deeply within our hearts. Yahshua told the Pharisees that He came for those who are truly sick, the sinners, to call them to repentance:
31 And Yahshua answering said to them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.
32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. -Luke 5
Who are the righteous that escape His calling to repentance? Paul reminds us that there are none:
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: -Romans 3
Should we continue to deceive ourselves with our own pride by saying we have no sin?
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. -1 John 1
Or are we willing to ask Yahweh, as David did, to search our hearts and to try us to see what is in them?
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. -Psalms 139
When God searches and tries our hearts, He reveals to us things we may have been too blind to see. If we find sin, will we harden our hearts in proud denial? Or will we believe that Yahshua the Messiah, our advocate with the Father, has shed His own blood to pay for those sins?
1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that you sin not. And if any man sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Yahshua the Messiah the righteous:
2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. -1 John 2
When God shows us what is in our hearts, are we willing to humble ourselves before Him, as Isaiah did, in confession with true repentance and accept His promised forgiveness?
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. -1 John 1
Many of us come to God seeking that which we think we need, but He searches our hearts to give us what He knows we need.
Come to Understandingis sent out twice per month free of charge. To add someone to our list of readers, please contact us at:
Institute for Biblical and Historical Studies
You may view this and past editions online at:
Scriptures are taken from the Proper Name Version of the King James Bible.
Ó2009Institute for Biblical and Historical Studies. All rights reserved. You may freely copy this publication, provided you acknowledge its source and inform us of your use.