The Lord of Leprous Houses
I love the difficult and obtuse parts of the Bible. There is so much more than meets the modern eye. I often ask of an odd text, "why would that be placed here? Why would God inspire that? Why would the prophet, evangelist, or apostle record that?" With a little digging all sort of places like genealogies, census data, strange laws, and weird asides can lead to some profound points. And then sometimes there are plain-ole, hard truth claims inserted right in the middle of a difficult or strange part of Scripture. Leviticus 14:34 states: "when you come into the land of Canaan, which I give you for a possession, and I put a case of leprous disease in a house in the land of your possession..." And what follows is a set of laws covering diseases which afflict houses. It was probably mold or fungus or something like that to which the closest analogy they had was leprosy on the human body. The NIV uses the word "mildew."
What is so interesting to me is that this is one of those bold claims of the Bible tucked away in an odd place. It makes a claim that in the case of a leprous house, God caused the house infection. It says nothing to qualify that causation by philosophical terminology. Nope, God did it. Or, rather the text is saying that God will do it. In some way, at some level, by permission, design, or otherwise God put or will put the infection in the house.
God's oversight of the world is questioned and qualified by a lot of people including Christians. But the Bible does little to qualify. God does not attempt to get Himself off the hook by explaining Himself in Scripture to us in a precise way that allows us to nuance His sovereignty in ways that might make us philosophically, psychologically, or emotionally comfortable.
In Scripture, God simply claims that He reigns. Over and over again. Over everything. God rules. And as Ruler He allows and even uses things called evil like death, disease, war, murder, adultery, lies, cancers, and leprosy within His story for His purpose. He is the Lord, even of leprous houses.