“Command the children of Israel, that they put out of the camp every leper, and every one that hath an issue, and whosoever is defiled by the dead:”
When I was a child, my mom would tell me to put something away that was keeping me from doing something that I was supposed to be doing. My mother told me to put something away because it was a distraction to the real thing I was supposed to be doing. For instance, my mother was my teacher for many of my school years. When she saw something that I was fiddling with that was keeping me from doing my school work, she would tell me to put that thing away and do my work. It was my mother’s way of making sure that I got done what I really needed to get done so that I could be the best that God wanted me to be.
When God commanded the children of Israel to “put out” certain people, He was telling them that these people would hurt them, and that they would keep them from being the nation that He intended for them to be. God wanted Israel to put out three groups of people from the congregation; the leper, one that had an issue, and the person who was defiled by a dead person. When God was telling them to “put out” these people, He was telling them to put them away.
You will never become the Christian that God wants you to be without putting away these three groups of people from your life. To put something away means to put a distance between you and them so that they cannot influence you. Your Christian walk and the influence you can have on others for good is dependent upon whether you put these three groups away. Let me explain what these three groups of people that you must put away are to your life so that you can live a victorious Christian life.
First, you must put away those who are living in sin. Leprosy is a type of sin, so to put away the leper would mean that you need to get those people out of your life who are living in sin. You cannot be a good friend with people who are living in sin and not expect their lifestyle to influence yours. You can’t play in the mud and not expect to get muddy. Likewise, you can’t run with those who live in sin without partaking of their same sins.
Second, you must put away those who have issues. The issue that the text verse is talking about are fluids that run out of the body. There are many people who have issues in their life that, if you spend time with them, you will get the same issue. For instance, you can’t spend time with an angry person without learning their angry ways. When people have issues like anger, gossiping, lying, bitterness, or animosity toward authorities or parents, you must get away from them because their issue will influence your life.
Third, you must put away those who have been corrupted by worldly influences. God told Israel to “put out” those who were defiled by the dead. My friend, the world can only produce death. You can’t spend time with worldly people and not expect their worldliness to rub off on you. You can’t read from or spend time with religious people who have corrupt doctrine and not expect their doctrine to influence your mind. You must put these people and their materials away from your life if you don’t want their corrupt ways and thoughts to influence your life. Don’t feel bad about putting these away because your walk with Christ is more important than being accepted by their corrupt influences.