Breaking the Mold

“But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God (John 3:21).”

Caitlin Murray was terribly sick toddler and doctors were at a loss to diagnose the root cause of her symptoms. She suffered from terrible headaches, swollen face and persistent vomiting. (1) After exhausting all avenues the head of the diagnostic center at Children’s Hospital Philadelphia suggested that the Murray’s get out of their home for a while and see if things changed. They did and Caitlin’s condition did as well. That’s when they went back to inspect the home and found their crawl space in the basement was infested with mold which had triggered their troubles.

Modern homes are built to be energy efficient and tightly sealed but mold spores are everywhere, can remain dormant for up to 50 years, and give them a damp dark space and they will activate and spread. There are more than 100,000 species and around 50 or so are considered toxic.

But this scourge is not just the bane of modern dwellings, there were special instructions that God gave to His people concerning how they should treat this very issue as they arrived and dwelt in the Promised Land of Canaan. Before His people could approach the Holy God they had to be made clean; uncleanness of body was a prohibition from fellowship with God and the rest of the people (Leviticus 13:45-46). Even laundry that may have contracted mold or mildew had to be treated and examined (Leviticus 13:47-58) and could disbar one from worship. And the legislation extended into their homes; mold or mildew growing required priestly inspection of the structure. The house had to be emptied before examination (Leviticus 14:36) of the growth. Observations were marked and left for a week to determine if the blight was spreading. If so the stones were to be removed and cast away and the walls were to be scraped and new stones and mortar were to be erected. If the mold and/or mildew returned the home was to be condemned. But if contained the home was to be cleansed and sanctified (vv.48-53). Coffman wrote that these laws were issued to make the Israelite aware that he lived “in a world of sin, that he was always in the midst of evil.” (2)

The natural spiritual application is that the world is exposed to the deadly toxins of sin in their dwellings that are unseen and remain in the dark recesses untreated. Even some who have come to Christ have deceived themselves into believing that they can dwell safely with some sin stashed away in a dark corner of their hearts. Like Achan, they perceive that they allow the forbidden things of this world to remain deep in their abode but in fact they expose their entire household to danger (Joshua 8:20-22, 25-26). Adam and Eve hid from God when that stain clung to them.

What is needful is immediate exposure of the plague to the sunlight by confession (1 John 1:7-9) to allow God to apply the most powerful cleanser in the universe, the blood of Christ, to cleanse those spots. There is a washing that is needful to remove those varieties of deadly growths (1 Corinthians 6:11, Revelation 1:5). It is in baptism that Christ not only washes us completely but removes the blight so that it cannot contaminate further (Colossians 2:11-12). With the continuing sunlight of confession your home will always be secure from dangerous toxins. Have you allowed the Priest (Hebrews 8:1) to perform a free home inspection?

“When there is famine in the land, pestilence or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers; when their enemy besieges them in the land of their cities; whatever plague or whatever sickness there is; whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows the plague of his own heart, and spreads out his hands toward this temple: then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and act, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of men) (1 Kings 8:37-39).”

  2. James Burton Coffman Commentaries: Leviticus 14; Bible study Library CD-ROM, ACU Press

Billy Alexander is a member of the church of Christ in Jersey Village in Houston, TX. He and his wife Gwen both work at Hewlett-Packard where they met and have worked more than 25 years each. Billy enjoys teaching Bible several times each week at Jersey Village and Memorial church of Christ. Since 2008, his weekly article "Equipping the Saints" as run in the Jersey Village bulletin.