The threat of catching Coronavirus has made us all aware of the importance of washing our hands. Every time we listen to the news or read a newspaper we are reminded of the importance of making sure we wash them thoroughly.
The washing of hands is not a new idea. In the last century one in four pregnant mothers who entered hospital died from some form of infection. Philip Ignaz Semmelweis , an obstetrician, had a death rate of only eight women in a thousand. That was less than 1% !! What was the secret ? It was very simple. Dr Semmelweis washed his hands! In the 19th century doctors often went from the mortuary or from the dissecting room straight back to their rounds of the hospital wards. They hardly stopped to wipe their hands on their already soiled aprons. Dr Semmelweis had realised that doctors were spreading the disease from the infected patients to the healthy ones.
But the washing of hands and personal hygiene was stressed 3,500 years previously in the Law given by God to Moses in the Old Testament of the Bible.
Here are just two examples.
Preventing the Spread of Infection.
A man or woman who had a bodily discharge was considered unclean until investigation by the Priest.
Their bed and anyone who touched the bed or touched them were considered unclean . Moses writes: “Anyone the man with a discharge touches without rinsing his hands with water must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening”
This is just one illustration of many cases of treating infection.
Isolation and Quarantine.
People are being advised to stay at home if there is likelihood that they may have been in contact with anyone who may be able to pass on Coronavirus The Law of Moses states “ When anyone has …. an infectious skin disease , he must be brought to… a priest…. the priest is to put the infected person in isolation for seven days. On the seventh day the priest is to examine him, and if…. unchanged…… he is to keep him in isolation another seven days”
Leviticus 13:2-8, 46
Once pronounced clean the man had to “wash his clothes, shave off his hair and bathe in water..
How did the people of Israel know about these vital matters? Because God told them and Moses reminded them to obey what God had commanded them. (Deuteronomy 4:5-9).
Do keep washing your hands to help to combat this new virus! Meanwhile we must remember that the God of the Bible knows about the problems we all face. When Jesus returns to establish his Father’s Kingdom those who have made God’s Laws rule in their hearts will be invited by him to share in the perfect and everlasting health of his reign.