I am a Christian. I believe in the God of the Bible, in God the Father, in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit. I believe in Genesis 1:1 - "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (NIV)" I am a biochemist and a pharmacist by education. As such I have a desire to understand nature. I am writing this blog as my way to express the facts of true science as I understand them, from the perspective of one who believes that all things were created by God, for God and for His purposes.

Feel free to comment, to offer your perspective, or to give suggestions for subjects.
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Tuesday, February 22, 2022

The Long and Winding Road to My Magnum Opus

My wife, Cathy, is the true artist in the family, having created hundreds of artistic works in her lifetime, mostly paintings and drawings and a number of amazing murals. This story begins in the summer of 1992 with one of her first murals, a beach scene in our sons' bedroom. Two of our teenage sons shared a large bedroom and the older one wanted to have the perfect wave painted on one wall. He loved and still does love surfing, as do his wife and kids. He makes use of his family's vacation times for them to all travel the world exploring the great beaches, looking for the best waves.

Beach Mural
Anyway, my wife took on the challenge and painted a tropical scene with sandy beaches and palm trees and a wave - a vision of my son's perfect wave - breaking near the shore. The seascape took up the entire south wall, clear to the peak of the raised ceiling and wrapped around the corners onto the adjacent walls. It was truly a work of art and a labor of love.

So, jump ahead to 2004 and both of those boys have moved out and are married as are most of our other kids. We now call the bedroom "The Beach Room" as the mural has endured all those years and is a centerpiece of art within our home. When new friends come to our home it is one of the first things that we share with them while touring the house. In fact it is still there today (2022) so has held this prominent spot for almost 30 years.


Each of Us has Something Great within Us
Just Waiting to be Released
In God's Perfect Timing

My wife now (in 2004) wants to decorate the room with a "seafaring" theme, adding items unbefitting a teenager's room such as seagull figures and seashells and - a porthole. So, it is at this point that I come into the picture. I enjoy looking for eclectic artifacts on eBay (an online shopping network much like an internet garage sale), where people sell their stuff they no longer want or need.

So, I volunteered to find a porthole to decorate the wall.

I began my search for the perfect porthole and, much to my dismay, the portholes I found were painted over or rusted or broken or with only a part of the porthole remaining. But finally, I found one that looked complete and in good shape, with only minor paint around the bolt holes. It said it was 27 inches in diameter and weighed 100 pounds but in my excitement, I really didn't notice. I thought it would be perfect for "The Beach Room" so I bid on it and WON!

Now I don't remember but, most likely I did all of this without asking my wife for her thoughts on my choice of a porthole. When my wife saw it, she said no, that it was too big and too heavy. She wanted a much smaller porthole, maybe 12 inches in diameter, with a mirror inside that could be hung on the wall above a beached themed shelf holding beach related bric-a-brac.

So now (April 2004), since I won it, I had to buy it. It was shipped to our home on a wooden pallet and I said I thought it was cool and that I would do something with it at some later date, like maybe make a porthole table out of it. I had seen porthole tables while browsing eBay and they were generally not much to look at but it was all I could think of at the moment. Little did I know what it would take to get the job done!

I stuck the porthole on a lower shelf in the garage with big plans but no time. So, there it lay hidden, for years and years, with me pulling it out every now and again to think about building something with it. At one point I went back on eBay looking for something to use as table legs and found some 4-foot-long brass poles, the kind used on circus carousels to make the horses go up and down. I bought them and tried to work out a design for the table but to no avail. I think the poles are buried in my garage, most likely only to be resurrected by my kids after I am gone.

Every now and then I would mention the porthole to my family, saying I was going to make a table out of it. It became the big joke as I was all talk but little to no action.

So, moving on, I retired in 2015 and started to settle in to my new life. My wife and I had plans to fix up our home and I worked on a number of remodel type projects around the house as well as spent more time with my kids and grandkids. Between these projects, my grandkids and my naps, it kept me busy most of the time. I would think about the porthole and had different ideas running through my head but didn't do any real work on it until COVID. It's not that COVID really prompted me to do it, it was just the timing as things slowed down at home, and I needed to clean out my garage (still a project to finish by the way). I went looking for a project and decided that it was time to really focus on the porthole and what to do about it.

I started my research by scanning any websites I could find that sold nautical pieces. I wanted to know as much as I could about my porthole. At some time in the past I had connected to a company that would get boatloads of nautical wares from India or China or elsewhere in the South Pacific and then offer them for sale. I saw more tables but no portholes of the size and condition of mine. I gathered information on-line about John Roby LTD, the English foundry that apparently had made the porthole. I contacted some museums in Liverpool and St Helens, and even a used nautical dealer in Maine who sent me a paragraph from the internet as his contribution.

I have yet to find a porthole even close to the size and condition of mine, nor can I determine how old mine is. I suspect, based on the little information I have about the John Roby foundry, that my porthole is possibly 100+ years old. The true answer is probably somewhere in one of the English museums, in their archives of paperwork from John Roby. Below is some history from the St Helens Star that support my thoughts.

The John Roby LTD Foundry was located in Rainhill England within the Metropolitan Borough of St Helens, in Merseyside. It is near the port city of Liverpool which is located on the River Mersey where it meets the Irish Sea. If you know any music from the 1960's, this is the same Liverpool that the Beatles called home.

John Roby was in operation from the late 1850's to 1973. Another foundry in the area during those years was Thomas Utley LTD. The Utley workbooks dated 1888 to 1903 (held by St Helens Archives), reveal that a huge amount of work was contracted to John Roby. A daybook held by the Liverpool Maritime Museum Archive similarly shows a constant flow of orders from the Utley Foundry to the Roby Foundry - all items made to Utley patterns and often to a special mixture of metals.

Thomas Utley LTD was a primary supplier of metal fittings for the Titanic. Unfortunately, their surviving workbooks do not cover the period when the Titanic was built (the Titanic was built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Ireland between March 1909 and May 1911) but there is no reason to believe that the pattern of the previous twenty plus years had changed, so it is very possible that John Roby LTD worked on sidelights, port holes and other fittings which were destined for the Titanic, or one of its sister ships, the Olympic and the Britannic.

In 1928 the two foundries reached an agreement whereby John Roby Ltd would receive first refusal on all orders of ships' lights. Then, in 1931, Utley was brought to the brink of bankruptcy when work on the Queen Mary was suspended. So, John Roby LTD bought some of the machinery from their Tuebrook site along with the name "Thomas Utley" and in 1934 Thomas Utley (Rainhill) LTD was founded and the sale of Utley products under license resumed at the Rainhill Foundry of John Roby LTD. The two companies eventually merged during the harsh trading conditions for shipping companies in 1966 and the company closed the Rainhill site in 1973. The TM Utley Foundry continues operations in St Helens today. Without any firm evidence, I am unable to date my porthole, except that it was probably made between 1880 and 1960, most likely sometime in the middle of that period (1910-30ish?).

So, leaving the porthole I moved on to the tabletop. What should it be? I found a company in Iowa, The Lumber Shack, that sells live edge tree slices and trunk rounds. I searched their inventory frequently for something I thought might work, using pictures of different rounds that I thought had a lot of character, overlaying them with the porthole and trying to find a good match.

I finally settled on some black walnut slices from a 100-year-old tree that had come down in someone's yard in Iowa. I thought the size and age matched the porthole well. The Lumber Shack had 8 to 10 slices from this same tree so I compared them all until I finally decided on one of the larger slices. It had a lot of character with its undulating edges. It also had a crack in the middle but that was fine since I was going to cut the middle out anyway. Not being skilled at working with such a delicate piece of lumber, I had The Lumber Shack de-bark the edge, epoxy the whole round and cut out the circle in the middle.

I moved to designing the base for the table. It had to be strong enough to hold up the 100-pound porthole, the 60-pound tree round and the glass plate I was planning to add to the top. It also needed to be able to roll around so it could be moved in the room and be able to be dismantled so the table could be moved into the house. My wife was not sure she wanted this in the house. I knew she would love it when it was complete but she just didn't have my vision for the piece yet!

I created a rough design with a steel round the diameter of the porthole that was about a foot tall. The porthole would fit into this round, creating a storage space in the middle. On this would be attached a plate to hold the tree round where the porthole would bolt into the tree section. Finally, I added several round plates to the outside of the steel round to create a soft look when viewing the table from the side. I provided my drawings to a local steel fabricator, Fabco Steel, and they created a proper CAD design and made the metal pieces I requested.

So, now I had all of the raw materials in the works and I just had to finish them and assemble. Hah! The work had just begun!

I have done some woodworking in the past but I was not prepared for what was to come. But luckily, I had a friend, Scott, who was a master woodworker, and he had a shop full of tools to help me. We first tackled the legs, using an old 1" by 12" section of what appeared to be walnut I had found stuffed away in my garage. We sliced it into 3" wide sections and formed a cross that would be the base for the steel drum, the legs of the cross fitting into slots cut in the drum. Little did I know how much went into the making of what seemed to be a simple cross! Each leg was three walnut sections, glued together. The gluing required a plethora of clamps to hold the boards in place while the glue dried. We spent over a week just gluing the different sections together but, in the end, came up with exactly what we needed to be the legs for the table. As Scott said, you can't ever have too many clamps!

After all was glued and done, we sanded the boards to a smooth sheen and finished them with Total Boat epoxy, giving them several coats. They looked great and I was excited to get going on the trunk slice. But it was not ready for me.

The tree trunk slab arrived on a pallet, inside a custom box completely sealed with screws. Upon opening the box, the tree slab was found surrounded with thin layers of Styrofoam for protection. Removing these revealed the slab, broken into three pieces. I had expected that there might be one break as the spot where the trunk folded in on itself was partially cut away when the circle was cut from the center of the slab. But there were two other breaks such that the slab was broken into three parts, with each section equal to about one-third of the circle.

Well, even though this was unexpected, I thought "we should be able to glue this together with some epoxy." Scott and I, with our clamps in hand, worked to figure out a way to hold the pieces together as we painted a coat of epoxy between the first two pieces. Once these glued and dried completely, a couple of days, we added the third piece and before we knew it, the circle was complete again. Surprisingly, the glue job came out very clean and we were impressed with our work.

Now that the base, legs, table top and porthole were all there, we did a sample fit - and it all went together as planned! So, we knew that the table was going to go together and what was yet to do would get us there. Remaining work was to polish the porthole, sand and epoxy the tree ring, touch up the steelwork and assemble. Yeah, that's all. But it would take another month or two to get that all done.

So, the first thing to do was epoxy the trunk and, as suggested by Scott, to add a supporting piece of plywood under the ring to give the tabletop an extra measure of strength. So, I cut a shaped piece of 1/4" plywood to fit the bottom of the tree trunk and sanded the bottom and the plywood with several different grits of paper in succession - 60, 120, 220, 320, 400 and 600 grit. I then applied epoxy on each and using screws, connected the plywood to the tree.

After applying several coats of epoxy, with more sanding in between, I called the bottom done and turned the trunk over and was ready to start work on the top. This is where another problem reared its ugly head. Once epoxied, the wood turns very dark and no grain is visible, a most unappealing and unwanted result. This was ok on the bottom but certainly NOT what was required on the table top.

I thought, oh no how am I going to lighten the wood to bring out the grain? I did some research (the Internet is not all bad!) and found that I could bleach the wood with a mixture of Lye (NaOH 8%) and Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2 27%) in equal parts. It was easier said than done to find these ingredients but once I found them, I was good to go. I applied this to the table top 3 times with sanding in between each application (remember the 6 progressive grades of sandpaper used each time) to lighten the wood to what I hoped would be the perfect shade after I coated the slab with 4 coats of the epoxy.

Now I proceeded to sand, then epoxy, then sand, and then epoxy until I had four coats. The sandings each took a day, remember the 6 grit levels each time. Then the epoxy coats each took two days as I could brush on the coat but needed to wait two days for it to dry completely, at least that is how I did it. I also did not work on it every day so in total it took about two weeks to finish the four coats. Finally, I had to buff it to the desired finish after the last coat.

Now that all the different parts were ready, I was finally able to assemble the table. The legs bolted onto the drum which supported the table top. The porthole required the installation of 19 threaded inserts for the brass bolts that anchored the porthole base to the table. All this took a few days as well since I needed to screw the table top to the steel drum, add the connections for power for the lights inside and for the USB charger ports.

Once the table was all put together (except for the porthole window, it was added after as it was very heavy) I asked my youngest son to come over and help me bring it inside as there was no way I could do it by myself. We wheeled it to the front door, lifted it over the threshold and down into the family room and rolled it into place. Once it was inside and all set up, Cathy said she loved it there so it is now the center of attention in front of the fireplace.

I am not sure if I will do anything like it again but I get excited every time I come into the room and see it glowing lightly (added some LEDs inside that glow out the frosted window of the porthole and through the bottom of the drum). Or when someone new comes by and sees it for the first time, I appreciate their kind words of praise for how beautiful it turned out. So, no matter what I do in the future, I suspect that this will be my Magnum Opus.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The Bible Scientific - Ecclesiastes 1:7

"The Bible Scientific" is my current blog series. Each post will examine a verse or two directly from Scripture and try to explain that Biblical quote from a scientific perspective.

It is often stated that the Bible and Science are not compatible, that the Bible is not a scientific text and that you can not believe the Bible and also believe science. I think this is short sighted as there are a number of places in Scripture where scientific facts were stated even before man understood them. The Bible is not a scientific text in that it is not meant to be the full explanation of scientific fact, but it does direct us to understand the nature of God scientifically as well as spiritually. It complements science. God uses His Word to help us understand Him and His creation with our mind, soul and spirit.

Galileo Galilei said:

"The prohibition of science would be contrary to the Bible, which in hundreds of places teaches us how the greatness and the glory of God shine forth marvelously in all His works, and is to be read above all in the open book of the heavens."

=======================================================================

In this post we will look at Ecclesiastes and Isaiah where they discuss the Water Cycle.

Ecclesiastes 1:7 (NIV) - All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again.

Isaiah 55:10 (NIV) – As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater.

These two verses suggest the flow of water from the sea to the sky to the rain, them back to the land and into the sea again. This is the fundamental principle of the Water Cycle or Hydrological Cycle. Without this process, life here would be impossible.

The water cycle describes how water evaporates from the surface of the earth and rises into the atmosphere, where it cools and condenses into rain or snow, forming clouds and eventually falling to the earth as precipitation. The falling water collects directly into the ocean or in rivers and lakes, the soil, and porous rock layers. From here it flows back into the ocean, and once again evaporates to complete the cycle.

There are many descriptions of the water cycle, with 4, 5, 7 or more steps in the cycle. Most start with some variation of these four main stages and expand each stage into more and more detailed components. All descriptions contain, in some form, these four steps of evaporation, condensation, precipitation and collection.

Let's look at each of these stages:

Evaporation: The heat from the sun causes the liquid water in the oceans, lakes, streams, and soils to turn into water vapor (a gas) and rise into the atmosphere.

Condensation: As the air cools down, the water vapor turns back into liquid water and coalesces to make clouds.

Precipitation: The water in the clouds then form into droplets of rain, snow, hail or sleet (as a liquid or solid - water or ice) and falls from the clouds in the sky.

Collection: Some of the falling water (as a liquid or solid) collects in the oceans, rivers, lakes, and streams. Most will infiltrate (soak into) the ground and will collect as underground water, which eventually finds its way back to the ocean.

The water cycle is powered by the sun's energy and by gravity. The sun kick starts the whole cycle by heating all the Earth's water and making some of it evaporate. Gravity makes the moisture fall back to Earth.


He ...who calls for the waters of the sea
and pours them out over the face of the land
— the LORD is his name. - Amos 5:8b (NIV)

Diagram of the Water Cycle


As you can see from this diagram, the cycle is much more complex than the simple description above of the four steps. In the first step, water rises into the atmosphere, leaving behind any accumulated minerals or other substances which can leave nutrients for plants and animals living on the land or in the sea. This also purifies the water so it can start the process clean.

As the water condenses into clouds, the clouds impact the weather in their location, possibly cooling the land or stirring up winds that will blow the clouds over the land from the ocean, further impacting the weather and affecting the type and chances of precipitation that may occur.

If the clouds move over higher elevations, the precipitation may come as snow which now covers the land with a very reflective surface which can reduce temperatures in the local area by reflecting back the sunlight. The snow and ice can also accumulate to form a water storehouse, later to melt and water the lowlands surrounding the snow pack. This collected water then extends the potential growing seasons for plant life and allowing life to flourish even when there is not continuous precipitation to provide regular waterings.

In the crucible of scientific investigation, the Bible has proven invariably to be correct. No other book, ancient or modern, can make this claim; but then, no other book has been written (through men) by God. From: Reasons to Believe.

I think as we learn more through scientific study and examination, if we are reasonable and open, we will see the hand of God at work.

Next up:

Psalm 139: 13-16 - For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Now in eBook Form - The Minerals of Revelation

The most searched blogs, by far, here on God's Chemistry Set are those dealing with "The Minerals of Revelation," a set of 14 blog entries covering the twelve stones used in the twelve foundations of the New Jerusalem, as outlined in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 21, verses 19 & 20.

Because so many readers look to these works, I have put them all together in one place as an eBook, now available on Amazon.

These blogs review, one by one and in order, each of the twelve stones in the foundation of the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:19-20). I discuss the stone, and possible other stones that could be represented, and look at its meaning and the connection to the twelve tribes of Jacob (breastplate of the high priest from Exodus 28:15-30 and Exodus 39:8-21) and to the twelve Apostles. I hope you find this information interesting and that it helps stimulate your own study of the Word of God.

The eBook also includes two additional, widely viewed blogs - "Atomic Glue - The Force That Holds the Atom Together" and "As Iron Sharpens Iron."

Please take a look and if you purchase the eBook I would appreciate a review.

Thanks

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

The Bible Scientific - Job 26:7

"The Bible Scientific" is my current blog series. Each post will examine a verse or two directly from Scripture and try to explain that Biblical quote from a scientific perspective.

It is often stated that the Bible and Science are not compatible, that the Bible is not a scientific text and that you can not believe the Bible and also believe science. I think this is short sighted as there are a number of places in Scripture where scientific facts were stated even before man understood them. The Bible is not a scientific text in that it is not meant to be the full explanation of scientific fact, but it does direct us to understand the nature of God scientifically as well as spiritually. It complements science. God uses His Word to help us understand Him and His creation with our mind, soul and spirit.

Galileo Galilei said:

"The prohibition of science would be contrary to the Bible, which in hundreds of places teaches us how the greatness and the glory of God shine forth marvelously in all His works, and is to be read above all in the open book of the heavens."

=======================================================================

Returning to Job we will consider verse 26:7 (NIV):

Job 26:7 (NIV) - He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing.

Another scripture to look at in connection with Job 26:7 is this one:

Job 38:31-33 (NIV) – Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades, or loose the cords of Orion? Can you lead forth a constellation in its season, and guide the Bear with her satellites? Do you know the ordinances of the heavens, or fix their rule over the earth?

These sections of Scripture discuss gravity and the "empty space" that fills the void between the stars. Gravity holds the planets up on seemingly nothing. The Sun “rules” over the Earth (holds it in an orbit). Scientifically, we know that gravity is one of, and the weakest of, the four fundamental forces. It causes any two bodies to be attracted to each other, with the force proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.

Gravity caused the original gaseous matter present in the Universe to begin to coalesce and form stars and caused the stars to group together into galaxies. It did the same to form planets. Gravity is the force by which all things with mass or energy are brought together. Gravity gives weight to things on Earth and the Moon's gravity helps form the tides we see on Earth. It even holds the atmosphere around the Earth that otherwise would be torn away by the Solar wind.

The most extreme example of gravity is a Black Hole, from which nothing—not even light—can escape once it passes the Black Hole's event horizon.

The Pleiades and Orion are the only two constellations where the stars in them are bound by gravity to one another so they move as a unit (they are in the same galactic location). Other constellations appear together but some of the stars are much further away from us and only look close due to our angle of view. Stars are constantly moving relative to one another, as is the Earth, the Moon and any planet circling a star.

Because of the vast distances within the Universe, the stars seem to stay in one place but over extremely long periods of time (thousands to millions of years) they will gradually move apart - the constellations will change shape. The constellations that are not within a single galactic location will retain their appearance for a much shorter time as the stars within them will be moving independent of one another.


When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them? - Psalms 8:3-4 (NIV)

M45map

The Pleiades is among the star clusters nearest to Earth and is the cluster most obvious to the naked eye in the night sky.

Orion is a prominent constellation located on the celestial equator and is visible throughout the world. Along with the Pleiades, Orion is one of the most conspicuous and recognizable star systems visible with the naked eye. Orion is also useful as an aid to locating other stars. Its seven brightest stars form a distinctive hourglass-shaped pattern that points towards other visible stars, such as Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky. Sirius is a binary star (Sirius A and B) and is also one of our nearest neighbors in the Milky Way.

Amos 5:8 (NIV) - He who made the Pleiades and Orion, who turns midnight into dawn and darkens day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land— the LORD is his name.

Next up:

Ecclesiastes 1:7 (NIV) - All the rivers flow into the sea, yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow, there they flow again.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

The Bible Scientific - Leviticus 13:45-46

"The Bible Scientific" is my current blog series. Each post will examine a verse or two directly from Scripture and try to explain that Biblical quote from a scientific perspective.

It is often stated that the Bible and Science are not compatible, that the Bible is not a scientific text and that you can not believe the Bible and also believe science. I think this is short sighted as there are a number of places in Scripture where scientific facts were stated even before man understood them. The Bible is not a scientific text in that it is not meant to be the full explanation of scientific fact, but it does direct us to understand the nature of God scientifically as well as spiritually. It complements science. God uses His Word to help us understand Him and His creation with our mind, soul and spirit.

Galileo Galilei said:

"The prohibition of science would be contrary to the Bible, which in hundreds of places teaches us how the greatness and the glory of God shine forth marvelously in all His works, and is to be read above all in the open book of the heavens."

=======================================================================

Now we move into Leviticus, the book of the Law:

Leviticus 13:45-46 (NIV) – “Anyone with such a defiling disease must wear torn clothes, let their hair be unkempt, cover the lower part of their face and cry out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ As long as they have the disease they remain unclean. They must live alone; they must live outside the camp."

This section of Scripture speaks to the control of disease, using quarantines when there was no cure and the disease in question appeared to be contagious. This is talking mostly about the ostracism of the incurable (lepers) in the desert where the Jews spent 40 years wandering until all who left Egypt had died (except two) and the LORD then led them into the promised land.

Does this sound familiar, in these days of COVID-19 and the corona virus? Social distancing, wearing masks, being "clean" (washing our hands and the surfaces we touch). Being asked (or told) not to leave our homes?

One thing is different, however, the Jews quarantined the person who was infected and it was incumbent on that person to tell everyone to stay away by shouting "Unclean!" Today everyone is encouraged to stay at home because we can not tell who is infected. Only those with symptoms, or a positive test, must be quarantined but everyone (sick or not) must wear a mask and stay six feet apart instead of shouting Unclean!


So that you can distinguish between the holy and the common,
between the unclean and the clean,
- Leviticus 10:10 (NIV)

Leprosy is a mildly contagious skin disease which had no cure at that time. It is a long-term infection by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae. It can sometimes take up to 20 years to develop. Infections can lead to damage of the nerves, respiratory tract, skin, and eyes. The nerve damage creates a lack of pain sensation, which can result in damage to and loss of a person's extremities from repeated injuries or further infection of unnoticed wounds. Transmission of leprosy occurs during close contact with those who are infected.

Leprosy deformities hands

Although Leprosy is only mildly contagious, it created a stigma for those with the disease and others were fearful of contracting it. So in following the advice of this verse, the Jews would quarantine those with leprosy outside of the camp to prevent the spreading of the disease. Here we see God directing his people to follow medical practices against a disease even though they knew nothing about how or why people got the disease.

People with the disease were required to cover their mouth (wear a mask). The transmission of leprosy is not well understood, but the upper respiratory tract is thought to be the most likely route of infection. They also had to be confined to specific areas to live so as not to infect otherwise healthy people.

Psalm 52:8 (NIV) - But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever.

God did not take away the suffering and stigma of the disease but he provided his people with a way to deal with the struggle. We need to learn that we will not be free of pain and suffering in this life but God is always with us, nonetheless.

Next up:

Job 26:7 - He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing.