April 28, 2014
Leviticus 11-Part 1
The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean." Acts 10:15
LET IT GLOW
I do like sitting down to eat fried frog legs, rabbits, squirrels, shrimp, ham, sausage, or bacon. Any one of them is good. However, when my bad cholesterol numbers kept climbing up, I knew something had to be about it. Taking a pill wasn't helping. Having inherited it from both parents was not on my side either. So I stopped eating those animals/foods. Such sacrifices proved to be beneficial, with my blood test showing improvement and I expect the next test to be even better. Diet along with exercise, hopefully, will help me avoid a heart attack or a stroke, which runs in my dad's family. Diets can be good.
Did you know that the Israelites had forbidden food for eating?
In chapters 11-15 and 17-22, Moses teaches his people the difference between the clean and the unclean in the areas of food, birth and death, diseases and personal relationships, with the theme of defilement. (Wiersbe)
God simply indicated which animals were good to eat and which were not. He wanted them to avoid parasitic and contagion diseases, so He laid down some guidelines. Even touching one of these unclean animals rendered one unclean until evening (11:25) and required the washing of one's clothes, and sometimes a sin offering. (Falwell)
What were these guidelines? In contrast to those permitted to be eaten and those not permitted, we read:
- clean land animals must have split hooves and chew the cud: cattle, sheep, and goats; those not having split hooves and not chew the cud: camels, rock badgers, swine (verses 3-8);
- marine life were required fish to have fins and scales, considered clean to eat; unclean were catfish and various form of shell-fish, oysters, lobsters, shrimp, frogs, squid (verses 9-12);
- of the bird family, doves, pigeons, quails, chickens, turkeys, and smaller birds probably allowed to be eaten since they were not on the forbidden list; unclean were birds of prey, such as eagles, vulture, raven, owl, stork, heron, and bat (verses 13-19)
- four legged insects with jumping legs, such as katydid, cricket or grasshoppers 4 kinds of locusts) were permissible to eat; other insects walking were forbidden to be eaten (verses 20-23);
- animals with four paws were forbidden to be eaten, such as the dog and cat families, and certain reptiles, weasels, rats, lizards, gecko, skink and chameleon (verses 27-31);
- all reptiles were unclean, those which move on the belly or walk on all fours, such as snakes and alligators (verses 41-43).
[References: Liberty Bible Commentary, New International Version of the Bible]
Do we watch what we eat so we can have a healthy body?
LET IT GROW
Acts 10 tells us about Peter up on the roof of Cornelius' house praying and fell into a trance. Then he saw a sheet kit at the four corners, let down from heaven. Within it was unclean animals, birds, and reptiles. A voice told Peter to kill them and eat them, but he refused. Peter had learned that these were unclean animals, which the Jews were forbidden to eat.
In verse 15, Peter heard the voice a second time, instructing him, Do not call anything impure (unholy) that God has made clean.
This happened three times, and then the sheet was taken back to heaven.
The dietary restrictions of the Law was now nilled, not required to be followed by Christians.
With the coming of the New Covenant and the calling of the church, God ended the dietary restrictions (Mark 7:19) (MacArthur)
By the sacrifice of the blood of Jesus, we are set free from the Law. It is our righteousness, not the keeping of rules. However, the Law is useful for convicting us of our sins, for guidelines for our life and society. I am not saying that the Ten Commandments and the Jewish Laws should be done away with. We serve a Savior who came to fulfill the Law by offering Himself as a perfect sacrifice.
In Matthew 6:17, Jesus said, Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
Love fulfills the Law. We do things because we love God and others, not to keep a law for our righteousness or a way to get to heaven.
LET IT GO
Love God, love others.
Take care of my body so it will honor God.
Don't criticize others for what they eat.