The Bible reading for today is Leviticus 11 – 13.
We are now into matters of foods; in particular meats; that the people of Israel are commanded to eat. In the mind of the Gentile man or woman these may seem quite archaic or unnecessary; however, these are commandments for Israel; not Gentiles. That may be partially why these commandments on eating meats, leprosy, and others following are given.
It is not for the people to understand why these laws were given; it is for the people to obey God.
“Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby. For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth: to make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.” Leviticus 11:43-47 (KJV)
In these verses above it seems that the LORD gives us the most important reason for obedience to these laws. It is God’s command to “be holy”. Leviticus is about holiness. God’s call to His people is to be holy as He is holy. Holiness is cleanliness.
Let me quote from the MacArthur Study Bible on these verses,
11:1-47 This section contains further legislation on the consumption of animals. Abel’s offering hints at a “post-Fall/pre-Flood” diet of animals (Gen. 4:4). After the Noahic flood, God specifically had granted man permission to eat meat (Gen. 9:1-4), but here spelled out the specifics as covenant legislation. All of the reasons for the prohibitions are not specified. The major points were: 1) that Israel was to obey God’s absolute standard, regardless of the reason for it, or the lack of understanding of it; and 2) such a unique diet was specified that Israel would find it difficult to eat with idolatrous people around and among them. Their dietary laws served as a barrier to easy socialization with idolatrous peoples. Dietary and hygienic benefits were real, but only secondary to the divine purposes of obedience and separation.
FROM THE MACARTHUR STUDY BIBLE NKJV p. 168
There is an example here for Christians to follow as well. We are commanded in the New Testament, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate” (2 Corinthians 6:17), and “Be ye holy for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15, 16). The world in which we live today is shouting for Christians to be holy, separate, and clean; yet we have professing Christians dressing as the world dresses, eating as the world eats, entertaining as the world entertains; the world sees no difference in the way we live and their way of life; and we wonder why there is a decrease in the numbers of people coming to Christ.
We don’t have to copy the world’s music, dress, entertainment, and worship styles to “win the lost”. We must, however, be holy and separate from them, and then they may just have a reason to hear the message that only Christ can change us. If we love Jesus Christ let’s let our lives show what only Christ can do.
Take time to read Leviticus 11 – 13.
-Tim A. Blankenship