Leviticus 11

Leviticus 11 really drives home the point that God is into the detail business.  We saw His attention and concern for detail in how He instructed the construction of the Tabernacle and Tent of Meeting but now we turn our attention to the food that His people were allowed to eat.  To say He gets down to the nitty gritty is an understatement.  In this chapter He lays out clearly what is and is not acceptable for their diet at that time.  He begins with this overarching instruction: “Whatever parts the hoof and is cloven-footed and chews the cud, among the animals, you may eat….Everything in the waters that has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the rivers, you may eat”.

As we often find in scripture, God knows that we humans don’t read well, listen well, or interpret well.  He very effectively lists out the things that are not OK – it is black and white.  While I realize these rules are not applicable today based on the teaching of Jesus and the New Testament, I do think taking a few minutes just to recognize God’s attention to detail is important.  This is not the entire list in the chapter, but here are a few of the things God calls out here as being unacceptable for His people to eat:  “The camel…. the hare….the pig….the eagle, the bearded vulture, the black vulture, the kite, the falcon….every raven….the ostrich, the nighthawk, the sea gull, the hawk….the mole rat, the mouse, the great lizard….the gecko, the monitor lizard, the lizard, the sand lizard, and the chameleon”.  You get the drift.  There are plenty more listed but this shows the detail of our God.

He is not really interested in us interpreting what He means.  Often we spend a lot of time trying to spin scripture to fit our situation.  We tend to throw in a lot of ‘God’s Word says this but’ or ‘I know that is what it says but He doesn’t understand my situation’.  My friends – God more than understands your situation.  He did when He penned the Bible through the hands of men over 2000 years ago.  God knows what He wrote and it applies to you and me today.  The only question is whether or not we will obey.

Why does it matter?  God says it this way:  “You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy”.  In case you lost sight of the standard – there it is.  We are to be holy like God.  Bottom line is that we are screwed because we cannot achieve that standard.  Our only hope is a relationship with Jesus Christ who can cover our sin with His shed blood and redeem us to a holy God.  There truly is no other way.  The details of holiness will cause us to miss the mark, even if we are generally good people.  We will fall short and that means we are apart from God.  Jesus is our way, our truth and our life.  He alone can bring us to the holiness that God demands!

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Brad Kowerchuk on September 26, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    According to the Bible, “the hare . . . is a chewer of the cud.” (Leviticus 11:6). For many years some thought this inaccurate, and rabbits are not ruminents. However, science now knows they have a habit of “refletion”, or chewing their droppings which serves a similar purpose to chewing the cud. How might this build our faith in the scientific accuracy in the bible? Further, if there are things that today do not seem to be reconciled, how can our faith help us to wait until further understanding is revealed?


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