Leviticus 11

Leviticus 11 addresses the kinds of things that God intended His people to eat.  In a short word, “Whatever parts the hoof and is cloven-footed and chews the cud, among the animals, you may eat”.  That is a pretty large group of animals, but certainly does not capture the entire creation.  God addresses a number of specifics in this chapter, which provide some insight into why this is part of His law.  Was He simply trying to deny His people access to some tasty treats?

The truth of the matter is that God had some reasons for writing these laws.  Some of it was related to health and well being and prevented bad things form happening to His people.  There were three key categories of animals that were unclean:

  1. Predators
  2. Scavengers
  3. Potentially poisonous or dangerous foods

God wasn’t just trying to deny the opportunity to eat certain things – there was rhyme to His reason.

This all changed in the New Testament and Paul pointed out there that we have the freedom to eat whatever we want to.  (1 Tim 4:1-5)  But that doesn’t mean we necessarily should, and it certainly doesn’t mean that we can eat whatever and whenever we want.  The battle with food has moved from what is permissible to the waistline for many of us today.  We have the blessing of food, but now we have to learn to control the amount and how we do it.  Food can become an idol in our lives.  It can be sinful today too.

The key lesson here is that God does have a plan for every area of life, including what we eat.  In the Old Testament days, He has specifics around what was permissible to eat.  Today it is a focus on making sure food does not consume us and cause us to fail to take care of our body – which is the temple of the Holy Spirit.  Food is one of the key parts of life, so it isn’t going away any time soon.  We have to learn to keep it in line with God’s truth and not allow it to destroy us or consume us.

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