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Greetings in Jesus' Name,

My comments today is actually more of a question. Leviticus 11 about unclean food. I have heard people say that the Old Testament rules represent the old covenant because when Jesus came he brought the New covenant. How does that affect the area of unclean foods that we are so used to and eat today. For instance [THE PIG] many of the foods we eat today comes from the pig.

In His Presence
Joseph

hi Joseph, read Acts 10 from verse 9 on..the vision of Peter....where God shows Peter the animals and speaks to him on clean and unclean.

Even though all foods today are considered "clean" to the believer, it should be noted that this doesn't mean that all foods are good for you. The Bible's teaching on diet are still very detailed as to what is healthy and what is not; and, should be a guide as what to avoid. I feel that this can be done without being fanatical to either extreme.

I think it is very interesting that as Stef noted Peter is the one who had the vision of clean and unclean animals, and also that Peter is the one who refers to those very verses from Leviticus that Mike mentioned about being holy as God is holy. Peter not only received the vision to let go of the ceremonial law regarding unclean animals, but he clearly understood the principle of holiness that stood behind it.

These verses in Leviticus are another reason to make sure we always let Jesus have the 'last word' on all these matters. I think the 'big idea' of Leviticus 11 is contained in verses 46-47 where it says "so you can distinguish between what is unclean and may not be eaten and what is clean and may be eaten." Is the idea that if we want to live lives that are pleasing to God, the people had to exercise discernment between various options? The priests according to Ezekiel 44:23 were to teach people God's will. "They will teach my people the difference between what is holy and what is common, what is ceremonially clean and unclean."
Aren't we glad that many of these dietary laws were temporary but the principle is permanent: Jesus' followers today must have discernment and avoid what is unclean. Just check out Mark 7:14-23; Acts 10:9-18; 1 Tim 4:1-5 for examples of how the dietary laws were temporary. Thank God for that.
I believe the New Testament book of Hebrews which is the best commentary on Leviticus says, "Solid food is for those who are mature, who have trained themselves to recognize the difference between what right and wrong and then do what is right." Heb 5:14 I like this passage because it gives us the freedom to be wise, and to be discerning, and not just accept what everyone else tells us is right or wrong from their perspective. In short, it gives us what Elizabeth Elliot calls 'the liberty of obedience' which means the ability to discern. Righteousness always comes from choosing not by having someone impose their view of what is 'clean and unclean.'

I am still meditating on Leviticus chapter 10, the "strange fire".

Note the very interesting and stimulating note in the "Spirit Filled Life Bible" regarding the Leviticus 10 passage:

~~~

"The nature of their wrong, that is to offer profane fire (Hebrew esh
zarah, literally "strange" or "foreign" fire), seems to make reference
to idolatrous worship. Apparently they had taken fire for their censers from a place other than the altar fire, which was the only legitimate fire for the worship.

Ancient Jewish interpretation taught that they were intoxicated when
they came before the Lord, which intensified the gravity of their actions (verse 9).

The holiness of the worship was in jeapordy when the priests offered
fire other than that commanded by God. The same manifestation of fire
which had ealier shown approval is now sent by God in judgment."

~~~

MY NOTE:

1.
"Walk by the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh."
(Galatians 5:16)

2.
WALKING BY THE SPIRIT -- yielding to the Spirit and offer myself as a
true living sacrifice on the altar (giving up my way for God's way) --
is the ONLY way to offer an acceptable offering to the Lord.

Vance

Mike. I think that your observation of our culture being one of "small talk" is interesting. Too often we are reduced to quick versions or snippets of conversations with those we come in contact with. Our culture is being "re-tooled" into this new way of thinking. Emails are short burst of though that lengthy letters once provided. (I think Paul would have been lost today!) Take a look at our news programs these days. All those crawlers drive me crazy. Have you heard a popular radio talk show lately? They are always in such a hurry to cut to commercial. "Bob from Ohio. In just 20 seconds....tell us what's on your mind." Next time you go to a movie notice how long each scene "take" is. You are doing well if you get 4 seconds. This "text messaging world" that we live in is having a profound affect on us. Is it any wonder that marriages fail and families gravitate away from eachother?

Ooops. Forgot to post my name to the above comment. Sorry }:D

I appreciate the verses in today's psalm that desperately cry out for God's help, b/c that's where I am today. I'm not aware of some great sin or catastrophe, I simply need God's presence, and I need it now, here, with me in as tangible way as possible. I relate to the psalmist in that way. His words, emotions, which he expressed make me feel like I am not alone in my desperate need for God to answer my call for help. If God does not choose to answer (but I know He is not indifferent to my call) then what? Then where would I be? God is my help, my hope, my source of "Trust me, it's going to be OK," as was commented today regarding the story of the 12-year-old girl who Jesus healed.

"21 O LORD, do not forsake me; be not far from me, O my God. 22 Come quickly to help me, O Lord my Savior."

SO DOES THIS MEAN WE SHOULD NOT EAT PIG AND ANY OF THEY FOODS MENTIONED IN THIS CHAPTER?

I see the reading about the unclean animals in Peters vision as a type of parable; it was a symbol of people, the gentiles, not actually animals. It was later, in Acts ch.15 and Romans ch.14, that the christians in Jerusalem decided it was ok to eat as long as it did not offend or undermine someones fragile faith. Another reminder that the 10 commandments are based on loving God and loving our neighbours

Victoria,

Leviticus 11 marks a division in Leviticus from the priests and sacrifices to the people.

God is setting forth in great detail notions of what can be eaten and the cleansing of utensils, pots, etc. Before any idea of science and dietary medicine were discovered by man, God was taking care of his nomadic people who had yet to settle in their land. This may have been what was necessary for the survival and good growth (in numbers) of the Jewish people given the nomadic lifestyle.

It is interesting to note that during the great plague years in Europe, the Jews did not suffer many deaths. Cleanliness and dietary choice helped them in this area. People were so suspicious of their good health, that Jews were accused of being behind the plague and persecuted.

Besides my opinion that this part of the Law was specifically stated for the Jewish people (individual), just as the sacrifices were no longer necessary after Christ's crucifixion - IMO this part of the Law although it could be used for guidelines today is not mandatory.

I think beryl is right in citing Paul who specifically addresses this in Romans 14:14,17-18,20

"As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself...For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.....Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble."

So in answer to your question based on my reading of scripture - What you eat is up to you but if it causes friction or another to stumble, then keep that in mind when dining with others.


Leviticus 11-12:8 (Mark 5:21-43)

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. … And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. …. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Genesis 1:1-31 KJV)

O.K. So what happened that now there are clean and unclean animals? (Rhetorical question). As we search for why the laws, the setting apart of clean and unclean, holy and secular/profane some of the explanations do not satisfy me. I’m not saying they are wrong, I’m just saying I’m still “thirsty” for understanding. I want to know the why and wherefores. If everything was created “good” and “very good” what has sin done to corrupt God’s creation? Or has each created things purpose just been thrown out of wack because of sin? (Again Rhetorical) Man sinned, not the plants, not the animals, not the bugs, what did our sin set into motion that we now read about this separation and division? (Rhetorical).

I stated this previously but it bears repeating, everything we read about in the Old Testament points to the New, everything that God inspired man to write in the Old points to Jesus Christ. Life is all about choices and God gave the church in the wilderness something to choose, life or death, blessing or curses, holiness or the profane. It is all about choice. He commands Israel, to “be perfect because I am perfect.” Israel was given 600 plus laws, and the deal was, You break one you break them all. The only way you could do this was definitely not in your own strength because no one could keep the law. That is why the altar in the Tabernacle has to be busy from sun up to sun down. This could only be done by faith under the Old Covenant (Habakkuk2:4), as well as under the New (Rom 1:17; Gal 3:11; Heb 10:38). So to be Perfect like God, back then and now, one must walk with God and your perfection comes by way of identification with God/Christ.

One of the things I think that point toward Christ are the consumption of the animals that have split hooves and chew the cud. (Yes, I know I am probably going off on the deep end but here goes). Split hooves, at least to me, points to separation, choosing one thing over the other, not melding the sacred with the profane. They are close enough to be seen but with enough distance to be separated. Along with the split hooves, there must be constant chewing, digesting what was eaten and bringing it back up again to be chewed on some more, this speaks to me of “meditating” on God’s Word. The nutrients in the “grass” are not exhausted in the first swallow, but must be “chewed” over and over again. I believe it is akin to mediating on every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God, and we know that Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1)

This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success. (Joshua 1:8 AMP)

Also we can take note that Jesus “appears” to have broken or subverted Levitical Laws in today’s New Testament readings. He has been touched by a woman with an issue of blood, thus by the Law is unclean (We will read this in the days to come), he has not only been in the same room with the dead but touched the body making Him unclean. Could the statement He made to the “mourners,” “…She is sleeping” been said to not “offend” the people who knew she was dead? (Yes, again Rhetorical) Whatever the reason, death, sickness could not stay when Jesus showed up.


And another thing: In this passage there are a lot of twelve’s. Jesus is walking with his twelve disciples and is stopped by a man with a sick daughter who is twelve years old. He is then touched with an intentional touch by a woman who has been bleeding for twelve years. Is twelve the number for “God’s Purpose? (There are 12 sons of Jacob; 12 tribes of Israel, Hmmm). I am reading a secular book written by the famous science fiction writer Isaac Asimov, Realm of Numbers. It is non-fiction and it gives the history of our number system and mathematics in general. On page 45 he discusses that there was a challenger to our base 10 numbering system, it was the number 12.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

Mark,

A little lazy as I have been under the weather the last few days. So, I am reposting a comment from the same story in Matthew (done on Jan 13th). Maybe some joined late, or missed it when it was first posted. Post has to do with prophecy in Malachai, the woman's faith, and Jewish cultural wardrobe.
======================================================
In Jewish culture in Jesus' time all men wore the tallis (prayer shawl) and the tassels on the corners of the prayer shawl were called "tzitzit". According to prophecy, touching the tzitzit of the Messiah when he came would have great healing power.

"But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings..."Mal 4:2

Wings of the tallis were formed when the arms were held out - as in supplication or prayer to the Lord.

So the woman did not just have faith that she would be healed - she had faith that Christ was the Messiah. She "believed in Him".

http://www.hopeofisrael.net/tallis.htm

A little long, but an interesting read on tallis. If nothing else, I suggest going to the bottom of the page and at least reading the section "The Hem of His Garment".

Leviticus 12

Just a note: I think Bob has it wrong in adding up the days of purification. Total days is 40 not 47 for a boy. For a girl 80 not 94 days.

"All sickness and death is the result of the fall. Child-bearing is at least related to the curse." - Bob at bible.org
[The child-bearing process itself is sinful because of the new view of nakedness and sex???]
After the forty or eighty days the woman must make a burnt offering and a sin offering to be atoned and made clean.

Interesting that according to Scripture Jesus' mother made these sacrifices. ( Luke 2:21-24).

The most intriguing thing I got from Bob's write-up:

"While the Law could pronounce a person unclean, it made no provision to make him clean. The priest could declare an unclean person unclean, and he could pronounce a clean person clean, but there was no means to cure the condition which produced the uncleanness. It was only with the coming of Christ, who inaugurated the New Covenant, that the condition of uncleanness, and the curse of Adam, would be remedied."

This triggered a thought as to what Jesus meant when he said he came to "FULFILL THE LAW". I always though it was about prophecy, but maybe it is about providing the cure for what the Law could only point out.

[Sorry if this last is obvious to others, as it is new to me :)]

Matt 5:17

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill."(NAS)

Or both prophecy and above point :)

I like this comment on Leviticus 11 by Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel:

And so, I do believe that in the New Testament the Lord did give us, as Gentiles, the privilege of eating meats that were forbidden to the Jews. When they sought to deal with the issue of the relationship of the Gentile church to the law, Peter said, "Don't put on them a yoke of bondage that neither we nor our fathers were able to bear." And so they did mention just one thing, don't eat things that are strangled actually, or refrain from the blood, and don't eat things that are sacrificed to idols. But they didn't go into the whole dietary list that God gave to them here in Leviticus.

~~~

Regarding "unclean" foods and our health, many Christians have found that the American diet is killing them and causing all kinds of sickness and disease. They have studied what God said were clean foods and changed their eating habits to eat the clean foods - and became more healthy and fit for God's kingdom.

God's wisdom is precious in all ages, if it is used in wisdom.

"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. But whose delight is in the law of the Lord; and in this law does he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by rivers of water, bringing forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper" (Psalm 1:1-3).

~~~

Final point about Acts 10: This is the vision in which Peter saw a sheet dropped with "clean and unclean" foods, and God's voice said "Kill and eat." Note Pastor Chuck Smith's comment:

Now in the New Testament, we realize that the Bible says that you know "All things are lawful for me", but yet Paul says, "all things edify not" (I Corinthians 10:23). All things are not necessary. Peter saw a sheet let down from heaven with all kinds of clean and unclean things upon it, and the Lord said, "Arise, Peter, kill and eat." He said, "Oh not so, Lord, I have never eaten anything that was unclean"(Acts 11:7-8).

And so many people take that as a green light from God to eat anything. I can eat the bacon, ham, and pork chops, and so forth because God said, "Don't call that unclean that which I have cleansed." God wasn't really talking about pork in that scripture.

HE WAS ACTUALLY TALKING ABOUT THE GENTILES, AND HE WAS DEALING WITH PETER BECAUSE GOD WAS GOING TO CALL HIM TO GO TO THE GENTILES.

And yet, I believe that Paul was a liberated enough Jew that I'm sure that he probably ate pork chops and all whenever they were set before him. Because he said, "All things are to be received with thanksgiving and eat what is set before you asking no questions".

~~~
Love people as you share and demonstrate the Lord Jesus to them.

~~~

In reference to Leviticus 12, why was a mother considered contaminated for two weeks if she bore a girl child and only 7 days if she bore a male child?

The Chumash, published by Artscroll, is the OT and Torah notes. This is its comment regarding contamination because of a girl child:

"Hoffman (Jewish rabbi) suggests that the two-week period should have applied to the birth of a son also. However, the Torah removed the contamination from the mother of a boy after only seven days so that she would be purified before the bris milah (i.e., CIRCUMCISION) celebration of her son."

Circumcision -- being circumcision as a sign of the covenant -- is true all the way through the OT and the NT. In the NT, Jesus actually accomplishes the circumcision of our hearts that we could never do by ourselves.

Colossians 2 (NKJV)
6
As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,
7
rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

11
In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,
12
buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.
13
And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,
14
having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
15
Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

Finally, I like the Holy Spirit's comment through Paul in Colossians 2:

18
Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility.

WE ARE NOT MADE RIGHTEOUS BY LAWS REGARDING FOOD.

However, obedience OUT OF LOVE AND IN WISDOM OF THE SPIRIT to God's commands keeps us "blessable".

Vance

Mark chapter 5:

May we, like the woman with the issue of blood, draw out the power of life from Jesus that is available TO ALL OF US through our faith.

Jesus, as a human, was not even aware the woman was there before she touched His garment in faith. When she touched Jesus, her faith drew out His power.

~~~

May we gain and never lose that pure, simple relationship with the Lord Jesus.

May the living relationship that Jesus created in us as we were made "new creatures in Christ" (2 Cor. 5:17) BE ALLOWED TO BE FULLY EXPRESSED as we love, meditate on, pray, and receive from the Lord Jesus.

Vance

Regarding today's section on the Psalm, there's a little typo. It's Psalm 38 (not 28). I wouldn't normally be picky, but Psalm 38 is so powerful! People should read this prayer over and over (followed by Psalm 51) when they are in despair over sin.

Reading Psalm 28 right afterward would make sense too! :-)

[[Note from Mike - thanks Mike O for this catch! I just got it updated to Psalm 38.]]

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