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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.

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 each other?

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

Mark 5
The Healing of a Demon-possessed Man

Bob Deffingbaugh's commentary is pretty good.
http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=592

The Decapolis region is to the east of Israel. It is thought to be where a number of the Canaanite tribes settled after being defeated by God and routed out of Israel.

The people are pagan. They worship "false gods" and perhaps the pigs were a part of that process. If a food source - certainly they are not "clean" animals - so it makes sense that these people are not Israelites.

I think it is wrong to focus on the pigs - and say why? There is no indication that Jesus was behind the pigs going off the cliff. But even so...

"As Lord of all, God has the right to make use of His creation any way that He deems best, and this includes not only pigs, but people (cf. Romans 9:19-23)." - Bob Deffingbaugh

The result was - it clearly showed the man had been healed from demonic presence.

The people - they were afraid - what would Jesus do to them??? We didn't ask for this???? Go away.

Legion - well he was told to stay, despite his request to follow Jesus. Told to share with his family. A picture of not all need to be missionaries out of the country - we can do some of our best work at home. This will be evident on Jesus' next trip to the area.


I have enjoyed the study so far but I hate snakes! :)

I think that when we read about the clean and unclean in Leviticus 11 and 12 today, we are also seeing the loving and protective hand of God from a different angle.

In Chapter 11, the main meat consumed by the Gentiles was pork, and that was their primary source of protein. God saw that the Israelites would have more than sufficient food to eat but would also see that the Gentiles in the region would have their food source protected by making it prohibitive for the Israelites to eat. Even though all people do not accept God as their Savior, God loves all people! God also protected the wildlife He created by providing prohibitions that would protect their food chain.

In Chapter 12 on the purification of women, I feel that God was protecting the woman in these verses. We need to remember that in those days women were considered property the same as livestock. They could be used whenever and however their husbands desired and worked daily as long and hard as the husband dictated. God is assuring each woman a period of rest each month that she would not have otherwise. After childbirth, God is again protecting the woman by giving her body time to heal.

I feel that when we look at the big picture given in today’s Scripture reading, we see it establishes a the pattern created by a loving God that provides for and protects all of God’s creations, and it gives us a greater understand of how God works for the benefit of all. This has given me a new appreciation for God’s restrictions!

God Bless,
Pat

Leviticus 11

The Need for a Standard

Pat has an interesting observation about the big picture of "clean and unclean". In addition to that thought, the listing along with sanitary procedures probably were meant to keep the Israelites from epidemic diseases that could wipe them out, or seriously reduce their numbers.

However, I think the most important thing here may be the symbolism of God's choices. Afterall, later in the NT - there is no "unclean". So what is the symbolism for the Israelite back then, and can it apply to us today? What is the implication of these standards?

1) Animals that walk on earth (clean)-
Chew the cud - you are to meditate on God's Word.
Divided hoof - separation - discernment - apply discernment to God's Word. Do not take Scripture in isolation or out of context.

2) From the Sea (clean)-
Sea - is OT symbol of Humanity in its entirety.
Fins - allow navigation through Humanity.
Scales - provide protection in that environment.

3) Birds (Unclean)-
Unclean are either Carnivorous or omnivorous (eat anything/scavengers).
Heavens - represent spirituality.
Carnivourous - stay away from the ideas of the flesh.
Omnivorous - stay away from the spiritual idea that gather ideas from all sources and blend them together. There is only one acceptable source and that is God and His Word.

4) Insects (Clean)-if they can crawl, fly, and leap.
Crawl - things of the earth.
Fly - things of the heavens.
Leap - be able to accurately tie the two together.

5) belly crawlers (unclean) - clearly a reference to the symbolism of the serpent in the Garden. A sign of the curse. We are to stay away from all things Satanic.

So why not the "clean and unclean" in the NT?

Aside from the practical nature that was for the Israelite, the symbolic nature is now taken care of by Christ's teaching, the NT Scriptures, and the Holy Spirit in us.

Leviticus 12

Purification After Childbirth

Again I think Pat has a good practical observation on the need for rest after childbirth.

What is God saying on a symbolic level? God is not against birth, children or the act of procreation - His instructions were to go forth and multiply.

However the birth of a baby and the unclean instructions and the burnt and sin offering do point out:
"that since the fall of Adam every human being born into this world is born into a fallen race." - Ray Stedman

God impresses this upon his people by this restriction, circumcision, and offerings, this reminder that something connected with birth is unclean.

"the longer period after the birth of a girl is probably a reminder of the fact that evil did enter the race through the weakness of a woman who yielded to the temptation of the enemy. Now, the race fell in Adam, the man, not in Eve. But the temptation came through the woman and it was through that source that sin entered the race." - Ray Stedman



Mark 5

The Sick Woman

God healed through Jesus.
"It is not I who do the works, but the Father who dwells in me," {cf, John 14:10}.

Christ was only aware at first of power going from Him. The first glimpse - of perhaps - the physical drain on the man nature of Christ when healings were done through Him by God (via the Holy Spirit). No wonder He slept so soundly on the boat during that storm.

The Dead Girl

Death is not what it seems to the World when Belief and faith are present.

Christ healed here - why not everyone back then and today? As stated before God has His reasons to heal - it was not for proclamation far and wide, not for the clamoring of the world to heal the infirmities of this world.

I think it is a lesson to us that despite being sick (through sin) or dead (in sin) - belief and faith in Jesus Christ will cause us to be restored and have "new life" - eternal life. It is not what happens to us in this world - but the choice to believe and receive Christ that is the true healing all should be seeking.

What struck me from the readings in Mark was Jesus's kindness, compassion and sensitivity

1- saying to a frightened, trembling woman "go in peace...your suffering is over"
2- when Jarius was told that his daughter was dead Jesus spoke reassuring and comforting words "do't be afraid, just have faith"
3- Jesus would not allow the crowds or even the majority of his disciples into Jarius's home. He could have invited the crowds in so that he could demonstrate his power to all by raising the girl from the dead, but I think that not doing showed sensitivity to suffering (and at this point grieving) parents who would not want to be a public spectacle
4- Jesus said "little girl, get up" and then immediately ensured she was cared for telling them to get her something to eat.

In both of these miracles Jesus could have made much more of a big deal , he could have taken the crowds into the home, or he could have immediately taken the girl outside to show what he had done. But Jesus was not interested in using these miracles to "show off" or demonstrate his power I believe they were bourne out of a real love and compassion for the people he helped. Not only is this a great example for us to follow but it's also reassuring for us when Jesus says "Don't be afraid, have faith" to us.

In response to what has been said about small talk, I have to say I couldn;t agree more. I don;t know if you have these reality TV programmes in the US like Big Brother or the fascination with reality TV shows with celebrities in them where Z-list celebs are stuck in a house or jungle together or taught to sing/ ice skate etc but the fascination the British public seems to have with them really angrs me. Children are dying all over the world, yet the newspaper headlines are invariably about these ridiculous programmes. Lunch breaks at work are spent on "did you see celebrity whatever last night" and when any of us try to change the subject to something of a little more substance we are only met with derision for being "boring" When I asked what a "WAG" was (aparrently its a Wife and Girlfriend of a footballer!!) the response was "Don;t you ever watch the news"- says it all really
That's my moan over! ;o)

Sarah

Hey, I'm doing the same reading plan so it was interesting to discover your blog and share your insights.

man, all these rules in Lev. do my head in! but i'm thankful it ok to eat crickets and locusts, yum! :p. Women had to atone for their uncleanness for having a period? :o how unfair...as if we have control over it. thats it, I want paid leave from my work once a month on the grounds of being unclean! :}

I love the woman who was healed by just touching His garments. i think of that sometimes...if i could just touch Him! i like how out of all the people pushing and touching, He knew this woman touched Him and was healed, he felt power leave from Him.
i love how tho the dad may have lost faith Jesus said: "Don't be afraid; just believe." I think He says this to me/us many times. i can accept it or i can say, 'oh, but God, you dont understand, i have to be afraid bcos of this n that'...'

some psalms stood out for me:
4"My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear."
8 "I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart".
17 "For I am about to fall, and my pain is ever with me."
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."

i know that guilt. i hope we all do. we should feel guilt for our sins...how else can we repent? if we are not truely sorry bcos we have sinned? maybe we feel guilty bcos we were caught. I know there are lots of movements, churches that try to appease the ppl who dont want to feel guilty for their sin. "youre ok, God loves you just the way you are". no, you're not ok as you are. none of us are. we are sinners who need to know that we are seperated from God by our sins. We cant take this lightly! we are to come as we are (initially), but dont stay where we are! We need to ask for forgiveness regularly to. I dont want anything to come between me and the father! my sin will, my unconfessed sin. I must then TURN from my sin. You cant say, i'm sorry I'm living in fornication...then go back home to your boyfriend. you arent truly sorry unless u act. I dont know about others, but i'm not gonna mess with God.

I think we do a lot of babbling...lookee here, i'm proof! haha. with those you dont have a lot in common with, i think talks tend to be more shallow. are they more prevalent? idk. Like with ppl i cant talk to about things of God, they are rather shallow. even ppl i've know for years! but i definitely appreciate someone who isnt afraid to correct me, tell it like it is when i need it! i have very few friends who will correct me, who will lovingly rebuke me. i need those who will. not from matters they simply judge by their own standards, but from ppl who know the scoop n know, i am wrong. well, tell me!! if my head isnt screwed on straight, help me fix it please. sometimes i need a slap in the face! k...dont go forming a line now. :p

about the woman who touched Jesus' robe. I love that story! Mark 5:34 "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. You have been healed". Can you imagine touching Jesus? I truly believe that I can be saved just by touching Him if I only love Him enough. I went to a healingservice once. During the massprayer I felt hot, I felt the adrenaline running through my body, I wanted to cry out loud, I wanted to shout out loud praising the Lord, I saw a bright light and thought I was going to faint ... and all of a sudden it was gone, everything was gone. I opened my eyes and I felt like I just had touched the Lord's throne. Whenever I read or hear about this story about the woman touching Jesus' robe, I think about me reaching out and touching the throne. I don't even know why it felt like touching the throne ... I'm not sure if I saw myself touching the throne in my thoughts or if it was some sort of vision ... I can't explain. It was magical! I knew I was healed instantly from my daily headaches and muscle-pains in my neck and shoulders. It was in my body for more than 15 years and from that evening on, from that moment on I was healed! Praise the Lord, Hallelujah!!!

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