Food for Friday

Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, these are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. Leviticus 11:2

The subject of farm animals came up one day at work, as one of the men mentioned a relative who refused to go to the neighbour’s farm because she hated to be among the animals. I mentioned that I had grown up among the farm animals, and enjoyed their company, especially the cows that we had to milk and tend to every day. Another man spoke up, ‘I like cows, too,’ he said. ‘They’re delicious.’ As someone who enjoys beef in just about any way you want to serve it, I had to agree. And our text does too, reminding us that cattle are provided to us for a healthy food. Because the Israelites would be unable to understand the concepts of sanitation, God protected them from eating creatures that could contaminate them by forbidding them to eat creatures such as camels and badgers and pigs. God’s wisdom preserved those people when their understanding could not.

We face situations today in which Christians, usually younger Christians, question some of the directions we receive from scripture. They wonder why God directs us to avoid such things as mixed multitudes, unequal yokes, and the unrepentant person under discipline. Godly men can attempt to answer these questions, and many others, but the answers do not always satisfy the asker. But there is one answer that cannot be challenged, and that is the truth that when God in His perfect wisdom gives us an instruction, it it always for our greatest good to follow that instruction. To challenge that instruction is to question God’s wisdom.

If we consider the different animals that are good for food, we find they are not named; it says only that they are the beasts that chew the cud and split the hoof. Are there spiritual lessons to be learned from these characteristics? Probably so, I don’t know. But we can certainly see how there is a practical application, especially in Old Testament times. The Israelite who disobeyed and ate the flesh of an unclean animal was not only disobeying the law but also placing his health in jeopardy. Today, when you or I step outside of Scripture’s clear instruction on a matter, we are not only disobeying God but also placing our spiritual health in danger. Consider some of the rebellious Christians you have encountered; are any of them still going on for God or living a good testimony? Sadly, their rejection of divine instruction is often destructive.

Whether we understand why or not, a command of Scripture is always best obeyed. God will explain why someday. – Jim MacIntosh

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