What makes something clean or unclean? What gives one thing value over another? Is it its color, its shape, its size? How about its purpose, the way it’s used, or how strong it is? What gives you and i value?
We live our lives day after day giving value to one thing over another. We set priorities in our lives. Yes, i will take that call. No, i don’t have time for that meeting. Will i rise early and do my devotions, or will i shut off the alarm and get some much needed extra sleep. In everything we do we are giving things, people, and situations value and purpose in our lives.
In this chapter, YHWH is doing the same thing. God is saying, these kinds of animals have value when it comes to what you eat. These others are not worth keeping around. If you eat these animals it’s alright, if you even touch the carcasses of these you will be unclean. You should definitely not touch them to eat them. They are forbidden.
It’s interesting to me seeing what makes the clean different from the unclean. The clean animals are all herbivores. None of them purposefully eat another living creature. Thus the carrion birds are forbidden. Those who eat unclean things are forbidden. Thus pigs are rejected. Insects that have jointed legs with which to jump are clean. So grasshoppers and locusts are clean, but spiders and ants are not.
One of the things that really interests me is understanding the very nature of these kinds of animals for food. For instance, sheep, the most common animal used for meat for the Israelites, are the healthiest meat there is other than buffalo. Meanwhile, fish with scales and fins are very healthy for you with oils that are very good for you. What YHWH has called the “clean” animals have time and again proven to be the best meats nutritionally and health wise.
It’s almost like God’s rules about food and meats actually work to help keep you healthy! Imagine that! I wonder how many other of His rules and regulations benefit man in the same kinds of ways?
Well, i’m just over a week into the process, and my first Pilot Varsity pen is getting low in ink. It looks like i will be going through a whole lot of pens for this project. Today was the shortest chapter i have had so far, yet it felt like one of the longest. I think that waking up at 5am to start this project may be starting to wear on me; as i was having a really hard time focusing (physically) on the pages. My eyes just did not want to cooperate. Overall though, so far so good.
Well, for those of you who were worried; Noah, his family, and the animals made it safely through the flood and are finally out and on dry land. Woo hoo! The chapter felt really long because of how much Noah did to make sure that the land was ready to support the animals. It must have gotten really old sitting there in the ark waiting for everything to be ready to finally be able to leave.
One of the things that i noticed in going through this chapter today is one of the physical features of the ark itself. All of the pictures and artist renderings of the ark that i have seen show the huge base with the upper area that looks like a longhouse along the top with windows all along it that would allow someone to see what was going on. But that’s different from how the Bible describes it. The Bible describes the ark as having only one window. It also describes Noah removing the covering from the ark. So the ark is this big huge boat with only one window and a covering, i would assume that it would have been similar in makeup and purpose as a huge tarp covering the top of the ark.
So for 5 months the ark was going through the flood and riding the waves before it finally rested on the mount of Ararat. Four and a half months later, Noah removed the covering of the ark and the people could see that the surface of the ground was dried up. Almost another three months before they stepped out of the ark. That was a long time to be cooped up in a boat. I know i wouldn’t have liked that very much. It must have been quite a relief to finally be out.