Tag Archives: food

Leviticus 17 – Sacrifice & Blood

Then God (Elohim) spoke all these words, saying,
‘I am the LORD your God (YHWH Elohim), who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.   You shall have no other gods before Me.  You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.  You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God (YHWH Elohim), am a jealous God (Elohim),’” Exodus 20:1-5a

Leviticus 17 expands on and deals with the particulars of this passage a little bit more.  There are two connected issues here.  First, no one may slaughter an ox, lamb, or goat within or outside of camp without bringing the body to the tabernacle to offer it as an offering to the LORD.  This is to ensure that there is no other worship except the worship of YHWH in the Israelite camp.  If a man or a woman sacrificed an animal to another god, that would have brought defilement upon the camp and people of Israel.

Reading that you could not slaughter an ox, sheep, or goat without offering it as a sacrifice to YHWH, i wonder how the Israelites could harvest their flocks and herds.  If sheep, goats and oxen were the primary means of meat for the Israelites, and they could only be slaughtered to sacrifice them to God, where do they get the meat needed to live on?  I don’t have the answer to that one, but knowing me, i’m probably just missing something simple.

The second part of this chapter deals with the command not to consume blood.  Blood is the life of the creature.  That’s been backed up by research for centuries.  The essence of the creature, it’s life and support system, comes from the blood.  As such, God requires that we do not consume of it.  In fact, when we hunt or kill an animal, we are instructed to let the blood drain out and cover it with dirt.

Do we take Exodus 20:1-5a seriously?  Have we made for ourselves gods other than YHWH?  Obviously we don’t make idols.  However, we have a tendency to worship, pursue, and trust in many things other than YHWH.  Some worship the god of money, others the god of family, others the god of education, others of technology.  Most American’s worship and bow down to the god of self.  When we place any of these things before YHWH, we are making them gods in our eyes.  What will it have to take to change our view and for us to start truly worshiping YHWH, the one true God, once again?

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Leviticus 14 – Cleansing – II

The second half of Leviticus 14 continues with the same theme only in a different direction.  While the first half responds to cleansing for a person who has leprosy, the second half deals with “leprosy” (mold) in a house.  In order to keep people healthy, and keep people in a healthy relationship with YHWH, the priest is responsible for responding to unclean environments.  So when a home becomes unclean, or as YHWH says, “I put a mark of leprosy on a house in the land of your possession…”  It is the priest’s responsibility for responding to the situation and getting to the bottom of the problem.

It’s amazing just how much the priest is responsible for.  The priest acts as a priest, offering sacrifice to the LORD for the people.  The priest’s job is also to teach the people the laws and precepts.  He also acts as a physician diagnosing and treating some medical problems.  They also deal with culinary questions.  What is clean?  What is healthy to eat?  What is downright forbidden?  And, now we see them diagnosing problems with a house and acting as an inspector and contractor who is responsible to get the appropriate people on the job to get the right work done.  With all of this work to do; where does the priest’s job end?  Being the man who is responsible for the relationship between men and YHWH, he has a whole lot more to do to cleanse the lives of the people than we give them credit for sometimes.

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Leviticus 11 – Food!

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?

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Exodus 17 – Life

So now, the people go from the wilderness of Sin where there was no food, to Rephidim where there is no water.  So what do the people do?  No big surprise, they complain and quarrel with Moses about the lack of water.  How tiresome!  Then again, water is life.  If you had to go without water for an extended time period wouldn’t you be complaining too.  Then when you consider that they were in a dry wilderness, and you have every reason to be upset.

But, by now i would expect that the people would understand the correct way of handling the problem.  Bring it to Moses and to God, and wait for the miraculous provision.  What do they do instead?  They complain and quarrel.  What does God do?  He provides miraculously, of course!  That was a silly question.

In the meantime, all this racket, complaining, and water coming from rocks in desolate places has stirred up the natives like taking a broom to a beehive.  All of a sudden, the Israelites are face to face with angry Amalekites.  If you remember, Amalek was the grandson of Esau, Jacob’s older brother.  So this was family that was attacking them.  It is also the first time that the Israelite people would come face to face with war.  So Moses sends out Joshua to lead the battle, and he stands on the rock with his brother Aaron and with Hur.  Together they hold up Moses hands, and as long as Moses hands are raised, the Israelites defeat this people experienced in the ways of war.  So yet again, YHWH provides life for the people of Israel.

Moses builds an alter / memorial to the LORD there and calls it, YHWH-Nissi, or the LORD my Banner.  Is He your banner today?

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Exodus 16 – The Body

I’m beginning to understand more and more the qualities of a good pen.  I have gone through probably 5 different pens already.  Each of them has had a different work and feel to them.  I started out with a three pack of Pilot’s Varsities.  I had wanted to try out fountain pens for a while, but had never gotten around  to it.  They ran out of ink way too quickly, and the ink was so liquid that it would seep through the paper.  On the other hand, writing with them was scratchy yet smooth, and the writing was bold and vibrant.  That was a very good  thing.  Next i went on to an older gel pen that i had lying around.  It was not nearly as bold or vibrant, but overall the flow was smooth and not at all scratchy.  It was easy to write with, but the color definitely wasn’t strong enough.  When that ran out, i moved on to a decent quality ball point.  It was a bit more scratchy, the color was weaker, and writing with it was just a little bit more difficult, but overall it wasn’t overly uncomfortable to write with.

Now, I’m using what i can only describe as a cheap ball point pen that i picked up a while back.  The pen stock seems to be decent quality (it advertises a small college), but the ink and writing process is horrible.  At 32 i have hand and wrist problems that i suspect is from carpel tunnel ( i actually started noticing it at around 25).  Ultimately, the rough working of this pen is definitely irritating it.  The pen is not smooth at all.  It requires heavy pressure to get a good line, and it is not really comfortable at all.  I never really noticed just HOW different each pen is until i started on this project.

The Israelites had a different kind of body problem.  While mine has to do with pain while writing or typing, the Israelites problem stems from much more important bodily factors.  They were travelling through  the wilderness and had no (or very little) food  to eat.  How does a man like Moses go about feeding a million plus people?  The answer is that he can’t; so God has to do it.  So what does God do?  He provides them with bread from heaven.  The instructions are simple.  It shows up on the ground in the morning.  Each person gathers what he needs for himself and their family for the day, and at the end of the day it needs to be eaten up.  On the sixth day, gather enough for two days.  Such a simple concept, yet the people just can’t seem to get a grip of it.  Some try to hoard it.  Others leave leftovers for the next day.  Others don’t gather two days worth on the sixth day, and still others continue to complain.

It’s almost like this people have two things that they truly love; 1) complaining and 2) not listening.  God is providing for their physical needs, yet it still just doesn’t seem to be enough.  How about us?  How do we react when God doesn’t supply what we are looking for?

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Genesis 43 – Returns

Joseph’s brothers need to return to get food / sustenance, but boy is it a chore.  They know what they have been told by Joseph.  They cannot return to Egypt without their youngest brother.  They also know that their father is not going to let Benjamin go without a fight.  So  the argument ensues.  Jacob / Israel wails and moans that if they take Benjamin he will lose a second son.  They remind him that if he doesn’t let Benjamin go, they will not be able to buy food.  Jacob complains that they are trying to send him to an early grave.  They remind him that if he does not let them go, he, they, and all the grandchildren will dis as well.  Judah takes full responsibility for Benjamin’s health and safety.  So Jacob / Israel finally consents.

So they return with not only Benjamin, but the money from the first trip that they found in their bags on the return home.  When they return to Egypt Joseph arranges for them to eat with him.  They are worried about the money, but Joseph’s intent is only to eat with them and see how they respond.  In the process, Joseph has the table set up youngest to oldest, to their surprise.

How about us?  How often does God do the same thing.  He wants to sup with us.  He wants to spend time with us.  He wants relationship with us.  What is our focus?  We focus on what we want, or what we are afraid of, or what we have done wrong.  We allow those things to prevent us from having a blessed celebration with our Father.  All He wants is for us to return to Him, and we are still afraid that He might find out about something that we are ashamed of.

Is that where you’re at today?  Are you missing out on an amazing relationship with the LORD because you are afraid of His response to something that happened in the past.  Well, get over it; “Stop it!”

And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain– for He says,”AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU,
AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU.”
Behold, now is “THE ACCEPTABLE TIME,” behold, now is “THE DAY OF SALVATION”– (II Corinthians 6:1-2 NASB)

John

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Genesis 18 – Responding

I’m finding, as i do this project, that things that i have previously learned and assumed don’t always work out the way i expected them to. For instance, over the previous chapters we have been looking at the life and times of Abram. Now i know this story well, and i know that Abram becomes Abraham. I have heard and read it since i was a child. However, in spite of the fact that the transition occurred yesterday (Chapter 17), i am having a very difficult time making that transition in my mind and writing. I have gone to write Abraham, and i keep writing Abram. It’s very annoying. It’s just after having spent so much time writing Abram, it’s difficult to make the transition even though i have been prepping myself for it since i uncomfortably started writing Abram instead of Abraham.

That having been said, i was also very perplexed in part of this chapter. In Chapter 17 God tells Abram, to be called Abraham, that he will have a son through Sarai, now to be called Sarah. He tells Abram that this will occur in the same season in the next year. Now, God tells Abraham that within a year Sarah will be holding her baby, and Sarah laughs? She already knows that this is supposed to happen. Hence she has been being called Sarah instead of Sarai. So why is she surprised by the idea that she could/will be holding her new baby within a year?

Finally, i was trying to process the relationship between Abraham and God. Abraham is bold enough to question God and His decisions. He is confident enough to stand in the face of God and say, “You’re THE Judge. You aren’t actually thinking of destroying Sodom if there are 50 righteous people in the city. That would just be unjust and wrong!” Then God turns, actually takes the comment seriously, and makes clear his plans.

To me, it’s interesting the ways that God’s people respond to the things He says to and about them. How do we respond when God speaks to and about us? Do we laugh and doubt Him? Do we confront Him and seek / demand clarification? Do we even hear or acknowledge that He is speaking to us? Do we even recognize the freedom we have in our relationship with God?

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