Graceful Perseverance: Does God Care What We Eat?- 04/16/23
Welcome to this week’s blog. This week I was inspired to write about the Book of Leviticus, Chapter 11. The Book of Leviticus, written by Moses in 1450-1410 B.C., reveals to us, "YES," our Father in Heaven does care what we eat? Our Father in Heaven reminds us of His definition of earthly "food," and what He considers earthly foods that are clean, and can be eaten; and what He defines as non-foods that are unclean, and should not be eaten.
Just as our earthly father raised us with years of repetitive advice, "Don't eat this or that because it is not good for you." Our Heavenly Father has also shared with His children what is considered food, clean food we can eat, as well as what He considers not to be food; therefore, it is unclean and we should not eat it.
Our Heavenly Father's advice is not engrained in one of His ten commandments, nor in one of His biblical laws, but it is merely His advice and recommendations so that we may live a healthy life according to His Will. There is much controversy regarding the Book of Leviticus, Chapter 11, as many people choose to poke holes in God's Word, so they have justification to not follow God's instruction. Some believe God's food and non-food is preposterous, and His instruction was specific only to the Jewish people, and only applicable to the Old Covenant (Old Testament); therefore, doesn't apply to the New Covenant (New Testament) or the Gentiles today. This is a biblical misconception.
Long before the Jewish nation was in existence, God classified the animals into categories of clean and unclean (Genesis 7:1-2 and Genesis 8:20). This distinction existed in Noah's day long before there were different races or even a Jewish nation. Most of God’s definition of unclean animals are predators or scavengers whose bodies harbor diseases and toxic chemicals.
Many people today "are of this world," which means they insist on wanting to be in control of their own life, and eat and drink to their heart's desire, without someone preaching to them what they should and should not eat.
My husband and I are pretty adamant in studying and understanding God's Word, not just Leviticus, but throughout the entire Bible, since He is our creator who knows what's best for us in all areas of our life. In studying Leviticus, first I will admit I was guilty of trying to poke holes in God's food and dietary instructions. I too wanted to eat whatever I wanted without a father figure bossing me around, and telling me not to eat certain foods that are unclean; therefore, these are not considered "food" and are not good for my body. Until I opened my heart to His Word to gain this wisdom and knowledge.
He says, "I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves along the ground." - Leviticus 11:44 (NIV).
With much reading, re-reading and then debating this topic, I surrendered my push back in what God considers clean food and unclean non-food. If I've learned one thing in my bible studies, and learning the Will of my Heavenly Father, it is this; I will never win an argument with the Lord. Nor should anyone "cherry pick" God's instructions and commands for our lives. We do not get to "pick and choose" what commandments we want to obey or not obey. It doesn't work that way! Not one of us are "above the Lord," so any attempt to defy our Heavenly Father, rest assured, there will be consequences to our rebellious behaviors. Not one of us can overturn our Heavenly Father's discipline. Not one of us should shun or defy His Word. Nor should we slam the Bible shut or challenge God on His instruction, commandments, and His Will for our lives.
God says, in Leviticus 11, Verse 47 - "You must distinguish between the unclean and the clean, between living creatures that may be eaten and those that may not be eaten.”
Let's take a look at the Book of Leviticus, Chapter 11:1-47 (NIV) to see exactly what God's tells us about this topic. Read each verse slowly, as each verse is very clear on His expectations. Red verses are "foods" God says man may eat. Blue verses are non-foods, and God says man should not eat.
Biblical Dietary Instructions
1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron,
2 Say to the Israelites: Of all the animals that live on land, these are the ones you may eat:
3 You may eat any animal that has a divided hoof and that chews the cud.
4 There are some that only chew the cud or only have a divided hoof, but you must not eat them. The camel, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is ceremonially unclean for you.
5 The hyrax, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is unclean for you.
6 The rabbit, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is unclean for you.
7 And the pig, though it has a divided hoof, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you.
8 You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you.
9 Of all the creatures living in the water of the seas and the streams you may eat any that have fins and scales.
10 But all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales—whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water—you are to regard as unclean.
11 And since you are to regard them as unclean, you must not eat their meat; you must regard their carcasses as unclean.
12 Anything living in the water that does not have fins and scales is to be regarded as unclean by you.
13 These are the birds you are to regard as unclean and not eat because they are unclean: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture,
14 the red kite, any kind of black kite,
15 any kind of raven,
16 the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk,
17 the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl,
18 the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey,
19 the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat.
20 All flying insects that walk on all fours are to be regarded as unclean by you.
21 There are, however, some flying insects that walk on all fours that you may eat: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground.
22 Of these you may eat any kind of locust, katydid, cricket or grasshopper.
23 But all other flying insects that have four legs you are to regard as unclean.
24 You will make yourselves unclean by these; whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean till evening.
25 Whoever picks up one of their carcasses must wash their clothes, and they will be unclean till evening.
26 Every animal that does not have a divided hoof or that does not chew the cud is unclean for you; whoever touches the carcass of any of them will be unclean.
27 Of all the animals that walk on all fours, those that walk on their paws are unclean for you; whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean till evening.
28 Anyone who picks up their carcasses must wash their clothes, and they will be unclean till evening. These animals are unclean for you.
29 Of the animals that move along the ground, these are unclean for you: the weasel, the rat, any kind of great lizard,
30 the gecko, the monitor lizard, the wall lizard, the skink and the chameleon.
31 Of all those that move along the ground, these are unclean for you. Whoever touches them when they are dead will be unclean till evening.
32 When one of them dies and falls on something, that article, whatever its use, will be unclean, whether it is made of wood, cloth, hide or sackcloth. Put it in water; it will be unclean till evening, and then it will be clean.
33 If one of them falls into a clay pot, everything in it will be unclean, and you must break the pot.
34 Any food you are allowed to eat that has come into contact with water from any such pot is unclean, and any liquid that is drunk from such a pot is unclean.
35 Anything that one of their carcasses falls on becomes unclean; an oven or cooking pot must be broken up. They are unclean, and you are to regard them as unclean.
36 A spring, however, or a cistern for collecting water remains clean, but anyone who touches one of these carcasses is unclean.
37 If a carcass falls on any seeds that are to be planted, they remain clean.
38 But if water has been put on the seed and a carcass falls on it, it is unclean for you.
39 If an animal that you are allowed to eat dies, anyone who touches its carcass will be unclean till evening.
40 Anyone who eats some of its carcass must wash their clothes, and they will be unclean till evening. Anyone who picks up the carcass must wash their clothes, and they will be unclean till evening.
41 Every creature that moves along the ground is to be regarded as unclean; it is not to be eaten.
42 You are not to eat any creature that moves along the ground, whether it moves on its belly or walks on all fours or on many feet; it is unclean.
43 Do not defile yourselves by any of these creatures. Do not make yourselves unclean by means of them or be made unclean by them.
44 I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves along the ground.
45 I am the LORD, who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.
46 These are the regulations concerning animals, birds, every living thing that moves about in the water and every creature that moves along the ground.
47 You must distinguish between the unclean and the clean, between living creatures that may be eaten and those that may not be eaten.
Below is a list of unclean, non-foods, WE SHOULD NOT EAT according to God's dietary instructions and regulations concerning all animals, every creature roaming the land, the sky, and every living thing moving about the waters according to Leviticus 11:1-47 (NIV):
1. Animals of the Land (chews the cud, but does not have a divided hoof and animals that move along the ground):
Camel, Hyrax, Rabbit, Pig, Weasel, Rat, any kind of Great Lizard, the Gecko, the Monitor Lizard, the Wall Lizard, the Skink and the Chameleon
2. Animals of the Sea or Stream (fish with no fins or scales):
Scallop, Shrimp, Lobster, Squid, Clams/Oysters, Octopus - Bottom Feeders
3. Animals of the Sky (birds):
Eagle, Vulture, Black Vulture, Red Kite, Black Kite, Raven, Horned Owl, Screech Owl, Gull, Hawk, Little Owl, Cormorant, Great Owl, White Owl, Desert Owl, Osprey, Stork, Heron, Hoopoe, Bat, Flying Insects that walk on all fours, but do not have jointed legs for hopping on the ground
Why has God provided dietary instructions for His children? Here's my interpretation. Because our Heavenly Father loves us. Because God created man in His own image. At the time of creation, God did create food from the land for man to survive – leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, berries all from the land. In the beginning (in the Book of Genesis), God told us to not eat unclean animals that many of us today refer to as "food."
In God's eyes, if we eat these unclean animals, for example the pig/swine, as we all know pigs eat slop. Pigs eat everything and anything. This means God knew at the time of animal creation that the pig was an unclean animal and was not considered “food” for man. For generations, we have been ingesting and consuming the same slop, and garbage the pig eats. The pig has one stomach for digestion; therefore, what they eat is essentially being passed onto humans who are also consuming the same slop and contaminated garbage that pigs eat. For example, bacon, ham, pulled pork, prosciutto, pork bratwursts, pork sausage, etc. When we eat pork, regardless of how it is prepared, we are essentially eating an unclean animal, with greater risk of disease and sickness from a contaminated, impure animal.
43 Do not defile yourselves by any of these creatures. Do not make yourselves unclean by means of them or be made unclean by them.
This, I believe is exactly why God provided us dietary instructions, which is very contradictory to what most people eat today. But we must gain knowledge and wisdom, and then obey His Word before choosing to eat an unclean animal of the land, sea and sky. God knew before our creation that man eating unclean animals would defy his warning, and as a result be the cause-and-effect behind so many human diseases around the globe today. The people of Moses’ time did not listen to Moses in 1450-1410 B.C., just like most are not obeying God’s Word today in the 21st Century. After hundreds of generations, very few are adhering to God’s dietary instructions even today.
Let’s also consider God’s warning of man eating the unclean animals of the sea, also not considered “food” from where God’s sits. Today we know the unclean animals of the sea as “bottom feeders.” Much like the pig, bottom feeders (fish without fins or scales) feed off the bottom of the seas, oceans, lakes and streams. This means the garbage and debris at the bottom is polluting the waters.
We are also consuming the same pollutants, toxins, impurities, poisons, and chemicals when we eat scallops, shrimp, lobster, squid, octopus, oysters, etc. Again, just like the pig, our Heavenly Father has warned humans of these “unclean animals,” and desiring man to not eat these unclean animals for they are not considered His “food,” in which He never intended man to ingest. Also please note, God did say that man could eat fish that has fins and scales. Why? Because fish that have fins and scales do not feed off the bottom of the waters, like bottom feeders, which then makes them “clean food” from God’s perspective.
Taking heart to God’s Word, really makes me seriously want to follow God’s dietary instructions, because for me, His Word is clear. There is no room for challenging God on the subject of what He considers clean and unclean animals of the earth.
When in doubt, always turn to God’s Word, scripture is quite clear. God does not lie, nor does He misconstrue the truth. His Word is the truth, and I choose to follow my Heavenly Father’s instructions for my life.
May this blog topic resonate with you. It is my prayer that you to refer back to the Book of Leviticus, Chapter 11:1-47 (NIV) to study and pray for wisdom and understanding of His instructions for ALL of His children, so that you too can live out a healthy life according to God’s Will, and not by your own selfish ways.
God says, "I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves along the ground."
God says, "You must distinguish between the unclean and the clean, between living creatures that may be eaten and those that may not be eaten."
Blessings until next week,
Debra Pauli Unstoppable Believer
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