“The rabbit, though it chews the cud,
does not have a divided hoof; it is unclean for you.”
Leviticus 11:6 (NIV)
When you read Leviticus 11 you start asking yourself why God forbid His people eating certain animals as part of their diet. Some of it is easily understood because in western society we still have an aversion to certain reptiles like snakes. But many of us have enjoyed rabbit stew and it did not harm us in any physical way. Why did God call them unclean along with bats, snakes and so on?
Certainly the people of Israel in the Old Testament times knew their God was morally pure and expected the same of them as His people. Some of us recognize that moral purity includes all of our relationships with other people. We must not lie or deceive others, we must refrain from gossip or slander against other people. That is clear.
But all of these dietary laws seem a bit much regarding purity in God’s sight. We also know that Acts 10:9-16 tells us that we are no longer under the strict dietary laws of ancient Israel. So why the fuss way back in Moses time?
Perhaps one of the reasons is that it taught the people that purity of life included all aspects of life such as eating. To have such restrictions reinforced the notion that in all ways, in every aspect of our existence, we are to be cautious and be certain we are pleasing to the Lord.
We ought to reckon daily living in every aspect as holy living to the Lord. Our finances, our vocabulary, the things we read or listen to must be morally pure. Most of us in western society think nothing of spending $50.00+ on some trinket that looks nice in our home but is of no worth to assist us in holy living. Each of us must judge ourselves to be sure we need to spend that money on a useless item or not. Never should any of us judge others on how they use their income but personally we must be very careful in our use of our economic resources. This is the spirit of Leviticus 11.
How much clothing is enough when we know of others who do not even have a change of clothing? Should we be more charitable to others and resist the buying impulse for ourselves? How many times have we said to someone who has lost their job, “We are praying for you.”? Yet we have not even given them a hundred dollars to help relieve their economic disaster. Remember James 2:15-16 (NIV)
“Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.
If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’
but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?”
Certainly our finances need to be Christian as well as our souls! How much of the suffering in the world would be relieved if Christians everywhere had their wallets and purses baptized as well as their bodies? Let us love in word and deed. May our lives be Christian from the inside out. Be holy in every part of your life and God will honour you.