Today you should read: Leviticus 11
Leviticus 11 is such a sad chapter for the people of Israel. They find out that they cannot eat camels (v. 4), ostriches (v. 16), my favorite one the gecko (v. 30), and much more. (I am totally kidding that this is a sad chapter for Israel.)
This chapter is primarily focused on what the people of Israel can and cannot eat. You are probably wondering why God is putting limitations on what the people can eat. I think there are several reasons for this. First, God is going to see if His people are going to be obedient to Him. There is not any particular health reason or standard for the difference in animals, instead, God commanded this to see if Israel would be obedient. As we saw in chapter 10 yesterday, two of the Israelites were already disobedient and were killed for their disobedience.
The second reason God commanded food laws is because the people of Israel were called to be separate from the rest of the world around them. Israel was to be a light to the nations (Isaiah 49). We actually have an example of when the food laws set an Israelite above others. If you have read the book of Daniel or know the story, in the first chapter, Daniel is commanded to eat food like everyone else. The food is against the dietary laws in Leviticus 11. Daniel does not eat the food, and instead ate something different from everyone else. At the end of 10 days, Daniel was healthier than all the other boys. Because of that, everyone had to switch to Daniel’s diet. Again, the dietary laws for Israel were to set them apart from the other nations.
The last reason for the dietary laws is because the people of Israel were called to be holy. In verses 44-45, God tells the people to be holy because He is holy. As God’s people, they are to follow what God has commanded.
For us, Leviticus 11 should remind us to be obedient to what God has commanded. God still calls His people to be a light to the nations and to be holy. So while we don’t have dietary laws anymore, how are you shining the light to the world around you?
By: Brice Stockton — Student Ministry Apprentice
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