Read Deuteronomy 14 – I read this chapter and thought, what on earth am I going to say? All these do’s and don’ts, I wondered what portions were strictly for the Jews entering the Promised Land and what portions we “have to comply” with. I was in the wrong state of mind. So I set it down, prayed for God to show me His love in these verses, and read it again…. and He knocked my socks off with His LOVE!
“You have been set apart as holy to the LORD your God, and he has chosen you from all the nations of the earth to be his own special treasure.” :2 This is Israelite specific, but we have a similar truth in Christ, “…for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9
Beloved, all the do’s and don’ts are there to save these ancient people and us from mediocrity! God has called us into a far more than we can ask or imagine, so we are to always strive to live up to his calling. And when we fall short (and we assuredly will), we can know that Jesus’s love for us does not change. He is our Great High Priest, we can confess to Jesus and he has us covered!
There are a lot of food restrictions and if you look closely, you’ll find that these were health related as well as for obedience… don’t eat things that eat other things. Don’t eat roadkill. I’m paraphrasing. I had to look deeper at :21, “You must not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.” This was a pagan fertility ritual at the time, but also, it is the reason you would be hard pressed to get a cheeseburger in Israel today – as the milk from the cheese may have come from the mother of the calf that became the burger. (David Guszik commentary). Also, rest assured you are not offending the Lord by eating cheeseburgers, bacon, lobster, or anything on the don’t list, as these restrictions were laid to rest when God gave Peter the dream in Acts 10. (extra credit opportunity!)
We will pick up the rest of this wonderful chapter tomorrow.