There are some who believe that these dietary laws were for the health benefit of the children Israel, and there are even some who still hold to these dietary laws today. But these dietary laws were temporary (Mark 7:14-23; Acts 10:19-18; 1 Timothy 4:1-5) and the civil laws of Israel were not binding for other nations.
Eating or touching the carcass of a dead or unclean animal may indeed spread germs or worse (especially if an animal died from a disease) so concepts of sanitation and protection are definitely behind these laws of God.
But…there’s no doubt that there was more to it. Israel was to be holy, they were to be different. Could they surrender every area of their lives to God, even the very food they consumed? Would they be willing to learn God’s Word and distinguish the difference between what is clean and unclean?
Warren Wiersbe said this about this section of Leviticus, “Chapters 11–15 focus on the concept of “clean” and “unclean” in the areas of food (11), birth (12), disease (13–14), and normal bodily functions (15). Although the laws certainly served a practical hygienic purpose, there was also a spiritual principle involved. As God’s people, Israel had to be separated from everything that God called unclean. Other nations might be able to do those things, but the Jews could not (vv. 44–45). Defilement spreads, and one person’s carelessness could affect many people.”
In chapter 12 of Leviticus we have the laws of childbirth – just as the customary flow of blood would make a woman unclean, the blood of childbirth would as well.
I don’t think I can word it any better than Warren Wiersbe as to why there was a 66 day purification period, and 14 days of uncleanness after a daughter was born, as opposed to the 33 and 7 days after a son was born, “Is a female child twice as unclean as a male child? Of course not, for there were no degrees of uncleanness. God was giving the mother extra time to care for a daughter in a masculine society that preferred sons. He was also giving her time to recuperate before the next pregnancy. A husband to whom she bore a daughter might be anxious to try again for son.”
When Jesus was born, Joseph and Mary brought two turtledoves, revealing the fact that they were not able to bring a more expensive offering (Luke 2:22-24). Yes, Jesus was humble, simple, and poor financially (2 Corinthians 8:9).
Today we are no longer under the Old Covenant, but the call to holiness remains. May we study God’s Word as revealed through His Apostles and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit who gives us all our personal convictions. The call to holiness will never change.
Leviticus 11:44a (NKJV) “For I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy.”
Leviticus 11:45 (NKJV) “For I am the LORD who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.”
A 12-year old girl was about to die. A woman who had a flow of blood for 12-years was as well.
Dad was desperate, at wits end. As a ruler of the Synagogue, he was risking everything by beseeching the help of the wandering Rabbi – Jesus. But God was moving him, and he was moveable…so He went to Jesus and asked for His help, his little girl was dying.
As they’re on the move, the people are thronging Jesus; He stops in His tracks and asks, “Who touched me?” (for He felt power flow out of Him). The Apostles thought it was a ridiculous question, for Jesus was being touched by many, but this touch was different, this touch was desperate, this touch was one of a firm and fiery faith. Come to discover that after years of being ostracized due to her uncleanness, after having spent all her livelihood on physicians to no avail, with the simple touch of the hem of His garment (a symbol of His glory) she was made well. This story has always inspired me to make my way through the crowd, to be different than they typical casual Christian and to reach out in faith, in prayer, to access the beautiful, wonderful, powerful help, healing, and intervention of Almighty God.
The little girl died in this pause of Christ, and everyone thought it was too late – they didn’t know they were in the presence of the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead, all in simple stride. Just imagine the joy of their daughter being made whole – something you can’t find in the empty religion of the old wineskins of the Synagogues of those days. Jairus was willing to be made new and God blessed Him and his family.
Friend, whatever you’re facing, please be encouraged with Jesus’ words:
Mark 5:36b (NKJV) “Do not be afraid; only believe.”
We don’t know the precise circumstances of David’s life at this point, but it appears that he’s experiencing God’s discipline for his sin, and then his enemies rush in to try and capitalize on it, to seize the moment.
But David prays, he even sings (that’s what the Psalms are – Israel’s hymnal).
David also comes clean, he confesses his sin in anguish:
Psalm 38:18 (NKJV) “For I will declare my iniquity; I will be in anguish over my sin.”
That’s all God wants. For me to come clean, confess and forsake the sins that separate me from Him and ruin our lives. Later we’ll read in:
Psalms 86:5 (NKJV) “For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.”
In v. 8 we see that the wise in heart are receptive, willing to be corrected or commanded, but the prating fool just talks, and talks, and talks foolishness – talking when he ought to be listening.
In v. 9 we have two types of people, clearly contrasted, the wicked pervert and the one who walks with integrity. One walks securely, while the other will be exposed; one will stand, while the other eventually and inevitably falls.
Which will I be? O Lord, grant me grace to be receptive, to be wise and to walk in integrity.
If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.