This meaty chapter gives us a little more to chew on when it comes to mealtimes, specifically mealtimes with the Lord. Leviticus is basically a re-do of what God already told Moses before the Israelites set off for the Promised Land. Most people would agree that it’s a little tedious to read, but like we’ve discussed in past chapters, if we look beyond the details, we often find little threads of goodness we can apply to our daily lives. For me during these chapters, one of the themes I’ve seen developing is mealtimes (and of course the reasons why it was so important that Moses record all these details). While Leviticus is a repeat of what was relayed to the Israelites in Exodus, the chapters in this book give us a little more detail and reveal a little more about the meaning and importance behind these daily rituals.
I was noticing the different offerings allowed and how the text is worded in regards to their presentation. God says acceptable offerings include animals “from the herd,” so cows, oxen and the like. Also acceptable are animals “from the flock,” sheep and goats. Each paragraph designates that the priest must present “a part” of the animal as an offering, and notice how those parts are the pieces that people probably don’t want to eat anyway, like the fat and organs, particularly the “long lobe of the liver.” Gag. God is good. All the time. He says present these offerings to Me as a special “gift of food.” We know from the last chapter which laid out the instructions for making grain offerings that the remaining grain leftover after the offering to the Lord was given to the priests to eat. I don’t think God would ask the Israelites to kill animals just to burn up their organs for Him and Him alone. I believe we will see in future chapters that the meat that is not roasted for the Lord is shared among the priests during a morning and evening mealtime that is meant to put a thankful smile on everyone’s faces. Humbly, I’m guessing too that God implements these routines because he wanted to remain in close relationship with the people whom he chose to live and travel. There is nothing wrong with asking the people around us to give a little, as long as we give back our fair share as well. God definitely kept up His end of the bargain. He was just asking the Israelites to show Him a little love – and grub – for it.
Writing prompt: meaty
What’s your favorite meat? Is that too weird of a writing prompt? Or maybe you’re vegetarian or vegan. In that case, write about your favorite meat substitute or why you’re turned off by the whole meat-eating biz in the first place. For you carnivores, go with your dreamiest meat experience or the weirdest meat you’ve ever eaten.
Just a random memory: In our travels, we’ve come across some strange-to-us local meats, like horse, dog and roasted rat, some of which we’ve tried on purpose, and some on accident, and others to which we’ve said, “Ummmm, no thanks.” I still once in a while crave a goat meat sandwich from the Navajo Rez near where we used to live in Flagstaff, Arizona. There was a Native guy who used to sell them out of his camper trailer across from the gas station near the entrance to the reservation. For $5, you’d get a piece of Indian fry bread wrapped around a strip of roasted goat meat and a whole grilled Hatch green chili. Ain’t no better thing to snack on while driving through the long stretch of dusty roads on the rez.