Talk about eating clean! This chapter identifies what the Israelites’ diet should look like in order for them to remain holy like God. It also can be quite confusing and has been extremely controversial for new Christians, anti-Christians and just about any person who has ever picked up the Bible or heard about Old Testament laws. I have no earthly clue why God places these restrictions on foods, but I do know that in the New Testament, Jesus tells Peter, a strict Jew, that he can eat whatever the heck he wants and God will still love him just the same. So, you see, these rules like many of the others, have been abolished or amended, just like we see in all historical proclamations. We’ve talked about weird laws – like restaurants being required to served ice water with peanuts in Oklahoma – that remain on the history books for years. Many times we can’t fathom why these rules and restrictions were adopted in the first place, but if we trace back their histories, we can often find logical, albeit still bizarre, explanations. God has His reasons for implementing these laws. He alludes to those reasons toward the end of the chapter when He says: I brought you up from Egypt “that I might be your God.” He then says do these things to be holy because I am holy. God is saying: I want you to be just like me so we can hangout and be happy together. It’s a stipulation that we often put on others as well: act how I want you to act, and I’ll like you. We know from personal experience this doesn’t always work out because people want to be who they are, not who someone tells them to be. God learns this, too, and we would do well to fully recognize the lengths he goes to later to remain in relationship with not only the Israelites but with the entire population.
Writing prompt: adaptation
It’s no good to pretend to be someone you’re not in order to please someone else, but it’s certainly not a bad thing to make a few tweaks in your behavior in order to get along better with those around you. Of course, those around us are expected to do the same, and when this happens, voila, we get relationship. God displays the ultimate forgiveness in the New Testament by adapting to the Israelites’ (Jews’) wants and needs, rather than asking them for the 10 billionth time to adapt to His. We’ve all had to adapt at some point or other. Write about a time you had to adapt in order to maintain peace in a relationship.