Saturday, February 19, 2011

Convo with Pastor - Leviticus 11:2-4

Give the following instructions to the Israelites:
The animals you may use for food include those
that have completely divided hooves and chew the cud.
You may not, however, eat the following animals ...
Leviticus 11:2-4
Kosher laws! They had the biggest impact on me when I sat down with a Rabbi for lunch.
In Old Testament times with unsterile clay pots, the lactic acid in milk would make the meat spoil quicker, promoting disease. Therefore, meat and dairy weren't supposed to touch.
That eliminated half the menu for the Rabbi. He ordered salad with neither meat nor cheese.
While ordering, he explained that there are basically three kinds of Jews (and not being an expert, I'm going to totally over-simplify this, but ...) The orthodox still follow the Old Testament laws precisely. The Reformed have a much more modern understanding of which laws they will follow or not. The Conservatives are somewhere in between.
Today, most Conservative and Reformed Jews do not keep Kosher. Why? Because they understand that in an ancient context, eating foods like pork was frought with risks and filled with disease. Now with refrigeration, that law, they say, is unnecessary.
My Rabbi-friend was a thoroughly logical, modern, conservative Jew. But he still kept Kosher. Why? Because every time he cooked, ate, or ordered from a menu, he had to think about God.
When was the last time -- when you cooked, ate, or ordered from a menu -- that you thought about God?!
"Sometimes we keep God's laws," he said, "not because they make sense, but because our intentional faithfulness focuses us on Him."
In Christ's Love,
a "Rabbi" who's going
to shave his beard
any day now 
God's laws don't always make sense.  And some are laws that we don't have to keep after Jesus died.  However, I really like the statement that "our intentional faithfulness focuses us on Him."  I am reading more scripture these days and consequently having the verses on the front of my mind.  This 'intentional faithfulness' is focusing my mind more on
God and his promises and less on the lies that my mind has previously swirled constantly.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to read the book of Leviticus and say, "God, you'd think this would go without saying." Then I began studying ancient history and understood why God felt the need to say it.

Now when I read the laws, they do 2 things for me. 1) They point out that I can't achieve my salvation on my own, and 2) Remind me that we are to live apart from what may be acceptable to the rest of our culture. God holds me to a different standard...which takes me back to #1 and makes me even more grateful for Christ's atonement.

Have fun in China!


Feb 19, 2011, 11:50:00 AM  

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