Did you ever have God smack you upside the head with truth? It happens to me all the time.
Today I was reading a short post by my friend Pete Rambo. One of his visitors insisted that we are not under the law, to which Pete responded with a quote from Isaiah 66. It is part of our Rosh Chodesh readings, which happens to be coming up this Thursday night.
16 For Adonai will judge all humanity
with fire and with the sword,
and those slain by Adonai will be many.
17 “Those who consecrate and purify themselves
in order to enter the gardens,
then follow the one who was already there,
eating pig meat, reptiles and mice,
will all be destroyed together,” says Adonai.
Pete pointed out that “eating the wrong stuff get some special attention at judgement.
For the last 2 1/2 years, I’ve read Isaiah 66 every month. So while reading the verses Pete shared, two verses came to mind, with one word screaming in my head:
3 Those others might as well kill a person as an ox,
as well break a dog’s neck as sacrifice a lamb,
as well offer pig’s blood as offer a grain offering,
as well bless an idol as burn incense.
Just as these have chosen their ways
and enjoy their disgusting practices,
4 so I will enjoy making fools of them,
and bring on them the very things they fear.
For when I called, no one answered;
when I spoke, they did not hear.
Instead they did what was evil in my sight
and chose what did not please me.”
Choosing our own way often disgusts God.
“‘Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things (verse 6-23), because all the nations which I am expelling ahead of you are defiled with them. The land has become unclean, and this is why I am punishing it — the land itself will vomit out its inhabitants. But you are to keep my laws and rulings and not engage in any of these disgusting practices, neither the citizen nor the foreigner living with you” – Leviticus 18:24-26
That’s when God smacked me upside the head:
God is just as serious about our eating habits as he is about our sexual practices.
As my friend, Pete, says….
Well, I think the jury is still out on some of this, but that’s just my opinion. I don’t think there’s anything stopping a non-Jew from keeping some form of kosher, but I don’t know if, at least in the current age, it’s absolutely required, either.
You could interpret certain sections of Acts 15 as applying dietary requirements on non-Jewish disciples, but in those days, the non-Jewish disciples were heavily embedded in Jewish community. Where else could they learn about the Jewish Messiah? So for the sake of table fellowship, the Gentiles would have to eat like Jews.
But in completely “Gentile-only” communities in the diaspora, and especially places with no Jewish presence and thus no readily available kosher butchers, would the Gentiles find it necessary to keep kosher?
I agree with you, James, that they might not find a kosher butcher. However, I think about Noah and his family. I could be wrong, but when Noah took more clean animals, that tells me he knew what was food, and what was not. So even before the Torah was given, there seems to me to be understanding of acceptable eating practices – acceptable to God.
I wrote a post ‘Is Everything Now Clean?’ after realizing there is a difference between the common state of certain things as unclean – like pork, shrimp, and catfish, versus beef, lamb, and red snapper.
I had a conversation with someone in the Messianic community – a teacher – who said she eats shrimp. Now, having been raised Italian, with pork in the meatballs and all manner of things, I am not standing in judgement. But I think the heart of the matter is choosing our own way.
If we know the Word says something is an abomination or detestable to God, then we do it anyway, that speaks volumes of our heart condition. So whether it is regarding sex or food, what comes out of our heart makes us unclean.