Reading through the Bible together

Thursday, July 26, 2012

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Holy living includes diet. If people take impurity (representing mortality) into their bodies, they reject holiness (involving life). God does not say why some animals are pure and permitted to be eaten, while others are not. The fact that some are impure suggests that impure animals are associated with death. In any case, the Lord expects people to trust and obey even when they don’t know specific reasons. However, He provides the overall reason: to be in harmony with His holy nature (Lev 11:44-45).


Some of Leviticus 11 deals with temporary ritual impurity from a dead animal, which could be removed so that it would not affect anything holy that was associated with the earthly sanctuary. These instructions have no application today. But basic distinctions between pure and impure animals never depended on the existence of an earthly sanctuary (see Gen 7-8). Daniel, living in Babylon, far from the destroyed temple, understood that impure food would conflict with his own holiness (Dan 1). Like Daniel, Christians are to be holy in all areas of life (1 Pet 1:15-16).


A spring or cistern of water was immune to impurity from animal carcasses (Lev 11:36) because it was a source of purity. Similarly, when Jesus was here on earth He could freely contact impure persons because He is the Source of purity, life, and healing. He can also keep us morally pure as we take His healing touch to a polluted world.


Roy Gane

Andrews University