Vineyard Life Journal

An online forum for our church family to connect around our 2012 daily Bible reading plan using the S.O.A.P. method.

Day 40

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Welcome to Day 40 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Leviticus 10, 11, 12; Acts 16 (2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)

Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?

S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer

S cripture

Leviticus 10, the tragic death of Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, who offered “unauthorized” or “strange” fire before the Lord… so they suffered death… by fire. Aaron and his other sons were forbidden to leave the tent of meeting… Everyone else was permitted to mourn, but not them… Their bodies were carried outside the camp.

Wondering if Nadab and Abihu had been drinking? The LORD spoke to Aaron directly… v 8, “Then the LORD said to Aaron, 9 “You and your sons are not to drink wine or other fermented drink whenever you go into the tent of meeting, or you will die. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, 10 so that you can distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean, 11 and so you can teach the Israelites all the decrees the LORD has given them through Moses.” Perhaps too much wine clouded their judgment or caused them to be reckless in their duties?? Purely speculation in this context… But this ordinance hadn’t been instituted before… not out of the realm of possibility?

Such a tragedy to lose TWO sons like this… I can’t imagine. Moses wouldn’t have made a very good counselor… Did he not console his brother? If he did it’s not recorded in scripture.

Moving on to Leviticus 11, the whole issue of clean and unclean animals is addressed… Mammals, fish, birds and insects… all have both clean and unclean species.

But now we move on to Leviticus 12… a woman being unclean both during her period AND immediately following childbirth. Again, this had to do with blood. (Odd that you only were unclean seven days if you had a boy, but unclean 14 days if you had a girl? Isn’t that interesting? That seems strange to me that there is a distinction… But sacrifices were to be male animals… Hmmm… Somehow all this fits together…)

Guessing the gender issue had to do with the plague of the firstborn males being killed in Egypt. There’s purpose in all this beyond gender preference or a male-dominant view. Males had to be circumcised… justsayin’.

Acts 16, funny… then Paul suggests Timothy be circumcised because of the Jewish believers where they were going. (His father was Greek… His mother was a Jewish believer.) So, for the sake of his audience… to remove that issue as a point of contention, he was circumcised. Not because he HAD to… but because it was going to make his life easier… and make it so that people could hear him better. To take that objection off the table.

Paul cast the spirit out of the fortune teller and got thrown into prison, along with Silas. When they were released, Paul pulled his “Roman Citizen” card… and got an escort out of the city.

O bservations

Didn’t realize there were insects with only four legs… ; )

Could speculate on this one issue regarding food for days… The main criteria was “You may eat any animal that has a divided hoof and that chews the cud.” Cow is ok, chews the cud and has a divided hoof. Pig, not ok. Doesn’t chew the cud… Has a divided hoof… but doesn’t chew the cud. I just like saying that… “It doesn’t chew the cud.”

No bacon… Pulled pork… Pork chops… Pork loin or ribs…

Lobster and crab? No scales or fins… Sorry Red Lobster.

Don’t have to worry too much about the insect thing… ick. Not just eating them… touching them made you unclean, too… I’ve touched a lot of bugs in my day…

The unclean birds and SOME of the fish have this in common… they are scavengers, living off the flesh of dead carcasses. That can’t be good… Some speculate that God was looking out for our health and that foods and preservation practices weren’t what they are today. But still… Regardless of the reason, God made it abundantly clear to not eat certain things… whatever his reasons.

Was thinking about this yesterday in Acts 15 when they told the Gentile believers they didn’t have to be circumcised, but to NOT eat food with blood or that had been strangled. Why one and not the other?

Goes back to the issue of the life is in the blood. Leviticus 17:11, “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.”Blood has always been sacred, even before the Law was given… Genesis 9:3-4, “Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. 4 “But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it.”

That is a pretty clear directive. Most people go back to that passage in Acts 10 when God spoke to Peter in the vision of the sheet with all manner of animals and things that creep on the ground and he told Peter to “kill and eat.” Peter refused initially because he said he had never eaten anything unclean. God replied, “What I have called clean, don’t you call it unclean.” It goes on to say that Peter was wondering about the vision… and some men showed up asking him to meet with Cornelius (a Gentile) and then the gift of the Holy Spirit was granted to the Gentiles.

Not 100% positive that this passage deemed all foods clean… given the context, it may not…

However in 1 Corinthians 8, Paul touched on a similar topic about eating meat sacrificed to idols, which in the Old Testament God would have been appalled by… Paul notes that “an idol is nothing at all.” But then he goes on to say to be careful about such matters so as to not be a stumbling block to others… similar theme as in Romans 14.

(Obviously I am chewing on this issue… no pun intended. ; )

Still pondering about meat with blood… and how the animals were killed (strangled vs. throat being slit).

Wondering if Peter and the other early church leaders were still hanging on to some law and tradition?

Jesus clearly stated in Matthew 15 that it’s not what goes into a person that defiles them… it’s what comes out of our mouth…

Ok… enough about that… I’ll move on.

Note that while Paul and Silas were in chains/prison, they were praying and singing hymns to God… and there was an earthquake that broke their chains… they could have left, but didn’t… and the jailer was saved and took them TO HIS HOUSE! His whole house was saved and baptized… Then they shared a meal together. Gotta love that!

A pplication

I’m still thinking through the food issue and how that applies to my life. I love a steak, medium rare… but now I’m wondering about it… Not a legalism issue… more like a “best practices” issue for me at this point… Not right or wrong…

Also love the stories of the early church… the situations they faced, the opportunities they were given to appear before government officials and how they responded to them and to being in jail. And how Peter was released from prison by an angel… but Paul and Silas stayed after an “earthquake?” Interesting…

P rayer

Lord, help me as I sort through all this in my head and in my heart… to know how this fits for me… How I should respond to this… Give me a heart like Paul and Silas that I would respond to tough situations with prayer and worship…

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7 thoughts on “Day 40

  1. I’m curious… what is your take is on the clean/unclean food issue? How do you reconcile this issue, Old and New Testament? Law and Grace?

  2. I personally lean toward grace… it’s a new covenant based on better promises and a better sacrifice for my life… Jesus. I think it is wise to be careful what you eat. Paul also talks about conscience and having a clear conscience in what ever you do including eating. While living in Scotland I did not eat blood pudding (blood and oats).

    Strange fire is an interesting thought… current downfalls of some leaders who did some very strange things in meetings could be linked to this.

  3. Gordon S on said:

    Living in the Age of Grace, FREEDOM from all those OT commands and restrictions, yes they’re in God’s Word, so therefore for our reproof and instruction. They simply point out God’s standard for holy living, a standard we can never achieve, a REAL problem for us mere-mortals. It all points directly to the Cross, where we pass from living under the oppressive Law to being freed indeed!
    As for what I eat… my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, I must keep it healthy to the best of my ability, sorry Krispy Kreme. I want my body strong so I can continue in His service for as long as possible.

  4. Nicole Marvin on said:

    Acts 16:9-10 “…The dream gave Paul his map”. “All the pieces had come together.”

    God is so faithful. I pray often for God to speak to me through dreams. To have his direction for me given visually would be such a blessing. How excited Paul must have been to have been to have confirmation of where he was to go.

    Oh, Lord, I hunger for your direction. Give me a map. Show me your path.

    Acts 16:14 Lydia was known as a God-fearing woman.

    Lord, let that be my reputation. To be known as a God-fearing woman.

    Acts 16:25 “Along about midnight, Paul and Silas were at prayer and singing a robust him to God.”

    Oh, I love this! It reminds me of the Sarah Kelly song “About Midnight” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXvCuF0rnZU). They had been beaten and were in jail. What an inspiration! I love the words “A robust hymn”. The full force, nothing held back, no one is listening, praising God, shout to the Lord kind of singing-I can just hear it. What men of God!

    Acts 16:32-34 “…They never did get to bed that night…he couldn’t wait until morning-was baptized, he and everyone in his family…he had food set out for a festive meal. It was a night to remember….everyone in the house was in on the celebration.”

    Such excitement for Christ. On fire. Passion. New life. A party for Jesus. Celebration of life. So much excitement they couldn’t even sleep.

    Father, let me be passionate for you. Keep my fire burning. I celebrate you and life. I praise you. Let me be a blessing to you. I pray that my excitement for you will be seen by others. That it will be contagious. I love you!

    Okay-this is getting really long. But I want to put in my two cents on unclean/clean food. Pigs are considered unlclean because they are not ruminants-they only have one stomach. They store poisons in their bodies and in the fat under their skin. It takes four days to digest pig meat in the bowels, while it only takes two days to digest beef.

    Crabs/prawns/shellfish are bottom feeders. They are like the cockroaches of the sea. They clean up the ocean and store the pollutants/poisons in their bodies.

    This is a great place to read about why not to eat pork and shellfish http://www.answers2prayer.org/bible_questions/Answers/food/pork.html. Given everything that God has provided for us to eat, it seems that there are better choices than pork and shellfish. Just my two cents. 🙂

  5. Wow there sure was a lot to think about today. “Strange fire” stuck out for me. This week Marc DuPont did an excellent teaching on real prophesy versus false prophesy. This helped me make a connection. This could be some of the “strange fire.”
    Also Scott mentioned 7 days of purification for male children and 14 days for females. I think it might be because little girl babies sometimes bleed for a few days after birth because if the hormones present at birth. Perhaps 7 days of purification is for momma and an additional 7 for baby daughter.

  6. I think God was giving his people inside information on food at the time and giving us an excuse not to eat insects even today. “Sorry. I can’t eat that beetle because the Lord said ta not to, but thank you for the offer”. BTW, I’m guessing they classified things differently than us since they threw bats in with birds which could explain 4 legged insects. Pigs were carriers of trichinosis, tape worm, and other bad things at that time which could very well be the reason why they were forbidden. I often wonder if many of these laws were defining sin or just providing inside information for the day in age to keep His people from dying early. What does God call unclean today? Coke? Candy? Anything that is addictive? Coffee?!!! I agree that things that come out of our mouths defile us more than what goes in, however, we should consider our diets. God wants us to be healthy and live long lives. We also need to give thanks for the food we eat since God created it before it was processed and stocked at Kroger Marketplace.

  7. What to eat and not what to eat is very interesting. I love seafood and I also love my steaks medium rare like Scott. I will have to pray about food choices for the future. I think God wants our bodies to stay healthy and maybe there is a connection to our food choices and staying healthy.

    I do love how Paul and Barnabas did not walk out of prison on their own after the earthquake. Unless I missed it,did the other prisoners leave?

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