Today’s Reading: Leviticus 11:42-47
“For I am the Lord your God, so you must consecrate yourselves and be holy because I am holy. You must not defile yourselves by any swarming creature that crawls on the ground.”
Reflection: God’s authority is not meant to be limited to only certain areas of our lives. Rather, His authority is meant to uniquely speak into every area of it. We always benefit from allowing God’s Word to be the last Word. An example of this is in God’s decree over what He permits the Israelites to eat. Identifying for them what was and was not kosher not only put restrictions on available food resources for the people, but also drastically limited fellowship opportunities with others who did not worship God.
Why does God give limits? God wants to set His people apart from the rest of the world through their day-to-day lifestyle. From the beginning of His relationship with the Israelites, God desired for all people to view them as different. Meals, hygiene, social interactions, and worship were all held to a higher standard. It is interesting that long before science revealed specific animals as being prone to carrying disease and parasites (i.e. pork, vermin, and shellfish), God had already put in place regulations to preserve His people. In setting His people apart, He presented to the world visual demonstration of the difference He could make in the life of every person who followed Him. Still today, the commands God gives to His people, when observed, not only preserve His people, but also show others the benefits of following Him.
We may not always understand the reasoning behind God’s decrees, but we can trust that He accounts for far more than we could ever imagine. God welcomes our seeking to understand more about Him. Still, there are times when the limits of our understanding leave us with no explanation, but only the opportunity to simply trust what He has declared in His Holy Word. The more we allow God to speak into every corner of our lives, the more we are blessed by His counsel and wisdom.
Prayer: Lord God, Your ways are higher than my ways and Your thoughts are higher than my thoughts. Thank You for protecting me and guiding me by Your commands. Thank You for blessing me by them. In my nearness to You, Lord, grant me Your wisdom to understand Your ways. And when I cannot understand, please grant me the faith to trust completely in Your leading. In Jesus’ Name I pray, AMEN.
Bible-in-a-Year Reading Plan (credit: Biblestudytools.com): Matthew 11:1-19; Leviticus 11-12; Proverbs 24