Today’s Devotion: Leviticus 11
WOW! My mind is spinning from what this chapter means in its literal sense while seeing the spiritual side and huge underlying message that God wants us to read, hear, and apply.
First, let me say that I am impressed (and relieved) that my diet actually fits God’s criteria. I am not even remotely interested in eating reptiles, insects with jointed legs, things that slither along the ground or camels. Even the thought of it makes me uncomfortable, so if the Old Testament list of forbidden foods were applicable today, I would be just fine – Yay!
But its not that easy. What God is really trying to teach us in this chapter is that a Christian cannot mingle with the world and play with sin without becoming contaminated. There are numerous examples in this chapter of how an unclean animal cannot be cleaned and will make those who touch it, look at it, or the canister that it dies in unclean.
This is one of my struggles as a Christian. I think this is one of those things that makes us realize we need to put ourselves into this nice little bubble. Go to church, hang out with other nice Christians, send our kids to Christian schools, and not associate or participate in that ‘worldly’ stuff like those heathens. We guard our hearts against “R” rated movies, we don’t drink, swear, lie, cheat, steal, etc. I once heard the phrase, “Those Christians squeak when we walk.” YIKES!
Then there is the opposite of that over-the-top Christian life. Those who participate in everything that the world participates and there is no evidence of Christ, fruit of the Spirit, or repentant heart. To the extent that you tell people that you’re going to church and they respond with, “Really?!” As if they are in pure shock that someone “like you” has a moral side. Clearly the extreme, but do you know people like that? Sadly I do and even more sad – I have had my seasons where I’m no exception. My admission sends me right back to the foot of the cross right here and now.
I teach kids of my Sunday School class, “Christians are called to be in the world, not of the world.” In other words, we live here and we are members of our communities, neighborhoods, workplaces, etc., but we are the examples of who Jesus is as we interact in them. Jesus didn’t hide himself behind the walls of a nice, safe Christian home in a nice, safe Christian crowd. He hung out with the sinners. Difference is… He didn’t sin. He stood up for what was right, had compassion on the lost, orphaned, widowed, sick, defeated, discouraged, and broken, but didn’t compromise His heavenly calling to “fit in.”
This chapter is a reminder that God knows that sin contaminates our lives and the more we sin, the less likely we are or have the ability to be associated with Him. He’s protecting us. Even though sin is inevitable – there are those things that we just know to avoid and verse 45 says it best, “I am the LORD, who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.”