"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .

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Thursday, September 16, 2021

LEVITICUS – A HOLY PEOPLE’s ACCESS to The HOLY GOD – Chapter ELEVEN & TWELVE

Contributing commentaries by pastors Sonny Islas, Albert Lopez and James Fire

Complete Study of Leviticus by pastor Chuck Smith
 
LEVITICUS 11 & 12: “DO’S AND DON’T’S TO BE KEPT CLEAN” – Albert Lopez, Facebook video not available for this teaching.

INTRODUCTION: Last time we were in Leviticus, during Pastor Sonny’s teaching, we heard about the “Jaw-Dropping Pleasure” God displayed and also about a Jaw-Dropping DISpleasure God displayed. Both, I am sure were Jaw dropping if you were there to see it all and even if you weren’t there, just reading about them and imagining it is.
We read in Leviticus 10:10-11:
And to make a distinction between the holy and the profane, and between the unclean and the clean, 11 and so as to teach the sons of Israel all the statutes which the LORD has spoken to them through Moses.

This summed up what the purpose of the Lord was: giving his people the statutes and any instruction that came with it. We found out after the jaw dropping display of displeasure (in keeping in the theme of ‘eating’) the surviving sons of Aaron who were supposed to eat, were not really hungry; but Moses said that the Lord had commanded this.

We need to remember that God’s presence was with his people but in order for God’s presence to remain with them, any sin, in any form of disobedience or rebellion against what God had already ordained in certain, specific ways, needed to be covered and paid for.
Fortunately for them (the Israelites) the animals paid the price, not themselves. Fortunately for you and me, Christ paid for the sin as he is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, not we ourselves. With this, we move on to Leviticus 11 and 12 where the Lord’s instructions continue in a very clear and specific way. As we read, may we observe that we serve a God of order and not a God of confusion.
LEVITICUS 11

LEVITICUS 11:1-8
1 Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them, 2 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'These are the animals which you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth: 3 'Among the animals, whatever divides the hoof, having cloven hooves and chewing the cud-that you may eat. 4 'Nevertheless these you shall not eat among those that chew the cud or those that have cloven hooves: the camel, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, is unclean to you; 5 'the rock hyrax, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, is unclean to you; 6 'the hare, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, is unclean to you; 7 'and the swine, though it divides the hoof, having cloven hooves, yet does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. 8 'Their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch. They are unclean to you
.

Vs 2
 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'These are the animals which you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth:
These are the creatures which the Hebrew people may eat; from all the animals that are on the earth.

God is very complete here, not leaving anything out or overlooked. Isn’t that just like God? He leaves no detail out of the equation; again, demonstrating His Omniscience. Have you guys heard that slogan ‘You’re in good hands with Allstate’? If you ever have any doubt in your heart – and you’re a child of God, remember that His powerful right hand keeps you and no one can snatch you from his grip!

Vs 3
 'Among the animals, whatever divides the hoof, having cloven hooves and chewing the cud-that you may eat.

The list begins here with whatever divides a hoof and chews the cud: those are the animals you can eat. So don’t go eating snails or glow worms!
Something interesting in this is what’s called ruminants – or ‘to chew again’. Such animals have four stomachs and regurgitate into the mouth the fermented food in the first stomach and then chew it again. Some ruminants include cattle, goats, sheep, giraffes, yaks, deer, antelope, and some in the kangaroo family.

As Christians we are to be “good soil” so that the Word of God and the love of Christ are rooted deeply in our hearts.

Colossians 3:16a
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom…

Ephesians 3:17
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
Also, we are – as Joshua puts it:

Joshua 1:8
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate (this is chewing the cud) on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will achieve success
.
Also Psalm 1:2

But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.
So, we are to meditate on God’s word (chew completely and digest thoroughly) to be empowered by the Holy Spirit; to have His words hidden in our heart so that we might not sin against God as Psalm 119:11 puts it. The more you put in, the more you will have to give.

The commitment and devotion you give to the sowing, reading and meditation of GOD’s Word is proportionate to the blessing, edification and fruit you will reap.
The illustration of the little boy with the bucket who goes to the spigot, turns it on, and only gets a little water in the bucket but then runs off; his bucket isn’t full. The water was flowing freely, and this little boy could have filled his bucket, if he would have just waited and invested more time there. That is how it is with God’s Word, and as Pastor Sonny said, You can get as much of God as you want. How hungry are you for God? How much time are you willing to commit? We all have the same 24 hour day. Are you in a rush going after other things that are ‘more important’?

Vs 4
'Nevertheless these you shall not eat among those that chew the cud or those that have cloven hooves: the camel, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, is unclean to you;
[the animal that] … does not divide the hoof…it is unclean.

The instructions we are reading here and will continue to read, shows the Israelites that they must conform to God’s will as His creation, as His holy people, avoiding assimilation (where they would be absorbed into a pagan culture) by adopting their domestic (or even demonic!) habits. This included what other nations ate.

This was also a picture of how Jews were not to have anything to do with pagans, or as they are later called in the New Testament, Gentiles. However, God’s hand is reaching well beyond Israel; salvation came also to us, the Gentiles, which become the church that is cleansed. We who are also a holy people unto the LORD (1 Pet 2:9), to be separate from the world’s corrupt influences – no longer unclean or “unholy”. as we read about in:

Acts10:12-15
And on it were all kinds of four-footed animals and crawling creatures of the earth and birds of the sky. 13 A voice came to him, “Get up, Peter, kill and eat!” 14 But Peter said, “By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean.” 15 Again a voice came to him a second time, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy
.

As we read on, we will see that Cornelius and his household were saved as Peter took the gospel to this Gentile (Acts 10:44-48).

LEVITICUS 11:9-19
9 'These you may eat of all that are in the water: whatever in the water has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the rivers-that you may eat. 10 'But all in the seas or in the rivers that do not have fins and scales, all that move in the water or any living thing which is in the water, they are an abomination to you. 11 'They shall be an abomination to you; you shall not eat their flesh, but you shall regard their carcasses as an abomination. 12 'Whatever in the water does not have fins or scales-that shall be an abomination to you. 13 'And these you shall regard as an abomination among the birds; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard, 14 'the kite, and the falcon after its kind; 15 'every raven after its kind, 16 'the ostrich, the short-eared owl, the sea gull, and the hawk after its kind; 17 'the little owl, the fisher owl, and the screech owl; 18 'the white owl, the jackdaw, and the carrion vulture; 19 'the stork, the heron after its kind, the hoopoe, and the bat
.

Vs 9-12: 
'These you may eat of all that are in the water: whatever in the water has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the rivers-that you may eat. 10 'But all in the seas or in the rivers that do not have fins and scales, all that move in the water or any living thing which is in the water, they are an abomination to you. 11 'They shall be an abomination to you; you shall not eat their flesh, but you shall regard their carcasses as an abomination. 12 'Whatever in the water does not have fins or scales-that shall be an abomination to you.

Tells us which aquatic animals were clean and unclean. I don’t know about you, but I love fish so I’m glad it has scales!

Vs 13-19: 
13 'And these you shall regard as an abomination among the birds; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard, 14 'the kite, and the falcon after its kind; 15 'every raven after its kind, 16 'the ostrich, the short-eared owl, the sea gull, and the hawk after its kind; 17 'the little owl, the fisher owl, and the screech owl; 18 'the white owl, the jackdaw, and the carrion vulture; 19 'the stork, the heron after its kind, the hoopoe, and the bat.

These are the unclean birds that again they were not able to eat. These birds may have been outlawed because they are scavengers looking for dead bodies which would make anyone who touched it unclean. The Bible draws a lot of criticism for listing “bat” along with the list of unclean birds, as bats are of the rodent family, not avian. But the Hebrew word for “bird” used here typically means ‘bird’, but occasionally – as here in vs. 19 it can refer to “flying creature”.

LEVITICUS 11:20-23
20 'All flying insects that creep on all fours shall be an abomination to you. 21 'Yet these you may eat of every flying insect that creeps on all fours: those which have jointed legs above their feet with which to leap on the earth. 22 'These you may eat: the locust after its kind, the destroying locust after its kind, the cricket after its kind, and the grasshopper after its kind. 23 'But all other flying insects which have four feet shall be an abomination to you
.

Clean and unclean flying insects. Some winged insects … not cool to eat! But if you like fast food of sorts here is a meal for you! The locust, the cricket, and the grasshopper, good luck catching any of those as it’s trying to hop away from you!

LEVITICUS 11:24-40
24 'By these you shall become unclean; whoever touches the carcass of any of them shall be unclean until evening; 25 'whoever carries part of the carcass of any of them shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening: 26 'The carcass of any animal which divides the foot but is not cloven-hoofed or does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. Everyone who touches it shall be unclean. 27 'And whatever goes on its paws, among all kinds of animals that go on all fours, those are unclean to you. Whoever touches any such carcass shall be unclean until evening. 28 'Whoever carries any such carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening. It is unclean to you. 29 'These also shall be unclean to you among the creeping things that creep on the earth: the mole, the mouse, and the large lizard after its kind; 30 'the gecko, the monitor lizard, the sand reptile, the sand lizard, and the chameleon. 31 'These are unclean to you among all that creep. Whoever touches them when they are dead shall be unclean until evening.
32 'Anything on which any of them falls, when they are dead shall be unclean, whether it is any item of wood or clothing or skin or sack, whatever item it is, in which any work is done, it must be put in water. And it shall be unclean until evening; then it shall be clean. 33 'Any earthen vessel into which any of them falls you shall break; and whatever is in it shall be unclean: 34 'in such a vessel, any edible food upon which water falls becomes unclean, and any drink that may be drunk from it becomes unclean. 35 'And everything on which a part of any such carcass falls shall be unclean; whether it is an oven or cooking stove, it shall be broken down; for they are unclean, and shall be unclean to you. 36 'Nevertheless a spring or a cistern, in which there is plenty of water, shall be clean, but whatever touches any such carcass becomes unclean. 37 'And if a part of any such carcass falls on any planting seed which is to be sown, it remains clean. 38 'But if water is put on the seed, and if a part of any such carcass falls on it, it becomes unclean to you. 39 'And if any animal which you may eat dies, he who touches its carcass shall be unclean until evening. 40 'He who eats of its carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening. He also who carries its carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening
.

Purification after touching dead animals: So, you touched a dead animal, now what do you do?
You are to wash your clothes probably because there is blood on them. Ironically in order to be cleansed from our sins the precious blood of the Lamb of God needs to cover us through faith.

Vs 33
'Any earthen vessel into which any of them falls you shall break; and whatever is in it shall be unclean:

the vessel becomes unclean and needs to be broken.
When we come to Jesus in repentance asking him to forgive us of our sins and give us a new spiritual birth to become a child of God. We admit we are that unclean vessels and need to be broken and made new and cleansed.

LEVITICUS 11:41-47
41 'And every creeping thing that creeps on the earth shall be an abomination. It shall not be eaten. 42 'Whatever crawls on its belly, whatever goes on all fours, or whatever has many feet among all creeping things that creep on the earth-these you shall not eat, for they are an abomination. 43 'You shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creeps; nor shall you make yourselves unclean with them, lest you be defiled by them. 44 'For I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy. Neither shall you defile yourselves with any creeping thing that creeps on the earth. 45 'For I am the LORD who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. 46 'This is the law of the animals and the birds and every living creature that moves in the waters, and of every creature that creeps on the earth, 47 'to distinguish between the unclean and the clean, and between the animal that may be eaten and the animal that may not be eaten
.

The chapter ends with the list of unclean swarming creatures. God says simply, You must not eat them.

Then we get the climax of it all, the purpose: Since the Lord had made the Israelites uniquely his by delivering them Himself from the land of Egypt, they must be holy as he is holy. For God to continue his presence among the people, they must practice the same measure of holiness in their homes.

Since it was inevitable that the people became unclean, they must consecrate themselves by undergoing these cleansing procedures.

As the body of Christ, we too cleanse ourselves when we become unclean in a matter of speaking through sin that we battle against. We do this through God’s word which cleanses us, and we ask the Holy Spirit to empower us to walk in obedience towards God and His will.

LEVITICUS 12

Leviticus 12:1-8
1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying: 'If a woman has conceived, and borne a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days; as in the days of her customary impurity she shall be unclean. 3 'And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. 4 'She shall then continue in the blood of her purification thirty-three days. She shall not touch any hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary until the days of her purification are fulfilled. 5 'But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her customary impurity, and she shall continue in the blood of her purification sixty-six days.
6 'When the days of her purification are fulfilled, whether for a son or a daughter, she shall bring to the priest a lamb of the first year as a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtledove as a sin offering, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 7 'Then he shall offer it before the LORD and make atonement for her. And she shall be clean from the flow of her blood. This is the law for her who has borne a male or a female. 8 'And if she is not able to bring a lamb, then she may bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons-one as a burnt offering and the other as a sin offering. So the priest shall make atonement for her, and she will be clean.

So, in case any of you moms were thinking that you can just wing it at being a mom, you’re wrong; there are Laws of motherhood; fortunately most of which don’t apply to you ladies nowadays.

The law is laid out for us in verses 6-8

It was not a sin that a woman gave birth. The impurity resulted from blood and fluids that are a part of the birth process, as you ladies who have kids already know. But ladies you’re not alone in this impurity, Men also needed to separate themselves and go through a ritual integration due to bodily discharge as we will read about in Leviticus 15.

So, the instruction is to bring to the priest a one-year-old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a turtle dove for a sin offering. Then the priest shall offer it before the Lord and make atonement for her.

Vs 8: But if she cannot afford a lamb...

I want us to think about this statement: None of us could afford a lamb. At least not the Lamb who would take away all of our own sins. So, God in his loving grace as we have said before sent His lamb without blemish to take away the sin of the world and to make us clean, just as this woman would be made clean by going through this ritual. The great thing about God’s salvation is that it’s not a ritual or offering because we cannot offer anything or bring anything to the table. It’s a free gift, It’s the grace of God.

1 Peter 1:19

But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

2 Peter 3:14

Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

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