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God’s Good China

Page Scan from a Shakespeare Book by Flickr User Internet Archive Book Pages, No Known Copyright Restrictions

Page Scan from a Shakespeare Book by Flickr User Internet Archive Book Pages, No Known Copyright Restrictions
Click image to open a new tab/window to view the original image and to access the user’s full photo stream at Flickr.
By the way, if you click on this one, it includes a portion of the Shakespeare novel in the book from where they scanned the picture.

I have never owned a set of “good china” dishes. I do have a few pieces of red glass in my china cabinet, and those pieces get the same treatment I would guess most people give their special plates, though mine are not made for food service–even for special occasions. I have been served on special dishes, recently in fact, and I know how special it makes me feel to be considered a priceless friend who is worthy to eat from the best dishes. I also know, however, that if my friends used Debbie’s mother’s china every day, it would not change how she feels about either her friends or her heirloom dishes. It’s not how often she uses them that matters, but the care I see her use in the serving that shows how much she values both.

In today’s reading from Deuteronomy 14:1 through Deuteronomy 14:21, Moses talks to Israel about God’s value on the seed of Abraham. He begins by telling to not to cut gashes in their skin or shave above their foreheads as some do when in mourning for the dead. And then Moses tells them why God doesn’t want them to do these things. He tells them they are God’s special treasure out of all the people on the earth. Because they are His, God wants them set apart as holy to Him. They are his “good china” dishes, and their care and proper use is important to Him.

As the reading continues, Moses covers many of the dietary laws we have already discussed in former portions, such as not eating anything disgusting. He reminds them of the list of animals that have cloven hooves and chew the cud because they are okay to eat, and then he lists those that are unclean for them because they either have cloven hooves and don’t chew the cud, or they chew the cud but don’t have cloven hooves. The same goes for water animals which should have both fins and scales to be considered clean.

Moses also presents the people with a list of unclean fowl that is not okay for them to eat. I couldn’t find anything in common with them other than some (maybe all) of them being scavengers. He tells them that winged swarming creatures are unclean, but clean flying creatures they can eat. I guess that leaves out the termites I’ve seen pictures of while viewing missionary slides. Apparently, they remove the wings and fry them up to top salads in the same way we use crunchy bacon bits. Yuck! I’m glad they’re unclean. Even if I’m not on a totally kosher diet, it’s a good excuse not to eat bugs. 🙂

It may not be a requirement anymore to eat only kosher food, but I don’t find it a simple coincidence that the dietary laws are given in the same reading as remarks about the value of God’s people to Him. We know that what God calls unclean in the animal kingdom are often found to carry diseases and cause digestive troubles. If we are like fine china to God, He just wants us to treat our bodies with the value He sees in us as His people. It’s all together possible that if the whole world had always kept God’s dietary conditions, there would be no cancer, no infertility, no chemical imbalances etc.

When viewing any of the laws of God, I can only recommend that each of us–myself included–look through a lens of God’s love toward us as His unique treasure and special people. Let us ask Him how He would have us treat ourselves and each other as if we were God’s good china. In the meantime, if you enjoy the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, I found one I remember from the 2nd book, and I’d like to share it with you. It’s about another way to value fine china that does not include hiding it in the cupboard most of the time. It’s a great story, and you can read it at Google Books by clicking on the title. It’s called The Little Glass Chip.

August 12, 2014 - Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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