Crystal Writes A Blog

A Place to Read What "Crystal-Writes"

Bring Out the Best


Trophies by Flickr User Vitor Antunes, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works Click image to open new tab/window to view original image and to access user's full photo stream at Flickr.

Trophies by Flickr User Vitor Antunes, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works
Click image to open new tab/window to view original image and to access user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

During my time growing up on the west coast, our family was pretty picky about the type of sandwich spread we used. Whether it was for a sandwich or a salad, we always used “Best Foods Real Mayonnaise.” Since I am typically alert to details, I always read the part on the label that said, “Known as Hellman’s East of the Rockies.” So, do you know what I did the first time I traveled east of the Rocky Mountains? I went into a grocery store to look for some “Hellman’s Mayonnaise.” so I could read the label to see if it said, “Known as Best Foods West of the Rockies.” And, sure enough, it did.

Such a little thing to get excited about, but it really was important for me to find out. Oh, and if you live east of the Rockies, like I do now, you may have heard the commercial jingle that says, “Bring out the Hellman’s, and bring out the best.” That makes so much more sense, though, when you hear it as, “Bring out the Best Foods, and bring out the best.”

In today’s reading from Leviticus 22:17 through Leviticus 22:33 (the end of the chapter), we read of God wanting us to always bring out the best for Him. This entire teaching covers the offerings brought before God whether for vows or for voluntary burnt offerings, and it gives the details of the acceptable and unacceptable offerings. In order to make the person giving the offering acceptable to God, the offering they gave had to fulfill the requirements that made it acceptable to Him.

Just as the priests who had defects could not give offerings to The Lord, people could not offer animals with defects like blemishes, uneven limbs, blind, injured, mutilated bodies, etc. Even if a foreigner tried to offer something less than perfect, ignorance would not entitle him to give a defective offering.

So, how many of you readers would like it if you gave your child all the ingredients to make a wonderful and tasty dessert, and after the child made it, he or she gave it to a bunch of friends and said you could only have whatever leftovers you could scrape off the pan? As the reading ends, God once again reminds Israel to keep His commandments because He is The Lord, and He is the One who brought them out of the land of Egypt to deliver them and make them holy. He gave them all the cattle and land from which to choose their offering, and He gave them the life of freedom that allows them to now offer gifts to Him, so He not only wants the best from them, He deserves the best from them.

Because of the grace and mercy we have from God through the blood of Yeshua, we might sometimes be tempted to think that God is not so picky anymore. After all, He accepts us just as we are, right? Yes, He does accept us, but only because He, Himself, brought out the best when He robed Himself in flesh to lay His life down for us. As the Lamb of Our Salvation, Christ had no imperfection, no blemish, and no sin. He was not even born of the sinful seed of man. He became the offering that was worthy to allow us to come to God broken, blemished, and damaged by sin. And His blood cleanses us and makes us whole in God’s eyes, so we can now offer ourselves to Him in the way He requires and deserves.

I hope this is enough to inspire and encourage people to keep themselves cleansed and holy before God. Let us not allow any of the desires of our sinful nature to drag us down to a place where we are covered with the muck and mire from which God delivered us. God gave us His best, now let us bring out the best for Him.

April 21, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

First Holiness, Then Good Works


Salvation Poster by Flickr User Realistic Imaginations, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works Click image to open new tab/window to view original image and to access user's full photo stream at Flickr.

Salvation Poster by Flickr User Realistic Imaginations, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works
Click image to open new tab/window to view original image and to access user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

If I were to ask you if you honor the Lord with holiness, you would likely begin to look at the works you do for Him to decide how to answer. But I believe holiness has everything to do with our hearts, and only has to do with our works insomuch as they follow the thoughts of our hearts. Holiness begins in our hearts and with a commitment to give to God that which He should have because He is worthy. Holiness is the change of heart that makes us see God as worthy of our belief, our obedience, our trust, and our praise.

In today’s reading from Leviticus 21:16 through Leviticus 22:16, we start with Yahveh telling Moses to tell Aaron the following: “None of your descendants who has a defect may approach to offer the bread of his God.” And then the teaching goes on to explain all the types of defects that would prevent a descendant of Aaron from working in the priesthood. I would not be able to bring offerings into the holy place because I have stunted growth. My husband could not bring offerings into the holy place because he has a cataract. We could both eat the bread of God, both the holy and the especially holy, but we could not offer it to God with our defects because that would profane God and His place of holiness.

Moses tells these things to Aaron and to all of Israel, and then he goes to Aaron to deepen the lesson. He tells him to have his sons keep themselves separate from the holy things of God, so they will not take a chance of defiling them by approaching them in an unholy state. If they do, God will cut them off from their people. For us, this means that we should not try to come into “the church” by doing all the right stuff without first repenting and being covered with the holy blood of Christ to make us clean. Like the verse above says, our salvation is a gift from God, and that alone should be enough to bring us to our knees before we strap on the apron of good works.

The teaching goes on to explain more ways in which a descendant from Aaron (member of the tribe of Levi) can make himself or herself unclean, and that uncleanness can prevent both doing the work of the tabernacle and partaking of the holy food. Even a daughter who has married outside of the tribe is no longer able to partake of the food, but a widow or divorcee with no child that comes back to live with her father may share in the food. Also, while an employee or tenant may not partake of the holy foods, a slave that lives in the home of a Levite may eat them.

I see all of this teaching as a simple commandment to not put the cart before the horse. We don’t do the works of God with unholy hearts that are not committed to Him. That means we don’t get brownie points for going to church on Sundays and hoping it will erase the demerits we earned during the rest of the week. We don’t get a pat on the back from God because we donate to good causes or give ourselves to service if we are doing those things in the sin of pride and arrogance instead of with a holy love for our Creator.

Holiness is a changed state of heart and mind that will have us proclaiming the glory of God in wondrous new ways. Here are just some of the verses from King David’s song in Psalm 96 in which I can see his holy heart…

1Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!
Sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, bless His name;
Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.
Declare His glory among the nations,
His wonders among all peoples.

For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised…
Honor and majesty are before Him;
Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.

Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!
Tremble before Him, all the earth.

I especially like that last verse because I see holiness as something beautiful and wonderful. It is an acknowledgement that God’s holiness is so majestic that all we can do is tremble in His holy presence. Hallelu-Yah!

April 20, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cleaning Up the Church


Church Cleaning by Flickr User Judy Baxter, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike

Church Cleaning by Flickr User Judy Baxter, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike
Click image to open new tab/window to view original image and to access user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

When I was younger and a member of a small congregation, I took my turns with church cleaning duty because I believed it was a necessary sacrifice. It was odd to go to a larger church where they had a paid cleaning crew. Even though I’m not one of those who really likes to clean, I like the feeling of doing my part and being a part of everything.

In today’s reading from Leviticus 15:29 through Leviticus 15:33 (the end of the chapter), we finish the portion on being clean and unclean from leprosy and bodily discharges. The one thing I noticed that was different is the following statement from verse 31…

“In this way you will separate the people of Israel from their uncleanness, so that they will not die in a state of uncleanness for defiling my tabernacle which is there with them.”

I’m big on looking for the purpose in God’s laws because I am convinced that He never does anything without some reason that will ultimately benefit His creation. I loved reading this verse and seeing that His purpose in keeping Israel clean was to keep them from dying in a state of uncleanness and to keep the tabernacle pure. God is merciful, and He knows the end results of impurity. The biggest result of purity and cleanness though is being able to draw nearer to God because He will not dwell in the presence of sin.

I wonder sometimes if the people back then really understood why God wanted them to stay pure since so many of us now question why God wants us to do or not do certain things. As I’ve been reading all these rules since we’ve been in Leviticus, I’ve imagined both the frustration of the people when they didn’t understand the “why” of it all, and I’ve thought about the great mercy of God and how much He just wanted the people to trust Him. It’s not easy to just blindly trust, but that is the goal of putting our faith in Him–trusting that He always knows what’s best for keeping the church body clean and close to Him.

April 4, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When You Need More Than A Healing


I love the times when reading something in the Torah, or other parts of the Old Testament, shines a new light on some message or story from the New Testament. On that note, I want to begin with the story about the woman with the issue of blood. The video above is the ApologetiX parody of Boston’s “More Than A Feeling,” and it’s called “More Than A Healing” which is exactly what happened to the woman in the short version of our story from Matthew 9:20-22…

20 And behold, a woman who had suffered from a flow of blood for twelve years came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His garment;
21 For she kept saying to herself, If I only touch His garment, I shall be restored to health.
22 Jesus turned around and, seeing her, He said, Take courage, daughter! Your faith has made you well. And at once the woman was restored to health.

And if you click here, it will take you to a page including all the texts with that story, (from Matthew plus from Mark 5:25-34 and Luke 8:43-48). In addition, the link gives parallel views of all verses in both The Complete Jewish Bible and The Amplified Bible.

Today’s Torah reading is from Leviticus 15:16 through Leviticus 15:28, and it speaks of more private things about discharges and uncleanness. There are many reasons why these things would not fare well in our current society, such as not being able to call into work sick because you are unclean due to spending some intimate time with your wife. To the extent of uncleanness in these verses, you would have to stay in and away from people if you even touched the bedding. But I’m certain there was more to it than we have available in current Scripture, and I think the advent of soap probably makes a big difference from those who could only bathe and wash their clothes in water to be cleansed.

But it’s the rest of the verses that brought light to the story I’ve included above. The remaining subject in today’s reading is all about when a woman is on her menstrual cycle. If you were a woman without soap, pads, underwear, etc., it was something better to endure by yourself because no one would be–or feel–clean around you. The laws made the woman unclean during her entire time plus seven days, and it made everything and everyone she came in contact with unclean as well. No one could touch her or her garments, and no one could sit where she sat or sleep where she slept without also being considered unclean.

So use what I’ve just spoken of, or read today’s portion for yourself, and then go back and read about the woman with the issue of blood. Now think about it. For twelve years this woman has not only been sick and bleeding, but she has also been considered unclean. No one would touch her, no one would sit with her, and no one would hold her, unless they were willing to be called unclean for a time. She was sick, tired, and completely alone. I imagine doctors tried to help her by prescribing medications, like whatever herbal remedies they normally gave to women who had issues with menstrual flow. The doctors likely did not actually examine her because it would have meant they had to spend the rest of the day as unclean. If they touched her menstrual flow, they would have had to be unclean for seven days. For her, this was a hopeless situation…until she heard about The Messiah.

I’m guessing that when the woman made her way into the crowd, they stepped away from her because they did not want to take a chance of touching her and becoming unclean themselves. The audacity that she would even try to get near the Messiah might have made them step between Him and her, so she would not touch Him and make Him unclean. (Ah, but they knew so little, right?)

When you read the story in The Complete Jewish Bible, you’ll see that what she reached for was not actually his robe, but the Hebrew word tzitzit which is the fringe on his prayer shawl. For a single man, the prayer shawl is long, so the fringe would have been closer to the ground and easier to reach for a weak, and possibly crawling, woman. But this daughter of Israel knew the promises of God’s word. Those pieces of fringe had knots in them that represented God’s promises to His people, including promises of healing. She may have reached for the fringe because it was easier to grasp, or because it was easier to get to without people stopping her, or she may have reached for the knot that promised her the healing she could not get from the hands of man. I believe that was the act of faith (trust in God’s promises) that brought her healing.

In spite of her fear of being condemned for touching another human being in her unclean state, this faith-filled woman was willing to take a chance because of all she would get as a result of stopping the plague that had been hers for far too long. With her healed body, the woman was not only reclaiming physical promises of strength and health, she was also reclaiming physiological strengths–being clean again, being able to socialize again, and being able to live and work among her peers again. This was more than a healing; it was a declaration of peace and joy for her future.

April 3, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Germophobia


Germs by Flickr User Russ Seidel, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works

Germs by Flickr User Russ Seidel, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works
Click image to open new tab/window to view original image and to access user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

Are you afraid of germs? If so, are you just a little afraid, or are you afraid like Howie Mandel, John Travolta, and Monk? I used to love the way the character of Monk dealt with all the regular germs life deals out to us. He made it funny, but somehow, his craziness about it made me more aware of germs than I had been before. I think the acceptance of Mr. Monk might even have made it more acceptable for germophobic actors to do things they do like using a fist-bump instead of a handshake (Mandel) and wearing gloves in scenes where touching another’s skin is required (Travolta). Though much of germophobia is extreme, there are actually some biblical roots for wanting to keep yourself from all things unclean.

In today’s reading from Leviticus 14:54 through Leviticus 15:15, we move from the laws about leprosy to the laws about a person who has a discharge. The Scriptures state that even if the discharge is no longer flowing, any person who has a discharge is considered unclean. I’m guessing that even included a runny nose back then, and as I’ve said before, it’s because God knew about germs before we even had a clue they existed.

For those with a discharge, their unclean status affected their lives in many inconvenient ways. Not only were they considered unclean, but the clothes they put on were unclean, anything they sat on was unclean, and everything they touched was unclean. It was like a Midas touch of uncleanness. Beyond that, if someone touched them or their clothes, sat where they sat, or even carried their unclean belongings for them, they were unclean until the evening. Oh, and if an unclean person spat on you, there was no question that you would become unclean in the process. At least the uncleanness was not hopeless. Once a person’s discharge was cleared up, they could be declared clean again after a seven-day purification process and the sacrifices of sin and burnt offerings.

The image above may make germs look kind of attractive with its color and design, and I guess the germs we need to kill bad bacteria have their own kind of beauty, but germs–for the most part, are not pretty. And like “little sins” that can look fun and colorful on the outside, tiny germs can kill great creatures. If we were only as careful to wash our hands of every little sin the way we wash our hands of every little germ, we’d be far less apt to get caught up in something that can grow until it’s beyond our control. That first dip into temptation so often leads to that final deadly dose–be it deadly drugs, a drowning-in-alcohol liver, or the death of a marriage due to infidelity. Thankfully, God’s Spirit is the best antibacterial agent we know when it comes to the uncleanness of sin,

April 2, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What’s In Your Walls


 

Wall Cleaner by Flickr User Dan Brady, CC License = Attribution

Wall Cleaner by Flickr User Dan Brady, CC License = Attribution
Click image to open new tab/window to view original image and to access user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

 

Have you ever visited an old building that left you feeling sick after your visit because of whatever was in the old walls? What about visiting somewhere (old or new) that left you feeling sick in your spirit because you just knew something unseen was there?

There are plenty of television series where people try to use fancy technology to discover what might be hiding in the walls of old places. Apparently, the idea that spirits might become attached or trapped in parts of old buildings is pretty intriguing to a lot of people. I think most people want it to be at least a little true to explain some spooky feelings they’ve had from their own chilling visits to places.

In today’s reading from Leviticus 14:33 through Leviticus 14:53, God is giving Israel instructions for when they move into the land of Canaan and take over houses already there. It starts by mentioning that if they go into a house where Yahveh put leprosy, they need to call the priest to examine it. It doesn’t make it clear when The Lord would have put leprosy there, but I’m guessing it would have been something done to former occupants that were enemies of Israel.

The portion tells the priest exactly what to look for to determine if there’s a contagious infection in the walls. Then, God tells the priest to remove any stones with infection and scrape off any plaster. After they replaster and then close the house up for seven days, if they come back to spreading stains, they are supposed to tear the house down completely and throw all its remains in an unclean place outside the city. If the stains don’t come back, they declare the house clean and perform a purification ceremony.

One of the things I really liked about moving into my current home was that I knew the former occupants, who had been living here for three years, spent a lot of hours in prayer and praise in its walls. I could feel the presence of God whenever I came over to visit with them, and I knew they were leaving me with a spiritually clean home. The last home I lived in did not have that same clean feeling when I moved in, but I wasn’t taught to search that out before buying, so it took me a few years to figure things out.

When we are forgiven of our sins, the wage of sin (death) is removed from us, but the consequences and side-effects may remain. For example, a woman who commits adultery or fornication and gets pregnant will not suddenly become un-pregnant just because she repents and is forgiven. In our daily failures, there may be times when, with God’s help, we must clean our lives of lingering side-effects that can inhabit our homes and/or lives. That’s why He gives us authority over the spirits of darkness.

While it’s nothing to boast about since it’s just housecleaning in the spirit realm, we can rejoice that God will strengthen us to do it even if we’re not the type that likes housecleaning much. We can also rejoice that when God placed us in The Lamb’s Book of Life, He gave us the tools and instructions for keeping our path toward Him free of the debris and remnants of sin that plagued us before we walked with Him. When we’re feeling sick in our spirits, it may be time to ask ourselves what’s in our walls, and then to start some spiritual housecleaning.

April 1, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God’s Affordable Health Care Act


 

Medicine of the Highest Order by Flickr User Benjamin Golub, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike

Medicine of the Highest Order by Flickr User Benjamin Golub, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike
Click image to open new tab/window to view original image and to access user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

It is not in God’s perfect will for anyone to be left out of any blessing He has to offer. Unlike politically motivated health and welfare services, God’s idea of affordable health care is not driven by brownie points to get votes. God has actual compassion to make sure we can all receive His benefits even if we have previously rejected Him and/or brought many of our troubles onto ourselves. Oh, if only those who think God makes all His rules to exclude people could just see that He actually makes them to be inclusive of more people. Rather than just letting us languish in our sins and sicknesses, He provides instruction for prevention, healing, and purification. And He even provides adaptations to His plans, so they can apply to both rich and poor.

In today’s reading from Leviticus 14:21 through Leviticus 14:32, we have the same basic instructions as yesterday, but today’s rules are slightly different to cover a case of a poor person who needs purification after healing from leprosy. The many offerings that were used in the act of purification could get expensive, especially if someone did not already own flocks and herds. So God set up a contingency plan to make sure those who could not provide sacrificial lambs could also receive the needed rituals.

Most of the steps toward purification are exactly the same, including putting blood on the right ear, the right thumb, and the right toe of the person needing to be cleansed. The priest is still required to pour olive oil in his left hand and then sprinkle it seven times before The Lord before also placing it in all the places where the blood has been placed. The difference for a poor person is that the blood for the sacrificial offerings can come from a dove or pigeon instead of it needing to come from lambs.

God is more than good to us, and He has provided all we need in order to serve Him according to His perfect will, including even having the desire to serve Him in the first place. Why can some people get saved in some room or deserted place when they are all alone? Because the desire was planted in their hearts from the beginning. It may be hidden beneath ignorance, false teaching, sinful desires, etc., but God will make Himself known to a hungry soul just as soon as He is invited. He says we will find Him when we seek and search for Him with all our hearts.

For me, I can see where God actually pursued me–before I invited Him. I believe He tries to show people how much He cares before we meet Him, and then He confirms that it was Him all along once we begin to study His word. I used to sing a song called “I Keep Falling in Love with Him” that says in part, “I thought I couldn’t love Him (God) more than I did right at the start. But when I look back over the mountains and valleys where we’ve been, I find I love Him more every day, much more than I did then.” The more I get to know Him, the more I realize that ALL His plans (for health, for life, for salvation, for eternity) are for our good and to give us a hope and a future.

March 31, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Palm Oil


Palm Oil Plantation by Flickr User Rainforest Action Network, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial

Palm Oil Plantation by Flickr User Rainforest Action Network, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial
Click image to open new tab/window to view original image and to access user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

I’ve always known there were different types of palm trees–like date palms and coconut palms, but I had no idea there are also completely different palm trees that are used for making palm oil; oil palm trees to be exact. And until I did a search to go with tonight’s post, I also had no idea that using palm oil is said to have a negative effect on rainforests. Of course, that’s what the rainforest defenders say, but I also haven’t read the whole story, so I can only report what I found while doing my search.

In today’s reading from Leviticus 14:13 through Leviticus 14:20, the palm oil mentioned here is not actually the kind from the trees, or from any palm tree, but rather it is oil in the palm of the priest’s hand. I thought that might be harder to find a picture of, so I decided to add an image of something a little greener and prettier. In the process, though, if we can learn something more about the earth God created and how to protect it, that will be a good thing. The image above will open a new tab or window, so if you want to see all of what the group posts, and read about what they stand for, don’t forget to click on it before you leave.

So, we know the focus for this week’s portion is on helping a person become clean who has been infected with leprosy. We saw most of the process in yesterday’s reading, and what continues today is a bit more detail on the lamb sacrifices. The two lambs, one for the sin offering and one for the guilt offering, are to be slaughtered in the place of the sanctuary that is designated for those offerings. That is what is most often represented by an altar in the sanctuary of a modern church. The altar is the place we humble ourselves and confess our sins and our need for atonement, and it’s a place where we understand that the blood of Our Messiah is the only thing that can truly deliver us from our sins. And, just like the altar in the Torah, it is there for us every time we need it.

Truthfully, I’ve always disliked the statement that a person who wants to follow God just has to accept His salvation. My reason for this is that acceptance says to me, it’s a one-time thing. We can only accept the same gift from a friend once. I think it’s more important that we teach new believers that their new life is more about rejection. We reject sin; we reject doing things our own way; and we reject anything that is not of God as much as we are able. This is not a one-time thing, but a daily, and sometimes multiple times per day, activity. We actively seek to push away those things that would separate us from the heart and love of The One who offers us His salvation. That is an active way of accepting His gift.

After the sacrificial offerings have been taken care of, part of which includes placing the blood of the guilt offering on the right ear, right thumb, and right toe of the person seeking purification, the priest is told to put oil in his right hand and dip into it with his left finger. He sprinkles the oil seven times, and then he takes what’s left and puts it over the blood on the ear, thumb and toe, plus over the blood of the guilt offering, and then on the head of the one who needs atonement. After these things are done, the priest is to offer the burnt offering and the grain offering, and then the person will be clean.

After having gone through so much to be purified, don’t you suppose the person who is now clean will reject anyone he even thinks might be contagious? And don’t you suppose he will do his best to be cleaner than he has ever made an effort to be in the past? I think so, and I think that rejection of the things that put him out of the camp, and that needed to be atoned for, will now be easy for him. It’s not always easy for those of us who make an effort to walk blamelessly before Our Creator to reject every sin that comes our way, but the more we learn about the depth of the sacrifice He made for us, the more we willingly reject anything that separates us from His salvation, His love, and His wonderful presence.

March 30, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shave and a Haircut–Two Birds


Shave and a Haircut by Flickr User Pete Markham, CC License = Attirbution, Share Alike

Shave and a Haircut by Flickr User Pete Markham, CC License = Attirbution, Share Alike
Click image to open new tab/window to view original image and to access user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

Even if you’re not old enough to realize there is a tune to the words shave and a haircut, two bits, you probably know the rhythm. Someone, at some point of your life, probably knocked on a door with the beat of “knock knock knock knock knock (rest) knock knock.” Then again, that may only be for my readers in U.S. since I don’t think a quarter was called two bits anywhere else. Still, I find it a catchy tune, and I can rarely see a barber shop pole without thinking of it.

In today’s reading from Leviticus 14:1 through Leviticus 14:12, we begin a new Parashah (portion); number 28. The Hebrew title for it is M’tzora and it means “Person afflicted with Leprosy.” Okay, so that means I was wrong yesterday when I said we were probably done talking about leprosy. Of course, for me, the hard part is taking a few verses–often with repeated statements or themes–and trying to find something deeper to share with my readers. When I can find the truly spoken word within the written word, I get very excited though, and I hope you do as well.

So, from the title of the portion, I’m going to guess that our entire week will focus on what to do if someone is definitely infected rather than in making the determination as to if the person is clean or unclean. Today’s section of the portion deals with a person who has been infected and has been put out of the camp to begin purification. The first thing I noticed here is that the priest goes outside the camp to examine the man. If you think of leprosy as sin, it means we should not be waiting for sinners to walk through the church doors, but should be ready to speak with them about their sin where they are.

Next, the purification requires a sacrifice of two birds. One of the birds must be slaughtered over a clay pot under running water, and the other will be sprinkled with the blood of the dead bird and then set free. The live bird, along with a cedar plank, scarlet yarn, and hyssop leaves, is to be dipped into the blood, and then all of those will be used to sprinkle blood on the person who needs to be purified. The death over clay speaks of Calvary to me, so I’m certain there is more here in the process that is represented by the sacrifice of our Messiah, but I am unsure, so I won’t try to teach something I don’t know.

Once the infected person is cleansed, he is to shave off all his hair, beard, and even his eyebrows. Then he must wash his clothes and bathe before he returns to camp. Once he’s in the camp, he still can’t go to his own tent for another seven days, and then he has to shave everything off again before he is completely clean. Once he has reached that point, the priest will offer a sacrifice of two lambs and a grain offering to complete his purification process.

The one thing that stands out to me in all this is how difficult it is to become clean once you have been infected by leprosy. We want to march people into a church building and say that since Christ offered Himself for their sins, becoming sin free is just as easy as reciting the sinner’s prayer. But the offering of blood was only one part of the process. I know we don’t want to scare people away with a bunch of religious rituals, but I think it’s important to teach that our walk with God is not to be taken lightly. If God required these things to represent purification during the times of the wilderness temple, He has made a way to fulfill those things for us now. They haven’t gone away, but are being carried out in another way–through the blood of Christ, through the Holy Spirit making intercession for us, etc. To me, that is all the more reason to get up each day and praise Him for all He has done, and for all He continues to do, to bridge the gap between Himself and us. He is worthy of more than we can even think to praise Him for.

March 29, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lather, Rinse, Repeat


Shampoo Bottles by Flickr User Eric Mesa, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike

Shampoo Bottles by Flickr User Eric Mesa, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike
Click image to open new tab/window to view original image and to access user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

I don’t know how often bottles are printed with the instructions to “Lather, Rinse, and Repeat” anymore, and I’m not sure if they were only on some shampoos previously. Maybe they were used as a default instruction on all shampoo to help consumers go through a bottle faster. I do know the second application of shampoo always foams up more, so it feels like hair is cleaner anyway. I’m not sure of the reason, maybe just expense since I use some pricier shampoos than when I was younger, but I haven’t done the double wash in a while. Are you one who still washes twice?

In today’s reading from Leviticus 13:55 through Leviticus 13:59 (the end of the chapter), we come to the end of the portion, and likely to the end of instructions for dealing with leprosy and contagious infections. Yesterday, we learned about washing a stain and then waiting to make sure it didn’t reappear to know if an item that picked up an infection was clean or not. Today, we’re told that if the stain does not change color from washing, the item is rotten is should be burned up. If it fades, the stained portion should be torn out of the garment. And if the stain evidence of infection goes away completely, the garment is to be washed a second time before it can be called clean.

Whether you lather, rinse, and repeat, or just lather and rinse, you do so because you know if your hair and scalp feel clean. The end result is the important factor, and the same is true of sin. Being cleansed of anything and everything that would separate us from a pure and holy walk with Our Loving Creator should be our goal. We can get dunked in a thousand baptismal pools and still be just as unclean as the permanently stained garments in this week’s Torah portion.

When we are clean, we will have a clean, new heart, that is sensitive toward God and His directions to us. I love the way God’s Word describes our new heart in Ezekiel 11:19 (NLT)… And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart. In a bit more context, here’s a paragraph from “The Message Bible” of Ezekiel 11:16-20

“Well, tell them this, ‘This is your Message from God, the Master. True, I sent you to the far country and scattered you through other lands. All the same, I’ve provided you a temporary sanctuary in the countries where you’ve gone. I will gather you back from those countries and lands where you’ve been scattered and give you back the land of Israel. You’ll come back and clean house, throw out all the rotten images and obscene idols. I’ll give you a new heart. I’ll put a new spirit in you. I’ll cut out your stone heart and replace it with a red-blooded, firm-muscled heart. Then you’ll obey my statutes and be careful to obey my commands. You’ll be my people! I’ll be your God!

And before you go, here’s a beautiful song I used to sing at all my concerts (and will be on my album if I can ever figure out how to move forward with it). It’s called I Wanna Be Washed in the Blood of the Lamb, and it speaks my heart of always wanting to repeat the cleansing process to keep my heart pure before God. This video includes the lyrics, my favorite of which come in verse 2 where it says, “How oft I’ve cried when far away from You, my heart would catch a glimpse of Calvary; remembering nights down on my knees in prayer when I said, ‘Lord, here I am, please use me.’ ” Enjoy!

March 28, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When It Won’t Come Out in the Wash


Somewhere in my youth, I used to enjoy all those scary shows like Outer Limits (I really did think they had control of my TV set), Night Gallery, and others. I still watch Twilight Zone and own the whole collection. Some of the morals given in many of those old programs have stayed with me for years. The episode above has stuck with me, though I’m not sure when I saw it, since IMDB says the series, Tales from the Darkside, started in 1983, and I had quit watching TV for a time as of July of that year. In reading through the other episode descriptions, I would never watch the kinds of things it tells stories about, so I’m thinking this may be the only episode of the program I ever saw (thankfully). I posted this before I realized the content of the other episodes, so I will say this one is safe, but in case you don’t want to spend 20 minutes watching it, here’s the gist (spoiler alert–words in green)…

An evil man would rather use a special laundry service to wash the sins from his clothes than to stop sinning. He hires a launderer who charges him big money, keeps raising his prices, and finally quits picking up the clothes which have greatly accumulated since the man now feels no guilt for his actions. When the man calls the launderer, the guy tells him he won the lottery and is out of business. The evil man then knows he’s stuck with his sins, so he jumps to his death.

Well, in today’s reading from Leviticus 13:38 through Leviticus 13:54, we’ll learn about leprosy on clothing. We’re still on the subject of what types of skin sores need to be shown to the priests, and we even get a little comic relief in verses 40-41…

40 “If a man’s hair has fallen from his scalp, he is bald, but he is clean. 41 If his hair has fallen off the front part of his head, he is forehead-bald; but he is clean.

At least I thought it was funny–“he’s bald but he’s clean.” LOL

In the next verses, we get a bit of insight about those who live in the isolation I mentioned in another post. They must live outside the camp, and wherever they go, they must wear torn clothes, leave their hair hanging down, and put their hand over their lip while calling out, “Unclean, unclean.” I’m guessing the hand over the lip is to amplify the sound, but it could mean something else that I’m unsure of.

Now we get into the verses that talk about what to do when a sore has caused a stain on clothing. The instructions to the priest are to watch the stain to see if it spreads through the fibers of whatever material it is found on. If the stain spreads, it is contagious and the articles of clothing must be burned up. But if the stain doesn’t spread, the clothes are to be washed and set apart for seven days.

Since leprosy represents sin, I find it interesting that God says whatever it touches is to be burned up. That tells me that, even when we ourselves are washed of our sins, the things (not people) in our lives that were connected to the sin, must be destroyed. They demonstrate that well in the movie Fireproof where they have the main character destroy the computer he was using to access pornography. For someone who practiced witchcraft, that would mean getting rid of things like Tarot Cards and Ouija Boards. For a drug addict, it would mean getting rid of drug paraphernalia. We must separate ourselves from the things that could reinfect us with sin when we choose to walk a road of pure service to God. His will and ways must become our priority. But I can tell you from experience, what we give up for Him is NEVER a loss.

March 27, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Set Apart for a Time


Isolation by Flickr User digitalmindphotography (David Smith), CC License = Attribution

Isolation by Flickr User digitalmindphotography (David Smith), CC License = Attribution
Click image to open new tab/window to view original image and to access user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

Have you ever felt the need to just “get away” for a little while? Do you ever find that the day in, day out, ongoing events of life sometimes make you feel like you’ve just got to declutter and thin things out a bit? Something about isolation can often help us to sort through the stresses and re-prioritize what’s important in our lives.

In today’s reading from Leviticus 13:29 through Leviticus 13:37, we read about times of purification–set apart times of isolation to allow the healing necessary to be considered clean once again. In this week’s portion, we’ve read all about leprosy and learning it could be speaking of other viral or contagious skin diseases as well. Today, we see the instructions to the priest on how to check a sore on someone’s head or on the skin beneath a beard to find if the person has an infectious disease. If the signs of infection are there, the person is to be put into isolation for 7 days.

There’s nothing that describes the isolation, whether they had a quarantine tent or just what, but later, the time in isolation is described as a time of purification. The instructions even include having the person shave around the sore, but not shaving the sore itself. After that time alone, the person is to be examined again, and if there is no change, they get 7 more days in isolation before they will be examined again to determine if they are clean enough to go back into the community.

While these instructions were given for the physical health of the community, I can see how the same situation could be a good way to reclaim the spiritual health of a Christian community as well. If we’re all so busy planning events and looking perfect for “Sunday School,” when do we take time apart to examine ourselves before God to determine if there might be some purification needed? I’ve heard it preached that we should be in church every time the doors are opened, and I spent part of my Christian walk doing just that. But now, I see the great need for that time to be set apart for a time of purification.

We all need vacations from the daily grind, the irritating boss, and the demands of life in general. We need vacation to renew and refresh our minds and bodies. And I believe we also need times of renewal for our spirit, and that won’t always come with just a different set of circumstances–even if those circumstances are for a higher purpose. The priests had to examine sores to look for crusty spots that might be contagious to others. Let’s examine ourselves, or get with an accountability partner for examination, before we get any “crusty spots” on our spirits that might be contagious to others. 🙂

March 26, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Just A Scar


 

Tree Scars by Flickr User Randy Robertson, CC License = Attribution

Tree Scars by Flickr User Randy Robertson, CC License = Attribution
Click image to open new tab/window to view original image and to access user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

 

Besides a bit of a hard day with some news I’m not quite free to share yet, I’m having some issues with WordPress and images and changes they’ve made, so I’m going to keep this short. Of course, the current portions of Scripture we’re in are a bit short anyway, but I hope I’m able to bring something out that will bless all those who read–at least a little. Today, I want to focus on the fact that I believe God made scars with a purpose.

In today’s reading (another super short one) from Leviticus 13:24 through Leviticus 13:28, there is more instruction on determining if a person has leprosy. This time, it is talking about a person with a burn and how to tell if the burn has become infected with leprosy. The fact that a previous injury can get infected seems to support the article I mentioned in another post that said these statements about leprosy may also refer to other types of viral infection.

So, God explains to the priest, through Moses, that if a person has a burn, the priest should examine it thoroughly to check for signs of infection, so it can be determined if the priest can declare him clean and not contagious. The signs of infection to the burn are similar to the signs in other wounds except that with a burn, redness may simply indicate a scar instead of an infection. If it is just a scar, the person can be considered clean.

I decided to use tree scars in the image above because, just like God gave DNA to all living things, I believe He created all living things with the ability to be scarred when hurt. It’s all part of His way of showing us that we cannot be damaged without a permanent record of it. And, if He will not go without remembering hurts on our behalf, I believe that means He will not go without doing something about it in His way and time.

I believe scars are just one of God’s ways of caring for His creations. Other ways include self-healing attributes, toxic cleansing, regeneration, and so much more. But, while He created our bodies (and many bodies in nature) to work toward their own healing, He made sure the healing does not discard all traces of the injury. And even though we cannot see them, I believe God also sees the scars on our souls as well. So, next time you look at one of your own scars, or next time you see a scar in nature, remember that God created those scars in His infinite wisdom and mercy to let you know that He is watchful and caring over all your days.

March 25, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Declared Clean


 

Clean Dirty Magnet by Flickr User Lindee Photo Designs, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works

Clean Dirty Magnet by Flickr User Lindee Photo Designs, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works Click image to open new tab/window to view original image and to access user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

 

Are you old enough to remember this slogan: Have you had your Shower to Shower today? Or maybe you remember the old Irish Spring commercial slogan: Fresh and clean as a whistle. And then we’ve got: If it’s got to be clean, it’s got to be Tide. And, finally: You’re not fully clean until you’re Zestfully clean.

In today’s reading from Leviticus 13:18 through Leviticus 13:23, we have a very short reading about priests declaring people clean. The whole thing just talks about how to tell if a boil is clean by examining whether it is red, raw, swollen, has white hair, is dried out, etc. Each of the instructions either says the priest is to declare the person clean or unclean.

Without much to work with in these few verses, I am choosing to focus on the term “declared clean” because there is a difference in actually being clean and in being declared clean. Of course, if the person who is doing the declaring is honest, the two will mean the same thing. But what about when the declarer is not honest? Maybe it’s a preacher who’s just trying to get more money or accolades from the sheep, so he tickles the ears of any sheep that will give him a dollar bill or a pat on the back.

But the one that really worries me is the person who just doesn’t want to accept any kind of judgment (even personal accountability), so she declares herself clean (or saved) just because it seems easier than actually repenting. It would be like someone taking the dishwasher magnet above and turning it to say “clean” when the load has not been run through the dishwashing cycle. What good is it to put dirty dishes back into the cupboard just because the magnet says they’re clean?

I’ll close with this. We have promises of forgiveness in Scripture, and our promises are beyond what we deserve because of the wonderful blood of Christ. But declaring ourselves to have mercy without changing anything in our lives is not supported in any Scripture that I have found. To the contrary, we have abundant Scriptures that read like Proverbs 28:13 that says (in NLT)…

People who conceal their sins will not prosper,
    but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.

Just as God told the priests how to determine if someone was clean before they declared the person clean, we have God’s precious word to speak to us now. If we confess our sins, it doesn’t say we are covered. If we forsake our sins, we haven’t been given promise. But, if we both confess AND forsake our sins, God’s promise is that we will be declared clean.

March 24, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Calling Doctor Cohen


Doktor Sleepless by Flickr User Team Tanenbaum, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike

Doktor Sleepless by Flickr User Team Tanenbaum, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike
Click image to open new tab/window to view original image and to access user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

So how would you feel if your doctor walked into the examination room looking like the costumed guy above? Probably not comfortable unless you were a little kid. And what about if a priest of God was the one who walked into the room; would that make you feel at least a little better? The Hebrew word Cohen means “priest,” and Cohen HaGadol is “high priest.” And they had some duties that go well beyond those who are in similar careers these days.

In today’s reading from Leviticus 13:6 through Leviticus 13:17, we pick up where the last paragraph left on in the previous portion that was talking about leprosy. Between the two days, we have some detailed description being given to the priests, so they can determine whether or not a person is unclean with leprosy. Yesterday, the description talked about sores that turned the body hairs white. Today, it talks about raw skin and how much of the body is covered by the sores.

I was actually looking for an image of a pair of exam gloves because I planned to focus on the difference in perspectives from then to now. I mentioned before that there was no thought of germs or germ theory. I don’t know if anyone back then had any type of material they would put over their hands to prevent them from touching the raw or swollen wounds that are described in the reading, but I imagine having to examine a person for an uncleanness was one of the least desirable parts of being a priest. It’s probably pretty undesirable for a lot of medical professionals as well.

Upon studying, I found some information that said the Scriptures that speak of leprosy were likely speaking of many different kinds of spreading skin infections and not just what we know today to be leprosy. The main thing it seems they were looking for was to see if a person was contagious. If they were covered with sores but with no swelling or rawness, and all their sores had dried up and turned white, they were declared clean.

As with all of God’s laws, the purpose behind this one was to protect His people and give them a longer life. When His children didn’t know about germs, He devised ways to protect them before hand-washing and exam gloves. Before we learned that fish without both fins and scales would absorb toxins from whatever water they swim in, He told His children to only eat fish with both fins and scales to protect them from digesting toxic substances.

While so many (mostly those who don’t follow God, but some who do) are complaining that God makes too many rules, those of us who love and trust Him know that He is trying to create a safe environment for those He loves. We can thank Him as would a child who grows up to thank the loving parent he once considered overprotective until he had his own children to protect. Even what we don’t understand from the Old Testament is worth examination to look for God’s purposes and protection for those He loves.

March 23, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s a Boy, It’s a Girl, UhOh


Twins by Flickr User Brandie, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works

Twins by Flickr User Brandie, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works
Click image to open new tab/window to view original image and to access user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

I’m trying to think back to all the family members I can remember having babies, and I don’t think anyone in our family has ever had twins–or any other multiple births. I guess it really is something that runs in certain families. And, while our Torah reading for today doesn’t say anything about twins, you’ll see when you read it why I would wonder how twins would affect a new mommy based on the Levitical laws.

In today’s reading from Leviticus 12:1 through Leviticus 13:5, we begin a new week with Parashah (portion) 27. The Hebrew name for it is Tazria and it means “She Conceives.” The first paragraph in this reading concerns how a woman is to be considered if she conceives and gives birth. If she has a boy, she is unclean for 7 days and then has 33 days of purification to follow. If she has a girl, those numbers are doubled. And that’s where I asked myself, “But what if she has twins, and one is a boy and one is a girl?”

I always wonder things in a more complicated way, but I guess it would be as if she had a girl since she would have. I wonder, though, what the scientific reasoning behind this is. Does a female infant do something different to the mother’s body that keeps her bleeding longer than if she carries a boy? Bleeding is the reason for the uncleanness and the need for purification, so it would not surprise me to find out there is something physiologically different about carrying a girl. I mean, this is where it says to circumcise a boy on the 8th day, and I have read that on the 8th day of life, every male’s blood coagulates faster than on any other day of his life. That’s a good idea when your physician is actually a priest and may not be the best at what he does with a knife.

The next paragraph talks about her atonement after her days of purification have passed. The mother is to bring a lamb, or a pigeon or young dove if she cannot afford a lamb, to make an offering for the child. This appears to be sort of the sealing for her days of purification.

The final paragraph talks about leprosy, but there is more on that tomorrow, so I’ll save that conversation other than to say, this is actually medical training for the priests. I think it’s amazing that God was giving them information on how to diagnose viral illness, so it would not spread through the camp. He gives exact descriptions for the priest to look for to make sure the priest can know whether to get the person into quarantine or let him go about his business. We truly have a God who cares for us in both the big and little details. Have a blessed week walking in His presence.

March 22, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Don’t Know Why She Swallowed A Fly


She Swallowed a Fly by Flickr User Gordon McLean, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial

She Swallowed a Fly by Flickr User Gordon McLean, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial
Click image to open new tab/window to view original image and to access user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

How is it that so many of my topics remind me of songs? I guess I think in lyrical ways. Of course, thinking of this cute children’s song is better than actually thinking of swallowing bugs, don’t you think?

In today’s reading from Leviticus 11:33 through Leviticus 11:47 (the end of the chapter), we pick up where the reading yesterday was talking about not touching the carcass of an unclean animal. It goes on to say that if the unclean thing touches a clay pot, a stove, or an oven, they must be broken. I’m guessing stoves and ovens were also made of clay, so I guess by their being porous, it made it impossible to clean the germs effectively. But, I also think of our human flesh any time I think of clay, so this says to me once again how cleansing our flesh from something unclean will take some brokenness. Thankfully, we also know the Master Potter who can remake our broken vessels when we keep them in His hands.

As the reading continues, we find out that any swarming insect that swarms the ground is not only unclean, but God describes it as detestable. I can agree with that description, and I’m glad I now have a reason to turn down any kind of bug-related cuisine someone might try to offer me. Of course, now I’m wondering about those little red bugs they use to color things like strawberry yogurt and Starbucks’ strawberry Frapp. (In case you haven’t heard about this, here’s a link to the article at Snopes.com that verifies its truth, and there are links for more info at the bottom of the article.)

And that’s it for this reading and this week, so I bid you Shabbat Shalom (Sabbath Peace) as you bring your week to a close. As a final note, in preparing for this article, I was looking to see if there was a Scripture that ever declared any of these “unclean” animals and bugs as being clean, and it turns out there is not one. While the biblical dietary laws are not something of a Heaven and Hell matter, I certainly think its worth more study as to best practices. I have never looked into it before, but as I learn little by little, line upon line, precept upon precept, I invite you to join me in my discoveries and to share your own thoughts and discoveries with me. I did find an interesting article at http://www.cgg.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Library.sr/CT/RA/k/1049/Clean-Unclean-Meats.htm and I welcome any thoughts or commentary on its contents. We’re all in this together, friends, and I value your time in reading my posts and the comments and replies you add to them. Many blessings to you all!

March 21, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I Don’t Like Spiders and Snakes


Green Spider Fractal by Flickr User Ahmed Sagarwala, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works

Green Spider Fractal by Flickr User Ahmed Sagarwala, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works
Click image to open new tab/window to view original image and to access user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

…and that ain’t what it takes to love God because apparently He doesn’t like them either. Well, at least He doesn’t like them on our dinner menu. 🙂 And I like them so little that I was getting pretty grossed out as I was looking for a picture to go with this post, so I went back to my search box and typed in “spider fractal” to come up with the above. That’s not quite as bad to me.

In today’s reading from Leviticus 11:1 through Leviticus 11:32, we get to see the beginnings of what God told the children of Israel would be a good diet for them. First, God gives Moses some attributes of clean animals, like those that chew the cud AND have a split hoof. And then He tells them some of the animals included under the headings of “clean” or “unclean.” He also makes sure they know that unclean animals are unclean if they are eaten, if their carcasses are touched, or even if a person touches something that touched the carcass.

Some of the items ON the menu include fish with scales (this doesn’t sound too bad) and winged insects (bugs–yuck) that have bendable joints. That means we can eat chocolate-covered grasshoppers if we want, but I don’t think I want. OFF the menu items include weasels, mice, lizards, and geckos. (I’m sure Geico is happy about that last one. LOL) You’ll have to click the link above if you want to read the entire list of clean vs unclean food for that time.

I added the for that time because I do believe that some foods probably could still be left off our plates, but in those times without proper refrigeration and cooking techniques. there were likely even more problems. Of course, we also need to remember that these eating standards were given prior to the discovery of germs. God knew about those things that men could not see, and even after that discovery, those who taught the new “germ theory” (teaching that something too small to see could be deadly) were often considered insane. Aren’t we glad we know better now? And aren’t we glad that God has always known better about these and all things? This is just another example of why we should trust Him now and always.

March 20, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

   

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A Place to Read What "Crystal-Writes"

Editor

Simply beautiful publishing powered by WordPress.

THE WORD on The Word of Faith (a GroupBlog)

BREAKING FREE from The Word of Faith Movement & telling the World about it! TELL US YOUR STORY

behind the lens

the view from the other side of the window

Blaire McDaniel

Finding God in the Gray.

The Matt Walsh Blog

Absolute Truths (and alpaca grooming tips) **Facebook.com/MattWalshBlog

On Faith and Writing

A Daughter of the King

Christian Design and Video Share

A great WordPress.com site

Wordsmith's Desk

some thoughts along the way

Socialism is not the Answer

Limited Government Is

By the Blood of the Lamb

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb...

Iris Grace Painting

imagine, create, inspire

Today's Author

Fostering a community of creative writers through articles, comments, writing prompts and a healthy, supportive environment.

Louisville Christian Writers blog

For members of LCW to spread their blogging wings or reblog their own posts.

Monica Mynk

Stories of Broken Girls, Seeking Love, Finding His Truth

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

Women: Each One A Survivor

Enjoying Every Moment

Jessie Jeanine

A survivor inspired by the tragedies and triumphs of life.

DiscernIt

Deut 32:28 "They are a nation without sense, there is no discernment in them."

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