Deuteronomy 12:23 – But be sure you do not eat the blood, because the blood is the life, and you must not eat the life with the meat. (NIV)
There are some things that I really miss about not being in Scotland, even after all of these years. I get homesick for the people, the places, the scenery, and the songs. I long for the accents and traditions, the green hills and the rugged shores. But something that I crave more often than not is the food — and one type of food in particular: a black pudding supper.
I used to love going to the fish and chip shop at the weekend to get a bottle of Irn Bru (put that in a search engine and see what happens!) and a large black pudding with a whole host of deep fried chips (called French fries here in North America). It was not the healthiest of meals, and probably the combination of the sugary drink and the cholesterol-packed supper has contributed to more blocked arteries in Scotland than anything else. To me, it was delicious, even although the pudding itself was made out of blood. I guess that's why God didn't choose Scots to be His holy people during Old Testament times. I don't think we could have given up all that unhealthy food!
Today's verse from Deuteronomy reveals to us the origins of the kosher food laws of the Jewish people. Whilst the heathens and pagans around them ate and drank what they liked, God prescribed a diet for His people which would keep them fit and healthy for their nomadic life in the wilderness. If we stop to think about it, all that walking, combined with this sacred diet, probably meant that the Hebrew children were physically stronger than the communities around them. God was not only keeping them free from eating unclean or unhealthy foods, He was also keeping them fit for the conflicts that inevitably took place.
Sometimes, we rebel against God's laws, thinking that we know better, or that His words are outdated and irrelevant. Perhaps, though, instead of casting aside God's commandments, we should really ask ourselves what their purpose is. Why are they so important to God? How do they strengthen our community?
Prayer: Father God, sometimes we think that Your ways are culturally irrelevant, socially retarded, or politically incorrect. Help us to scrutinize and examine Your words, instead of criticizing and abandoning them. Show us a better way of living our lives and enable us to keep spiritually fit for the inevitable cultural conflicts that lie ahead. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
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