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The Word in the World

The Bible Reading Club: The Word in the World – You Are What You Eat – Part 2 (Leviticus 17:13-14)

Today’s Reading: Leviticus 14-17

Today’s Reflection: Leviticus 17:13-14

13) “Any one also of the people of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn among them, who takes in hunting any beast or bird that may be eaten shall pour out its blood and cover it with earth. 14) For the life of every creature is its blood: its blood is its life. Therefore I have said to the people of Israel, You shall not eat the blood of any creature, for the life of every creature is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off.

Yesterday we spoke about clean and unclean animal meats following the instructions of Leviticus chapter 11.  I did mention that even clean meats have risks and limitations.  As today’s reflection text makes clear, there are specific instructions for the preparation of clean meats to be used for food.  Further instruction was provided back in Leviticus 3:17.

Leviticus 3:17 – It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, in all your dwelling places, that you eat neither fat nor blood.”

Eating blood in meat (like having your steak rare) is associated with significantly higher cancer risks.  And consumption of saturated animal fats (including gravy) is associated with a host of medical issues including cancer and heart disease. Again medical science took centuries to catch up with what God had given His people instruction about long ago.

Now to take things a step further, beyond considering which meats you should or should not eat, and how those meats should be properly prepared, you must also consider how often you should eat any meat at all.  The reality is that eating meat produces uric acid in the body, which causes inflammation and makes you more prone to a variety of diseases from the common cold to cancerous growths.  More and more doctors are coming to the conclusion that humans are not designed for regular meat eating.

God’s instructions around the eating of meat suggest it was only for occasional consumption (feast days like Passover, pre-Christ) or emergency situations (after the flood when no vegetation was available).  As God led Israel through the wilderness He supernaturally provided food for His people.  Daily He supplied manna, but only provided meat twice.  In 40 years.

This may be as difficult for you as it is for me — I really enjoy eating meat.  But the Word of God is the Word of God, and it has been given to us to use for our good.  Or to ignore at our peril.  Contemplate these things the next time you’re shopping in the meat and poultry aisle of your supermarket.

Genesis 1:29 – And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.

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