Deuteronomy 14:3
You must not eat any detestable thing.
Sermons
Israel's Relationship to GodHenry, MatthewDeuteronomy 14:1-3
Self-Respect in MourningJ. Orr Deuteronomy 14:1-3
A Holy People Will Eat Sanctified ThingsR.M. Edgar Deuteronomy 14:3-11
Clean and UncleanJ. Orr Deuteronomy 14:3-21
Discrimination in MeatsD. Davies Deuteronomy 14:3-21


The distinction of clean and unclean appears to have rested -

I. ON NATURAL GROUNDS. It is based to some extent on natural preferences and repugnances - an index, often, to deeper correlations. We instinctively recognize certain creatures to be unfit for food. The Law of Moses drew the line practically where men's unguided instincts have always drawn it. A lesson of respect for natural order. In diet, as in higher matters, we do well to follow Nature's guidance, avoiding violations of her laws, and refraining from obliterating her distinctions.

II. ON CEREMONIAL GROUNDS. The prohibition against eating of blood had consequences in the region of cleanness and uncleanness of food. All flesh-eating and blood-eating animals - all beasts and birds of prey - were of necessity excluded. Ceremonially unclean themselves, they could not be clean to those eating them.

III. ON SYMBOLIC GROUNDS. The symbolic traits observable in certain animals may have had to do with their rejection. We can see reason in the exclusion of creatures of cruel and rapacious habits, of those also in whose dispositions we trace a reflection of the human vices. It may be pushing the principle too far to seek recondite meanings in the chewing of the and (meditation) and the dividing of the hoof (separation of walk), or in the possession of fins and scales in fishes (organs of advance and resistance). But a Law impregnated with symbolism could scarcely reckon as clean a filthy and repulsive creature like the sow. The accursed serpent, the treacherous fox, the ravenous jackal, even had they been suitable for food in other respects, could scarcely on this principle have been admitted. The reptile tribes generally, and all tribes of vermin, were similarly unclean by a kind of natural brand. A lesson of seeing in the natural a symbol of the moral. Nature is a symbolic lesson-book, daily open to our inspection. The distinction once ordained, and invested with religious significance, observance of it became to the Jews a sign and test of holiness. The general lesson taught is that of sanctification in the use of food. Holiness, indeed, is to be carried into every sphere and act of life. Eating, however, is an act which, though on its animal side related to the grossest part of us, is yet, on its spiritual side, of serious religious import. It is the act by which we supply oil to the flame of life. It has to do with the maintenance of those vital functions by which we are enabled to glorify God in the body. There is thus a natural sacredness about food, and it is to be received and used in a sacred fashion. That it may be "clean" to us, it is to be "sanctified by the Word of God and prayer," being "received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth" (1 Timothy 4:3-5). It is to be remembered, too, that in the sphere of the higher life, if not in the lower, clean and unclean are distinctions of abiding validity. Intellect, heart, spirit, etc. - the books we read, the company we keep, the principles we imbibe. - J.O.







Tithe all the increase of thy seed.
I. THE DUTY OF GOD'S PEOPLE. In Jewish law God claimed tithes and gifts for the worship of the sanctuary and the necessities of the poor. Conspicuous features of these demands are — the priority of God's claim — that provision for it be made before man's self-enjoyment, that it bear some suitable proportion to the Divine glory and grace, and that for fullness and power, system is essential; i.e. that the work of God be provided for before man's indulgence (Leviticus 19; Numbers 18:1; Deuteronomy 14:1). The New Testament has also its plan of meeting God's claim, containing the same elements of priority, certainty, proportion and system. See 1 Corinthians 16:2, sustained and illustrated by the weighty arguments and motives of 2 Corinthians 8; 2 Corinthians 9.

II. THE FINANCIAL LAW OF CHRIST. Christ is sole King in His Church. The constitution of this Church is Christian, not Jewish. "As I have given order to the Churches of Galatia, even so do ye." The method taught by the apostle to provide the revenues of the Church is an expansion of Jewish and pentecostal church systems, an example for us, an implied and inferential obligation sustained by cumulative and presumptive argument. New Testament institutions are not given with Sinaitic form and severity. They meet us as sacred provisions for urgent occasions. They appeal to a willing heart more than to a legal mind. Christ rules in love, but His will should not have less authority or constraining power on that account (John 7:17).

III. THE NECESSITY OF THE AGE. The present age needs loftiness of aim, seriousness of feeling, and ardour of devotion. Faithful consecration of substance to God, elevated by Christian love to a financial rule of life, would nourish every moral and spiritual principle in the soul. Storing the Lord's portion is the necessity of the age, from its tendency.

1. To cheek the idolatry of money and to strengthen the love of God in the heart.

2. To meet adequately the demands of religion and humanity.

3. To exhibit the power and beauty of godliness. By fostering simplicity of life and personal fidelity to God. By liberally sustaining the honour of Christ in the sight of men.

(John Ross.).

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