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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

November 14, 2018

Leviticus 11:26-47

  1. Recap. For the last couple of lessons we have discussed the issue of clean and unclean food. We learned that this is not a menu as much as a message of holiness. We shared that the symbolism of the food was understood through Jesus. Food was divided into two groups, the clean food that one could consume and the unclean food that one could not. The first clean food discussed was the meat of animals that had split hooves and chewed their cud. We highlighted that the chewing of the cud was a symbol of meditating on the Word, and the split hoof was a picture of being able to discern the right from the wrong in every step of your life. This helps us see that the restricted diet is a way for God to teach us the correct behavior. Of course when Christ comes, he becomes the model of correct behavior and thus we feast on the true bread of life, which is Christ. Secondly, we saw how the unclean food was a symbol of unholy and unrighteous behavior. We learned about not eating bottom dwellers and bottom feeders, because that is a picture of living off of dead things (unrighteous and sinful) instead of living things (righteous and holy). We learned that the fish without scales is like living without your spiritual armor on. We learned that the birds that are predators are not to be eaten showing us that we are not to have predatory behavior. We also learned about the birds and bats who see better at night are unclean showing us that our eyes should not get adjusted to darkness. The text also admonished us to avoid the lizards and reptiles. These animals carry disease in their mouths which is a reminder for us to have good conversation. And lastly, we discussed eating the grasshopper and the crickets, which make music in the dark of night which teaches us that we are to praise God in the darkness and not be silent.

  2. Verses 26-31. At this point we are dealing with the carcasses of animals. Touching dead animals would make a person ceremonially unclean till evening. The uncleanness is temporary. I asked God to give me revelation on this, and God showed me that this temporary uncleanness is a picture of sin. The things that were unclean to eat were also unclean to touch when dead. Dead carcasses are carriers for disease. Sin in the bible is always connected to sin, death and disease. The idea is that coming too close to sin will infect you. Sin is contagious. Just as coming in close contact with a disease carrying carcass can infect a person, so it is with flirting with sinful behavior. Sin will spread and grow like a quick moving bacteria. The idea of a person being unclean till evening is a symbol of repentance and acknowledgment of your sinful condition. A person who was unclean would separate themselves as to not make others unclean. The idea is that when we sin, we should not just be out in the open spreading the contagion of our bad behavior, but rather go into repentance spending quiet time with God allowing God to restore us.

  3. Verses 32-35. When things touch these unclean things, those things become unclean as well and must be either washed or destroyed. Clothes are to be washed, but a clay pot used for cooking or drinking is to be broken. Notice that the clothes that are for the outside of a person can be washed, but things that deliver things to the inner parts of man like food and water must be destroyed. It is much harder to deal with sin that comes from the heart as opposed to just outward mistakes. This is the difference between voluntary sins (inner from the heart) and involuntary sins (accidental).

  4. Verses 36-38. Now this is interesting. A spring or cistern that comes in contact with a carcass remains clean. My thought here is that the spring is a picture of Christ who said he would be ‘Living water’ and how living water can clean anything that is contaminated. We are also told that if a carcass touches a dry seed, the seed is not unclean. This is due to the fact that the outside of the seed is designed to protect the inner part of the seed. This unwatered seed is a picture of God’s Word before it is planted in us. It is pure and clean. It is only after we received the word and that word wants to grow that it can be infected with the sins of this world.

  5. Verses 39-47. These verses become a summary of what has been said, and the command to be holy. This is a command to distinguish between the holy and the unholy. Read 1st Peter 10:25-2:1-12. These verses help us see how we are to see the clean and unclean things as believers in Christ. Notice that verse 16 is a direct quote from Leviticus 11.

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