OYB February 21

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Leviticus 11, Leviticus 12
NT: Mark 5:21-43
Ps: Psalm 38
Pr: Proverbs 10:8-9

Today´s notable verse:

44 I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves about on the ground. 45 I am the LORD who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.

Leviticus 11:44-45 (NIV)

I think this whole section on clean versus unclean animals (food) comes down to this point: consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Remember, the Mosaic Law was an imperfect type, shadow, and symbol of God's Perfect Law. Now, certainly, several practical reasons for avoiding those animals regarded as unclean existed: the science of the day knew nothing of pathogens. However, I think the primary reason for the differentiation between clean and unclean was simply to demonstrate to the Israelites the principle of consecration - setting themselves apart from the uncleanliness of sin in order to pursue the cleanliness of holiness and to approach the Holy God. Christ sums up this concept:

10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. 11 What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.' " ...17 "Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean.' "

Matthew 15:10-20 (NIV)

Thus, for the Israelites, the physical act of separating clean and unclean animals was intended to direct their hearts to separate between holy and sinful thoughts and attitudes.

The One Year Bible Blog asks:

Comments from You & Question of the Day - Related to this Proverb above, I read an article recently about how "small talk" is getting more and more prevalent in our world today... Do you think that some of our small talk is simply babbling?

Sure it is. Aside from the obvious voyeuristic appeal of "reality television" is its utter lack of anything meaningful or significant. I don't really get into much discussion about such things. Apparently, the winter Olympics are going on, but I've not watched a single minute of coverage. I think there's a time and place for diversion solely for its own sake, but it should be much more limited than it is in our culture today. I am reminded of two principles:

1) we are to be wise with the use of our time:

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Ephesians 5:15-16 (NIV)

2) our words indicate our thoughts, and our thoughts have a higher calling:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

Quite simply, we really just don't have time for idle chatter!