We are called to be holy, set apart, as God’s people. This means we explicitly are commanded to be different from others around us not only in our attitudes but also in some physical behaviors we are to demonstrate in obedience to God. These differences help to set us apart from non believers and also honor God through obedience to His instruction. Further, it reminds us to obey God in all aspects of our life, including our daily eating habits and tithe.
It is not a matter of salvation, that comes by grace through faith in Christ and that alone. However, obeying YHWH is how we show Him we love Him. Take care not to disregard all His instructions, including those that Jesus Himself obeyed, in the name of “Christian freedom”.
Obedience to His instructions is the fruit of our salvation and relationship with Him, not the root of it.
Clean and Unclean Animals
1“You are the sons of the LORD your God; you shall not cut yourselves nor shave your forehead for the sake of the dead. 2“For you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
3“You shall not eat any detestable thing. 4“These are the animals which you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat, 5the deer, the gazelle, the roebuck, the wild goat, the ibex, the antelope and the mountain sheep. 6“Any animal that divides the hoof and has the hoof split in two and chews the cud, among the animals, that you may eat. 7“Nevertheless, you are not to eat of these among those which chew the cud, or among those that divide the hoof in two: the camel and the rabbit and the shaphan, for though they chew the cud, they do not divide the hoof; they are unclean for you. 8“The pig, because it divides the hoof but does not chew the cud, it is unclean for you. You shall not eat any of their flesh nor touch their carcasses.
11“You may eat any clean bird. 12“But these are the ones which you shall not eat: the eagle and the vulture and the buzzard, 13and the red kite, the falcon, and the kite in their kinds, 14and every raven in its kind, 15and the ostrich, the owl, the sea gull, and the hawk in their kinds, 16the little owl, the great owl, the white owl, 17the pelican, the carrion vulture, the cormorant, 18the stork, and the heron in their kinds, and the hoopoe and the bat. 19“And all the teeming life with wings are unclean to you; they shall not be eaten. 20“You may eat any clean bird.
21“You shall not eat anything which dies of itself. You may give it to the alien who is in your town, so that he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner, for you are a holy people to the LORD your God. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.
22“You shall surely tithe all the produce from what you sow, which comes out of the field every year. 23“You shall eat in the presence of the LORD your God, at the place where He chooses to establish His name, the tithe of your grain, your new wine, your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and your flock, so that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always. 24“If the distance is so great for you that you are not able to bring the tithe, since the place where the LORD your God chooses to set His name is too far away from you when the LORD your God blesses you, 25then you shall exchange it for money, and bind the money in your hand and go to the place which the LORD your God chooses. 26“You may spend the money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen, or sheep, or wine, or strong drink, or whatever your heart desires; and there you shall eat in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice, you and your household. 27“Also you shall not neglect the Levite who is in your town, for he has no portion or inheritance among you.
28“At the end of every third year you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in that year, and shall deposit it in your town. 29“The Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance among you, and the alien, the orphan and the widow who are in your town, shall come and eat and be satisfied, in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.
For those of us who grew up in western Christian churches, we have been taught that all of God’s law is obsolete. It is funny how the church teaches that the dietary law is obsolete, but not the tithe. God’s word instructs on both side by side. Jesus Christ died and His sacrifice replaces the prior system of sacrifices which provided a path to reconciliation with God. However this does not mean that what God calls us to do in how we live our lives has changed outside of that aspect of reconciliation.
Seek the Holy Spirit and study scripture. Jesus Himself says He did not come to abolish the law and that not a single jot or tittle goes away until the end of the age. So why is it so many disregard most of what God instructed us to do in the Old Testament as if it has gone away? Is it the end of the age? Certainly not.
17“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18“For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19“Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Read more: Understanding The Law – What It Means Today
Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.