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Different to Make a Difference (3 of 6)
Deuteronomy 14:1-3, 9-11, 19-21
I seriously doubt that any of you came to church today with the burning question, what kind of bugs and birds are ok to eat for lunch today. There are many more pressing questions on your mind. Questions like "How am I going to make ends meet this month?" or "What am I going to do with my rebellious child?" or "Will I have the strength to take care of a sick loved one? "What's my job going to look like in 6 months?" or "Will I have enough money to get through my retirement?" Those are the big issues of our lives, yet I hope that I can convince you that what is in this seemingly strange text actually does apply to your life now.
God has a word for us. We hold to the assumption that "All Scripture is God-breathed" and is helpful for us (2 Tim. 3:16-17). And what God has to say here must be pretty important because He goes to great lengths to explain what is acceptable and what is not acceptable, not only here but also in the book of Leviticus.
So the question for us are "Why is this material included in the Bible?" and "What does it mean for us?" We do have a clue as to its significance for us in the inspired arrangement of the material. Verses 1 and 21 serve as bookends in this section on the holiness codes. Two important thoughts are presented in both the beginning and the ending of this passage. (1) First, there are two references to pagan or heathen practices, one having to do with the dead (vv.1-2), and the other having to do with a pagan fertility rite (v.21b). (2) Second, and in light of the first thought, Moses reminded Israel that they were a "holy people belonging to the LORD your God"
As God's "own possession," (v.2), as a holy people, Israel was to act accordingly. The practices of their neighbors which bore the stamp of pagan/heathen origins must be avoided. To be holy is to be separate and different. It meant that the p ...
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