Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part XIII: Discipling Others On Holiness Regarding Everyday Functions
(Deuteronomy 14:1-21)
  1. Introduction
    1. Among the various reasons Christ died on the cross, none is as important as the fact we who trust in Him might live righteously in this life, Romans 6:4.
    2. However, we often do not think of the ordinary, everyday functions of our lives as being that important to God especially when we consider He is the Almighty Creator of the vast, complex universe.
    3. To counter our thinking as much, Moses directed the people of Israel on God's directives concerning everyday personal activities to reveal to the nations around them their special relationship with Him:
  2. Discipling Others On Holiness Regarding Everyday Functions, Deuteronomy 14:1-21.
    1. When Moses addressed the people of Israel shortly before his passing, he explained they were the spiritual children of the Lord their God, a important, wonderful relationship with the Creator, Deuteronomy 14:1a.
    2. In view of that relationship, Moses explained God prescribed how Israel was to live regarding very personal, everyday life functions as follows (Deuteronomy 14:1b-21):
      1. Moses detailed how the people of Israel were to mourn at funerals to reflect their separation from paganism and their identity as His spiritual children, Deuteronomy 14:1b-2:
        1. Ryrie notes that the self-laceration and shaving the front of one's head listed in Deut. 14:1b NIV were practiced by the pagan Canaanites to signify "the divinity of the dead person," cf. Ryrie Study Bible: KJV, footnote to Deuteronomy 14:1.
        2. Since Israel was to have no other gods but the Creator God as their Lord (Exodus 20:3), such practices of grief were forbidden, so the people of Israel were to mourn in other ways, Dt. 14:b.
        3. Moses explained in Deuteronomy 14:2 that Israel was separate (the meaning of "holy") from the errant beliefs of the Canaanites, so God's people were to act as separated in their actions that reflected such beliefs even in the way they mourned.
      2. Moses explained the diet of the people of Israel was to reflect the nation's holiness, Deut. 14:3-21:
        1. The dietary laws given in Deuteronomy 14:3-21 were given in the context of Israel's relationship to God and her consequent separation from the errant Canaanite beliefs and deeds, cf. Dt. 14:1-2.
        2. This context reveals the basis for the diet is one's testimony -- not his health, for "to try to connect these regulations of the law with modern laws of hygiene is arbitrary and breaks down when applied in details" according to Jack P. Lewis, Ph. D., Harvard Divinity School; Ph. D., Harvard University and Ph. D., Hebrew Union College in the Zondervan Pict. Ency. of the Bible, vol. Two, p. 586.
        3. Accordingly, Moses' implied the diet of Israel was to reflect the peoples' separation from evil beliefs and their practices in light of Israel's special relationship with God as follows: (a) the people of Israel could eat those land animals only that chewed the cud and had divided hooves, Deut. 14:4-5; the failure of a land animal to have either of these qualifications made it unfit for Israel's consumption, Deut. 14:7-8. (b) the people of Israel could eat only those sea animals that had both fins and scales, Deut. 14:9; the failure of a sea creature to have either of these qualifications made it unfit for Israel's consumption, Deut. 14:10. (c) Moses listed which birds the people were allowed to eat and which ones they were to avoid in Deut. 14:11-20. (d) Also, he relayed the people of God could not eat animals that had died on their own as did the Gentiles; the people of Israel had to kill the animals they ate, Deut. 14:21a. (c) Finally, to reflect how Israel was related to a compassionate God, unlike the Gentiles around them, the people of God were to avoid eating the nursing young of animal life as doing so created an unusual, heartless hardship on the nursing mother, Deut. 14:21b.
Lesson: Moses reported SINCE the people of Israel were in a SPECIAL relationship with God, unlike the pagan Canaanites around them, the daily functions including the WAY they were to mourn, WHAT they were to eat and HOW they were to treat nursing animal life were to reflect that relationship.

Application: In discipling others in the post-law era today, though we are NOT to put them under a man-made, legalistic set of laws on lifestyle issues, we DO need to teach them ALL we DO REFLECTS on our RELATIONSHIP with God, and that will AFFECT ALL of these things, 1 Cor. 6:12; 8:8-13.