Leviticus 7:11-21

11 ‘Now this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings which shall be presented to the Lord. 12 If he offers it by way of thanksgiving, then along with the sacrifice of thanksgiving he shall offer unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers [g]spread with oil, and cakes of well stirred fine flour mixed with oil. 13 With the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving, he shall present his offering with cakes of leavened bread. 14 Of [h]this he shall present one of every offering as a [i]contribution to the Lord; it shall [j]belong to the priest who sprinkles the blood of the peace offerings.

15 ‘Now as for the flesh of the sacrifice of his thanksgiving peace offerings, it shall be eaten on the day of his offering; he shall not leave any of it over until morning.16 But if the sacrifice of his offering is a votive or a freewill offering, it shall be eaten on the day that he offers his sacrifice, and on the [k]next day what is left of it may be eaten; 17 but what is left over from the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day shall be burned with fire. 18 So if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings should ever be eaten on the third day, he who offers it will not be accepted, and it will not be reckoned to his benefit. It shall be an offensive thing, and the person who eats of it will bear his own iniquity.

19 ‘Also the flesh that touches anything unclean shall not be eaten; it shall be burned with fire. [l]As for other flesh, anyone who is clean may eat such flesh. 20 But the person who eats the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings which belong to the Lord, [m]in his uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from his people. 21 When anyone touches anything unclean, whether human uncleanness, or an unclean animal, or any unclean [n]detestable thing, and eats of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings which belong to the Lord, that person shall be cut off from his people.’”

In this day and age, it’s easy to take basic sanitation for granted. If you leave meat out, it’s going to spoil, but here we see God taking care that they don’t get sick (or worse). Much of the law was terribly practical, and designed to protect them. And perhaps they figured that out over time, but it is in contrast with some of the “man-made” rules, as Jesus called them. These were rules that the teachers of the law had added, and then added some more, until it was a terrible burden on people. These were not for the protection of the people, or to remind them of who God was. Instead, these man-made rules often achieved a much different effect. They pushed people away from God, made the law a burden, and made God seem like a mean and angry ogre, just waiting for you to break a law so He could “smite” you…

When we have a particular rule that we believe is from God, we must be careful that it is actually what God intended, and that we are not burdening folks instead of helping them to know Him better.

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