Deuteronomy 12:15-27

15 “However, you may slaughter and eat meat within any of your gates, [g]whatever you desire, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you; the unclean and the clean may eat of it, as of the gazelle and the deer. 16 Only you shall not eat the blood; you are to pour it out on the ground like water. 17 You are not allowed to eat within your gates the tithe of your grain or new wine or oil, or the firstborn of your herd or flock, or any of your votive offerings which you vow, or your freewill offerings, or the [h]contribution of your hand. 18 But you shall eat them before the Lord your God in the place which the Lord your God will choose, you and your son and daughter, and your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God in all [i]your undertakings. 19 Be careful that you do not forsake the Levite [j]as long as you live in your land.

20 “When the Lord your God extends your border as He has promised you, and you say, ‘I will eat meat,’ because [k]you desire to eat meat, then you may eat meat, [l]whatever you desire. 21 If the place which the Lord your God chooses to put His name is too far from you, then you may slaughter of your herd and flock which the Lord has given you, as I have commanded you; and you may eat within your gates [m]whatever you desire. 22 Just as a gazelle or a deer is eaten, so you will eat it; the unclean and the clean alike may eat of it. 23 Only be sure not to eat the blood, for the blood is the [n]life, and you shall not eat the [o]life with the flesh. 24 You shall not eat it; you shall pour it out on the ground like water. 25 You shall not eat it, so that it may be well with you and your sons after you, for you will be doing what is right in the sight of the Lord. 26 Only your holy things which you may have and your votive offerings, you shall take and go to the place which the Lord chooses. 27 And you shall offer your burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, on the altar of the Lord your God; and the blood of your sacrifices shall be poured out on the altar of the Lord your God, and you shall eat the flesh.

In all things they were supposed to remember God. Coming to the central place of worship to eat meat was a reminder that God was their provider. He also reminds them to take care of the Levites, and bringing the meat to the place of worship was a part of that.

However, God realized that it would be unfair to require them to always come to this place to eat meat if they lived a long ways off. So he makes provision for that, with only the reminder to drain the blood, which is still an important part of butchering an animal to this day. Part of this is to honor the life of the animal, some folks will even use the blood as fertilizer, so that it does not go to waste.

While we may not always butcher our own animals (and we certainly don’t do it in church), it is important for us to remember every time we eat, that God is our provider, and to thank Him for all His provision in our lives.

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