Faithlife Sermons

Church PM-Deut. 14 (12/16/2018)

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 5 views
Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →
Pray
Pray
Introduction
So Adam has given me another opportunity to preach for which I am thankful. I wanted to preach something that would compliment our current study through the book of Romans. At the same time I had remembered that had been on my mind. What better way to compliment Paul’s letter to the Romans than teaching about the Old Testament Law. In order to understand Paul correctly one must have a correct understanding of the Law. Because what is one of the topics of Paul’s epistle to the Romans? Our relationship to the Law.
Now superficially Deuteronomy, and the Law, seem like a list of do’s and don'ts however, it is much more than that. As we take a closer look, I hope we can see a bit more than a harsh strict law and possibly understand the New Testament in light of the Old.
Background
Deuteronomy is the last book of the Pentateuch, the first five books of the OT. And it’s name is derived from the Greek word meaning “second law”. However this is a misleading name since Deuteronomy is not a second giving of or a repetition of the law already given in Exodus and Leviticus. Rather it is a series of sermons given by Moses, who is also the author, to the people of Israel before entering the promised land concerning the Law.
Author: Moses
So let us begin reading.
Date: 15th to 13th Century B.C.
Providence:
Genre
So let us begin reading.
(ESV)
14 “You are the sons of the Lord your God. You shall not cut yourselves or make any baldness on your foreheads for the dead. 2 For you are a people holy to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
Looking at v.2 we see some of the reasons God has laid out His Law specifically to the Israelites.
Because Israel is a holy people to the Lord
Because Israel is a chosen people by God
Because Israel is a treasured people of God
We need to keep this in mind whenever we read the Law. The Law was not given to be a burden, or a bad gift. A good God never gives bad gifts. tells us this, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” The Law was given to a people who God demanded to be holy because they were chosen to be treasured.
So when we read v.1 we can grasp a bit more of the context. Shaving one’s head for the dead was a pagan practice. Having a shaved head or honoring the dead was not the problem. Being a participant in pagan practices was.
V.3-20 are dietary laws regarding clean and unclean food. I will break them up into their respective sections for this sermon.
But before that here we must realize there is a difference between what we think of clean and what the text means by clean. When we think of cleanliness we think of good hygiene or of something being free of debris and sterile. That is not strictly so in the OT. There are indeed OT laws regarding biological fluids, bathing, and touching the dead but that was not the main point. Cleanliness in the OT refers to ritual purity. That is, one must be made clean/pure before approaching God. God is clean, pure, and holy therefore one should be the same before approaching.
So let us now pick up in v.3.
3 “You shall not eat any abomination. 4 These are the animals you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat, 5 the deer, the gazelle, the roebuck, the wild goat, the ibex, the antelope, and the mountain sheep. 6 Every animal that parts the hoof and has the hoof cloven in two and chews the cud, among the animals, you may eat. 7 Yet of those that chew the cud or have the hoof cloven you shall not eat these: the camel, the hare, and the rock badger, because they chew the cud but do not part the hoof, are unclean for you. 8 And the pig, because it parts the hoof but does not chew the cud, is unclean for you. Their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch.
Now what do we notice here? For an animal to be considered clean, it have to meet two requirements. It has to “chew the cud” and have “hoof cloven in two”. As someone who did not grow up on a farm I have to ask the question, what is a “hoof cloven in two” and “chewing the cud”?
HOOF CLOVEN IN TWO: It is when the feet of an animal is split into two toes, such as a deer.
CHEWING THE CUD: It is when an animal regurgitates food to again chew it in order to digest it. The best example of this are cows or pigs.
Also in this section we are given examples of what are acceptable and unacceptable.
V.9 through v.10 are about seafood. Let us read.
9 “Of all that are in the waters you may eat these: whatever has fins and scales you may eat. 10 And whatever does not have fins and scales you shall not eat; it is unclean for you.
So again we have the same formula. In order for a food item to be clean, it must meet two requirements; fins and scales. So in other words, no catfish or craw-fish.
Also note that we are not given any examples this time around.
Now onto the birds.
11 “You may eat all clean birds. 12 But these are the ones that you shall not eat: the eagle, the bearded vulture, the black vulture, 13 the kite, the falcon of any kind; 14 every raven of any kind; 15 the ostrich, the nighthawk, the seagull, the hawk of any kind; 16 the little owl and the short-eared owl, the barn owl 17 and the tawny owl, the carrion vulture and the cormorant, 18 the stork, the heron of any kind; the hoopoe and the bat.
Interestingly this time we do not get a formula but rather just a list. I guess what was clean and unclean could not be so easily be divided as in the other instances. Rather we are simply given a list of unacceptable birds.
And finally, v.19 and v.20.
19 And all winged insects are unclean for you; they shall not be eaten. 20 All clean winged things you may eat.
This seems a bit confusing but it makes sense in light of . We will not be reading that for the sake of time and the fact my intentions are not to make you have an kosher diet. But just as a note, some insects were clean and to be eaten of.
But that is what the cleanliness and purity laws were for. The cleanliness/purity laws were for specific purposes.
God is a perfectly clean, pure, and holy God.
God demands those who follow Him to be like Him.
You are not.
Everyone from the high priest to the trash-man are unclean and have to be made clean.
Let us continue reading.
21 “You shall not eat anything that has died naturally. You may give it to the sojourner who is within your towns, that he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner. For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. “You shall not boil a young goat in its mother's milk.
To me this is the second most interesting part of the text we are studying today. The first part makes sense hygienically but not so much the last phrase. And why is it permitted to sell something unclean to a foreigner? Let us now discuss all of that.
Q: Why not eat something that has died naturally?
A: The hygenic argument makes sense here but I would argue that such a
A: The hygienic argument makes sense here but I would argue that such a view is incomplete. An animal that died of unknown causes or outside the methods prescribed in the law could make a person unclean. This goes for the entire Law. I find it weak to think God’s sole purpose for the kosher laws were for health. Health may have been a purpose but no the sole purpose. Rather I propose that it is for the same reason as the rest of the Law. To distinguish a chosen, holy, and treasured people.
view is incomplete. An animal that died of unknown causes or outside the
methods prescribed in the law could make a person unclean.
Q: Why could an Israelite give an unclean food to a forigner?
A: Because they were not the people of God. It did not apply to them. They were already unclean. Once you were unclean you might as well be filthy because you could not get anymore unclean. A person was either clean or unclean. There was no mostly or some.
Q: Why the prohibition against boiling a young goat in its mother’s milk?
A: There are several interpretations of this text so do not take my understanding as the only way to understand this text. One of which states that doing so would be the same or similar to pagan Canaanite fertility practices. My understanding is that this law was to prohibit Israelites from taking what gave the goat life and using to cook it after its death.
understanding as the only way to understand this text.
My understanding is that this law was to prohibit Israelites from taking what gave the goat life and using to cook it after its death.
Now onto my favorite section of this chapter. It makes Southern Baptist squirm because it talks about tithing and drinking.
22 “You shall tithe all the yield of your seed that comes from the field year by year. 23 And before the Lord your God, in the place that he will choose, to make his name dwell there, you shall eat the tithe of your grain, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and flock, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always. 24 And if the way is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, when the Lord your God blesses you, because the place is too far from you, which the Lord your God chooses, to set his name there, 25 then you shall turn it into money and bind up the money in your hand and go to the place that the Lord your God chooses 26 and spend the money for whatever you desire—oxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves. And you shall eat there before the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household. 27 And you shall not neglect the Levite who is within your towns, for he has no portion or inheritance with you. 28 “At the end of every three years you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in the same year and lay it up within your towns. 29 And the Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance with you, and the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your towns, shall come and eat and be filled, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands that you do.
Now there is a lot that can be looked at here. Unfortunately we do not have the time. However I will point out some things.
(v.23) The purpose of the tithe was not to fill a box of moral duty.
The tithe was placed there for the people to learn to fear God. I do not think anyone here is under the allusion that God needs money. It was in place for the people to learn of Him.
(v.22-26) While tithing at the Tabernacle or Temple was important for ancient Judaism God provided a way for those who where too far away.
Notice the text does not give a particular distance. Rather he places it on the individual. “If it is too far for YOU”.
(v.27-29) A tithe given once every three years was given to not only the Levites, who had no inheritance, but also for the helpless, widows and the orphaned. Not only that, God also uses this as a provision for the people who are not even a part of Israel.
(v.26) God desires the Israelites to give with a cheerful heart. In fact, He commands it.
Application
Now this is no means exhaustive nor will it answer all your questions. But we can capture a few applications and maybe begin to apply what we learn here as Adam preaches through Romans and hopefully as you read through it.
The Law maybe strict but it is a good gift from a good God.
Unfortunately too often we think “law-bad” and “grace-good”. But that does not do the OT justice. The Law was given to God’s chosen people in order that they may be holy because they are treasured. God is not going to give His treasured people the Law as a bad gift.
Rather the Law was given as grace.
God did not have to chose any people or nation but out of His grace and promise to Adam and Eve He did so and the Law was given as part of the grace. In this one chapter we have already seen an exemption made for those who live too far away from where they needed to tithe. Not measured in miles or days but given situationally. He could just as easily made a strict rule but He did not.
In this one chapter we have already seen an exemption made for those who live too far away. Not measured in miles or days but given situationally. He could just as easily made a strict rule but He did not.
In this one chapter we have already seen an exemption made for those who live too far away. Not measured in miles or days but given situationally. He could just as easily made a strict rule but He did not.
The Law was given as to distinguish God’s chosen, treasured, and holy people from all the other nations.
God’s chosen, treasured, and holy people from all the other nations.
It is the same for us today. When we are commanded in Scripture to abstain from particular activities it is for our benefit as a holy, chosen, and treasured people. It is not legalism, it is grace.
The commands of God are for our benefit, OT and NT.
Cleanliness is important to God.
Within the Law anyone could and would have been made unclean at some point. The Law in this instance made everyone equal. From the poor to rich, young to old, all had to be made clean. This was to invoke a humility in people and cause them to look to God for purity.
Christ has made us clean.
In the same way Christ has made us clean. When we approach God in prayer or in death we do so as men and women who have been made clean. Permanently.
We no longer go before God, God is in us.
The OT Law regarding purity was not a measure of morality. An individual could be clean legally yet immoral. And the inverse is true. One could be moral yet unclean. We see this in the Pharisees who strictly adhered to the Law but yet were called, “serpents” and “brood of vipers” who were sentenced to hell ().
Related Media
Related Sermons