Deuteronomy 14:1, 2
See how the Lord honoured Israel, he spoke of their election—”the Lord hath chosen thee;” of their adoption—”ye are the children of the Lord your God;” and of their sanctification,”—”thou art an holy people unto the Lord? These honours entailed duties, and among them that of maintaining a distinction from, the heathen around them. They were not to imitate the superstition of their neighbours, by disfiguring themselves, or by any act indicative of excessive grief.
Manifestly disgusting and loathsome.
pygarg, or antelope,
Deuteronomy 14:6, 7
Minute distinctions—God takes note of littles.
By these regulations the Jews were kept a separate people, for they could not partake in the feasts of the heathen because some one or other of these unclean creatures would be brought to table. Moreover, the thoughtful Israelite would be daily reminded of sin by the presence of unclean creatures. Neither in his labours, his walks, or his rest, could he be long observant without seeing the representatives of uncleanness, and so being reminded of his need to watch against sin.
Deuteronomy 14:9, 10
Hence, even in their recreations by the river, or voyages at sea, there were tests for their obedience, trials of their faith, and reminders that sin was in the world.
The air too, had its warnings, its things to be avoided. Even thus, in all places we are in danger of defilement. On the land, on the sea, and in the air, there are evils all around. There are snares everywhere.
“Snares tuck thy bed, and snares attend thy board
“Snares watch thy thoughts, and snares attach thy word
“Snares in thy quiet, snares in thy commotion
“Snares in thy diet, snares in thy devotion.”
Because the blood had not been thoroughly separated from it, and it was ceremonially unclean. They might, however, sell it if foreigners cared to eat it. God requires his people to be more strict than others. Amusements and habits which might be tolerated in worldlings, would be abominable in Christians.
It is unnatural to make the mother yield her milk for the seething of her own young, and God’s people are to do nothing which would mar the delicacy and tenderness of their moral feelings. We are to be too sensitive to do anything coarse, brutish, and indelicate. Let young people be mindful of this.
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