I live in a culture where what you eat and cleanliness are big issues just as they were for Israel. It was what set them apart as holy before God. Deut. 14 tells about what animals are clean and which are unclean. Since we don't live under the law, it would be easy to just write off this chapter as not relevant to today. A footnote in my husband's bible reminded me otherwise. We may not have dietary restrictions as the Israelites did but God does want all areas of our lives to be holy. What does that mean? I am not sure. I Corinthians 6:19 reminds me that my body is a temple of God. For me, it means trying to take good care of that body by eating right, getting enough sleep and hopefully getting in some exercise. I also find it important to keep my mind active and to always be learning. It means feeding my mind good things and being selective about what I read and see. In terms of where I live, it also means living with a grace filled attitude and showing respect for the restrictions here. Though our family does eat bacon on occasion, I would not offer it to a local here or eat it in their presence. Also, my daughter and I dress appropriately with head coverings and long pants and sleeves when outside our compound. Our dress does not make us holy before God but does in this culture reflect that we are women who submit to God. As I read Deut and all its rules, I realize that just as Israel needed Jesus to come and save them so do the people where I live. May they see that God's grace alone will make them holy not all the do's and don'ts.
Dear God, Thank you for your provision in all things. May we realize that all your rules have a purpose not only for the times of the bible but for today. Show us your way. Be with the people here who seek you through their actions of washing, eating and dress. May they see you are a God of grace who loves them and wants them to be your children. May my actions and words draw them closer to you and not farther away. Amen