How about this from my daily reading from the Old Testament…
Among the animals, whatever divides the hoof, having cloven hooves and chewing the cud—that you may eat. 4 Nevertheless these you shall not eat among those that chew the cud or those that have cloven hooves: the camel, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, is unclean to you. Leviticus 11:3-5 (NKJV)
I so wanted my OT passage today to be like, oh, I don’t know, Psalm 40 maybe?!
LORD, be pleased to deliver me; hurry to help me, LORD. Let those who seek to take my life be disgraced and confounded. Let those who wish me harm be driven back and humiliated. Let those who say to me, "Aha, aha!" be horrified because of their shame. Psalm 40:13-15 (HCSB)
Or Psalm 34…
Oppose my opponents, LORD; fight those who fight me. 2 Take Your shields—large and small—and come to my aid. 3 Draw the spear and javelin against my pursuers, and assure me: "I am your deliverance." Psalm 35:1-3 (HCSB)
Nope. I’m in Leviticus.
How does one apply this passage? If I told my folks that they couldn’t eat camel, I doubt I would hear, “Preach, Preacher! Preach!” (I would most likely hear, “Thank you, Jesus!”) And while I have told a few of them to stop smoking Camels, I’ve never told any of them to not eat them. But the Bible says of itself that all Scripture is given for instruction. Hmmmmmmmm
Well, let’s think about this. God didn’t really tell us WHY we couldn’t eat camels. I mean, the fact it has hooves and chews cud is kind of like the “don’t put milk in your meat” thing. Basically, I would say, God wants us to do what He tells us to, even when He doesn’t explain it. We’ve all either heard or said, “Because I said so!” If we are allowed that parental proclivity, so is the Father.
Actually, although the passage doesn’t inherently say this, God didn’t want them to eat these animals because their neighbors did. If the Jews didn’t eat camel, it made it harder for them to fellowship with the pagans next door. Sort of a way to keep them from being influenced by the Baal worshipers in town. It’s a sure sign of danger ahead when the new bride can’t cook camel the way mama did. So the pagan boys might shy away from the Jewess who couldn’t cook a pork chop to save her life.
Well, if nothing else at least I have a new appreciation for the local grocery store’s meat case. We may have chicken feet in Camden, but not camel hump.