Beyond The Bible Series
Throughout my life, I have applied my father’s wisdom to many of my life choices. My father often would remind me that I needed to think before acting on a situation or making a decision. He learned from his father and his father from his father that “Impatience was one of man’s down falls because being impatient never makes things or situations happen “faster or better.” In fact, most often it is the reverse. The result according to him was whoever acted impatiently would accomplish grief, anguish, frustration, pain, and of course a state of agitation that in some severe cases can result in violence due to feelings of rage. Being unable to control such a high degree of emotions can even break the hearts of loved ones.
He reminded me that it would be inevitable that I was going to encounter throughout my life people with this nature. His key to such people was simply, “be yourself patient” and do not argue, and when possible walk away from such confrontations unless your life would be in danger. In situations like this there are strong emotional arguments and responses. The more volatile the individual, the less “reasoning” can be effective. The key to assess the nature of the situation and those involved is the key of being “wise.” Since, impatience is but a small part of a humanities make up after the “Tree of Knowledge of good and bad” and there are many other “aversive” qualities that man inherited from the Garden of Eden but “none” have the distinguish to be called the “supreme” act than “disobedience.” It is the crowning achievement of mankind (Genesis 3:11) and it this one that often my father spoke to be the one most people adhere to. Back then I could not understand why people became so disobedient. It was not until I got older and began to observe peoples actions and behaviors that it finally made sense. We are by nature children of emotion and passion. Whenever these two are mingle into one due to our inability to understand their impact in our lives, they create confusion, shame, and mistrust we contracted at the Garden of Eden.
In the little bit of time Adam and Eve had at the Garden of Eden, a simple commandment was given to follow, “of every tree of the garden you are free to eat.” How difficult is this to follow? Most of you would respond with an unequivocally answer-“easy” to follow. Then, why is it that Adam and Eve could not “trust”God? Well, it all may stem from God’s own words, “…but as for the tree of knowledge of good and bad, you must not eat of it, for as soon as you eat of it, you shall die.” (Genesis 2: 17). The words from this directive implied that Adam already had an idea what was right and what was wrong. It was an integral part of the creation of man, after all the first Adam was originally created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). It makes sense that when the first Adam was created he possessed the virtue of knowing more than just obeying but also the opposite of it, “disobeying.” Let me enlighten you a little bit. In the first Adam, the words implied by God of this directive cannot be found where God explicitly asked him not to eat from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and bad. In fact, there is no mention of it at all. It is not until the second and third chapter of Genesis that we have a second creation of a second Adam (Genesis 2:8). However, it is important to point out that in the creation of the first Adam, the word “created” is used (Genesis 1:27) but for the second Adam, he is “formed” and later, it is the second Adam that is given the honorable role of naming the animals God “formed” just as he did form the second Adam (Genesis 2:8). What is interesting is that most bible readers miss that for the first Adam there is no mentioning of the tree of life, neither of the tree of knowledge of good and bad. It is only during the formation of the second Adam that such commandment is given. Many scholars like to imply that chapter one of Genesis was written by one writer and the chapter two by another writer many centuries later.
However, as humans, we are limited by the knowledge of what exactly took place at the Garden of Eden and the results of our mortality, and what preceded before God created and what did God do with the first Adam. All we can speculate is that (maybe) the first Adam may have remained at the Garden of Eden or possibly God had them (male and female) travel to other lands and become a separate people (Genesis 4:17). For most ancient bible scholars, it is accepted that it was Moses who wrote the first five books of the Bible or “Torah” as it was known in ancient times and it is still known today. I am a strong believer that God revealed to Moses during the forty days at Mount Sinai all that is within the first five books of the bible. You often hear from bible readers and some scholars that Moses was incapable of remembering so much information to place in five books. That is completely wrong because first, Moses was educated in the Egyptian aspects of writing, reading, and even in some of the mystical doctrine. After all, was he not drawn from the Nile by the pharaoh’s daughter and provided the best educational schooling a Prince of Egypt could be given (Exodus 2:5-10). And by the way, Moses is an Egyptian name meaning “gave birth” or from the Nile. Curious it is that later on Moses, the child from the Nile (water), has the virtue of splitting of the sea during the exodus of the Hebrew people from Egypt, and in reverse, just as the Egyptians drowned the Hebrew children in the Nile, God drowned the Egyptians at the Sea of Reeds (actually Sea of Reefs, Genesis 14:15-21), talking about dualism. Thus, Moses was well educated and capable of composing both the complete Torah and being very meticulous about God’s sanctuary (Exodus 20:18, Numbers 8:4). Moses may have been one that may have been slow in speech but his mind was extraordinary, thus Moses is the writer of the Torah (Exodus 4:10).
So what does all of this have to do with clean (kosher) Foods you are asking? Well, a lot in fact because of this attitude of disobedience about God’s requests and mandates that were prevalent back with our ancestors because being naïve and ignorant is still prevalent today, except that our ancestors did not know better and we do. The ancestors had to learn the hard way (Deuteronomy 9:14). We of course are more knowledgeable in the aspects of the past and the consequences of disobedience, impertinency, greed, and intolerance. We have become masters, or as the Serpent told Eve, we have become as “gods” knowing good and bad. It is this attitude that reflects our disregard for God’s commandments and ordinances that our demise is just appearing at the edge of our country’s horizon (Colossians 3:6). Somehow, the Supreme Being, man today has reached a level of such disregard for God’s words unprecedented in human history. Even thought, many believe as I do that soon this period of “darkness” will pass as a result of our current nature of complete disobedience to God, the restitution spoken throughout Daniel, Ezekiel, and Revelation offers a piece of hope for the few that search the horizon of destiny and are willing to make an effort to restore some obedience, to include at least, the consumption of “clean foods.”
Therefore, I come to the commandment of “Kosher Foods” (Leviticus 11:1-47). In lieu of listing all of the foods that God told us not to eat, let’s consider the value of His will and the desire for us not to “defile” ourselves. The simple truth is that, if you believe in God, why then do you disobey His mandate of eating of the foods He said we should not eat which is listed in Leviticus? What argument could you have to disobey Him? I thought we should be wiser and smarter than Adam and Eve put together. Are we justifying our disobedience because our ancestors did? Or are we simply as equal as God, or better yet, as humans we think we are the supreme race with divine virtues capable of doing our own desires and not those of God? There is a phrase that may define our attitude toward doing God’s will related to the foods that would be beneficial to mankind, or at least our view of ourselves and God, and that is the great King Solomon always saw the wisdom in all things of nature, and humanity was an essential aspect of his writing. He taught us that “that at the end of everything before us, the better would await, than it would be at the beginning.” No matter how difficult, impressive, or exhaustive a journey is to take to accomplish a task or mission, it must be recognized that it is the “end” result that will be recognized as a legacy, and as children of an awesome Creator, it should be recognizable that the all Powerful Creator has the best interest in His creation-man; especially for us today.
Just as it was during Adam and Eve and the confrontation between God and the Serpent, the obedience to the consumption of clean (kosher) foods is equally important. The forbidden fruit was eaten and you know the consequences from such an act. Now, what if the eating of certain unclean foods is also pertinent to a premature death and illnesses that plague mankind today? What if eating pork, certain sea foods, and some creatures on land limit our life expectancy? Why is it that some people live to be ninety, and others less than sixty? How about those who do not develop cancer and look to be twenty years younger than their chronological age? Whether or not we have to recognize that there is some merit in these situations that can have great healthy rewards, whereas disregard the commandment of what types of foods not to eat has ill consequences (Leviticus 10:10).
I strongly believe that maintaining the Kosher Laws for food consumption is vital to our life expectancy. This and the abstinence from other vices affecting our overall health is what God had in mind. Yes, there are going to be some skeptics, and some people that may reason against what I disclosed and may not want to believe the truth, that Kosher Foods and their consumption are steps to longevity and a life free of deadly illnesses. For centuries we have entertained the consumption of restricted foods by God to be enjoyable and distinctive but I can assure you that if you were to go beyond the simple act of eating it and research the means, process, and acquisition of the various types of food declared by God to be unclean, you may consider to limit their consumption for a start and someday in the future completely stop consuming them, Then, as King Solomon taught, “better is the end of things.”
Finally, I would like to remind all bible readers that Jeshua (Jesus) did not eat “unkosher foods” especially pork and its derivatives. You can be sure that he followed the “Kosher Food Laws” to the letter. Then, why don’t you, who believe in all of his mandates, assume to disregard this one? Oh yes, you support your consumption of prohibited foods by what is found in Acts 10:10-15 where it is indicated that God commanded Peter to eat from a “vessel” filled of unclean foods. This has been used to support the need not to comply with God’s original mandate. What most bible readers do not investigate is this, who wrote Acts? It was not Moses, neither was it any of Jesus’ disciples. That alone would tell me that a stranger wrote it to please the converting crowd that was not willing to give up the pleasure of eating the unclean foods they had enjoyed for centuries. It was a very, very arduous and laborious mission to make converts out of pagans through the Mediterranean and going to some degree against their will, would make the journey harder and more time consuming. The strategy of the leaders and followers of the new religion was to find a “middle of the road” approach, and allow them to believe that maintaining their consumption of unclean food will not be as bad as not accepting Jesus. Thus, a compromise was erected that pagans could accept the new religion without much effort, except accept one God, one savior, and one religion. However, what the pagans did in public was one thing and what they did behind closed doors was another. Truly, the first three hundred years were not easy for the new religion. Many original laws that Jesus enacted or at least taught to observe slowly found erosion and were substituted by new appealing ideas and traditions, inclusive, not observing the Sabbath, nor observing the Hebrew Holydays, and not conducting “circumcision” which is a vital aspect of God’s covenant with humanity. So, the new religion opted to do away with this heaven dictated mandates and enacted the continuation of eating unclean foods until this day, the observation of pagan holidays and rituals that today many still conduct, celebrate, and honor such pagan traditions.
Now, you have an idea how all these came about. The question remains, what is there for me to do? I love shrimp, bacon, scallops, lobster, catfish, and all sorts of unclean foods that have such a delightful palate that I am caught between a “rock and hard place.” I see that giving up all of this would take a monumental effort. I understand the struggle between the spirit and the body. Jesus told us of this just before his capture (Matthew 26:41). Surely, it would be easy to do away with all these things at once but for most people is just as hard as to quit smoking; unless your spirit is strong and determined. To some such journey toward clean eating would be excruciating and full of temptations but the best approach if you are willing to make a choice of obedience is to give up one item first, then another one, then another one; until you have conquered all of them. Once you have reached this milestone, you will recognize that the “end is better” as King Solomon taught and be humble as Jesus tried to teach his people and left for us to follow (Matthew 28:19).
The truth of the matter is that there are two worlds we come from. Just as two Adams were created, so do we have two worlds in existence on earth, one world, just as it was for the first Adam who followed the mandate of God and enjoy a long life (at least the descendants, Genesis 1:28), and the second Adam that disobeyed God along with the Woman by eating of the forbidden tree. There exists a “secular” world and “divine” world on this earth. These two worlds are real right now just as it was during Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, the kings, David, Solomon, the Prophets, and finally Jesus (Matthew 28:20). Your choice is which one of these two should I choose? Should I choose the secular that contemplates disobedience and stubbornness and does not required loyalty, belief, and trust, or the divine that requires for us to trust these principles with all of our heart, soul, and might, and in many cases maintain faithfulness in such things as love, justice, and obedience (Isaiah 41:22, Roman 6:21). The task will not be easy but I can assure you that the rewards are immense and better then the deceptive pleasure you are getting now while consuming unclean foods. Choose wisely my dear readers! Shalom.