The Known World
Old Testament Levitical Law, regarding what foods are “Kosher,” was given to Moses without explanation — as were almost all other Laws of God. The first Commandment is the only one I can think of that is followed by an explanation of any kind. I am one who believes that the Bible is the infallible Word of God. However, I also have come to realize that it is the fallibility of people’s interpretations of the Bible in which errors arise.
As an example, the record of “Noah’s Flood” reflects what happened to the entire world, but only as they knew it. There is no proof in the geological record of a flood that covered the entire Earth, but there is at least anecdotal evidence, including the Babylonian account, of an ancient cataclysmic flood that destroyed their world as they knew it. It is exactly like the records of discovery of the “New World.” It wasn’t really “new.” It was simply outside their knowledge. It was outside the known world. Yet, it did actually exist. Their “world” did not encompass the whole Earth as we know it today. We have to see it as they did.
Eating pork was forbidden by Levitical Law — without explanation. Do you think the people of that time would have understood about trichinosis and about microscopic worms infesting the meat? Eating blood was also forbidden. There was an explanation for this: “ the life is in the blood,” or perhaps more accurately, there is life in the blood. To illustrate this Covid-19 virus (liife) is thought to have originated in an animal market from what the Bible calls “unclean” animals.
There were many animals called unclean and not to be eaten. Most were scavengers. Seagulls, as an example which often act as scavengers. They are a protected species. Why? They are not going extinct. It is because they are scavengers. They clean up after us. Again, ecology was not in the knowledge base of people way back then. Scavengers eat what everything else discards — whether in the sea or on land, they clean up after everyone and everything. In the food web those scavenged things might not be so healthy for us to eat.
God, our loving Father, knew all about such things and did not want us to get sick and knew all about the environment and wanted to maintain its health for our sake. That is a practical way God loves us. There are many more practical ways, I am sure.
Being a “born again” Christian is not some “magical mystery tour” (my apologies to the Beatles). It is practical, pragmatic. It is a new life. It is a fresh start. It is receiving eyes to see, to understand, and wisdom of how to live safe and secure. It is discovering the new, clean world that will never be corrupted and which will never go extinct.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”