Deuteronomy 14 - Principles
1Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead. 2For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth. 3Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing. 4These are the beasts which ye shall eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat, 5The hart, and the roebuck, and the fallow deer, and the wild goat, and the pygarg, and the wild ox, and the chamois. 6And every beast that parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws, and cheweth the cud among the beasts, that ye shall eat. 7Nevertheless these ye shall not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the cloven hoof; as the camel, and the hare, and the coney: for they chew the cud, but divide not the hoof; therefore they are unclean unto you. 8And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcase. 9These ye shall eat of all that are in the waters: all that have fins and scales shall ye eat: 10And whatsoever hath not fins and scales ye may not eat; it is unclean unto you. 11Of all clean birds ye shall eat. 12But these are they of which ye shall not eat: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray, 13And the glede, and the kite, and the vulture after his kind, 14And every raven after his kind, 15And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, 16The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan, 17And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the cormorant, 18And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. 19And every creeping thing that flieth is unclean unto you: they shall not be eaten. 20But of all clean fowls ye may eat. 21Ye shall not eat of anything that dieth of itself: thou shalt give it unto the stranger that is in thy gates, that he may eat it; or thou mayest sell it unto an alien: for thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk. 22Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. 23And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always. 24And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee: 25Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: 26And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household, 27And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee. 28At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: 29And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.
Today's Scripture Meaning
The Israelites to distinguish themselves from other nations. (1-21) Respecting the application of tithes. (22-29) Verses 1-21: Moses tells the people of Israel how God had given them three distinguishing privileges, which were their honour, and figures of those spiritual blessings in heavenly things, with which God has in Christ blessed us. Here is election; "The Lord hath chosen thee." He did not choose them because they were by their own acts a peculiar people to him above other nations, but he chose them that they might be so by his grace; and thus were believers chosen, (Eph 1:4). Here is adoption; "Ye are the children of the Lord your God;" not because God needed children, but because they were orphans, and needed a father. Every spiritual Israelite is indeed a child of God, a partaker of his nature and favour. Here is sanctification; "Thou art a holy people." God's people are required to be holy, and if they are holy, they are indebted to the grace God which makes them so. Those whom God chooses to be his children, he will form to be a holy people, and zealous of good works. They must be careful to avoid every thing which might disgrace their profession, in the sight of those who watch for their halting. Our heavenly Father forbids nothing but for our welfare. Do thyself no harm; do not ruin thy health, thy reputation, thy domestic comforts, thy peace of mind. Especially do not murder thy soul. Do not be the vile slave of thy appetites and passions. Do not render all around thee miserable, and thyself wretched; but aim at that which is most excellent and useful. The laws which regarded many sorts of flesh as unclean, were to keep them from mingling with their idolatrous neighbours. It is plain in the gospel, that these laws are now done away. But let us ask our own hearts, Are we of the children of the Lord our God? Are we separate from the ungodly world, in being set apart to God's glory, the purchase of Christ's blood? Are we subjects of the work of the Holy Ghost? Lord, teach us from these precepts how pure and holy all thy people ought to live! Verses 22-29: A second portion from the produce of their land was required. The whole appointment evidently was against the covetousness, distrust, and selfishness of the human heart. It promoted friendliness, liberality, and cheerfulness, and raised a fund for the relief of the poor. They were taught that their worldly portion was most comfortably enjoyed, when shared with their brethren who were in want. If we thus serve God, and do good with what we have, it is promised that the Lord our God will bless us in all the works of our land. The blessing of God is all to our outward prosperity; and without that blessing, the work of our hands will bring nothing to pass. The blessing descends upon the working hand. Expect not that God should bless thee in thy idleness and love of ease. And it descends upon the giving hand. He who thus scatters, certainly increases; and to be free and generous in the support of religion, and any good work, is the surest and safest way of thriving
Today's Scripture Application
Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Deuteronomy with Chapter 14 and we see Moses continues giving Principles to teach this new generation of Israel. In this text Moses explains Clean and Unclean Foods along with Tithes. We see that there are symbolic meanings behind the statutes given as we are a people unto Himself and today with foods and tithes. We see that there are healthy foods to eat and less healthy foods. In choosing to deny certain foods we identify what is unclean before the Lord as an testimony to others. In tithing we see the Lords welfare system to give of tithe so that there will meat in His house and meet the needs of others. In making application we see that the meats listed to avoid are unhealthy and the need to tithe is needed to meet the needs of others. Some get prideful in keeping the law but the Lord has us to be testimony and blessing in keeping these principles. It reminds me of a Church I visited who preached tithing and took great pride in their offerings. The leaders drove elaborate vehicles, expensive clothing, and lived in mansions but didn't have a food pantry for the poor or a benevolence fund to help the poor. This Church followed the letter of the law but missed the heart of this principles. God wants you to be the same on the outside as the inside. How about you? Do you see this principle in your Life? Let us learn from today's text understanding the Lords plan for eating and tithing in our lives.
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Sincerely, Dr. David Burnette
Director, The United States Bible Society, Inc.