23 Question 2

I realize that many people pray, or give thanks, before a meal just because it’s a habit.  However, it is scriptural that we thank the Lord for the food we eat.  1 Timothy 4:4-5 tells us, “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”  While there were certain meats that the Israelites were forbidden to eat while they were under the law, this teaches us that all meats are now approved for food, if we received it with thanksgiving to the Lord for his provision.

Some people think that it is wrong to eat meat, but we learn in scripture that the Lord created the animals for us to eat.  It was after the flood, where Noah, his wife, their three sons and their wives were saved by going into the ark that Noah had built, that the Lord tells man that the creatures were given to them for food.  Genesis 9:3 is where the Lord tells Noah, “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.”  So, we see that having meat to eat is part of the Lord’s gracious provision to us.

Under the law, the Israelites were forbidden to eat certain meats.  As one example, let’s read Leviticus 11:1-8 which says, “And the LORD spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat. Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the coney, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.”

However, in the age in which we live, this ban on certain meats has been removed.  Let’s read Acts 10:9-15 which says, “On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.”  While this was done for a very important spiritual lesson for Peter, there is a practical lesson there as well.  What was once common or unclean has now been cleansed by God and is approved for our eating.

Every time I read this portion, I am impressed with the words of Peter.  He says in verse 14, “Not so, Lord.”  Isn’t that amazing?  He acknowledges God as being His Lord, even as he refuses to do what that Lord had told him to do.  How often have we all done that?  We call God, “Lord”, but act in disobedience to His Word.  The Lord Jesus, Himself, said in Luke 6:46, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”  May we acknowledge Him as Lord by doing the things he tells us to do.

To return to your question, we can see from God’s Word that all meats are given to us to enjoy, as long as we receive them with thanksgiving.  If we think about it, we realize the miracle of food producing plants, the miracle of pure water to drink, and the miracle of animals that provide needed protein and nourishment.  If we consider these things, we will gladly bow our heads and thank the Lord for these provisions before we partake of them.