Listen: 59 Question 2

I suppose that some think that not eating meat is a humanitarian thing to do.  However, the scriptures are clear about this.  In the sixth day of creation, when the Lord created man, we find that He also provided food for man.  Genesis 1:27-31 tell us, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.  And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.   And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.  And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”  We see here that the only thing that was provided for man to eat was vegetation.  This vegetation was also provided for the animals.  We might rightly assume that at this point, all men and all animals were vegetarians or herbivores.

After the flood, when Noah and his family came off the ark, we see that animals were provided as meat for man to eat.  Genesis 9:1-3 says, “And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.”  It’s clear that after the flood, the Lord added meat to man’s diet, as well as the green herbs.

Under the Old Testament law, the Jewish people were not permitted to eat certain meats.  Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 list the animals that were not permitted for food.  These two chapters are too lengthy to read here, but I encourage you to read them both.  You will learn that among animals, water creatures, and birds there were forbidden foods.  As you may already know, pigs were forbidden, shell fish were forbidden, and scavenger birds were forbidden, as well as others that the Lord’s people were forbidden to eat.

Are we still under the law that says we cannot eat certain food?  No, we’re not.  Let’s read Acts 10:9-14, “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.”  In this vision that Peter had, we learn that there were no animals that had not been cleansed and were now available to eat.  The restriction had been lifted.  This restriction being lifted is a type of how that now all are welcome to come to the Lord, both Jew and Gentile.  Read Acts 10-11 for this incredible account.

I think we can see from the scriptures we have read that it is permissible for us to eat meat.  While some people have a distaste for eating animals, we should respect their individual consciences.  However, as far as we learn from scripture, animals were put here for our nourishment.  (59.2)