DISCLAIMER: Do not believe anything that I say! Test everything that you read below against all verses in the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh/OT) and the Brit Chadashah (NT). Pray for the truth and to be led by the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaChodesh)! I am not your pastor, preacher, teacher, rabbi, or anything else. I am just a guy who has an opinion.
Now, we come to a somewhat controversial topic in the Bible. Depending upon whom you talk to, you will be told you can eat anything or you have to be extremely careful of the food you eat. The only authority for food is from the word of YHVH. HE explicitly tells us what is acceptable and what is not.
Early in our marriage, my wife and I would go out to eat often and we did not limit ourselves to the selections on the menu. We would eat calamari, shrimp, bacon, etc., as well as beef and other animal flesh (notice I didn’t call everything meat). We started to change our diet slowly when we started to realize we would feel slightly different after some of those meals. We knew something in the meal was affecting us.
Once we started reading and studying our Bible (but still going to church), we started reading about the Levitical food instructions. We determined, at the time, that if GOD gave his instructions for HIS chosen people at the time, there must be some worth in us following them too, as best as we could. At this time, we still believed we could eat anything, we were just choosing not to because there must be a reason HE told HIS people to not eat that stuff. We would continue to eat bacon on some occasions, but for the most part, we stopped eating it. This was before we came to the understanding in HIS truth.
As we came into HIS truth, changing our eating habits were very easy, since we had been essentially doing this before we decided to follow the entire Bible. I know for some, it can be a little more daunting to make this change in their life.
How do we know what we can eat?
Thankfully, we have good direction in the Bible. One of the first places most people start is in Leviticus Chapter 11, you can see many of the foods that is acceptable to YHVH and the things he finds an abomination to eat.
We have, essentially, 4 categories of animals(creatures) that are considered food.
I will distill it down with some examples
- Cow (beef)
- Giraffe (Yes!, a giraffe fits this criteria)
- Duck (some disagree with me on this one)
- Goose (some disagree here too)
- Anything with fins and scales
- Pig (bacon)
When we read the Scripture, we see that the birds are the creatures that HE tells us what NOT to eat. This can get a little tricky, but I break it down like this. Birds that eat dead animals (think vultures) or live prey (think owls or hawks) are off limits. Yes, chickens do eat lizards sometimes, but that is not their primary diet. Their physiology is different from the vultures and prey eating birds.
So far, I have told you what we do and how we started eating this way. I haven’t told you why.
On our walk to the truth, when we realized the entire Bible was true, we knew we needed to change things in our lives to conform to HIS word. Eating is something we do every day and multiple times during the day. This activity is the most obvious to change first. It also has the greatest impact on your life. When I was younger and I heard about people who didn’t eat pork, I literally could not understand how they could live (I mean survive). I thought because it was everywhere, people HAD to be eating it to survive.
When we decided to stop eating pork and shrimp, it was a minor change in our lives. When we started following Torah, we knew we really weren’t eating it anymore, BUT, we started to become very discerning in what we ate. We constantly asked if the food had pork or lard in it. We purposely stayed away from shellfish. We live on the coast and shellfish is everywhere. Eating this way will reduce the size of the menu.
The Good News
The benefits are many-fold in eating according to HIS way.
YHVH gave these instructions for a reason (this was our original understanding even before we started walking in Torah). Pigs do not have sweat glands and they store all of their toxins in their fat. Shellfish are basically the filters of the ocean. Catfish are bottom dwellers and are filters of the lakes and rivers. When you eat according to HIS word, your body will start to get healthier. You will not be adding to the toxic burdens our bodies already experience today.
YHVH wants us to follow HIS instructions. HE wants us to be obedient to HIM. HE wants us to strive for righteousness. HE wants what is best for us. When we do as HE asks, we please HIM. You do have to do more than just follow the Biblical food instructions, bit is a start.
This does come at a price. People may mock you or look down upon you for being “different”. I will ask this: Aren’t we supposed to be “Set Apart”. I take this criticism as a badge of honor. It proves to me that I have not been conforming to this world. That is what we all need to be doing: Seeking HIS desires and not the worlds’.