Read verses 44-47
[Read through the entire chapter once before beginning. We are not following the strict order of verses during this study, skipping between sections. The order is purposely NOT sequential.]
Q: What does it mean to be “consecrated”?
A: The word “consecrate” in Hebrew is “qadash” and is very often translated “sanctify”. It is removing something from its common, earthly environment and moving it into the sphere of the sacred—something made pure and acceptable for the presence and service of God. At its most basic, a common item is “unclean” and a consecrated item is “clean”.
Q: Why might it be important that the command is “Consecrate YOURSELVES”?
A: Although God provides the rules and stipulations for people and things to become consecrated or “clean”, they are undertaken by choice. We CHOOSE whether or not to be wholly devoted. It doesn’t occur in the presence of God but in PREPARATION to come into His presence for worship and service
Point: Consider some other Scripture concerning the relationship between the Word of God and food.
He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.
— Deuteronomy 8:3
“How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
— Matthew 16:11-12
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.”
— John 6:35
Application: Do you see that these laws which are meant to teach us to “make a distinction between the clean and the unclean, and between the edible creature and the creature which is not to be eaten” are not just limited to physical food, but spiritual? Are you prepared to cast aside political correctness in order to make these kind of distinctions? Do you see the need to prepare yourself—choosing to be consecrated—as a prelude to coming into God’s presence? Discuss how the following Scripture is relevant to this discussion:
And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;
— Philippians 1:9-10
Animals are used throughout Scripture to describe not just spiritual things and conditions, but often to teach us about the qualities and nature of Christ. In the rest of this chapter, the “clean” animals teach something about the Messiah—an obvious example being the lamb; the “unclean” animals represent false teachers/leaders, such as when false teachers are referred to in Scripture as “wolves”.