Raise your hands high so I can see! That’s what I thought! I love bacon too! So when God told the people of Israel they could not eat swine, I imagine their sadness of no longer being able to eat bacon. Pork was set apart as a forbidden food, and any who ate it would come to an evil end. (See Isa. 66:17)
My theory is that they would treat bacon like an idol. I mean if they worshiped at the altar of a golden calf, how much more so bacon? Am I right, or am I right?
In Leviticus 11, pork was considered unclean and forbidden to eat. In Matthew Henry’s Commentary, he states, “ These laws seem to have been intended as a test of the people’s obedience and to teach then self-denial and the government of their appetites. Also to set them apart from other nations because these forbidden animals were objects of superstition and idolatry to the heathens.”
Isaiah 66:17 [TPT] says “the heathens eat disgusting foods—pork, mice, and rodents.” Yikes, bacon is right up there with eating mice and rats?
Now as a non-Jewish person, a Gentile, I have no such restrictions on eating pork. But I will say I’m still not going to eat mice or rats if there is bacon around. Jesus came to break down the barriers, walls, restrictions, and the veil so all people could come to Him. For whom the Son sets free is free indeed. (See John 8:32)
In the Book of Acts 10 [TPT], Peter went up to a flat roof to pray. He was hungry and waiting for lunch and fell into a trance. He was shown forbidden foods and was told to prepare them to be eaten. He said he couldn’t do that based on the Jewish laws. The voice spoke again and said nothing is unclean if God declares it to be clean. Then at the same moment some men showed up to take him to Cornelius, a Roman military captain. Cornelius was a devout man of the highest integrity who worshiped God and was respected by the Jewish community.
So Peter went and he found a large crowd waiting to hear his words. He told them that although it was against Jewish laws to associate with or visit the home of a non-Jew, God showed him he should never view anyone as inferior or ritually unclean.
He also said, “Now I know for certain that God doesn’t show favoritism with people but treats everyone on the same basis. It make no difference what race of people one belongs to. If they show deep reverence for God, and are committed to doing what’s right they are acceptable before him.” (Acts 10:34-35 [TPT])
“He made no distinction between us and them for he purified their hearts by faith.” (Acts 15:9 [NIV])
I don’t know about you, but that makes me pretty grateful that I get to be included in God’s acceptance too. And that I can still eat bacon too!
Jesus even had an encounter that included pigs. He arrived in the region of Gerasenes. As he stopped by the shore, a demon possessed man came out of the graveyard and confronted him, screaming at the top of his lungs, “leave me alone, Jesus, Son of the Most High God.! Swear in God’s name you won’t torture me!” (Mark 5:7 [TPT])
Nearby there was a large herd of pigs feeding on the hillside and the demons begged to enter into the pigs. So Jesus gave them permission and they came out of the man and went into the pigs. The whole herd then rushed madly down the steep slope into the lake where about 2000 pigs drowned! The herdsmen told everyone what they saw and the locals were terrified and asked Jesus to leave their region.
The footnote in the Passion Translation states, “The cost of 2000 live pigs today could be as much as $250,000. The economic cost to the community over the loss of this herd was significant.” It also states, “that the people preferred the pigs to the Son of God” I don’t like bacon that much that I would prefer it to my relationship with the Son of God.
But wait, we are not done with pigs yet. In Genesis when God was making all of creation, he made pigs too. Way back then he also created human heart valves and pig heart valves to be similar in structure and function. That being said, within this past century, someone noticed the similarity and used pig valves in human heart valve replacement surgery instead of mechanical valves.
Pig valves have major advantages of the mechanical ones. The patient does not need to use blood thinners to prevent blood clots, and pig valves do not make clicking sounds. The downside is the life of a pig is reported to be between ten to fifteen years, so it stands to reason that the valve would only last that long too after being transplanted in a human heart.
So, “create in me a a new, clean heart, O God, filled with clean thoughts and right desires.” (Ps. 51:10 [TLB])
And pass the bacon!
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