I’ll never know what he is going to show with after he’s gone to the livestock auction. Once it was goats. Another time a couple of sheep. Some times my husband buys some great animals. One of these was a Dexter steer.

Dexter cattle are a breed of cattle originating in Ireland. The smallest of the European cattle breeds, they are about half the size of a traditional Hereford and about one-third the size of a Holstein milking cow.

Guess what we named him? Yup, Dexter. (Good guess by the way!) He was a little stinker. Even though he was two years old, because of his size, he could pass off as a baby Highland cow. So he was always going around to the mama cows and nursing off of them. Because of this, when we sold him to a resort restaurant in a ski town, they told us he tasted just like veal.

So in my reading the other night, I came across this verse in Exodus 23:19, “Do not cook (boil) a young goat in it’s mother’s milk.” God repeats this in Deut. 14:21.

I had to pause. What is this verse doing in the Bible? Did God just slip that in there as if to say, “BTW, were were paying attention to what you’re reading? Or are you just skimming though My Word while thinking about what to have for dinner?”

I had to know more. If God puts something in the Bible twice, you should definitely pay attention.

In Wiersbe’s Commentary he says of this command, “ the young goat was a favorite food of the people, and cooking it in milk was supposed to improve the taste. But to use the mother’s milk to cook her own offspring would reveal an attitude of heart that could lead to all kinds of sin. Furthermore, cooking a kid this way was a part of a Canaanite pagan ceremony, and God didn’t want His people emulating the idolaters. Since this law is connected with the Feast of Booths, the harvest festival, perhaps this pagan ritual had something to do with prosperity. The milk was then sprinkled on the trees and fields to help promote fertility, a magical practice that was forbidden to Israel. Because of this law, orthodox Jews will not have milk and meat together at a meal.”

An internal sense of right and wrong seems to also dictate it would be cruel to destroy a baby goat in the very milk which sustained it.

For those of us who have food allergies, we know that milk and meat can be difficult to digest. When I was younger I had no problem with dairy products. Now, I can’t have any. So I have to carefully look at the listed ingredients of what I buy to make sure milk in not included.

So what do the verses that sandwich this verse have to say, so we take it in context.

“Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the LORD your God.” In this, God is saying by doing this we acknowledge that the harvest was from Him, and we thank Him with the offering.

The verse following says, “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.” (v. 20)

When we acknowledge and thank God for His provisions, and don’t act cruelly to any living creature, He will guard us along the path He has set for our lives, which brings us the the place He has prepared for us.

When we live our lives with integrity and do what we know God wants of us, He will bless us and bring us into our own “land flowing with milk and honey.” Which I am saving for my next post. So stay tuned for the next installment.

Disclaimer: (To keep the animal rights groups happy,) “No animals were harmed during the making of this post.”

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18 thoughts on “BTW…

  1. That verse really does seem to speak of a sickening cruelty. When we consider it in terms of how children/people are treated, I believe we can learn a lot about what is wrong in the world today. That would be a hard sermon.

    Liked by 1 person

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