Saturday, May 03, 2008

Meant to be different: Dt 14:1-21

"You are the sons of the Lord your God; you shall not cut yourselves nor shave your forehead for the sake of the dead. For you are a holy people to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth." (Deuteronomy 14:1-2)
The USA is one of the few nations that does not allow its citizens to hold dual citizenship. In order to become a citizen, among other requirements, a person must take the "oath of allegiance". By doing so, an applicant for citizenship swears to "support the Constitution and obey the laws of the U.S.; renounce any foreign allegiance and/or foreign title; and bear arms for the Armed Forces of the U.S. or perform services for the government of the U.S. when required." All applicants are required to renounce all prior allegiances and citizenships before they can become US citizens. The same is true in the Kingdom of God. When we become Christians, we leave behind our former lives and all ways in which we identified with our former citizenship in the Kingdom of Darkness. We can no longer live as we used to; we can no longer seek to be like everyone else. We now belong to a new Kingdom; our allegiance is now to a new King and we must now live our lives for His pleasure and not our own.

In reading the following verses, I wondered, "what is so wrong with eating unclean food or meat from animals that died on their own?" After all, the foreigner could and they were not punished by God for doing so. "You shall not eat anything which dies of itself. You may give it to the alien who is in your town, so that he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner, for you are a holy people to the Lord your God." (Deuteronomy 14:21) However, this is akin to the same argument I used to give my parents, "but everyone else is able to!" The truth is, however, that we are not everyone else's children, we are God's children. It doesn't matter what everyone else is doing, what matters is what God wants us to do. We can no longer base our lives on what others are doing; just because the world is doing it doesn't make it right for us. We must live our lives based on God's plan and desire for us and for our lives. This may mean that we will be different; that we no longer fit in; yet it is only in the world where we don't fit in. We may be different but in God's Kingdom we fit just fine.

David Robison

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