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Buried in the Sinews

Leviticus 3:16b-17
“All fat is the LORD’s. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, in all your dwelling places, that you eat neither fat nor blood.”

The spiritual symbolism clearly deepens with God’s message here in Leviticus 3:16 that “all fat is mine,” yet so do the mysteries of its meaning. For starters, fat is not only beneficial to our nutrition but often delicious in proper proportion. That’s why the father in the parable of the prodigal son brings the fattened calf to the celebratory feast. That’s also why survivalist folk who live off the natural resources hunt bears and boars and even beavers, because the fat of these animals is essential for retaining metabolic strength. But beyond the particular dietary nuances of this law, do you notice how it essentially mirrors God’s prohibition to Adam and Even in Eden? Both the fat of these animals and the forbidden fruit tree in Eden are ‘good for food’ and ‘pleasing to the eye,’ which means there’s more here than meets the eye.

A problem faces us though. Whereas we understand that the forbidden fruit corresponds to the ‘knowledge of good and evil,’ we don’t quite know what the fat of the animal corresponds to. In other words, God doesn’t say, “Don’t eat the fat because the fat represents justice, which is Mine to partake of.” The blood aspect of this law is clearer though, since we recall from Genesis 9:4 that God told Noah after the flood, “Flesh with its lifeblood you shall not eat,” signifying that blood represents the sacred life of the creature. But the fat is less clear. This begs a question: what meaning will people pass down with this ordinance to their children and grandchildren for generations to come? For us today, if we partook of Communion on Sunday morning but didn’t know that the elements represented Christ’s Passion, or if we went down to the creek on Sunday night and witnessed new converts being baptized but were oblivious to what the water symbolized, what good would it do?

Friend, I ask that you join me in asking the LORD for wisdom over the next couple of days to discern what He desires to show us through this ordinance. Pray for deeper insight into the sinews of this body of truth and trust that we’ll know more by tomorrow than we understand at present.