Why Give the Priests the Stomach?

On Tubi, there are four BBC series that I have been watching. They follow two archeologists and a historian as they live on a farm for a year. On the “Victorian Farm,” they dress as Victorians, used Victorian Equipment, and solved problems using Victorian methods.

They did the same on the “Edwardian Farm.” I just finished that series.

In one episode, they burned iron ore and made iron. The stones were small and reddish brown. They were melted over an extremely hot charcoal fire in a homemade mud-covered oven.

They even had to make that charcoal! They piled oak and covered it with straw. Then they covered the straw with dry dirt. They had to add dirt to any cracks that formed. They topped it with branches and more dirt.

Then, they made a shelter because it took 5 days and 4 nights to “cook” the charcoal. They had to seal all the cracks as they formed.

In another episode, the camera followed them down a copper mine and they blasted out the ore just like the Edwardians did.

Farmers watched the wind direction to determine the weather. A southwest wind meant rain. A wind from the northwest meant a dry season. They needed a week of dry weather to harvest their oats.

Using the iron, cooked from the iron ore, the blacksmith made a stand, four arms, and the letters N E S W for the directions. He also made a copper chicken to put on top and spin in the wind.

He covered the copper with gold leaf. Using his beard, he created static electricity by running a paintbrush over it. The static electricity picked up each square of gold leaf and he placed it on the copper chicken. Then he brushed it to adhere it to the copper.

They put their weather vane on top of the barn. When the wind finally changed, they harvested the oats.

England is a long way from Israel. America is on the other side of the world. And in each country, God placed iron ore above and copper ore below. Just as He promised.

Deuteronomy 8:9, “A land where you will eat food without scarcity, in which you will not lack anything; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper.” NASB

***

Keep his commandments carefully, 8:1; walk in His ways and fear Him, 8:6. And He also promised:

  1. To bring you into a good land, v. 7.
  2. A land of brooks of water, fountains, and springs, v. 7.
  3. Water flowing in valleys and hills, v. 7.
  4. A land of wheat and barley, v. 8.
  5. Vines, fig trees, and pomegranates, v. 8.
  6. Olive oil and honey, v. 8.
  7. You will eat and be satisfied, v. 10.
  8. Build good houses, v. 12.
  9. Herds and flocks will multiply, v. 13.
  10. All that you have will multiply, v. 13.

We Are Blessed to Help the Poor

Deuteronomy 15:10, 11, “You shall generously give to him, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all your undertakings. 11) For the poor will never cease to be in the land; therefore, I command you, saying, ‘You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land.'” NASB

***

“…Scripture that addresses meeting the needs of the poor are directed at individuals. …Leviticus 25:25, 35, 39; Deuteronomy 15:7-8, 10-11. …a primary lesson He wants to teach His people through fasting and prayer is for individuals to learn to take the responsibility of caring for the poor… (Isaiah 58:6-10; Matthew 25:34-40).

…when a poor individual is unable to meet his obligation, the priests were instructed to examine that person, determine the extent of his needs, see what part of them he was capable of paying, and then grant proportional relief (Leviticus 27:8; Esther 9:22; Acts 4:34-35; Galatians 2:10; Romans 15:26).

…Government is charged to provide justice to the poor and maintain their rights whenever they utilize the civil process, but government is not charged with meeting their material needs, (Exodus 23:3, 6; Leviticus 19:15; Proverbs 29:14).

…According to the American Institute of Philanthropy, a charity’s effectiveness is ‘acceptable’ if 60 percent of what it collects reaches its’ intended charitable mission…

…So, what percentage of every dollar collected by the government for the poor actually reaches them? A dismal 30 percent.

…Biblically, taking care of the poor is to be done by individuals, churches, charities, etc. – but not the government.

…Jefferson said that care for the poor should be undertaken by those closest to them, (Matthew 6:1, 3-4). …we cannot relieve all the distressed, we should relieve as many as we can… (Luke 21:2-3).

…Benjamin Franklin likewise helped those in need, and he viewed his gifts as if he were planting a seed that might sprout and multiply. …”

“Caring for the Poor: Whose Responsibility is It?”
The Founder’s Bible
The Origin of Freedom
pp 311-318

***

“God prospers me not to raise my standard of living, but to raise my standard of giving.”

“Giving is the Good Life” by Randy Alcorn

***

Why the Stomach?

Deuteronomy 18:3, “Now this shall be the priests due from the people, from those who offer a sacrifice, either an ox or a sheep, of which they shall give to the priest the shoulder and the two cheeks, and the stomach.” NASB

***

The shoulder of an ox could feed a family for a month and the sheep a week. They made stews, not steak.

During the Victorian age, the head of a butchered animal was preserved and cooked at Christmas. It was a prized delicacy.

And the stomach? It was the most important piece of meat because “rennet” comes from the stomach. You use it to make cheese!

The priest was given meat to feed his family, a delicacy for celebrations, and a rennet to make cheese. He also received the first grain, new wine, oil, and a hide of a sheep. He would have bread, wine, oil for light and cooking, and wool to make clothes for his family.

Inheritance Offerings

Deuteronomy 18:6, 8, “When a Levite comes from any of your towns… 8) They shall eat equal portions, except what they receive from the sale of their father’s estates.” NASB

***

The money from the sale was to be distributed to the priests serving that tribe. They would spend the money at local merchants. This way the wealth of the tribe was reinvested in the community. The same coin that bought the land, blessed the priests, and was spent in the community.

Marriage and Divorce

Deuteronomy 21:15, “If a man has two wives, the one loved and the other unloved, …” NASB

***

Marriage is bringing two people together with love and making them one body. Sex is bringing two bodies together without love. A man can have intercourse with only one woman at a time. When he had two wives, with one he would make love, and with the other, he would have sex.

Love is a choice. A man chooses a woman, marries her, makes love with her, and they become one body. Every day, for the rest of his life, he chooses to love her and she chooses to love him.

Deuteronomy 24:1, 3, 4, “When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes… 3) and if the latter husband turns against her… 4) then her former husband who sent her away is not allowed to take her again to be his wife, …” NASB

***

To avoid divorce, a man should make sure his wife knows she is his favorite. He prizes her over everything else.

He must constantly keep turning toward her. When he turns away, he will eventually turn against her. Many things pull his attention from her, but he chooses what he focuses on.

In Bible times, women were an asset. A father would arrange a marriage to provide for his daughter. But many marriages were to make an alliance. Or to increase the family’s wealth. Or to become a business partner.

When her father died, her brother or uncle arranged her marriage. It could be lucrative for them to give her back to her first husband. But it would not benefit her.

I also learned:

  1. Do what is right and good and it will be well with you, Deuteronomy 6:18.
  2. We are holy because God has chosen us, Deuteronomy 7:6.
  3. God is faithful and keeps His covenant and loving kindness to a thousand generations, Deuteronomy 7:9.
  4. Our sons and daughters will see the discipline of the Lord, His greatness, His mighty hand, and His outstretched arm, Deuteronomy 11:1, 2.

Join me in reading December’s chapters. I would love to hear what you learned in the comments section below!

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