All in the seas or in the rivers that do not have fins and scales, all that move in the water or any living thing which is in the water, they are an abomination to you. (Leviticus 11:10-11a).
It can be hard work getting through the Book of Leviticus. Part of the reading for today included some of the dietary laws which God gave to Israel. Much to the chagrin of God's people everywhere, Catfish did not make the edible list. They are, unfortunately, an abomination.
Catfish are not the only ones that did not make the cut. Shrimp do not qualify either. They are scavengers, I believe, and they are finless. And crawfish? They suffer the same fate as shrimp. No catfish fries, no shrimp scampi, and no crawfish boils.
Why would I make mention of something so seemingly insignificant? Especially since today's reading also contained the story of God's judgment against Nadab and Abihu? Two reasons: one is because I am thankful today for the little things, and secondly, it's Monday. I prefer mercy over judgment on Mondays.
As a good Southern boy and a South Louisiana import, I love fried catfish, shrimp, and crawfish boils. And while it may seem insignificant to some, I know that I may enjoy may fried delights because of the mercy of God. He has, for no other reason than that He is good, declared all foods kosher for me through Christ my Lord.
Food does not have to taste. God could have created the world in such a way that we would take our nourishment from nibbling sponges. But it does taste, and it tastes especially good here in Cajun country. My taste buds bulge with delight on a regular basis as I enjoy the local cuisine, and I am thankful that the Lord allows me such trivial pleasures because He is good.
Soon, it will be time for crawfish boils again. Each time I pop one of those tasty critters in my mouth, I will remember that the Lord allows me this pleasure that He never allowed Solomon, or David, or even His own Son. I will remember that they endured the taskmaster of the law, and that I, unworthy Son that I am, live in a time when grace abounds to the worst of sinners...down to the most seemingly trivial detail. And more than Shrimp scampi, I get to live in an age that looks back on the cross and the work that the Messiah accomplished there, when all of the promises of God became "yes and amen" in Jesus. The prophets longed to see and know the things that we see and know, and we have freedoms in grace that they never enjoyed. We are blessed, down to the clothes that we wear and the food that we eat.
So, dear reader, the next time you put a piece of fried catfish in your mouth, remember it as an opportunity for worship, even in the most trivial of things.
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