Cloven Hooves.

Deuteronomy 14:4-6

These are the beasts which you shall eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat, 5 The hart, and the roebuck, and the fallow deer, and the wild goat, and the pygarg, and the wild ox, and the chamois. And every beast that parts the hoof, and separates the cleft into two claws, and chews the cud among the beasts, that you shall eat.”

There sure are some strange and really specific laws in the Old Testament, aren’t there?…..and the opening passage is definitely one of them.  I don’t know about you, but they used to leave me scratching my head. Why is God so concerned that His people only eat animals both with cloven hooves and that chew their cud?  
Well, for one thing, these animals are healthier to eat, a fact that has actually been proven by modern science. God, of course, is concerned for our physical well-being. But that isn’t the only reason. You see, everything in the Old also has a spiritual application that teaches us something important.  The above law is no exception.  Why don’t we go study it and see what is on God’s heart.  Paul very kindly has left us a clue in the passage below. 😄
New Hidden In The Old.
1 Corinthians 10:1-4
1 Moreover, brothers, I would not that you should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized to Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”
Everything in the New Covenant is hidden somewhere in the Old. You might say it’s a “Pictionary” of the New, being filled with stories, offices, types, and shadows of our Lord Jesus. Now, let’s take a trip back in time to the Rock incident referred to above and study it.
e75a0-moses2bstrck2bthe2brock2bin2bfront2bof2bthe2belders

Two Rock Encounters.

When the children of Israel were wandering in the wilderness, they had two different “Rock encounters; one in the beginning of their time in the desert, one at the end.  In the one at the beginning of their travels, Moses struck the rock as instructed and water flowed out.  
The other rock encounter occurred near the very end of their wandering. Moses once again struck the rock, but it was not what God had told him to do.  He was only supposed to speak to it for water to flow out.  As a result of his disobedience, he was not allowed to enter the Promised Land. 😮😓
Moses entered not the Promised Land
(God shows Moses the Promised Land from Mt. Nebo)
It seems a bit harsh and unfair after more than 40 years of faithful service to God’s people, I know.  But when you understand his action from God’s point of view, you begin to understand. However, this is a very long and complicated story.  If you’d like to read the whole thing, learn why he was excluded, and the REAL reason God was angry, you may follow the link below:
These two rock encounters are contrasting the Old Covenant of Law, given at Mt. Sinai, and the New Covenant of Grace, given at Mt. Zion.  Both came out of a “Cleft in the Rock,” that Rock being Jesus.  
After Jesus rose from the dead, He told His disciples to tarry in Jerusalem. On the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was given, another clue to the mystery is revealed. Let’s follow the story:
The Day Of Pentecost.

Acts 1:4-5 “4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, said he, you have heard of me. 5 For John truly baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”

After He ascended to heaven, the disciples and many followers of Jesus gathered together in an upper room for fear of the Jews.  And then…..IT HAPPENED!
Acts 2:1-4. 
“1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat on each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
Cloven Tongues Of Fire.
There’s that cloven thing again. 🤔  This time, however, it is referring to being baptized in the Holy Spirit.  Huh?!  What’s the connection?
As usual, the Holy Spirit, our Master StoryTeller, is drawing pictures for us again.  Cloven hooves speaks of “Rightly dividing the word of God.  You see, animals with cloven hooves and chew their cud are ruminant animals.  This allows them to extract all the goodness and nutrients in their food. God is drawing a picture of what meditation is like: It extracts all the goodness and spiritual nutrition from whatever you are studying.  Rightly dividing comes out of meditating on God’s word.
(For more on the topic of meditation, you may follow the link below:
rightly dividing God's word
The most important truth God is trying to convey here, from the very first day of the birth of His Church is this:
“Eat from ministries that chew the cud and divide the hoof.”  In other words, the most beneficial spiritual food you can eat is from ministries that make meditating on the word of God and RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE COVENANTS their top  priority.
So much heartache, misery, even physical sickness has come out of ministries that do not know how to Rightly divide.  Sadly, they are legion.  What does it mean to Rightly divide?”  Knowing how to correctly separating the covenants from each other, particularly the Siniatic, or Law covenant, from the New Covenant of grace. In other words, DON’T MIX LAW AND GRACE. God HATES that!
(For more on that topic, you may follow the link below:
Anyone interested in an in-depth study on how to rightly divide the word of God may follow the link below to a whole series on the topic. No skill that is more important for a Christian to cultivate.:

Incorrectly dividing the covenants puts people back under bondage to the Law and subject to the curses of Deuteronomy 28. We don’t need any of that in our lives, Church! 😮

Law OR Grace.
This is serious business, folks.  God is not kidding around here.  You are either under Law and justified by your works OR you are saved BY FAITH through the finished work of Christ. You cannot have it both ways.  It is JESUS…..PLUS NOTHING.  
All our righteousnesses (plural) are as filthy rags.  Only Jesus’ finished work satisfies the Father. So now you know why this law was recorded and why God is so concerned about animals that chew the cud and have Cloven Hooves.

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