MEMORY VERSE: Leviticus 11:3 "Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Luke. Write "Luke" on small slips of paper and hand out at the end of class.
PRAYER: Thank God for all the food that we have to eat and that it is good for us.
SPECIAL SONG: The Books Of The Old Testament, The Books Of The New Testament, and The Wise Man Built His House Upon The Rock (all three songs are found in Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3 on this blog). Or try this new song right off the press:
From the creatures of the land,
God gave Moses His command,
Things they could and could not eat,
Must chew the cud, With cloven feet.
Do what's good and shun the bad,
You'll be happy, never sad,
Follow God and do not stray,
He will lead you all the way.
VISUAL AID: Pictures of all kinds of animals listed in our lesson today.
- The book of Leviticus is filled with many rules for the children of Israel. There were rules on staying away from idols, on the disease of leprosy, on sacrifices, on marriage, and on food. The rules were for the Israelites' own good. God said the people were to be holy because He was holy.
- Talking about their food, the people lived in tents and traveled in the desert or wilderness and could not keep food for a long period of time like we can. We have refrigerators, ice chests, and freezers, but the children of Israel did not. There needed to be guidelines or rules concerning the type of food the people could eat or they would get sick and maybe die. God, being so wise and smart, told Moses to tell the people what was good to eat and what was not good to eat. God called the good things to eat "clean" and the bad things to eat were called "unclean." Moses told the people what God had told him about "clean" and "unclean" food.
- God said it was important to look at the animals' feet and to notice how the animals ate their food. This would be the way the people could tell what was "clean" or "unclean" food. If the animals had hooves that were divided or "cloven" AND the animals chewed their cud, they could be eaten. They had to do both of these things. A cow is a "clean" animal because its hooves are cloven or divided and a cow chews its cud, so the Israelites could eat a cow. Do you know what "chewing their cud" means? Let's all chew our pretend food like a cow would right now. (Chew your cud from side to side.)
- Moses began to list the animals that they could eat and not eat. Moses already said that they could eat anything that had cloven hooves and chewed its cud. But some of the things that God had said not to eat were camels (chews, but no cloven hoof), rabbits (chews, no cloven hooves), and pigs (cloven hooves, but doesn't chew its cud). Those animals were unclean to the Israelites.
- Moses then talks about the things that were in the water. God said that whatever had fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers were "clean." What did "clean" mean? That's right! The people could eat it! BUT...if it did NOT have fins or scales, then it was "unclean." What did "unclean" mean? That's right! They could NOT eat it!
- Next, Moses talked about the birds. Moses made a big list of the birds that the people could NOT eat. They could not eat the eagles, or vultures, or buzzards, or falcons, or owls, or night hawks, or hawks, or swans, or pelicans, or storks, or herons, or bats. God did not say why they could not eat them, only that they were commanded not to eat them.
- Then Moses talked about the creeping things. If the creeping thing had four feet and could leap, they were OK to eat. Even locusts and grasshoppers and beetles were clean. But all the other flying creeping things were unclean.
- God said that anything that walked on its four paws were unclean. Can you think of something that has four paws? Yes! Cats, tigers, lions, bears, dogs,and animals like that could not be eaten. They also could not eat weasels, mice, tortoises, ferrets, lizards, snails, and moles.
- God also listed may rules about not touching anything that was dead or things that came in contact with dead things. Do we know why? The Bible does not say, but things that are dead usually have diseases and sicknesses. If the people touched them, then they might get the disease, too.
- God also told the people they could drink water if it was in a fountain or pit and the water was moving and there was plenty of it. We obey this rule even today. If there is a pool of water, maybe from the rain, we don't drink it because the longer it sits there, the greater the chance that bugs or sickness or disease might be in the pool. So we even can learn from these rules today, can't we?
- Remember how we have said that when God says something once, we had better listen, and when He says something twice, we had better REALLY listen? In our lesson today, God says TWO times that the children of Israel were holy because God was holy. He wanted His people pure and holy and helped them in any way He could. Making sure their food was good was one way God helped the people.
- Older students may find the lesson today very interesting. Many times, Bible teachers skip lesson like this, thinking that it might be too difficult for children to "sit through." A theme like this can bring out the intelligence of God, His wisdom, and His love for His people. God truly cares for His own.
Materials needed: either white bond paper for the students to draw the animals (cows, oxen, sheep, goats, camels, pigs, rabbits, fish, eagle, owl, stork, etc.), or stickers, or free clip art found on the internet and copied before class time, 9" x 12" construction paper, crayons, scissors, glue.
- Hand out construction paper to each student. This is the background.
- Fold paper in half.
- Write "CLEAN" and "UNCLEAN" at the top of the construction paper.
- Hand out white bond paper to each student. This is paper for the animals.
- Draw animals listed above on the white paper.
- Cut out animals.
- *OR if you have chosen the clip art method, hand out the prepared papers now and cut out animals. (Animals cut out in squares instead of on the blackline is fine and faster.)
- *OR even easier, use the animal sticker method, but there must be both clean and unclean stickers available!
- Color animals.
- Glue animals to the "Clean" or "Unclean" side.
- Write "Leviticus 11:1-47" somewhere on the paper.
- Check all papers before they leave the classroom.