“Don’t let your livestock mate with those of another kind, don’t sow your field with two different kinds of grain, and don’t wear a garment of cloth made with two different kinds of thread.”-Leviticus 19:19
Today we’re going to take a look at an important Biblical principle interwoven into verse 19.
This principle revolves around a Hebrew word we studied a while ago: TEVEL.
TEVEL means “confusion” but is also sometimes rendered as “perversion”.
Either way, TEVEL is what occurs when improper mixing takes place.
As I have said before, many of God’s commandments have a very literal and practical function to them, but they also embody a spiritual dynamic or principle that we are to apply to other situations in our lives as well.
In terms of the literal function, the commands in verse 19 are quite clear.
It starts off by forbidding the interbreeding of livestock.
The word for “livestock” is BEHEMAH and it refers only to domesticated farm animals such as sheep, goats, or cattle.
Later, the use of BEHEMAH may have evolved to the point where it could also have been referring to donkeys and camels.
Basically, what God is telling us here is that we shouldn’t take a goat and breed it with a camel for instance (if that were even possible).
Next we get the instruction to not plant two different crops in the same field at the same time.
An obvious temptation to do this would have been the large empty rows between the grape vines.
A farmer, not wanting to waste space, may have been tempted to sow a grain crop in these open parts of his field.
Finally, we’re given the instruction to not weave two different kinds of thread into cloth when making garments.
For example, mixing linen and wool together is a NO-NO.
Now a common reaction some people have towards some of these commands is WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?!
What’s the big deal with taking a cow and mating it with a buffalo for instance to produce more high quality lean meat?
Beefalo burgers anyone?
Or why is it considered evil to mix two different kinds of fabric, like silk and cotton, to produce clothing that is both cool and durable?
Well, the answer lies in a fact that the Hebrew sages have always recognized and understood: that while God’s commands are to be taken literally, there is also something much larger and deeper being expressed here.
We can see through these commands that God is setting boundaries and this goes hand-in-hand with the governing dynamic that God divides, elects, and separates the HOLY from the UNHOLY, and the CLEAN from the UNCLEAN.
Fallen man has always had a difficult time keeping God’s boundaries.
Yet, that is what our Creator has called us to do.
Believers are called to divide His Word correctly and by doing so develop the ability to DISTINGUISH between good and evil, between clean and unclean, between HOLY and UNHOLY, and between His people Israel and the gentiles.
And man’s evil inclination has always tried to blur these distinctions and do away with the boundaries.
Evidence of this dismantling of boundaries is everywhere.
In case you haven’t noticed, we live in a world that worships multiculturalism, tolerance, diversity, and moral relativism.
And possibly one of the most blasphemous challenges to God’s boundaries is the legitimization of same sex marriage.
Even in the “body of Christ”, the so-called interfaith movement is gaining support.
This is a movement that says all kinds of spiritualism are good things and that all gods are to be worshipped as the same god.
They also teach there are many doors to heaven and that Messiah Yeshua is just one viable option out of the many.
How in the world did the church get into such a mess?!
I can tell you the answer in one word: DOCTRINES.
Doctrines that say God’s TORAH, where all of these distinctions and boundaries are clearly laid out, has been done away with.
Doctrines that view the TORAH as a relic of a past dispensation that does nothing but cause a believer trouble.
Doctrines that teach that to be too obedient to God’s commands is tantamount to trampling on the “work of Christ” by being too legalistic.
Yes, I would say it is precisely these doctrines that have led the church and all of its associated cemeteries, oops, I mean seminaries, into the big-time mess it is in today.
This is what happens when you operate under the assumption that the Bible starts from the Book of Matthew.
This is what results when you take away ALL of the underlying principles that Yeshua based His teaching on.
It is the removal of the TORAH that gave birth to false manmade doctrines that has resulted in the systematic step-by-step removal of Godly boundaries in practically every area of a believer’s life to point where there is no difference between a believer and a non-believer.
Take away God’s TORAH and you’ve effectively taken away the only thing that allows a believer to distinguish between good and evil.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“Don’t think that I have come
to abolish the Torah or the Prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to complete.
I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away,
not so much as a yud or
a stroke will pass from the Torah
— not until everything that must happen has happened.
So whoever disobeys the least
of these commands and teaches others
to do so will be called the
least in the Kingdom of Heaven.
But whoever obeys them and so teaches
will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.”