What does it say?
The Lord gave Moses and Aaron commandments about which animals the sons of Israel could eat and could not eat. Of the animals on the earth, they could eat animals that had a divided hoof and chewed the cud. If an animal did not have both of these characteristics it was to be considered unclean to the sons of Israel. Of the animals in the water, the sons of Israel could eat any fish that had fins and scales. If a water creature did not have both of these characteristics it was to be considered unclean to the sons of Israel. Of the the birds in the air, they could not eat flesh eating birds. Of the winged insects that walked on all fours, they could eat those who have jointed legs for jumping but all other four legged insects were to be considered unclean to the sons of Israel. Not only could they not eat the unclean creatures but touching the dead carcass of on of these creatures made a son of Israel unclean for the remainder of that day. Not only the person, but if a dead creature is found in a pot, then that pot was to be considered unclean. Even of the clean animals, if it dies without being slain was to be considered unclean. All swarming things on the earth, the small creatures on the earth were to be considered unclean.
What does it mean?
The Lord wanted to distinguish the sons of Israel from the other people in the land of Canaan. The reason that the Lord gives for making these statutes is holiness. He told the sons of Israel to consecrate themselves and be holy because the Lord is holy. (Lev. 11:44) According to Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary, the word “holy” is an adjective that signifies “pure” and “devoted.” It is what we understand as Christians to be sanctified, which means to be set apart. In other words different or peculiar from the other people in the world. This may cause people to ask questions. Why do you live this way? The apostle Peter wrote: “Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” (1 Pe. 3:15, NASB)
What shall I do?
I shall live differently than other people in the world. I shall observe all that Jesus commanded; thereby, sanctifying Christ as Lord in my heart, always ready to give an account for the hope that is in me. When someone asks, “Why do you live that way?” I shall be ready to tell them about Jesus.