Deuteronomy 14 first talks about the dietary laws and then it talks about bringing a tithe to the Lord.
The tithe is for them to eat, but they are to bring it to the Lord’s dwelling place and eat it there as a reminder to fear the Lord, a reminder that all they have is a gift from the Lord.
They are told that if it’s too far to go to the tabernacle, and later the temple, with such a big load for their tithe, they can sell it and bring their money. When they arrive, they are told they can then buy whatever food or drink they want to celebrate with. Tithing was a celebration!
Verse 26 says they can get whatever their appetite craves.
That’s not how we typically think about God. We just read the dietary laws. We get the idea that we’re indulging the flesh if our appetites crave something and we give into it.
God isn’t out to take away good things from us. He made the good things.
He made food good. He gave it to us as a gift.
He made lots of wonderful things and He gave them to us to enjoy.
He puts up boundaries, like the dietary laws, for the good of His people, not for their punishment.
There are boundaries on relationships because He loves us and wants what is best for us. He knows best.
In verse 27, they are told they will eat it before the Lord with their family and rejoice.
God’s plans for us are good. He wants us to delight in the good gifts He’s given us.
Out of love and respect, we enjoy them within the boundaries given. Now, I’m not referring to avoiding bacon. The New Testament teaches all foods are clean if received with thanksgiving, but I am talking about keeping His commandments because we know they are good.
And we rejoice, not because our cravings were satisfied, but because we have a good God who is always good, always loving, always patient, always kind, always faithful, always just, always holy and perfect.
So, we ALWAYS have a reason to rejoice.