“Parteth the hoof……and cheweth the cud” [Leviticus 11:3]
What are the distinguishing marks of a Christian? Sikhs and religious Jews are recognized by their dress. Moslems, by their uses of “Peace be upon him” when speaking of Mohammed. But how does one recognize a Christian? This verse gives us a hint.
The Lord put a difference between the clean and unclean animals. The clean animal was recognized by two marks; it parted the hoof, and it chewed the cud. In other words, the distinguishing marks concerned the foot and the mouth.
The Christian likewise should be instantly distinguished in society by his holy talk and his holy walk. Paul encouraged the Colossians to let their “speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt” [Colossians 4:6]. He should be God’s saltshaker, helping to season the language of society.
The clean animal chewed the cud, suggesting that the believer is to digest and meditate on the Word of God as his daily food. With this Word in his heart, he will have a holy conversation on his lips.
The clean animal parted the hoof. It had a peculiar walk; it was different from other animals. At one time, the Christian walked according to the course of this world. Now, transformed by God’s grace, he is to walk in love, circumspectly, as a child of light.
Be warned that the Christian must pass both tests. To have only the talk is hypocrisy. To have the walk without the testimony is self-righteousness. Some people can talk like a saint, but inconsistent actions damage the testimony. Worse is the one with “Foot-and-mouth disease” _ neither his lips nor life is holy.
The believer who walks and talks right may not be the most popular fellow according to the world, but he will be blessed by God.