Q: #125. Why did God want the fat of animals when it is something we usually throw in the garbage anyway?
A: In Bible times, the “fat” of an animal was considered the most important part of it. Unlike today, it was considered a delicacy. Today, we know to limit our fat intake, because eating too much fat is unhealthy, but in those days, they had no such knowledge. However, because their daily food was so low in fat content, they rarely had health problems from eating too much fat (unlike us today, where much of the food we eat is LOADED in fat).
Because “fat” was so rare in Bible times, it was valued. Over and over in the Bible, God asks His people to sacrifice their best for Him. Because the “fat” of animals was considered the “best,” God asked them to sacrifice it (Lev 3:14-16)(Lev 4:26)(Lev 6:12)(Ex 29:13), and they were told not to eat it (Lev 7:23-25)(Lev 3:17).
Of course, God also knew that eating too much fat was unhealthy, even though the Israelites did not. In having them sacrifice it, God likely had their health in mind as well, just as He did in prohibiting them from eating “unclean animals.”
***Interesting Note: It is interesting to note that the KJV Bible is somewhat “obsessed” with the word “fat.” It is used 130 times in the Old Testament, with 20 different Hebrew words being translated as “fat.” For example, “fat” (Heb “dashen“) is associated with personal prosperity (Ps 92:14)(Prov 11:25)(Ps 22:29)(Prov 13:4) (the NKJV uses “rich / prosperous” instead of “fat”), and it (Heb “shamen“) is associated with the best of things (Gen 45:18)(Num 13:20)(1 Chr 4:40)(Neh 9:25)(Hab 1:16) (the NKJV uses “rich / sumptous”). In contrast, in the Old Testament, the NKJV Bible only uses the word “fat” 69 times, and the NASB 80 times.