Friday, April 20, 2018

Health in the Bible Part 1

In the Bible, God tells us through John the beloved, that He wants us “to prosper and be in health, even as our soul prospereth.” 3 John 2. In Psalm 103:3 we are told that God is the God that heals us. Obviously, God loves us and only wants the best for us.

In the beginning, in the garden of Eden, God gave us the perfect diet for health. Genesis 1:29 reads, “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.”
And in the very next verse, He gave the diet for the animals.  “And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.”

So, based on these verses, the foods that Adam and Eve were to eat were things like fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, squash, tomatoes, etc. All these are things that are have fruit with seed, or are seeds themselves. And the animals ate greens, herbs, grass, etc. 
After sin, God tells Adam and Eve, “cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Genesis 3:17-19

Now, in addition to the foods they had been originally given, they were to toil and till and eat the herb of the field. This could have included things we know as vegetables, like the green herbs, spinach, broccoli, kale, mustard greens, root vegetables, and others that only the animals had eaten before. The reason for this is not clear, though it may have been that because of sin, and because they no longer had access to the tree of life, they needed some nutrients from these foods that they would not have gotten otherwise. 

Nowhere during the time of Adam’s long life and that of his children’s, do we ever see them given a command to eat meat. Because of sin, it is possible that the people of the world, did eat meat and the animals may have killed each other as well, as we are told that God saw the world and it was exceedingly sinful.  

It is not until after the flood, that God allowed meat to be consumed, but with restrictions. “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.” Genesis 9:3,4
Notice that the meat he was given to eat, was not to have the blood in it. Also, we know that it could not have been unclean meat, since the ark only contained one pair of each of the unclean, whereas there were 7 of the clean. During the time of Israel, they were given statutes that specified which meats were clean and which were unclean. Some will say that this stipulation was given to Israel only, and that it didn’t apply to Noah. However, the book of Genesis was written at the same time as the rest of the book of the law and since the statutes of which meats were clean and unclean were included there, there was no need to be more specific in the story of Noah, except to say that there were clean and unclean animals. 
One important thing to notice about the unclean animals listed in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 is that many of these animals are scavengers and bottom feeders. Science today confirms that you are what you eat, and that applies to animals as well. Animals that eat garbage and clean up the oceans have the most toxic flesh on the planet. 

Several times in the Old Testament, God promises blessings of good health, and protection from disease and sickness, if His people follow the laws and statutes He gave them. Exodus 15:26 and Deuteronomy 7:12-15 are a couple of verses.

In Daniel 1 we see a good example of the results of following the laws of health given to Israel. Daniel refused to eat the foods of the king of Babylon. Many of the foods they ate were unclean, and also sacrificed to idols. Daniel asked for vegetables and water, and the result was fantastic. God blessed them with better health, and more wisdom than all the wisemen in Babylon. 

To be continued. . . . .

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