Good Health from a Biblical Perspective: The Bible and Food We Eat
God’s Good Food
By J.A. Dennis
“…If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee..” Exodus 15:26
The last few years I have become increasingly convinced that what we eat has a tremendous bearing on our state of health. The factors that are necessary in our staying well, in my opinion, in the order of their importance, are:
- Our faith in God’s promises to heal us and keep us free from sickness.
- There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. Psalm 91:10
- For I am the Lord that healeth thee. Exodus 15:26
- Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in good health, even as your soul prospereth. 3 John 1:2
- He took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses. Matthew 8:17
- By his stripes ye were healed. 1 Peter 2:24
- The kind and amount of food and drink we take into our bodies.
- Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing. Deuteronomy 14:3
- And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. Exodus 23:25
- The exercise and fresh air we give our bodies.
- My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. John 5:17
- I must walk today and tomorrow, and the day following. Luke 13:33
- This we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. 2 Thessalonians 3:10
- The rest that we take in peaceful sleep.
- I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep; for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8
- It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows (to worry): for so He giveth his beloved sleep. Psalm 127:2
- The peace of mind that comes when we are at peace with ourselves, with God, and with man.
- Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30
- Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
I have written numerous articles on the first item, and firmly believe that it is God’s will for His children to be well, just as human parents will do everything possible to keep their children from being sick. It is possible for Christians, by faith in His promises and His “taking our infirmities and bearing our sicknesses,” to stay well and strong, that they might serve the Lord effectively, and give and live a victorious testimony before others.
For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us…And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity. Isaiah 33:22, 24
Many, many people today are food conscious. Diets are on every tongue, vitamins in every cupboard, “food fadists” on every corner. One “authority” would have you eat no meat; the next prescribes a “high protein” diet with plenty of meat; another forbids milk, another eggs, another salt, another cheese, etc., etc. Everyone that has a theory, writes a book on it, and thousands scramble to buy it, if it promises them health with little effort and no sacrifice. One diet might benefit one person and not agree with another. Our dear Brother Rufus Moseley, though frail and sickly as a youth, lived to be 83 on a diet made up principally of fruit and raw peanuts, but when I tried it all I got was a “good” stomach ache.
After trying one theory, then another, I finally decided that God knew more than any man, about eating as well as any other question. Had He not made these marvelous bodies? And should He not know what is the proper food for them? And had He not told us what to eat and what not to eat?
A search of God’s Word showed me that God was interested in what his children ate, and that He had given some specific instructions regarding our diet. And I announced to my wife and others, that, much as I loved and revered Brother Rufus, “I was going to follow God and Moses, rather than Moseley.”
Some folks ridicule anyone who dares to quote Moses and God’s separation of clean and unclean meats, shouting that “we are no longer under the Law!” Of course we are not, but, if Christians, we are still under God and His wisdom, and He and His wisdom are just the same today as in Moses’ day, and our bodies are the same, also. What was good for man to eat in the Promised land of Canaan, is still good for man today; and what was harmful for man then, is still harmful today.
Yes, “the proof of the pudding is in the eating,” and the proof of God’s loving wisdom is found in the fact when man obeyed God’s laws, He kept them well; while today, as we flout His advice and His Word, our hospitals are overflowing, every doctor’s waiting room is crowded, millions suffer pain and affliction, disease is everywhere. Scientists and health organizations spend years and millions of dollars trying to find the cause of so much sickness, but I fear they do not look in the right place–in God’s Word, and to man’s disobedience to Him.
God has put His stamp of Divine Approval on many foods. Some He has rejected or forbidden. Many today look for the seal of approval from Good Housekeeping or some other institute, or some trademark or brand name, or some doctor’s prescription, but never think to ask if it has been stamped with God’s approval.
When I began to seriously “search the Scriptures,” to find our what God’s Word said about what we should eat, I was amazed and delighted to learn that He had said so much, had approved so many items that modern “nutritionists” had ruled out as harmful.
The first item on my diet that had to pass God’s scrutiny was pork. Like many others, I thought breakfast without “bacon and eggs” just wasn’t breakfast. But God’s Word classified it among abominable things,” so it had to go.
And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcase. Deuteronomy 14:8
For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many. They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the Lord. Isaiah 66:15-17
“Behind one tree in the midst!” As God tested Adam and Eve and their faith, and obedience to His wisdom, by forbidding them to eat the fruit of the tree that grew in the midst of the Garden of Eden, so God tested the Israelites’ faith and obedience (and ours) by forbidding the eating of swine’s flesh.
And just as Eve reasoned with herself (with satan’s help) that the fruit was nice looking and good tasting and that God didn’t really mean disobedience meant death, so have men to our day reasoned that anything that tasted as good, as sweet, and as juicy as pork was surely meant to be eaten, and surely eating it would not bring disease or death, even though in both cases, God has spoken otherwise.
Americans today eat millions of pounds of pork, and millions and millions are sick, never stopping to consider what God has said about what they should eat.
God put his stamp of approval on the eating of beef, when properly bled, and some other meats, PROVIDED the FAT and the BLOOD WERE NOT EATEN.
These are the beasts which ye shall eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat….And every beast that parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws, and cheweth the cud among the beasts, that ye shall eat….These ye shall eat of all that are in the waters: all that have fins and scales shall ye eat: Deuteronomy 14:4, 6, 9
It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood. Leviticus 3:17
Eve’s sin in the Garden was to try to reason out a plausible excuse for disobeying God’s command, rather than take it as from One who had all wisdom and power.
So it is today among the pork eaters. They say, “We are not under the Law”; “Jesus made all meats clean”; Paul said: “Every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving”; “When Peter saw the vision of the unclean animals let down in the sheet and heard God say, “What God hath cleansed, that call not Thou common’, that made pork and all other meat clean.” So does man reason, seeking to get around God’s Word.
They who would quote Paul’s statement in 1 Timothy 4:4, fail to quote the next verse, “For it is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer.” Pork has nowhere in God’s Word been sanctified for food, but rather call an abomination.
Those who rely on Peter’s vision as an excuse, overlook the fact that Peter was puzzled by the vision and did not know what it meant until he received the call from the Gentile Cornelius, and then he explained what it meant in Acts 10:28: “God hath showed me that I should not call a MAN common or unclean.”
Brother Rufus Moseley’s stock answer to those who came asking, “Brother Moseley, don’t you think I can eat pork and still go to heaven?” was: “Oh, yes, and you will probably go much quicker, if you eat pork!”
But if one would agree that God knows best, and wish to convince others that they could enjoy better health by observing God’s commandments, there are many facts which show the wisdom and love of God in forbidding his children to eat pork!
Most authorities would admit that pork is very fat and very acid. Also, pork is known to contain parasites that infest our bodies, unless killed in the cooking. It is a rich source of cholesterol, now revealed as enemy of the heart and arteries. It causes scurvy when eaten in quantities without greens or green vegetables. Hogs are scavengers, and love to feed on dead cattle and horses.
If you examine the list of clean and unclean beasts in God’s Word, you see that all the clean or “approved” meat comes from grass eating animals — none from scavengers or from meat-eating animals. I leave this matter of clean and unclean meats for you to pursue in God’s Word, for I know you love Him and respect His wisdom.
God’s Approved List
As to fish, the clean and unclean are listed. Jesus, after his resurrection, ate fish and honeycomb, and cooked a fish breakfast for his tired and discouraged fisher-disciples. (John 21:9-13)
Jesus the night before his crucifixion, ate the Passover lamb with the twelve in the upper room. (Luke 22:15)
Jesus called an egg a “good gift,” saying the same of bread and fish. (Luke 11:12-13)
The land of Canaan was described as a land “flowing with mild and honey” thus putting God’s stamp of approval upon these items. Other foods on God’s approval list include:
- Grapes – Deuteronomy 23:24
- Figs – Numbers 13:23; Mark 11:12-13
- Apples – Joel 1:12
- Pomegranates – Numbers 13:23
- Palm Dates – Leviticus 23:40
- All Fruits – Genesis 1:29
- Herbs – Genesis 1:29
- Olives – Deuteronomy 8:8
- Olive Oil – Leviticus 2:4; Leviticus 8:8
- Wheat – Psalm 81:16
- Bread – Luke 22:19
- Corn – Ruth 2:14; 1 Samuel 17:17
- Roasting Ears – 2 Kings 4:42; Leviticus 2:14
- Barley – Ruth 2:23
- Salt – Leviticus 2:13; Mark 9:50
- Honey – Psalm 81:16
- Pottage (Stew) – 2 Kings 4:38
- Milk – Isaiah 7:23-22
- Butter – Isaiah 7:22
- Cheese – 1 Samuel 17:18
- Goat’s Milk – Proverbs 27:27
- Locusts, Grasshoppers – Leviticus 11:22; Mark 1:6
- Almonds – Genesis 43:11
- Nuts – Genesis 43:11
- Beef – Deuteronomy 14:3
- Mutton – Deuteronomy 14:3
- Goat Meat – Deuteronomy 14:3
- Fish – John 21:9-13
- Eggs – Luke 11:12-13
- Venison – Deuteronomy 14:5
- NOTE: Leviticus 19:19 says, “….thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed.” This would even suggest that the Lord foresaw man’s tampering of seeds which have now produced GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms), which have been banned or significantly restricted, due to their ill effects on ones health, in 30 other countries around the world, including Australia, Japan and all of the nations in the European Union.
Strong drink is forbidden to God’s children. When we see the wrecks, both of cars and men, that result from drink. America is fast becoming a nation of drunkards and in danger of going the way of all drunken nations before her.
The crux of the whole question is whether we will believe that God is all-good and all-wise and all-loving, and knows much better what is good for us than we do ourselves; or whether we think, as did Eve, that His ideas are “old fogey” and His commandments can be broken with impunity.
The safe rule in our eating is to make everything we eat, if not classified in God’s Word and approved by Him, pass this test:
- “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do it all to the glory of God.“ 1 Corinthians 10:31
- Can you glorify God by eating something because we “like it.” when He has forbidden it?
- Can you glorify God by drinking intoxicating beverages when He has forbidden it?
- Can you glorify God by smoking, when tobacco is known to be harmful and often dangerous to heart and lungs?
- Can you glorify God by eating many of the rich, spicy, sticky “messes” that many people consume.
- Paul warned in Philippians 3:19 of some whose God was their belly, and we have many such today.
God has been progressively, over the years, teaching me how and what to eat. A number of years ago we felt impressed to stop eating pork, and I found myself less susceptible to colds, as well as inwardly blessed, as we always are when we obey God.
For many years I had suffered hours and hours of pain in my stomach, brought on by ignorance of eating, as well as worry, nervousness, and emotional upset. Many things I “couldn’t eat.” They would upset my stomach and cause nausea and pain. About five times I was dangerously sick with food poisoning, from old grease, tainted meat, swollen canned corn, salad dressing, and spoiled milk. On top of that, I suffered from chronic indigestion, colds, frequent attacks of influenza, sinus trouble, and hay fever.
Then the Lord gave me the grace to stand on His promise in Exodus 23:25: “And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee,” for that’s where I was sick, right in the my “middle.”
And, Praise the Lord for His goodness and power. He has been my only Physician for some 29 years, and the Bible and His grace my only medicine. When I begin to feel badly, I take a “Gos-pil,” rebuke the devil, and thank God for keeping me well. And, to His glory, I can say that He has not suffered me to miss a day’s activities because of sickness, in the past 29 years. There hasn’t been a day when I was not able to get up and “put my shoes on” and go about His business.
To me it is a mockery, almost blasphemy, for a person to come for prayer and expect God to heal them when they are breaking almost all His rules of health. Some smoke, many eat things that positively poison their bodies. Many never exercise or breathe the fresh outdoor air. They drink coffee, caffeinated tea, “cokes,” eat candy, cakes, etc., and then grumble because they “suffer so many afflictions” as though it were God’s fault.
I pray that the Lord will use this to your good and His glory, and truly “…satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:5
Food For Thought
- We can only be free of self consciousness as we become God conscious.
- A gift is imparted. A fruit is cultivated.
- Jesus did not “spill” His blood by accident; He shed it willfully.
- Don’t talk the talk if you don’t walk the walk.
- When God sees the blood He cannot see sin. When Satan sees the blood he cannot enter in.
- A talent is something you work for through God given abilities. A gift is a supernatural ability that has not required work or practice.
- Fasting is a decision of your will.
- My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. I am claimed, redeemed, and sanctified by the blood of Jesus. Therefore, the devil can have no part of me nor have any power over me.
- God will give us only as much of Himself as we want, but we must ask.
- If you have the Word without the Spirit you dry up,
- If you have the Spirit without the Word you blow up,
- If you have the Word and the Spirit you grow up.
- You will never be able to receive anything from God that you don’t know is His will to give you.
- God afflicts or blesses us with people we need at that time for our growth.
- If you like to repeat what someone has done to you, you have not forgiven them.
- If you want to know what God thinks about occult practices and horoscopes read Deuteronomy 18:10-12 and Isaiah 47:12-15
- Satan drives you; the Good Shepherd leads you.
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