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1. What decision helped Daniel excel mentally and spiritually? Daniel 1:8, 12, 20 NKJV
“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore, he requested… ‘let them give us to eat and to drink.’”
Daniel refused to eat the king’s rich foods and requested a healthier diet. He was surrounded by pagan influences and understood his need to keep his mind, body, and spirit strong. Daniel is a good example for us, because we face similar challenges to purity in these last days. Having healthy bodies and clear minds promotes spirituality and is just as important for us as it was for him.
2. Is God concerned with our health? 3 John 2 NKJV
“I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in just as your soul prospers.”
Jesus, our Creator, wants us to have good health so we can have useful and enjoyable lives.
3. What promises for good health did God give His people? Exodus 15:26 NKJV
“If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.”
Because Israel obeyed God’s health instructions, He kept them healthy, strong, and free from the diseases other nations had. (See Exodus 23:25; Psalm 105:37.) God is the Creator, and He gave them insider information on how to enjoy optimum health.
4. What diet did the Creator provide for Adam and Eve? Genesis 1:29 NKJV
“I have given you every that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose yields seed; to you it shall be for food.”
Man’s original diet was fruits, nuts, grains, and vegetables. (See also Genesis 3:18.) Modern science confirms people who follow it have significantly less disease and live an average 7-9 years longer. What would we pay a pharmaceutical company for a pill that was proven to reduce our disease risk by half and add nine years to our life? If you consider the cost of medicine, it would be a lot. Here is a better alternative–God’s Word provides a prescription that is simple and free!
5. When did this “Eden diet” change? Genesis 9:1-4 NKJV
“Every thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.”
After the flood killed all vegetation, God gave Noah’s family permission to eat meat. (But even then, He forbade the eating of blood.) As a result, the average pre-flood age of 912 years, dropped to 317 years. This is attributed to the change of diet and environment. A high protein diet, as found in animal foods, accelerates disease and aging; and diseases in animals transfer to humans through eating their blood. Notice this was not just a Jewish requirement. It was given to Noah long before the Jews were a people, and then repeated to the Gentiles after Jesus’ death (Acts 15:20). It is sound health information.
6. Which animals did God provide for food after the flood? Genesis 7:1-3; 8:20 NKJV
“You shall take with you seven each of every animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are , a male and his female … to keep the species alive on the face of all the earth.”
The clean beasts entered the ark in pairs of sevens and the unclean by twos. It was necessary to take more of the clean animals because they were later used for sacrifices and food. However, they were not to eat any of the unclean animals. If they had, their species would not have survived. These directions were given to Noah long before the Jews existed and are not “Jewish laws.”
7. What are these clean and unclean animals? Leviticus 11:1-8 NKJV
“These are the animals which you may eat . . . whatever divides the hoof, having hooves and chewing the that you may eat. Nevertheless, these you shall not eat . . . the camel, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, is unclean to you … the hare, … and the swine, though it divides the hoof, having cloven hooves, yet does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. Their flesh you shall not eat.”
After hundreds of years of slavery, God re-educated Israel so they could tell the difference between clean and unclean animals. Animals that split the hoof and chew the cud are “clean” and can be eaten. Which animals pass the test? Cattle, deer, lamb, goat, and generally other grazing animals. Which do not? Pigs, rabbits, horses, opossum, scavengers, and predatory animals. Only recently have we realized these animals pose a high risk of parasites. God knew long before modern science what kind of diet would make for a healthy life.
8. Which water animals are safe to eat? Leviticus 11:9-12 NKJV
“These you may eat of all that are in the water: whatever in the water has and , whether in the seas or in the rivers—that you may eat.”
Seafood with fins and scales, such as snapper, tuna, salmon, and whitefish are all fit to eat. Unclean seafood does not have fins and scales and includes catfish, shellfish, squid, and shrimp. God’s counsel is practical—unclean seafood is unsafe. Shellfish are filter feeders, and they concentrate in their meat the chemicals, toxins, viruses, and bacteria found in the water. Eating their meat provides a concentrated dose of toxins they have collected over their lifetime. Pork and unclean fish are scavenger animals and are frequently contaminated with viruses and parasites which are not killed with heating.
9. Which birds are not fit for food? Leviticus 11:13-19 NKJV
Generally speaking, the unclean fowl are birds of prey, carrion, and fish eaters. Foraging birds such as quail, chickens, and turkeys are clean.
10. Is this instruction on clean and unclean foods only for Old Testament people? Isaiah 66:15-17 NKJV
“For behold, the Lord will come with fire and with His chariots, like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury…. ‘Those who sanctify themselves and purify themselves, to go to the gardens after an idol in the midst, eating flesh and the abomination and the , shall be consumed together,’ says the Lord.”
This prophecy reveals that unclean foods will be important right up to Jesus’ return. In Revelation 18:2, God also condemns Babylon for being the “cage of every unclean” bird.
The people who perish at Jesus’ return “sanctify themselves.” Sanctification comes when we obey the teachings of God’s Word through the Spirit’s power (John 17:17). Those who do not “sanctify themselves” choose to live by their own wishes instead of His Word. This is the reason behind their flagrant disobedience of the Bible commands forbidding idols and unclean foods. How sad and foolish, since God always wants what is best for us.
You would think God would not have to tell us not to eat rats and bats. While these things disgust us, realize that some Oriental cultures eat mice, but will never eat an oyster. However, Westerners eat oysters, but find mice revolting. What we put in our bodies should not be a matter of what we feel is appetizing, but what God says is best.
11. Has God given other health directions for our benefit? NKJV
a. “ is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.” Proverbs 20:1
b. “Do not look on the when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly. At the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper.” Proverbs 23:31, 32
The Bible contains a wealth of helpful instruction to prevent the spread of contagious diseases, sexually transmitted diseases, lifestyle diseases, and stress. God’s love seeks to protect us from the illnesses and sorrow that poor health habits cause. It is no surprise then to find God says it is not wise to drink alcohol. If no one ever had another drop we would save millions of dollars and save thousands of lives from murder, rape, child abuse, spousal abuse, car accidents, and more!
Tobacco does not glorify God or benefit us either. It shortens our life (and that of those around us). God says “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13). It is addictive—God want us to be free (Romans 6:16). Recreational drugs, and even socially accepted stimulants such as caffeine or betel nut, are addictive and harmful. They rob us of the health God wants us to have.
12. Why should we be concerned with what we eat and drink? 1 Corinthians 9:25-27 NKJV
“And everyone who competes for the prize is in all things…. But I discipline my and bring it into subjection, lest, when we have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”
We are not saved by what we eat and drink. Salvation comes by grace through faith. We are, however, in a race for life. Satan is doing everything he can to defeat us. The way we take care of ourselves affects our spiritual, mental, physical, and moral stamina. God has told us how to run and win. If we refuse to discipline our physical habits according to His Word, then we are asking to be weakened.
13. Isn’t it our own business what we do with our health?
a. “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you… and you are your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are .” 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20
b. Do you not know that you are the of God and that the of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17
We are not our own. Jesus made us and He died to save us. We are His temple—a place where He dwells by His Spirit. If we would not walk into a beautiful church and smoke, drink, or curse, why would we treat God’s temple—our body—with any less respect? Those who truly appreciate Jesus’ sacrifice do not mind giving Him their all—whether it be eating or drinking, our time or whatever! (1 Corinthians 10:31).
14. Do you desire to glorify God in whatever you do, even in your health habits?
God loves us so much that He wants the very best for us. The Bible’s health guidelines are truly His loving prescription for living a healthy, fulfilling life.