How do Adventists choose what to eat?
Every day, parents go through the ritual of getting their kids to eat what is healthy and good while trying to steer them away from what can hinder the growth of their developing bodies. Nutritionists work with their clients to make better food choices. Are parents and nutritionists trying to be mean and keep what’s good away from children and clients? Not at all! The opposite is true – they’re trying to give only that which is good.
Now, if a nutritionist wants you to make the best choice when it comes to food, how much more would God, who loves you infinitely, be willing to give you guidelines to help you live a healthy life?
But aren’t food laws confined to the Old Testament?
The Old Testament is essentially the foundation of the New Testament. The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed. The New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.
God says not to eat unclean animals because we would be at risk for health challenges. “These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is cloven-footed, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat” (Lev 11:2, 3).
Clean animals have both characteristics. A cloven hoof and chew the cud. Pigs (swine) have a cloven hoof but do not chew the cud. Pork includes any product from swine (porcine) animals. God declared them to be unclean and not to be eaten.
Isn’t the Leviticus 11 diet only for the Jews?
No; a diet given by God is for all of His children.
God wouldn’t give laws for one group of people to be healthy and leave the rest of the world to languish from poor health choices. The bodies of Jews are no different than the bodies of other people. The health laws that are good for the Jew is also good for the Gentile. His people will be holy and healthy, obeying God in every aspect of their lives. Since Jesus is our example, we ought to do as He did. “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps” (1 Peter 2:21).
Jesus steered clear from anything that would pose health challenges to His mind and body. He obeyed the Father in every situation of life following the Bible totally. “And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him” (John 8:29). The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), therefore we should seek to do all in our power and by God’s grace keep our bodies healthy.
Are health principles a part of Bible religion?
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (3 John 2). God speaks to us through our minds. If our minds are not clear through improper eating, God does not work a miracle to remove what we have done to ourselves.
Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). Many of us would have more quality lives if we would deny ourselves certain foods and activities that are detrimental to our health. Body and mind are closely connected. What a person does to one, affect the other. It is good religion to put self and taste aside and obey God.
Is God restricting our pleasure?
Not at all! He wants to give us eternal pleasure.
“And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us” (Deuteronomy 6:24, 25).
God loves us and wants and does what is best for us always.
“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).
God loves us so much He sent His only Son to die in our place (John 3:16). “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10). God isn’t trying to restrict pleasure. He wants to give us beyond what we believe to be pleasurable!
When we buy a product, it comes with an owner’s or operator’s manual. Our operator’s manual is called the Bible. It is God’s instruction manual for our bodies. If we desire a long healthy life, operate the product as the owner recommends!
Did the law of clean and unclean animals originate at Mt Sinai?
When the corruption of mankind necessitated their destruction by a flood, God told Noah to bring into the Ark each type of animal. “Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female” (Genesis 7:2).
Noah knew the difference between clean and unclean animals about 2000 years before Mt. Sinai.
If we are going to please God we must do things His way, despite what people say. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
The health laws have never been rescinded by God. “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16).
What will happen if we disregard God’s counsel in His health laws?
Disregarding God’s laws bring terrible consequences. Breaking the sixth commandment results in violence, pain, and grief. When we lie, we hurt other people and excessive work and a poor diet bring harm to our bodies and relationships. If we commit adultery, homes are broken up and lives are shattered. If we disregard God’s health laws, we bring sickness and death that could be avoided. Our minds become clouded and it becomes difficult to discern God’s will for our lives.
This doesn’t mean that if you follow a healthy diet you won’t get sick. Because we live in a sinful world, our bodies are deteriorating constantly. We still have a choice about how we can live and whether we will make our bodies more susceptible to diseases. We are not made righteous through eating habits. A person who follows a biblical diet isn’t “more holy” than one who doesn’t. We are holy because of Christ’s righteousness and we should follow His commands out of love and obedience.
We are counseled that most people would be better off eating only two meals a day. God is seeking to bring humanity back to the original diet composed of fruit, grains, and nuts. Science shows that following a diet closer to God’s ideal diet is a better, more healthy way to live.
Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you into making choices that will help you be healthier. When we are healthy in mind and body, we are able to serve God and others better.
By: Roland Joles
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