Divine Prescription

Scripture: 2 Samuel 13:6, Ecclesiastes 11:10, Proverbs 17:22
Why is there so much sickness in an age of such great advances in medical science? One is the disregard of simple principles of healthful living. This talk covers some of God's divine prescriptions to maintain good health.
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Modern electronic devices that have come forth through the genius of modern man cannot compare to the intricacies of the human body. Think of the human heart beating 103,680 times every day. Think of the blood traveling 168,000,000 miles every 24 hours through its intricate systems of canals. Think of the cooling system with 2.5 million sweat glands which maintain a constant 98 degree temperature. If it were not for this thermostatically controlled system, the rowing of a rowboat for three miles would produce sufficient heat to literally cook the human body. Think of the ear. A concert piano has 240 strings. The ear contains 24,000 supersensitive sound receiving filaments. Think of the human eye taking thousands of Kodachrome, full-dimensional pictures every day. Think of the human brain with 10 billion brain cells to aid in thinking, in reasoning, and in storing knowledge for future needs. Think of the digestive system, the circulatory system, the respiratory system, all evidences of an all-wise, creative God.

A survey was taken some years ago in an American city when 156 questions were asked every inhabitant. It was discovered that the prime interest of adults was that of health , not politics, history, or even the weather, but health, their health and the health of their families. What a paradoxical age is this one in which we live. A time when we have more doctors, hospitals, medicines; more medical knowledge of the care, treatment and cure of disease; more pills, capsules, vitamins, and so forth; yet never has there been a time when more sickness and general ill-health has plagued the human heart.

Why should there be so much sickness in an age of such great advances in medical science? There are several reasons. The first one is a disregard of the simple principles of healthful living: fresh air, sunshine, exercise, rest, and water. Yes, abiding by the simple principles of good health, one may increase the physical tone of his body and build up resistance against disease.

Second, there are psychological reasons why there is so much sickness in our world today. It is interesting to note in 2 Samuel 13:6: "So Amnon lay down, and made himself sick." Notice that he made himself sick. This is done by worry, fear, and wrong mental attitudes to the problems of life.

Ecclesiastes 11:10, Moffatt's translation, says: "Banish all worries from your mind and keep your body from pain." In Proverbs 17:22 we read: "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones." Yes, a contented mind, a happy mind, tends toward better physical well-being.

The third cause of so much sickness in our world today is sin itself. In Psalm 38:3 we read: "There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest (margin, health) in my bones because of my sin." Known sin in the life can actually develop a guilt complex that can result in physical disability.

The fourth,and perhaps the greatest, reason for so much ill-health in the world today is that of improper diet. You will note that the first sin ever committed in our world dealt with appetite. Eve, and Adam, surrendered allegiance to Satan over a morsel of food. Jesus indicated that appetite would be one of the foundations of the sins of the last days. In Matthew 24:37, 38 He speaks of eating and drinking as it was in the days of Noah and then adds, "So shall also the coming of the Son of man be." The Apostle Paul speaks in Philippians 3:19 of those "whose god is their belly." And so today many live to eat rather than eat to live.

But what does eating have to do with religion? In Deuteronomy 31:20 we are told that when Israel of ancient times "shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant." This prediction was indeed fulfilled as the children of Israel lusted after the fleshpots of Egypt and turned away from the Lord. What we eat, how we eat, and the other habits of our physical health determine strongly our spiritual experience.

One famous physician, Dr. Osler by name, stated: "Ninety per cent of all conditions other than acute infections, contagious diseases, and traumatisms, are directly traceable to diet." Indeed, many people today are digging their graves with their teeth. Have you ever noticed that three fifths of the word death is eat?

Paul Bragg, in his famous cookbook, stated: "The average person is poisoning himself day by day with the food he eats. Most people eat with their eyes. If the food looks good, they do not question whether it is healthful or death dealing. Few people know the right kind of food to put into their bodies to keep them well and strong or take the time to select this food if they do know. From birth to old age the average individual never experiences the taste of real natural live food. Our tiny sensitive taste buds have been for generations so polluted by unnatural artificially seasoned and stimulating foods that most of us are unable to appreciate the fine delicate flavor of the natural foods. Foods must be fixed, hashed, mashed, smashed, boiled, broiled, stewed, baked, pickled, preserved, flavored, salted, creamed, dried, roasted, fried, greased, peppered, vinegar laden, smoked, toasted, crushed, rolled, mealed, oiled, fermented, beaten, sweetened, spiced, soured, peeled, shredded, steamed, braised, colored, and otherwise seasoned in order to offer an appeal to the civilized man." Then he adds, "Civilized man is not satisfied with the food the Maker has supplied him and must do something with it before he feels it is fit for him to eat."

The Bible has much to say about man's diet and its importance in his relation to God. In I Corinthians 6:19,20 we are told: "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."

The price paid for our redemption, that of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, demands that we recognize our body as the temple of the Holy Spirit and that we glorify God in our bodies. In I Corinthians 3:16, 17 we are told: "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."

It is interesting to note that the Bible records the original diet of man before sin entered the world. In Genesis 1:29 we read: "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." In Genesis 3:18 we find that following the entrance of sin vegetables were added to man's diet. And so God designed that man's menu should be fruits, grains, nuts, and vegetables. This is some different to that of modern man.

Time magazine sometime ago carried a brief article entitled, "Zoo Plate," in which it listed the items on the menu of a group in New York City. I am quoting from that article: "In Manhattan, members and guests of the Explorer's Club ate a smorgasbord of roast caterpillar, barbecued Japanese snake, fried Japanese ant eggs, fried grasshoppers, pickled African honey bees, Bombay duck, stuffed squid in its own ink, roast seal flipper, hard boiled quail eggs, salted whale skin, bits of reindeer steak, boiled Italian sparrows, fried Mexican Agave worms, raw calves' eyes Armenian." Time, April 13, 1959.

Indeed, man's appetite has been perverted by sin and few follow the instruction of the Lord in Isaiah 55:2, "Eat that which is good."

We will notice that flesh food was not a part of the original diet of man. It was added after the Flood as an emergency measure. (Genesis 3:3-5) Of course, only the clean meats were permitted by God. In Leviticus 11 He reveals there are certain foods that are unclean and should not be eaten by man. The Lord said: "These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth." Verse 2. In the next few verses He lays down principles and names specific animals which are unclean. In verses 3, 4, 7, and 8 we read: "Whatsoever parteth the hoof and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat. Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you . . . And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you . . . Of their flesh shall ye not eat."

So we find that pork, ham, bacon, all of these things that constitute such a major portion of the diet of many Americans, is considered by God to be unclean and not fit for food.

The disease trichinosis invades the body of man through the eating of swine's flesh. A former United States Public Health Service chief, Dr. Maurice Hall of the Zoological Division, stated that 99 per cent of acute trichinosis cases are missed by the diagnostician. He says that the sickness is called variously typhoid fever, intestinal flu, malaria, rheumatism, heart disease, intercostal neuritis, and a host of other things. The pig was meant to be a scavenger, and so he is, not a part of man's diet.

Leviticus 11 continues to lay down the principles for the fish that can and cannot be eaten. In verse 10 we read: "And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you." So we discover that the great array of sea foods of which man partakes today, such as crabs, oysters, shrimp, clams, scallops, and so forth, with all fish, as catfish, which do not have both fins and scales are unclean by their very nature and unfit for human consumption.

ln Leviticus 11:13 and onward we are told which among the fowls of the air are unclean and should not be eaten. The Lord then sums up His teachings on the clean and unclean foods by saying in verses 43 and 44: "Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby. For I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."

We are reminded again of the words of the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 3:17: "If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." The Lord speaks of this destruction further in Isaiah 66:15-17: "For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, aud with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire . . . 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."

Now let's think of some other article of diet and drink that might fall into this same category. We all know, as the Bible tells us in Proverbs 20:1 "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise." Surely no Christian would want to defile his body with the use of beer, wine, whiskey, rum, gin, hard cider, cocktails, or alcohol of any kind. But what about this matter of tea and coffee, as well as cola drinks that have become so popular in our nation today? Coffee contains one and one half to three grains of caffeine, a deadly poison. Tea has one to two grains of caffeine, plus tannic acid. One physician has put it in these words: "We in America have become a nation of tea and coffee drunkards." Two and three quarter billion pounds of coffee are used in the United States annually. That is seventeen pounds for every man, woman and child every year.

Dr. Eugene Lyman Fiske, of the New York Life Extension Institute, once said: "A recent investigation of a group of 1,000 cases of high blood pressure showed that excessive tea and coffee was one of the outstanding factors in this group."

There is a Bible text that condemns the use of any herb that would tend to poison the human system. It is found in Deuteronomy 29:18,20: "Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood (margin, a poisonful herb), . . . The Lord will not spare him, but then the anger of the Lord and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the Lord shall blot out his name from under heaven." Here is a most pronounced condemnation of the use of any poisonous herb, such as tea, coffee or tobacco.

Sickness and pain probably cause more unhappiness than any other factor in the world. What lies behind all these deadly viruses, some of which have never been understood yet by the finest medical scientists. The body in its complicated function bears witness to the power of an infinitely wise Creator. Do you think it is God's will for his creatures to be sick and suffer? Not at all. And if man had followed the plan of God, he wouldn't be sick today.

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