From the beginning, God has given us foods that can help prevent cancer and heart disease.
"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 (food)'." --- Genesis 1:29
Since God had provided Adam and Eve with abundant fruits and vegetables, He must have intended for them to be vegetarians. However, it was not until after Adam and Eve had eaten the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that God allowed animal sacrifices to be made and subsequently allowed meat to be eaten.
Prior to the Flood, we read in Genesis 7:2 that a distinction arose between clean and unclean animals. Moses later enacted this distinction into law. The law was based partly on their wholesomeness as food; and partly on religious considerations. These laws were designed to serve as one of the marks of separation of Israel from all other Gentile nations.
In the Book of Leviticus, we can learn a lot about the restrictions placed upon foods that could be eaten by the Hebrews and foods that could not be eaten by the Hebrews. However, there are numerous references to other healthy foods mentioned in the Bible, and I have listed several examples below:
Leviticus 11:2-3 Clean, lean meat from certain animals. "Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat."
Deuteronomy 14:9 Fish with scales
Honey is known to have several healing ingredients (especially royal jelly which comes from the queen bee).
Ruth 1:22 Barley grains
Genesis 43:11 Almonds and other nuts are loaded with various nutrients
Ezekiel 4:9 Millet
Numbers 11:5 Cucumbers, leeks, melons, & onions
Deuteronomy 8:8 Barley, wheat, grapes, & pomegranates
Ezekiel 4:9 Dark grainy bread is high in fiber & gives protection from both heart disease and cancer
Proverbs 27:27 Yogurt, milk of cows, sheep, & goats
Ezekiel 4:9 Beans & lentils
Numbers 11:5 Garlic contains cancer-fighting chemicals and also helps maintain a good cholesterol level in the body.
Deuteronomy 8:8 Olive oil which can "clean" the artery walls and strengthen the immune system
Mark 1:6 Locusts, beetles, and grasshoppers are high in protein.
Leviticus 11:10 Shellfish such as lobster and crab lived in water, but they could not be eaten because they had no fins or scales. These sea creatures (although high in zinc) contain a large amount of cholesterol.
Exodus 22:31 Wild birds and scavengers could not be eaten because they fed upon dead animals and birds. Twenty-four varieties of birds are listed that could not be eaten because man was not allowed to eat anything related to dead things. Deuteronomy 14:21: "Ye shall not eat of any thing that dieth of itself," and in Exodus 22:31 the Hebrews were instructed that "neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field."
Leviticus 11:7 Many restrictions were placed upon what man could eat because of health reasons. Pork, for instance, deteriorated rapidly in the semi-tropical climate of Palestine. In addition, swine have split hoofs, but they don't chew the cud so are considered unclean. Also, pork, bacon, and ham are known to contain bacteria if not cooked properly.
Leviticus 11:23 But all other flying creeping things (besides locust, bald locust, beetle, and grasshopper), which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you.
Leviticus 11:41-43 Other creeping things could not be eaten either. An example of this would be a snake.
It is important to note that Jesus abolished the distinction between clean and unclean foods in Mark 7:18-19:
"Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats."
Thus we read that Jesus "made all meats clean." However, to further prove this point, we read in Acts 10:11-15:
"And (Peter) saw heaven opened and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth. Wherein all manner of four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, 'Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.' But Peter said, 'Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.' And the voice spake unto him again the second time, 'What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common'."
So we see that as long as we bless our food, the food is cleansed. However, it is still important to note that God (in His infinite wisdom) placed certain restrictions on the foods deemed "unclean" due to their lack of nutrient density as well as possible contaminants. After all, God made our bodies and knows what foods make them run at their optimal levels. That is why He gave us an instruction manual to follow - the Bible.
Our Body Is a Temple
Our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost. Are you treating it with respect so it will last a long time?
The Bible tells us in I Thessalonians 5:23
"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole SPIRIT and SOUL and BODY be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." ---
One of Satan's traps is getting you to think that spiritual focus is so important that you don't have time for natural things (like taking proper care of your body which transports your spirit).
When we defile our bodies with foods that are bad for us, we bring destruction to our body, and God's Word says He will judge us.
"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." --- I Corinthians 6:19-20
"...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."
--- I Corinthians 3:15-17
Furthermore, we are told in Romans 12:2
to "present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service."
The apostle Paul wrote to the church of Corinth saying:
"..I buffet my body (handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships) and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I myself should become unfit (not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit)." --- I Corinthians 9:27
Paul's message was not to give your body everything it wants, but rather to discipline it by avoiding fleshly desires. You need to keep your body in line with what you know is right.
Overeating, undereating, improper eating, lack of rest, no exercise, worry, stress, frustration are all potentially dangerous and are definately not right.
However, proper nutrition, rest, plenty of vigorous exercise, laughter, and enough relaxation and fun are quality elements that are essential to good health.
Lack of Knowledge
The Bible says that God's "people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." --- Hosea 4:6
We as Christians need to acquire enough knowledge about the foods we eat so we will be able to know what food is good for us and stay away from empty or wasted calories. We need to use wisdom in selecting what foods we eat, yet exercise self control and eat a variety of foods.
The Bondage of Dietary Laws
Diets are like "the law," a written code of rules and regulations that according to Romans 5:20, only serve to increase our desire to break it. God told Adam and Eve they could freely eat of every tree in the garden - except one. That was freedom - and that is what God wants for all of us. Galatians 5:1 tells us to:
"STAND fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." ---
Remember Jesus tells us in John 10:10, that he came into this world "that we might have life and have it more abundantly." Jesus wants us to "prosper and be in health, even as our soul prospers." --- III John 2.
We as believers are called to liberty. God does not want us to be in bondage to strict diets, overeating, or any harmful substances. Instead, He wants us to be free and to exercise self control in all areas of our lives.
Taking God for Granted?
Beloved, too often we as believers take God for granted. We assume we can eat what we want to eat in this fast paced society of instant gratification without thinking of the consequences to follow. Then, we suffer physical ailments, we expect God to fix them right away.
The bottom line is the axiom: we reap what we sow, or we are what we eat. If we eat fruits and vegetables and limit our intake of fatty foods we will reap abundant health and vitality; however, if we eat fast food every day and forget about those colorful fruits and vegetables, we will reap health problems down the road.
God (the Inventor) created our bodies to be efficient machines. He wants us (the drivers) to regularly maintain our bodies so they will operate the way He designed them to. God doesn't want us to abuse our bodies by putting in the wrong substances like junk food, alcohol, nicotine, etc.
Hebrews 12:2 tells us that Jesus (God) is the Author and Finisher of our faith. He doesn't have to finish something He didn't author. Or, in other words, God shouldn't have to fix something we carelessly abuse. Fortunately, however, our God is a gracious and merciful God who loves us so much that He often gives us a second chance to be a steward over a healthy body.
Satan uses some strongholds to addict our flesh and keep us locked up in defeat. Let me list a few below:
Smoking Smoking is the #1 cause for heart disease, cancer, and causes premature bone loss. A smoker's RDA for vitamin C is 100 mg; a nonsmokers RDA is 60 mg.
Alcohol Alcohol causes cancer of the liver plus contributes to premature memory loss.
Overeating People overeat for several reasons: lack of knowledge, lack of exercise, lack of spiritual and emotional fulfillment, having food on their mind too much, eliminating entire food groups and not eating a balanced diet, and unwillingness to deny themselves comfort.
Overeating leads to wait gain due to caloric intake exceeding caloric expenditure.
Lack of exercise With the convenience of modern technology (like driving your car to work rather than biking or walking and the invention of the television and computer), people today are simply much more sedentary. However, the Bible says in I Timothy 4:8 that "Bodily exercise profiteth little." Spiritual exercise is much more important, BUT it is important to exercise one's body whether it be walking, swimming, rollerblading, or lifting weights.
Failure to wash one's hands Washing your hands can make a big difference in one's health. God talked about this simple action thousands of years ago in Deuteronomy 23:11.
In addition, it has recently been shown that several forms of bacteria can be found on currency such as E-Coli and other foreign substances when viewed under a microscope.
It is important to note that even if you eat healthy foods, one who is in bondage to certain unhealthy foods and a few of the substances mentioned above will find that these substances greatly neutralize the positive benefits of healthy eating.
Exodus 23:25 declares
"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." ---
Believe God today for His best in your body, but also take care of His creation by what you eat and how you rest.