Old Testament Dietary Law and the New Testament Christian

img_2473.jpgIf you want a life changing experience, read “What the Bible Says about Healthy Living” by Rex Russel M.D.  I’m studying to be a nutrition consultant and at the same time doing a Bible study using this book.  I want to share what I’m learning about God’s provision for our health.  I hope this information blesses you today.

As Christians, once we accept Jesus, we become free.  What exactly does that mean?  It means that we are not bound to the law for salvation, but it does not mean that the law was destroyed or that Jesus came to abolish it.  He actually came to fulfill it.  Matthew 5:17-19  17 “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. 19 So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven.  But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. 

Jesus fulfilled the law by writing it in our hearts, through His Holy Spirit, so that we would desire it after acceptance of Him.   Being a Christian encompasses our mind, body as well as our spirit.  Now that we possess the Holy Spirit, the Spirit directs us to God’s TRUTH about how to live including what we can do to maintain good health through eating the right types of foods.  Hebrews 8:10 10 But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day,[a] says the LordI will put my laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.  Romans 2 14-16  For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

But why would we want to restrict ourselves unnecessarily and miss out on “pork chops and shrimp wrapped in bacon” since we’re “free” to partake under Jesus and salvation by grace alone.  Getting past what we want is the issue, and pretty much always the issue in every area of life that we struggle with.  While we may be free to partake, these foods are not beneficial according to His word and we will be blessed, just as the Israelites were,  if we refrain from them.  Meaning, we will feel a lot better!!!  1 Corinthians 6:1 – I have the right to do anything, ” you say – but not everything is beneficial.  I have the right to do anything” – but I will not be mastered by anything.  Exodus 15:26 – If you listen carefully to the Lord your God 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, who heals you.”

It’s interesting to note that the “unclean” foods list in Leviticus 11 has been backed up by science since 1953.  Dr. David Macht of Johns Hopkins University did a study that reported the toxic effects of animal flesh on a controlled growth culture.  Anything that showed  above 75% on the chart was considered non-toxic.  Anything below 75% was deemed toxic.  Wouldn’t you know it?  All the meats that the Lord deemed unclean on that list were proven to be toxic.  Click to see a copy of the article.

Have you ever experienced food poisoning?  I have, and you know what it was from?  Pork!  My husband was in the hospital from a chinese food buffet and again… it was pork.  You don’t hear much about a hamburger meat allergy, but you do hear about a lot of people who are allergic to shell-fish!  Study up on the nature of the foods on the unclean food list and you will see that God, who created food in the first place, knows what is best for us.

Should we feel guilty or judge others who choose to eat differently but are followers of Christ?  Of course not.  What about missionaries who are thrown into a culture where certain unclean foods are a staple of the society.  Are these people bad?  Absolutely not.  1 Timothy 4: 4-5 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.  We should not turn our nose to someone’s hospitality because of our desire for Israel’s blessing.  God is sovereign and we will be protected because of a pure heart.   If I am invited to a home and they serve shrimp wrapped in bacon, I enjoy because again, I am free.  Putting others before self, in this case, is still being obedient, even if it means that I might eat an unclean food now and then. 

So, what should we eat?  We should eat what was created for food, and eat it in its created form.  In other words, please don’t eat processed or genetically modified foods.  Clean meats, whole grains, fruits and vegetables have all the vitamins and minerals we need to function well.  Genesis 1:29, Leviticus 11.

Obedience requires sacrifice in every area of our lives.  Sacrificing fleshly desires for health will sustain us and give us the energy we need to serve the Father well.  Remember Daniel the next time you reach for the “Little Debbie’s”.   Releasing the addiction of processed sweets was a huge pay off for me and one that I would never trade because the God-given energy I receive from a home-made piece of bread or a cookie sweetened with honey can’t compare with that “snack cake” because it came from God’s ingredients, not man’s.  It’s confirmation to me, regarding God’s goodness, that homemade treats are superior in flavor to packaged ones from the store.

God is good and He had you and me in His mind when He created food.  He knows what we need to power our bodies and to strengthen us through the storms of this life.  Although we are not promised a life free of illness or malady because we live in a fallen world, we can be light for Him longer when we nourish our weaknesses with His glorious gifts and blessings.

God is Great, God is Good.  Let Us Thank HIM for HIS food.  Amen!!  1 Corinthians 10:31

P.S.  In case you are reading this with a loved one in mind, the question may arise as to what we should do about the poor health of immediate family members who don’t embrace God’s truth in the area of health.  Maybe they have a food addiction or an eating disorder.  We are called to pray for our loved ones and to bear witness of Him to them.  If we live out our convictions, love without abandon, share our concerns, and pray God’s best for them, then good things will come.  Have faith and know that their suffering might be a part of God’s plan to bring them to Him and then ultimately to a better state of health.  If we jump in to save them from themselves, or judge them harshly, we may prevent God’s work in their lives and prolong their recognition of this important truth in their lives.  This is easier said than done because everyone wants the best for their family.  But, we should trust the Father and desire His best for them.  We must remember…God is in control.  John 6:35

 

 

 

 

 

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