I hope everyone is enjoying good health and happiness. In fact, the two are closely related; if you aren't healthy, it's hard to really be happy. In the Bible, God's Handbook for man, we find that God inspired John to write: III John 2 "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." The "Living Bible" makes it even plainer: "Dear friend, I am praying that all is well with you and that your body is as healthy as I know your soul is."
The Apostle Paul said we should be satisfied with whatever state we are in: Philippians 4:11 "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."; I Timothy 6:6 "But godliness with contentment is great gain. (7) For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. (8) And having food and raiment let us be therewith content."
Paul had an affliction with his eyes. However, he understood why God did not heal him of his affliction. II Cor. 12:7 "And less I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. (8) For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me." So Paul desired to be made well - to be in good health.
In this article I want to help YOU achieve a more healthy lifestyle and therefore glorify God in your body. I've entitled it: "7 laws to Good Health".
Point # 1
Eat healthy foods and fast when needed. (We’ve probably read several news articles about the danger of eating fat, but God is way ahead of our modern nutritionists and "medical experts".) Lev. 3:17 "It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations, that ye eat neither fat nor blood." Also in chapter 7:23 "Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Ye shall eat no manner of fat, of ox, or of sheep, or of goats. 26. Moreover ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings." Leviticus 11:2 "Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth." Continue on then, through the chapter and notice verse 46. "This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth: 47. To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten." Also read Deuteronomy 14:3--20 to know what GOD DETERMINES to be "clean" or "unclean" for human consumption.
What about the N.T.? Does it have the same laws or rules to follow to have good health? Acts 15:19 "Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God. 20. But that we write to them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood."
What about a prophecy of the "time of the end", just before Christ returns to rule the earth? Isaiah 66:15 "For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, 16. For by fire and by His sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD will be many.
17. They that sanctify themselves (sanctimonious and self righteous) in the midst of the gardens, behind one tree in the midst, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, (which would include squirrels and other rodents) shall be consumed together, saith the LORD." Yes, God ("who changes not"), is not pleased with disobedience to His Laws,
The Bible gives us information, as to what is beneficial to our health!
The key is to be knowledgeable about what are healthy foods and what aren't.
Proverbs 24:13 "My son, eat thou honey, because it is good (for you); and the honey comb, which is sweet to thy taste."; 25:27 "It is not good to eat (too) much honey:---28. He that hath no rule over his own spirit (no self control, even in his appetite) is like a city that is broken down, and without walls." Chap. 23:2 "And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. 21. For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags."
Included in our diets, would be milk, cheese and other dairy products: Exodus 3:8 "I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; ----" (Ver.17).
As we teach our children, "don't forget to eat your vegetables", God has the same advice!
Genesis 9:3 "Every moving thing that liveth (as distinguished by Lev. 11 & Deut. 14) shall be meat (food) for you; even as the green herb (vegetables) have I given you all things." Think about this! You don't mix poison ivy in with your tossed salad! Neither do we eat all meats! Also, read good books about the subject, and always be balanced in your approach.
Point # 2
Get regular and proper exercise. I Timothy 4:8 "For bodily exercise profiteth little (for a little time): but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." "Exercise" is from the Greek "gymnasia", from where we get our word "gym". Again, balance is the key in exercising. You must be cautious in overdoing anything.
Paul mentions running races during his time; it probably was a popular form of exercise.
I Corinthians 9:24 “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize?” Some people, and I include myself, refuse to be "outdone" and pull ligaments, strain muscles, wear out joints and sometimes suffer severe and permanent back injuries from exercising. In running, it's recommended that you stretch your muscles and ligaments before beginning. Even race horses get a "cooling down" period after racing or training so we might want to put on a light jacket so we won't get cool too quickly after exercising. Some gyms advise you to check with a doctor before beginning an exercise program. (You might have a bad heart for instance.) Just be cautious and don't overdo it. If I feel any stress in my chest, I stop what I'm doing. (Example of walking uphill or mowing too strenously.) Give yourself time to "warm up"!
Point # 3
Avoid bodily injury. Many of our sports activities such as football, hockey, basketball, mountain climbing, auto racing and rodeo riding, can result in serious life threatening and permanent injuries. Certainly, God does and can intervene on our behalf, but we should not put ourselves deliberately in harm's way. One "sport" that especially both riles and vexes me is the insanity of bull riding. Why would anyone - and I don’t care if he weighs two hundred and seventy five pounds, wears an eighteen inch shirt collar and has biceps as large as my thigh muscle; why would they ever imagine they could stay on top of a raging 2,000 pound bull? And I'm sure you have similar feelings about other very dangerous sports activities. They say it's the "challenge", but sometimes it seems to border on the insane (or Satanic?). Matthew 4:5 "Then the devil taketh Him up into the holy city and setteth Him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6. and saith unto Him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 7. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."
Use safe practices in working. There are right ways and wrong ways, even in lifting things. And there are supports for your back, protective glasses for your eyes, hearing protectors and other areas of the body that may need shielding from injury you can obtain from work places. Most companies will provide these for their employees. We have Federal laws in place under OSHA that govern improper safety practices. This can bring us to our next point
Point # 4
Get regular sleep and rest. Psalms 127:2 “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so He giveth His beloved sleep.” Proverbs 3:1 “My son, forget not My law; but let thine heart keep My commandments: 2. For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.” Ver. 24 “When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.” Ecc. 5:12 “The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eats little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.” If you’re at peace with God and keeping His way of life, you will get a good night’s rest. (Unless you might have some physical problem that might bother you, and keep you awake.) Old habits are hard to break. For many, many years, I worked evening and night shifts in my employment with a railroad company; and so, getting off at 11:00 PM or 7:00AM, you can fall into an unnatural sleep habit. Sometimes, your job may require it, but it may not be the healthiest lifestyle. (In the Bible: “shepherds ----keeping watch over their flocks by night.” Lk. 2:8).
Point # 5
Have a tranquil mind. II Tim. 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Pr. 10:12 “Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.” If you’re running around with hate filled thoughts in your mind, you certainly will not have a tranquil mind! And I don’t believe you get it from “Prosac” but from God’s Holy Spirit: John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
Point # 6
Get plenty of sunshine and fresh air. The right amount of sunshine may be beneficial, as in producing vitamin D, but of course always practice moderation. Too much, as dermatologists have found, can be injurious and can cause skin cancer! And of course, we should always avoid contaminated air, especially cigarette smoke. And I would like to interject something here for the benefit of those who are still "hooked" on the smoking habit. I want this to be helpful to you and I'm not trying to hurt you in any way. You are looking at a former, very heavy SMOKER! I had a two and a half pack a day habit that I would have walked five miles for a cigarette, when I was trying to quit! The Church, back in the nineteen sixties, I believe, published an article or a booklet entitled: "Should Christians Smoke?" After reading it, I became absolutely convinced and convicted that, with God's help; I MUST put away this bad habit. With prayer, and I believe with fasting, I was able to accomplish this. I believe if you will put your trust in the Almighty God to help you, YOU CAN TOO. Please! Take heed to what He says in: I Corinthians 3:16 "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17. If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is Holy, which temple ye are.” 6:19 "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost (Spirit) which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
Point # 7
Practice cleanliness and dress properly for the weather. Isaiah 53:11 “Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence touch ye no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD.” This is primarily speaking of Spiritual cleanliness, but can apply physically. (Our bodies, as we read, are the temple of God's Holy Spirit) Today, we have our inside bathroom facilities, where the wastes are disposed of. (This same principle was applied in Deuteronomy 23:13.) Also, to insure that we don't contact diseases, we are advised to wash our hands often. There have been recent outbreaks of hepatitis A, in restaurants and day care facilities, in certain areas of the country. So we need to make sure we follow the rules of proper hygiene and sanitation. In fact, my wife keeps a bottle of hand washing liquid on our sinks with an antibacterial ingredient in it. And when I visit a nursing home (or hospital), I carry a small bottle of antimicrobial lotion to rub on my hands when I leave to better protect myself against germs.
In another area of preserving our health, we need to avoid chills and the like; perhaps even frostbite. We should know how to dress properly. I see school children, waiting on their school bus and wearing short sleeve shirts, when the temperature is below freezing! I don't know if their parents are ignorant or just don't care! This could apply to getting too warm as well, and maybe have a heat stroke or something worse, like a heart attack!
Some Final Thoughts and Scriptures to Think About:
I believe we are living in those dangerous times that Jesus prophesied of as “the end of the age”. He foretold disease epidemics: Matthew 24:7 “---and there shall be famines and pestilences---.” A healthy body can better resist these things! We need to take action and get ourselves in better physical condition if we can! Now of course, ultimately, we will need to depend on God for our protection in these times, but we can do our part. Remember these rules and laws of good health and apply them. They are really only common sense applications, but God has given us the basic guidelines to help us. So try to follow a healthy lifestyle. It will be for your benefit!
Psalms 91:5 “Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; (6) Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; (10) There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.” As we read at the beginning of this subject:
III John 2 “Beloved, I wish above all things that ye may prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” GOD WANTS US TO BE IN GOOD HEALTH!