Food For Thought
Did you know that the Bible has a lot to say about our food choice? Read on if you want to know more.
I will relay the story of my food journey.
Once I had accepted Christ I began to learn a few things step by step and became an insatiable student of God’s Word. As I began to read I found that there was information and guidance for all areas of our lives here on Earth. I was an avid follower of the Oprah show, The Doctor Phil and many others after a time a new study would come out they would swop positions and their opinions were conflicting and always changing. I started comparing mans wisdom to the Bible and quickly I became of the opinion that if “God created mankind He knows what best for us.” I desperately wanted to be in His will fulfilling His plan and purpose for my life. It was at this point in my life I came across this text
1 Corinthians 10 : 31
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or
whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. “
As I pondered on this text, I thought how ridiculous, surely I won’t be judged or punished by what I eat or drink. I had a nagging feeling though that if it is possible to eat and drink to Gods glory then I can do the opposite by the same token and this realisation I found a tad bit disconcerting. Then my next thought bowled me over. The whole reason humanity is in this mess is because Adam and Eve ate something they shouldn’t.
Therefore I prayed and asked the Holy spirit to help me understand. I don’t think I knew what I was getting myself into. This food journey I embarked on has taken ten years and I’m still learning. After that first encounter with 1Corinthians 10:31 approximately a year later I came across a whole passage in Leviticus 11 during an evangelistic crusade of a different denomination than the one I was brought up in. A friend invited me along. I remember going home and asking my grand aunt and grandmother about it. They informed me that in the new testament God declared that all meat was declared clean. The passage they were referring to is found in Acts10:11-48 Peter’s vision. I read and reread that passage it was clear to me that it was showing Peter his racism and prejudice toward gentiles was not of God. Salvation is for all people no matter their ethnic background, gender or station in life.
Then I started reading about and hearing sermonettes about many characters in the bible dealing with food related aspects . Now here is a little bible study
Jacob & Esau birthright sold for lentil soup and Greed Genisis 25:30-34
Samson prenatal diet Judges 13:7
Eli 1 Samuel 4:11-18 Nabal 1 Samuel 25:36-38 both died as a result of overindulgence and being overweight
Daniel and his three friends Shadrack, Meshack and Abnego is a positive example of temperance and diet Daniel 1:8-17
Then I let my imagination run wild as I compared The exodus story of the children of Israel in the wilderness for 40years to Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness. He overcame where they failed, triumphant over appetite, lust of the flesh and the pride of life. Though he was hungry he didn’t give into temptation to turn stone into loaves of bread see Matthew 4:1-4
Reading Isaiah 66:16-17 really confirmed for me how serious this issue is if I persisted in my course.
I read it in several version because my heart couldn’t accept it but the KJV had such a force I was winded upon impact when I read it.
16 For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh:
and the slain of the LORD shall be many.
17 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.
My rebellious nature over came me, I started to eat only clean meat but I began to look for loopholes so I could continue eating unclean meat . Once I was convinced there were no loopholes in God’s word I accepted it. Once I got settled in that doctrine not too long after The Holy Spirit led me to start looking at the Genesis story more closely and my studies revealed that before sin mans prescribed diet was that of a vegetarian diet Genesis2:16-17 & Genesis 1:29-30
2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree
of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt
not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
1:29 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.
30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air,
and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life,
I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
Do you see that ,God’s best for our ultimate health is a vegetarian diet After sin a different diet was prescribed
17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto
the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which
I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the
ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee;
and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
I decided to do detective work in the bible. I wanted to find out when humans were allowed to eat meat for the first time and the circumstances surrounding this incidence. I also wanted to see why and who made the distinction between clean and unclean meat. It wasn’t long till I came across Genesis 7:2-3
7:2 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.
3 Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female;
to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.
I always thought animals went into Noah’s ark two by two. However it is stated here that God made a distinction between clean and unclean it was not Noah’s idea.
I then began to see the logic of seven. For two reasons mainly that if it were two , male and female the species would die. There is no ambiguity the reason is found in Genesis 8:20
20 And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD;
and took of every clean beast,
and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
The second reason of why there were seven of the clean animals is found in the following verse
Genesis 9 :3-4
3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green
herb have I given you all things.
4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
Some people look at this text in isolation and take it out of context, however if you look at the verses preceding this you will find that God defined clean and unclean the unclean is clearly just that not fit for human consumption. Therefore doesn’t even enter the argument here.To note God is placing a restriction on the meat that is to be eaten. The blood must be removed, from the clean meat. It is common practise to have our steak medium to rare and our burgers dripping in blood. Why? Chefs say that its the blood that makes it taste so good. This contrary to God’s word.
For an exhaustive list of what meats are unclean please note there are two whole chapters Leviticus 11 and Deutoronomy 14 dedicated entirely to this topic. God is a practical God eating meat was permissible at this time because all the plants were destroyed during the flood except for whatever nuts seed and grains were aboard the ARK. The other reason is God needed for man to understand the cost of sin and in the sacrificial service they would understand the plan of salvation that Jesus would one day come to earth to pay the price of sin with his life . NB this was before Mount Sinai I will write an article in December to expand on this further entitled God’s Law Immutable.
I wish to issue a disclaimer of sorts at this point, believe me I struggled with this issue for some time too. Let me ask you two questions “ Why did God place restrictions on the diet of His people?
Answer Deutoronomy 14:2-3
2 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen
thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.
3 Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing.
The second question is “How are our bodies to be presented to God? Please don’t say its what on the inside that counts or On judgement day I will get a new heavenly body. Being a bible believing Christian requires that you use the brain God gave you. The answer is found in the following verses of Romans 12:1
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy,
acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service.”
Now that is out of the way lets read about what particular animal God says is unfit for food, Deutoronomy 14:8
“And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth
not the cud, it is unclean unto you:
ye shall not eat of their flesh,
nor touch their dead carcase.”
Read also Leviticus 11:7-8
For those of us familiar with Mark 5:1-13 it is evident That Jesus did not regard pigs as fit for human consumption.
Now based on The story of Jesus gathering up leftovers when he fed four thousand Mark 8:5-9 or the five thousand Mark 6:38-44, It begs the question if a herd of 2000 pigs had been food for humans would Jesus have permitted their utter destruction?
Now I maybe about to discuss two topics that maybe outside the remit of this article but I feel led by the holy spirit to touch briefly on this as they fall into the category of the body and food
I will not state statistics as these are known facts I will however pose a question and then provide a biblical answer supplied with chapter and verse as suffice.
What does God say about intoxicating liquor?
“ 31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it
giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.”
Please also read Proverbs 20:1
The next one is “Should a Christian use tobacco/recreational drugs?”
1 Corinthians 10:31
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do,
do all to the glory of God.”
See also Romans 12:1
A Christian cannot sniff, snort dip, chew, smoke, inject or drink drugs for a laugh or whatever reason it is done. A Christian doesn’t take harmful substances knowingly into their body. As with the story of Nabal and Eli given earlier in this article, there are the things which are given by God for our good must be taken in moderation and overindulgence must be shunned .
In conclusion I will say it again since God created mankind He knows what best for us
List of Clean animals from Leviticus 11
Land Animals chews cud divided hoof:
Unclean Land Animals:
No creepy crawlies except locust
Sea Animals with scales and fins:
A list of 20 birds that are prohibited are listed in Leviticus 11
. Here is a video tour of my refrigerator
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