God created man to be glorious. Man was created to reflect the glory of God. We are to recognize that we are the temple of God, and give glory to Him by maintaining that temple in good condition. How, you may ask? Well, God wants you to be healthy and vibrant; to shine.
1Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Daniel in ancient Babylon – 10 Days
Ten days can change the appearance of a man.
King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon besieged the city of Jerusalem in 607 BC and captured the prophet Daniel and his friends. Nebuchadnezzar selected some of the best looking and most skillful young people of Judea to be re-educated in the ways of the Babylonians, including Daniel and three of his friends, and assigned them a special diet.
Daniel 1:5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.
The king planned to train these scholars for approximately three years. He wanted them to be healthy and vibrant during this time. He commanded them to partake of his own meat and drink, which he thought would be optimal for their health.
Likewise, the world often believes that what they are eating is optimal. They go to Burger King to eat the king’s meat and drink. But when the effects of this diet become evident, some begin to realize that the king’s meat and drink is actually poor in nutrients and rich in disease.
Daniel and his friends had been trained by their parents from an early age to honour God and give Him glory. They were taught from the word of God to enjoy a simple diet provided by their Creator, and not to eat unclean foods. King Nebuchadnezzar intended to feed the young men unclean meats and wine which God had prohibited. Nevertheless Daniel, trained from his youth by the word of God, understood that his body was God’s temple. He was not willing to defile himself with the king’s meat and drink.
Daniel 1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
So vital was the importance of these health precepts, and so great was his love for God’s law, that Daniel was willing to risk the king’s displeasure and nobly asked to be exempted from eating foods that would defile him.
Leviticus 11:44, 47 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 …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.
Some suppose that these commandments, which inspired the prophet Daniel to risk his life, were given only to the Jews. But if the purpose of the health laws was to preserve health and spirituality, this cannot be true; for God’s interests are bound up with all of His creatures, and He cares for the wellbeing and happiness of all mankind. Notice the following:
Leviticus 18:24-25 Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: and the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.
Why would God say that the heathen nations of Canaan defiled themselves, unless it were possible for them to discern His principles of health? It is evident that the Canaanites defiled themselves through defiance of every right precept of Jehovah, even in their polluted diet.
Therefore it is clear that God intended for the entire world to abstain from filth and impurity, and not only the Jews. However, these laws were committed to Israel so that purity might be preserved in the earth, and so that Israel would be able to administer the divine remedy. This very fact testifies of the great value and necessity of God’s instructions, and His desire to save the disobedient from complete ignorance and destruction.
Daniel was esteemed with loving favour by the prince of the eunuchs. When he presented his request, the prince was afraid that the health and intellect of Daniel and his friends might fall short of the other students if they did not eat the rich delicacies of the king’s table. He thought they needed some pork chops and maybe a steak to supply them with plenty of protein.
This is the attitude of many today. If you tell your friends and family that you are going to McDonalds to get a Big Mac, they are totally unconcerned. Yet if you tell them you are going to eat fruits and vegetables, they will panic and begin questioning your decision. They will immediately advise you to be careful and to take supplements. Yet ironically, after they warn you of the danger of deficiency, many can be found drinking coffee or an alcoholic drink, or eating a greasy burger with fries and a Coke. It’s a strange world that we live in today. Satan has perverted the understanding of health and nutrition in the minds of the majority.
Daniel suggested a ten day test to compare his diet to that of the other students, and asked for pulse to eat and water to drink for himself and his Hebrew friends. The word pulse generally refers to plant food: fruits and vegetables. Now what happened at the end of this ten day trial? Who was in the better health and had a clearer mind?
Daniel 1:15-17 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat. Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse. As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
Daniel 1:20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.
The knowledge and skill the four Hebrews possessed was partly the result of their superior diet, but it was primarily the gift of God. As they cooperated with Him by obeying His principles, and trusted Him to provide the promised health and blessing, He honored them with a large measure of His Spirit and with great God-given talents. The health principles are God’s instructions for obtaining health and intellect, but a living faith in our Creator is most essential.
Faith in God will lead us, like Daniel, to do the best that we can in caring for the body that has been entrusted to us. God promises to give us health and healing, but not apart from our best efforts to cooperate with His power. We must understand that our cells have been designed to require living food, and that includes brain cells. In order to provide the best opportunity for our body and mind to function, and our spiritual discernment to remain active, we must replenish our system with vital nutrients and avoid all that would weaken and destroy the system.
Psalms 119:104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
The story of Daniel’s diet was considered a matter worthy of the divine record, and that is because it is significant today. Today we are living in conditions that make that same dedication to health and principle vitally important. We are to be modern Hebrews, and unfortunately we are living in a modern Babylon, where the diet has been greatly adapted to sin and much of the food is unfit for consumption. As earth’s history is coming to a close, the difference between the clean and the unclean will be life and death for God’s people, whose character will be tested at every turn and who will need all the energy and clarity of mind that they can retain.
1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
Two Wines in the Bible
Daniel would not partake of the king’s wine. Some may object to his course and label him strict. They may argue, “Well, Jesus actually made wine at a wedding.” The wine that Jesus made was “new wine” which is straight from the grape. In the Bible, there are two different kinds of wine:
Isaiah 65:8 Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants’ sakes, that I may not destroy them all.
Now this “new wine” must be unfermented wine, in other words, grape juice. And there is a blessing in this wine; it is good for the health. Therefore God approves of “new wine” in its natural, non-alcoholic state as a refreshing drink, and Jesus confirmed this at the wedding feast. But what does the Bible say about fermented or alcoholic wine?
Proverbs 23:29-33 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his color in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.
Notice that God warns us not to even look at this type of wine. So if God told us not even to look at fermented wine, and warned us that consuming it would lead to sin, this was obviously not the type of wine Jesus would make at a wedding. His actions never contradicted His words.
Such misconceptions as this can often be made clear in a short amount of time by searching the Bible. Yet many refuse to hear the true meaning of the word of God because they have been taught by the world, and many attempt to twist God’s word to satisfy the lusts of the flesh. Modern Christianity has been involved in confusion for a long time as a result of deliberate wresting of the Scriptures on this and other topics.
1 Thessalonians 5:7-8 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.
If I were to put gasoline in my body, anyone in their right mind would recognize that I am poisoning myself. It is the same with alcohol. Not only does it cloud the mind, but it destroys the body. It is poison.
If Daniel had indulged in drinking fermented wine, his mind would have been impaired, and his influence weakened. God had the highest purposes in store for Daniel, as He does for all who are willing to follow strict principle and who love and trust Him. Because Daniel was true to principle in this matter, he was in a favorable condition to receive the highest blessings and privileges, and he was enabled to carry out a noble work that made him one of the most influential men of God in the history of the world. The book of prophecy that resulted from Daniel’s communion with heaven is at this time one of the most important for God’s people to study, and was commended by Jesus as one that should be read and understood.
The King’s Meat
As for the king’s meat that Daniel would not touch, it was unclean according to God’s health laws. God didn’t make these laws merely to show His authority; some things God made for food, and some things He didn’t. For instance:
Leviticus 11:7-8 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, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.
Pigs eat garbage, and you are what you eat. If you follow this fact to its logical conclusion, you will realize that pork was never designed to be eaten. It was designed to clean up the environment: a living waste disposal. And to put that in your mouth is to put garbage in your mouth. Is it any wonder that you feel like garbage after you eat it?
It has been scientifically proven that pigs, sometimes known as swine, are completely unfit for food. Their flesh, known as pork, is infested with a little worm called the Trachina which is linked with a disease known as Trichinosis.
Trichinosis initially involves the intestines. Within a day or two of consumption, symptoms such as nausea, heartburn, dyspepsia, and diarrhea appear; the severity of these symptoms depends on the extent of the infection. Later on, as the worms move through different parts of the body, other manifestations of the disease may appear, such as headache, fever, chills, cough, eye swelling, joint pain and muscle pain, petechiae (small skin hemorrhages), and itching.
Most symptoms subside within a few years. The most dangerous case is when the worms enter the central nervous system. They cannot survive there, but they may cause enough damage to produce serious neurological deficits (such as ataxia or respiratory paralysis), and even death.
By this point in the book, we have discussed the reasons why pork, alcohol, bloody steaks and burgers, and greasy fries shouldn’t be eaten. But it doesn’t stop there. We have only begun to eliminate a few things from the diet. There is much more to God’s health plan than that.
We need to recognize that God has laws of health. These can be compared to the law of gravity: it is a natural law designed by God. What goes up, must come down. The same principle applies to your health. If you violate the laws of health, you will suffer the consequence. Some believe that God changes his health laws from time to time, but the health laws are as changeless as the law of gravity.