April 25-26, 2009
What's Best for You
by Charles R. Swindoll
As we are thinking about nutrition, we must keep in mind that while certain foods may be good for us and necessary for our health, some are neither. And no two people are exactly alike.
Speaking of that, it is an interesting study to check out what was eaten by many of the people who lived back in biblical days. You won't believe it . . . talk about individual tastes! Trust me; you need to think twice before deciding to blindly follow the diet of any one person who lived way back then. Let me illustrate.
Esau, being a man of the field who enjoyed hunting, liked venison, while his father, Isaac, really preferred wild goat (Genesis 25:27-28; 27:6-9).
Shortly before the Exodus, the Hebrews were instructed to prepare and eat roasted lamb, bread without yeast, and bitter herbs (Exodus 12:8-9).
While on their way to the Promised Land, the Hebrews longed for the fish, fresh vegetables, and melons they had left behind in Egypt, while their wilderness diet consisted mainly of manna, except for one entire month when they had nothing but quail (Numbers 11:5-9, 18-20, 31-34).
Samson ate honey out of the carcass of a young lion he had earlier killed (Judges 14:8-9).
The high priest Eli and his sons made themselves fat by ripping off the people who came to worship, eating the choicest portions of the offerings they had brought as sacrifices to the Lord (1 Samuel 2:29).
Abigail catered a large meal of mutton, roasted grain, raisins, bread, and wine to David and his men in the field (1 Samuel 25:18, 27, 35).
Young Daniel turned down the King of Babylon's choice food and wine, preferring a diet of only vegetables and water (Daniel 1:8-12).
John the Baptizer limited his diet to locusts and honey (Matthew 3:4).
Jesus and His disciples ate fish cooked over an open fire (John 21:9).
Peter was instructed to eat "all kinds of four-footed animals and crawling creatures of the earth and birds of the air" (Acts 10:12-13).
By now, you're smiling---or you should be! The list is incomplete, but you get the picture. Obviously, there is no single dish or preferred food that people ate in the days of the Bible. And, frankly, some of the things they did eat would make us gag if we tried to choke them down! If you doubt that, imagine munching on an appetizer of locust and wild honey, followed by a sandwich made up of a few slabs of some crawling creature placed between a couple slices of manna (which, by the way, was like coriander seed and, when you baked it, it tasted like oil, according to Numbers 11:7-8). Sounds pretty yummy, huh?
My point? Think about it. In each individual case, there was great nutritional value for those who ate specific foods. And what God provided for one wasn't necessarily meant for another.
As I said at the beginning, each person is an individual. That means each one of us must discover which foods are best for us, which foods our bodies can tolerate, and which foods we need to stay completely away from. All of that can be accurately determined as a result of tests and analyses, if you choose. If you hope to get the best nutritional value from what you eat, it's important that you take the time and go to the trouble to find out which foods are best for you.
Once you make that determination, ask God for the discipline to say no to those foods you have no business eating. And while you're at it, don't forget to give Him thanks for the ones that help keep you healthy, happy, energetic, and enthusiastic about life.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.