Does God Care What We Eat?

People, by creation, are free moral agents with the freedom to choose1 their own lifestyle, which includes the choices of foods they eat. However, the Bible is clear that every choice made results either in certain benefits or consequences.2 The inspired Scriptures give clear direction3 concerning recommended choices of nourishment as made by the Creator Himself. In the garden of Eden, our first parents fell on the point of appetite4 and have left to us a legacy of weakness5 on this point. It took Jesus forty days of fasting in order to break the power of appetite6 and gain for us the victory over the clamors of the flesh7 It is only through His power in our lives that we can bevictorious,8 as He gives us strength for greater victories.

It is the mission of the church to share the expressed will of God9 as taught in the Bible. Whether one decides to follow God’s will, or follow the natural inclinations of the human heart (mind), is the challenge that man faces. The members of the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement, however, have all agreed on one thing in this area: Self-control, not impulse, is to govern our actions. Foods are to be chosen based on wisdom about health, rather than just to gratify taste. So, we are all united in our decision to abstain from items of food and drink known to be injurious such as flesh foods (including fish), animal fat, alcoholic drinks, tea, coffee, caffeinated drinks, tobacco, narcotics. Since we all are in harmony on this point, those entering into church fellowship with us are, of course, like-minded,10 together to reap not only the physical benefits11 of this regimen, but more importantly, to enjoy the increased clarity of mind and spiritual discernment12 to be gained by it.

1 “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

2 “And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust. . . . He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea: And he let it fall in the midst of their camp, round about their habitations. So they did eat, and were well filled: for he gave them their own desire; They were not estranged from their lust. But while their meat was yet in their mouths, the wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel. For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works. Therefore their days did he consume in vanity, and their years in trouble.” “But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.” “As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come. . . . When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.” (Psalm 78:18; 1 Corinthians 10:5, 6; Proverbs 26:2; 1:27–33.)

3 “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.” “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.” “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” “Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!” (Genesis 1:29; Proverbs 3:7, 8; 4:20–22; Ecclesiastes 10:17).

4 “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 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. . . . And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. . . . And unto Adam [God] 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; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Genesis 2:16, 17; 3:6, 17–19).

5 “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Matthew 26:41; Galatians 5:17).

6 “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:1–4).

Jesus in the wilderness: Bible Masterpieces/Joe Maniscalco

Copyright © 2002 Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement General Conference. All rights reserved.

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