Holiness And Health

Holiness And Health

In Leviticus we have a number of chapters that deal with laws on holiness and health. All of these show God's intense interest in the smallest little details of a person's life. We may imagine that God is not interested in the small details of our lives, but I find in the book of Leviticus that God is interested in every little detail. The Israelites were told here what to do even if a lizard fell into a cooking pot.  The earthenware pot into which the lizard fell should be destroyed and none of the food in it should be eaten, for it may produce an infection and bring death. (Leviticus 11:33). God also gave them instruction on bathing, when they were defiled, in some way, they were to bathe in running water (Leviticus 15:13). He also told them to wash their clothes when they were defiled (Leviticus 15:5,7,11 and chapter 17 also). 

I believe we lost something in our schools when we did away, for the most part, with health education and home economics.

Cooking, like any skill, needs to be taught and practiced. Consider how you absorbed the vital food-prep and housekeeping knowledge that enables you to follow recipes and make nutritious meals from scratch. We’re talking the basics of the basics: knowing how to boil water (so you can hard-boil eggs), use knives (to dice veggies for an omelet), and wield your nutritional know-how to stock up on fresh produce instead of frozen meals. Knowing how to avoid cross-contamination, prevent food-borne illness, and put out stove fires, too.

And for those of us who are old enough, remember when the dentist use to come to the schools and give you a new tooth brush? He also handed out pink tablets that when you chewed on one, it would show where you may have not done a good enough job brushing your teeth!

If God is interested in theses kind of things, don't you think we as a people should get back to schooling our children in these things as well? We have gone from health education and home economics to indoctrination classes.

Did you ever imagine that God could be so interested in the food you eat and in your cleanliness in your bathing habits and in your washing your clothes regularly? I am excited to read such things. Who said that the book of Leviticus was boring?

This book also has teaching on sexual purity and a number of other interesting subjects. In chapter 10:8-11, God told Aaron, " You shall not drink wine nor any thing that may make drunk, thou nor thy sons, when you enter into the tabernacle of the testimony, lest you die: because it is an everlasting precept through your generations: And that you may have knowledge to discern between holy and unholy, between unclean and clean: And may teach the children of Israel all my ordinances which the Lord hath spoken to them by the hand of Moses."

God was telling the leaders that they should not consume anything that would pollute their bodies. Especially before entering into the tabernacle.

Sadly, all to often today a priest can be found with a problem with alcohol. People can catch whiffs of alcohol on Father at Mass. Maybe a priest will go out and visit the sick so that he can show, that he wouldn’t be able to do this if he were drinking. He has the parish secretaries bedazzled with his charm and easygoing humor. He may sit chitchatting for an hour and actually interrupt their work, the purpose is to form a protective shield around himself.”

As leaders, the priest of the OT had to be exemplary in their conduct. How much more should we, as NT priest be an example in our own lives?

In chapter 11 God told them about the animals that were clean and those that were unclean, the type of animals they could eat, and the type of animals they should not eat. what I learn from this passage is that God in heaven is interested even in our eating habits..that we have healthy food habits. The Bible says, in I Corinthians 10:31, "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatsoever else you do, do all to the glory of God." I am sure that the Lord would have a lot to say to us today about junk food that many of us eat and drink today!

There are rules for hygiene too, as for example, in 11:13: "But an earthen vessel, into which any of these shall fall, shall be defiled, and therefore is to be broken." and "Any meat which you eat, if water from such a vessel be poured upon it, shall be unclean; and every liquor that is drunk out of any such vessel, shall be unclean." 11:34. He is telling the Israelites her to have hygienic habits and a clean lifestyle.

We can't disobey the rules of health and then pray when we are sick, "Lord, please heal me." That is foolishness. If you disobey the laws of hygiene that God has made, you have no-one to blame but yourself when you fall sick. We saw what God said in Exodus 15:26. "If you obey My laws, then I will be your Healer" God wants to give us the gift of health more than healing! But we must obey His laws for our body.

In chapter 11:44, we read, "For I am the Lord your God: be holy because I am holy." This is the main theme of the book of Leviticus and this verse comes right in the middle of the book. Saint Peter quotes this verse in I Peter 1:16, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."

Holiness and cleanliness are tow of the main themes of Leviticus.