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Sabbath Bible Lessons

God’s Health Plan for Humanity

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Lesson 3 Sabbath, April 18, 2015

Disease Prevention: God’s Way (I)

“See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; . . . therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deuteronomy 30:15, 19).

“True temperance teaches us to dispense entirely with everything hurtful and to use judiciously that which is healthful. There are few who realize as they should how much their habits of diet have to do with their health, their character, their usefulness in this world, and their eternal destiny.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 562.

Suggested Reading:   Healthful Living, pp. 76–95. 

Sunday April 12

1. THE IMPORTANCE OF HYGIENE AND CLEANLINESS

a. In the time of Israel what was the rule for anyone suspected or known to have an infectious or contagious diseas? Leviticus 13:45, 46; Numbers 5:2–4.

“Not only in [the people of Israel’s] religious service, but in all the affairs of daily life was observed the distinction between clean and unclean. All who came in contact with contagious or contaminating diseases were isolated from the encampment, and they were not permitted to return without thorough cleansing of both the person and the clothing.”—The Ministry of Healing, p. 277.

b. What Old Testament examples are there to show the importance of cleanliness? Exodus 19:10; Deuteronomy 23:12, 13.

“In every respect [the Israelites] were to preserve cleanliness. They were to allow nothing untidy or unwholesome in their surroundings, nothing which would taint the purity of the atmosphere. Inwardly and outwardly they were to be pure.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 1, p. 1119.


Monday April 13

2. A PROPER DIET

a. What was the original diet given to humanity in Eden? Genesis 1:29. What was added immediately after the Fall? Genesis 3:18 (last part).

“Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator. These foods, prepared in as simple and natural a manner as possible, are the most healthful and nourishing. They impart a strength, a power of endurance, and a vigor of intellect, that are not afforded by a more complex and stimulating diet.

“God gave our first parents the food He designed that the race should eat. It was contrary to His plan to have the life of any creature taken. There was to be no death in Eden. The fruit of the trees in the garden was the food man’s wants required.”—Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 81.

b. What major change in diet contributed to a significant shortening of the human lifespan? Genesis 9:3, 29; 11:24, 25.

“After the flood the people ate largely of animal food. God saw that the ways of man were corrupt, and that he was disposed to exalt himself proudly against his Creator and to follow the inclinations of his own heart. And He permitted that long-lived race to eat animal food to shorten their sinful lives. Soon after the Flood the race began to rapidly decrease in size and in length of years.”—Ibid., p.373.

c. What rules did God make for His people in order to protect them from the diseases which are now prevalent in civilized countries (cancer and cardiovascular diseases)? Leviticus 3:17.

“Food should be prepared with simplicity, yet with a nicety which will invite the appetite. You should keep grease out of your food. It defiles any preparation of food you may make.”—Ibid., p.354.

“Nuts and nut foods are coming largely into use to take the place of flesh meats. With nuts may be combined grains, fruits, and some roots, to make foods that are healthful and nourishing. Care should be taken, however, not to use too large a proportion of nuts. . . . When properly prepared, olives, like nuts, supply the place of butter and flesh meats.”—The Ministry of Healing, p. 298.


Tuesday April 14

3. ABSTINENCE SOMETIMES NECESSARY

a. What does the Bible teach concerning fermented wine and strong drink? Proverbs 23:29–32. Why were the priests forbidden to use wine or strong drink? Leviticus 10:8–11.

“God prohibited the use of wine to the priests ministering in His sanctuary, and the same injunction would have been made against tobacco, had its use been known; for it, too, has a benumbing influence on the brain. And besides clouding the mind, it is unclean and defiling. Let every one resist the temptation to use wine, tobacco, flesh meats, tea, or coffee.”—Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 428.

“The only safe course is to touch not, taste not, handle not, tea, coffee, wines, tobacco, opium, and alcoholic drinks.”—Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 428.

“Tea, coffee, and tobacco, as well as alcoholic drinks, are different degrees in the scale of artificial stimulants.

“The effect of tea and coffee, as heretofore shown, tends in the same direction as that of wine and cider, liquor and tobacco.”—Ibid., p.421.

b. How do we know that the wine provided by Jesus for the wedding feast at Cana was pure grape juice? John 2:7–10; Proverbs 20:1.

“It was Christ who in the Old Testament gave the warning to Israel, ‘Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise’ (Proverbs 20:1). And He Himself provided no such beverage. Satan tempts men to indulgence that will becloud reason and benumb the spiritual perceptions. . . . It was Christ who directed that John the Baptist should drink neither wine nor strong drink. It was He who enjoined similar abstinence upon the wife of Manoah. And He pronounced a curse upon the man who should put the bottle to his neighbor’s lips. Christ did not contradict His own teaching. The unfermented wine which He provided for the wedding guests was a wholesome and refreshing drink. Its effect was to bring the taste into harmony with a healthful appetite.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 149.


Wednesday April 15

4. TEMPERANCE IN ALL THINGS

a. What does the Bible teach us about the amount of healthful food we should eat? Can eating too much healthful food make us sick? Exodus 16:16; Proverbs 25:16.

“It is possible to eat immoderately, even of wholesome food. It does not follow that because one has discarded the use of hurtful articles of diet, he can eat just as much as he pleases. Overeating, no matter what the quality of the food, clogs the living machine, and thus hinders it in its work.

“Intemperance in eating, even of healthful food, will have an injurious effect upon the system and will blunt the mental and moral faculties.”—Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 131.

b. How does the Bible describe the evil of overeating and its results? Deuteronomy 21:20 (last part); Proverbs 23:21 (first part).

“As a people, with all our profession of health reform, we eat too much. Indulgence of appetite is the greatest cause of physical and mental debility, and lies at the foundation of a large share of the feebleness which is apparent everywhere.”—Ibid., p.135.

c. What is a most common form of intemperance among the professed people of God, usually from childhood? Ecclesiastes 10:16, 17. Why is it so harmful?

“I am astonished to learn that, after all the light that has been given in this place, many of you eat between meals! You should never let a morsel pass your lips between your regular meals.”—Testimonies, vol. 2, p. 373.

“Nothing should be eaten between meals, no confectionery, nuts, fruits, or food of any kind. Irregularities in eating destroy the healthful tone of the digestive organs, to the detriment of health and cheerfulness.”—The Ministry of Healing, p. 384.

“The digestive organs, like a mill which is continually kept running, become enfeebled, vital force is called from the brain to aid the stomach in its overwork, and thus the mental powers are weakened. The unnatural stimulation and wear of the vital forces make them nervous, impatient of restraint, self-willed, and irritable.”—Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 181.


Thursday April 16

5. FURTHER COUNSEL ON DIET

a. Since many of the refined foods available today—such as refined flour and sugar products—have poor nutritional value, what should we consider about the Bible’s reference to purchasing food void of nutrition? Isaiah 55:2.

b. What else can we learn from the Spirit of Prophecy regarding our diet, much of which is being confirmed by research today?

“Vegetables, fruits, and grains should compose our diet. Not an ounce of flesh meat should enter our stomachs. The eating of flesh is unnatural. We are to return to God’s original purpose in the creation of man.”—Ibid., p.380.

“A plain diet, free from spices and flesh meats and grease of all kinds, would prove a blessing to you.”—Ibid., p.354.

“Condiments are injurious in their nature. Mustard, pepper, spices, pickles, and other things of a like character irritate the stomach and make the blood feverish and impure. . . .

“The salads are prepared with oil and vinegar, fermentation takes place in the stomach, and the food does not digest, but decays or putrefies; as a consequence, the blood is not nourished but becomes filled with impurities, and liver and kidney difficulties appear.”—Ibid., p.345.

“And from the light given me, sugar, when largely used, is more injurious than meat.”—Ibid., p.328.

“Sweet breads and cookies we seldom have on our table. The less of sweet foods that are eaten, the better; these cause disturbances in the stomach, and produce impatience and irritability in those who accustom themselves to their use.”—Ibid., p.321.


Friday April 17

PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS

1. Explain God’s method for the prevention of contagious disease.

2. What type of diet plays a major role in the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease?

3. What is the correct and safe attitude towards alcohol, coffee, tobacco, and similar substances?

4. What is temperance?

5. Which condiments are bad for us, and why?

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