An email about modern and ancient medical practices
Last night, we read the scripture, “Go up into Gilead, and take balm, O virgin, the daughter of Egypt: in vain shalt thou use many medicines; for thou shalt not be cured.” (Jer. 46:11). In this I saw a lesson that I didn’t articulate very well. Egypt developed a health management system of poison, cut, and burn that extended into every field of medical practice. It was what Satan has perpetuated ever since, spreading it to Greece and then Rome. And so we still see it today in our medical community’s work, to poison, cut, and burn, rather than simple obedience to God’s laws of diet and healthful lifestyle.
Daniel demonstrated that the plant-based diet and plain water to drink exalts the human above all others who will not follow this plan. He and his three friends were healthier, wiser, calmer, more cheerful, and on and on—ten times better than the other Jews in Nebuchadnezzar’s college. “An excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts,” “light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of [God], was found in him.”
Yahweh gave His laws of health to Israel and if they would obey Him in these statutes they would come to world renowned health and happiness. They had the privilege to show the world that health management doesn’t have to be complicated, difficult, or expensive. It would cost humility and submission to an authority higher that man—no doubt a tyrannical, outrageous sum to sinners confirmed in rebellion. But very doable to those whose hearts were circumcised, who could see the everlasting Father’s love in His laws. Trusting in God’s love and grace made their obedience happen. The children of Israel demonstrated the words of Christ, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 18:3,4).
“If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in His sight, and wilt give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.” (Ex. 15:26). After all the teeth-pulling to get their parents to love Yahweh’s laws, Moses could tell the next generation, “Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years.” (Deut. 8:4).
Israel would overthrow their enemies through God’s laws. “And the Lord will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee.” (Deut. 7:15). We see a picture of this when the Black Plague swept through Europe. All the Catholics were dying on every hand, but the Jews lived free from the disease when death was all around them because they remained obedient to the Torah’s laws of health and hygiene. Of course, then they got accused by the superstitious Christendom that they were serving the devil and he was protecting them. Satan will twist the truth and blind us even in the face of the most obvious evidence.
But Satan used the great empire of Egypt to promote his complicated form of health care and it stood up against Jehovah’s. Satan’s system is complex; God’s is very simple, so easy to comprehend that children can obey. Satan’s methods are destructive; only Yahweh’s bring true healing. Satan’s manipulates the results of objective tests that would overwhelmingly prove that the principle of God’s statutes bring true health, and the devil hoodwinks the world through his slight of hand, fancy footwork, and control of the media. We as sinners are awed by wonderful human genius, so we are easily duped by the devil’s intrigues. But God says, “Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?” (Is. 2:22). “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.” (Ps. 146:3). “For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” (1Cor. 1:19,20).
Still, Satan intimidated Israel with his complex Egyptian magic, and they abandoned the Lord’s laws. That’s why the Lord abandoned them. “The Lord is with you, while ye be with Him; and if ye seek Him, He will be found of you; but if ye forsake Him, He will forsake you.” (2Chron. 15:2). If they would not obey Him, He would send them His alternate plan. “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:…
Then the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.
Moreover He will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt , which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee.
Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the Lord bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed.” (Deut. 28:15,59-61).
What we see in God’s judgment on Egypt through raising up Babylon is a warning for the plagues against Babylon in the future. “And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.” (Rev. 18:23). The Greek word for “sorceries” is pharmakeia. The mingling of science with spiritualism was done in Egypt as it was in Babylon; and today’s sciences built upon evolution and atheism are no less manifestations of spiritualism than in ancient paganism.
As you know, Revelation is figurative and made up largely from Old Testament events. Revelation 18 comes from the jeremiads against ancient Babylon. We can see the Lord’s disposition toward modern atheistic science and medical practices. We can also infer His unchanged disposition toward obedience to the principles of His Laws.
We should take a relook at God’s laws that never change and then rethink all that the Lord is telling us in the New Testament. I have found the principles of the Old and New mutually inclusive and cooperative, that the law and the gospel can act perfectly in sync, like hand in glove. “Now the end [the goal] of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.” (1Tim. 1:5). We will have to wrestle with God’s laws like Jacob did with God, and even suffer through it all, but in the end we will have the peace we longed for and the character of Christ that we want.
The comment by the woman at my table was that there was so much depressing death and destruction in the Old Testament. But, the goal of all that trouble was the humbling and peace that the Lord ultimately wanted to reign on earth. Like we read, “The Lord shall smite Egypt: He shall smite and heal it: and they shall return even to the Lord, and He shall be intreated of them, and shall heal them.” (Is. 19:22). Our God doesn’t wound just for the sake of wounding, or because He loves to punish. He wounds to heal. “Faithful are the wounds of a Friend.” (Prov. 27:6).
Diseases and cancers run rampant today and will increase. There is a divine cause to this—that is, disobedience to God in all that He has given to us. And Jews who know Jesus can be the greatest promoters of this. Wouldn’t Jews for Jesus find an entering wedge into the hearts of unbelieving Jews if they taught and exemplified the laws of diet and lifestyle of ancient Israel? I don’t mean the meticulous attention to the mountain of man-made rabbinical laws of the Talmud, but the childlike obedience to the simple commandments of Yahweh through Moses and the prophets, which the Holy Spirit will work into the heart and life. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:12-13).