Our physical, mental, social, and spiritual health was a gift given to us at creation and should be greatly treasured by all. When man was created, he came from the Creator’s hand perfect in all four areas. At the end of the sixth day of creation, God said something He had not said on any other day: “And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Genesis 1:31. Man continued in this perfect state until sin entered into the world through his own disobedience. Since that time man has deteriorated physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually, until death occurred as a result of sin. Just as God’s original design was for man’s complete perfection, so it is still God’s desire that we might obtain complete perfection. This He has commanded in His word, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48. Just as Adam and Eve’s continued perfection was based on their obedience, our perfection is based on our compliance to His Word.
The Ten Commandments are a testimony to His desire for our perfect spiritual health. As we obey the first four commands we obtain spiritual perfection in our relationship with Him. The last six testify to His desire that we live in peace and harmony with our fellow men. See Exodus 20:1-17. God spake these words that His people might not continue in sin. Exodus 20:20 says, “And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that His fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.” Also note verses 18–19. See also I John 2:1-5, especially noting the first part of verse 1 as follows, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.” With this background let us look at the Divine origin for our health.
In regard to health, God has certain expectations of us. First He expects us to learn the laws of health. Just as the natural world around us is governed by laws, there are laws central to and within our very being that we need to learn in order to be healthy. “God has placed it in our power to obtain a knowledge of the laws of health. He has made it a duty to preserve our physical powers in the best possible condition, that we may render to Him acceptable service. Those who refuse to improve the light and knowledge that have been mercifully placed within their reach are rejecting one of the means which God has granted them to promote spiritual, as well as physical life. They are placing themselves where they will be exposed to the delusions of Satan.” Counsels on Health, 454. Hosea 4:6 also makes it clear that God’s people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou has rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee.” Very clearly, God expects us to study the laws of our being and the laws of health.
Knowledge alone will not make us healthy. God also expects that we apply that knowledge in practice and obedience. “We have no right wantonly to violate a single principle of the laws of health.” HL,18. “Our first duty, one which we owe to God, to ourselves, and to our fellowmen, is to obey the laws of God, which include the laws of health.” HL, 24 The Bible also makes it very clear that we are to glorify God through our body: “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” I Corinthians 6:19-20. So God’s second expectation of us is that we practice or obey the laws of health.
Thirdly, God expects us to teach the laws of health. “No teacher of truth should feel that his education is completed till he has studied the laws of health, and knows the bearing of right practices on the spiritual life. He should be qualified to speak to the people intelligently in regard to these things, and to set them an example that will give force to his words.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 16, 59. We must educate people in right principles of health if we ever expect people to have perfect physical, mental, social, and spiritual health.
When we comply with God’s expectations, then He can fulfill in us His desire for us to have perfect health. It is God’s desire that we have physical health equal to the prosperity of our soul. “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” 3 John 2. The Lord wants to restore health to us. “For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD.” Jeremiah 30:17. Isaiah 53:5 clarifies the role of Christ’s sufferings in our healing, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.” All of us desire health, but none desire it more than God desires to give it to us!
If we comply with God’s expectations through obedience, then His word promises that He will give us health and vitality. “If thou wilt diligently harken 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.” Exodus 15:26. We can go to Psalms 105:37 to see the fulfillment of this promise. Speaking of the Israelites who left Egypt, the Bible says, “He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes.” It has been estimated by some historians that as many as one million people may have been part of the Exodus from Egypt. Is there anywhere before or since that we could find a million people in whom there was not one sign of feebleness? Daniel and the three Hebrew worthies are also examples of the results of obedience to God’s requirements concerning health. We have the faithful recording of what the results are when we refuse to defile ourselves with the meats and wines of the world. Daniel and his three companions were found to be fairer in countenance and ten times greater in knowledge and wisdom than all the wise men of Babylon. (See Daniel 1:1-21.)
We cannot ignore God’s expectations of us and violate the laws of our being and have good health. We must, through obedience, cooperate with God’s design if we ever hope to have the health that He wants to give us. As we learn, obey and teach God’s health laws, God will, as He has promised, bless us with good health and make us a shining light to reflect His glory. In future articles we shall look at these laws of health that can, if followed, result in our health, making us a shinning example of the power of God to the world around us.