Thursday, January 3, 2013

Mission 2013 #3. Encountering God

The Hebrew Priests that we read about in Exodus were the very first community health officials ever recorded. At least they were the very first effective community health care officials. Egypt had their own Priests and Doctors who prescribed medicines, potions and incantations but they actually made people worse. That is one reason why God told His people to listen to His good medical advice and forget what they had learned in Egypt.
According to the wonderful book The Signature of God by Grant Jeffrey, some of the most popular treatments in the Egyptian Doctor’s medical handbook included feces from many different animals including the patient. Putrid meat, sweat from the ear of a pig and snake venom were also favorites. Moses, who grew up as a Prince of Egypt, would have been well-trained in the medical arts of the time. This is why God needed to teach him and his followers, whose ancestors had lived in Egypt for over 400 years, how to do the right things to avoid the problems common to their captors.
God's words are clearly instructions for behavior that prevents diseases and illnesses as well as healthy living. God was not simply telling His people to act like an Egyptian and He would heal them. Today we would call God's Laws "Wellness".  
 EX 15:26 If you will diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give heed to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases upon you which I put upon the Egyptians; for I am the Lord your healer.
The command says to:
1.       Listen carefully and understand what God wants (Know)
2.       Do what is right behaviorally (Do)
3.       Listen to God’s instructions (Know)
4.       Keep the statutes (Do)
 I know how to lose weight. More instructions are not needed. Now I need to do what I know. My farmer neighbors were constantly pressed by salesmen, researchers, university extension workers and government officials who were trying to sell them on the latest research, fertilizer or machinery. One young man was telling a local farmer a long winded story about all the new research coming out of the Agriculture Department of our University. It was, he said, all available in a monthly newsletter that the farmer could get for a few dollars. Suddenly, the old farmer stopped the new graduate and said, “That is enough, son. I don’t want all that information. I ain’t doing everything I know how to do now! What would I do with new information?”
Most church members are full of information yet their overly educated and under trained preachers want them to know more. At least 90% of the congregation’s members are not using 90% of what they already know. The key to health, wealth and wellness is hear and do! It is not hear and hear and hear and hear!
DT 6:4-9 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.

Trust and obey;
For there is no other way.
To be happy in Jesus;
But to trust and obey.  

Hints to health, hope and happiness!

Gary Sweeten

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