By Lisa Nordell-Detres
Reading through the Old Testament books of the Law is an interesting exercise. Since we now live under the grace of God, we sometimes skim over these chapters in much the same way we skim over the genealogies. We would be wise to read very carefully; not because we will be held to all the rules, but because those precepts over time have been proven to be best for humanity’s health and prosperity. Read the ancient laws about personal health, when the Jews lived long, productive lives compared to the filthy habits of the Dark ages, when the life expectancy was barely 30 years. Modern science has confirmed that regular bathing and washing does promote good health.
The Kosher food laws also provided high standards of food preparation and dietary instructions that are still considered to be one of the healthiest ways to eat. Even non-Jews can be assured that Kosher foods represent the highest of quality from beginning to the end of the production process.
Some other interesting laws involved farming. First of all, farmers were forbidden from harvesting every bit of produce from their crops, but were instructed to leave some behind for the poor to glean for food. This was a most compassionate welfare system; the poor still had to do some work for their food, thus maintaining their dignity while nobody went hungry unless they were too lazy to go gather their own food. Families were instructed to care for those among them who were truly unable to care for themselves.
Farmers were also instructed to leave their fields fallow one year out of every seven. It seems unrealistic to not farm for an entire year, but it turns out that even the land needs to rest and by doing so, Israel was ensured abundant harvests all the other years. This is where the concept of crop rotation originated. Sure enough, God was right along!
When we think about God’s laws and principles, remember that God loves us all and wants the best for us. The Bible not only teaches us about God’s love and how to get along with each other; it also shows the way to live the healthiest lifestyle!
Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to two boys, a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside.
Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon.