“And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst. Exactly as I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle, and all of its furniture, so you shall make it.” Exodus 25:8-9
Our being is complex. Whatever dwells inside our mind impacts our bodies. However we treat our bodies creates ripples that affect our entire being.
If the Old Testament and New Testament have one startling revelation in common, it is that God desired to dwell among his people. In the Old Testament, God chose to dwell in a tabernacle, in the New, it is in the heart of humans.
If you read the details starting in Exodus 25 and continuing, you might fall asleep before you finish. God’s instructions for the tabernacle included everything that was to be used inside. This runs parallel to our created bodies in their detail and complexity.
Our body is complex but things go wrong. We pull a muscle, struggle with insomnia, or experience recurring minor pain. Sometimes we struggle with something more serious. Diseases like lupus, HIV, diabetes, cancer or serious accidents can turn our lives upside down.
God created our bodies as a complex network. He created our body with its own defense mechanisms that allow our bodies to heal themselves. When we give our bodies what they need, it’s amazing how they can respond. It is no accident that rest and what we eat are two things spotlighted by God in the Old Testament.
Because of the complexity of our being, there is no quick fix, no magic pill, to fix what ails us.
In the 10 commandments, God commands us to rest one out of every seven days. Part of this is an act of faith: if we work six days a week, we trust God to continue to provide for us when we don’t work. Part of this is because our bodies are created to need rest.
In the Old Testament, God gives details to Moses about what the Israelites can eat and should avoid. Today, we don’t follow these rules to the letter but close inspection will show that most of what was avoided were items that were either dangerous to eat (scavengers that might have disease from eating dead food or uncooked meat) or not high on the nutrition scale (high in fat).
These two mandates are no accident. If you are not eating properly or getting adequate rest, you are not helping your body heal from the common cold or anything more serious.
Take the time to do a self examination without judgment. Make a daily list of what you eat and how much you sleep. Take the time to examine without assigning the label “bad” or “good” to your actions, not yet anyway. See what you find on a consistent basis. How many hours do you sleep each night for a week? How many fresh fruits and vegetables have you eaten?