We loathe this worthless food was the complaint the Israelites made against the manna that God provided them with on their trek from Egypt to the promised-land. In order to take them around Edom which was unfriendly, he led them through the desert in Sinai.
He was with them, providing food and water but they became impatient, complaining against both God and Moses. You can read the whole story in the book of Numbers, chapter 21. It is a well-known passage culminating in the instruction to make a bronze serpent and set it on a pole, looking forward to Christ being raised up on the cross.
An organisation called Pew Research set out to find out whether religious people are more healthy or not; sadly their report had to conclude that we Christians are not, something which I would suggest we intuitively know.
Only in three out of 26 countries could people describe themselves as being in very good overall health.
More specifically we are just as obese and do not exercise enough.
There is other research confirming that those who attend church more than once a week have a seven year greater life-expectancy. This is keeping with Blue Zone longevity; those five places in the world where healthy, strong old age is the norm; in all of them the people are religious.
Whilst 24% of Americans attend church or synagogue regularly, "more than once a week" would be a much smaller fraction; perhaps 5pc.
"When so many of us are overweight, the risk of getting diabetes is real and immediate."
- CBN 
Our intuition tells us that we Christians worldwide are little if any more healthy than those who never attend church. We are just as obese, exercise no more; and suffer all the ravages of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
The Christian Broadcasting Network too calls upon us to change our poor dietary habits and lack of exercise. Being mildly obese with a BMI of around 30, they say increases the likelihood of developing diabetes by over 50%; with all the attendant blindness, kidney failure and so on.
We Christians are rather more subtle, and perhaps self-deceived. We would not cry out as the Israelites did, that we loathe this worthless food; but we just refuse to eat the wholesome nourishment that God has provided. Rather we submit to the temptation to consume all the junk that the world offers as a substitute, with all the attendant complications.
We loathe this worthless food remains to this day the unspoken cry against the whole, unrefined food that God has provided.
This takes us back to the creation story as told in Genesis, chapter one, where God tells how he has given every plant yielding fruit and seed for food, and concludes after surveying His creation that "it was very good."
Eventually as we know the Israelites arrived in the land of milk and honey. Whole grain breads with cheese and the nectar of the bees would have been staples in their diet, along with olives, figs and some meat too, of course; probably not a lot though.
When we start to grumble at the wholesome food that God has provided, and refuse to eat it, turning instead to the temptation provided by the world, then we'd better watch out. As we know only too well many prominent clergy from the Christian world have died of Covid-19.
If that is so, and it is, then we parishioners can expect no better treatment from the virus; it is targeting diabetics and the obese, and those who continue to refuse the "worthless food" that God has provided, turning instead to the sweet treats of temptation.
It's unlikely the people of the Bible ate a lot of sweet food, though natural honey is often mentioned; it would not have been laced with high-fructose corn syrup back in those days.
Nor would there have been any of the artificial sweeteners like Splenda that have been castigated in the literature recently for their role in damaging DNA, wearing down the lining of the gut and altering the microbiome.
Would it be stretching the truth to suggest that returning to Biblical Christianity should also include pulling the sweet tooth?
Sugar consumption today in many countries exceeds twenty teaspoons per day; that means T2 diabetes within 20 years.
There is a false teaching from certain sectors of the church that we can eat whatever we like, as we Christians are covered by the blood of Jesus; deeply buried is that same sentiment, we loathe this worthless food.
Even Jesus recognised that it was a temptation of the Devil to defy God's laws and jump for example from the temple; and to expect that his heavenly Father would send angels to save him.
When and if we show our contempt for the wholesome, natural food that He has provided us with, and turn instead to the sweet treats that the World offers, it is little different to the grumbling of the Israelites against God and Moses.
Rather than being covered by the blood of Jesus, we may well instead find that the fiery serpents of cancer, diabetes and Covid-19 are being sent into our midst.
St Francis of Assisi, perhaps the most venerated of the Christian saints, clearly a very godly man, if something of a mystic, described his body as Brother Ass; lovable, but very stubborn.
I too can identify with that. In my own struggle to come to terms with what is truly worthless food, all the highly refined stuff laden with chemical flavour-enhancers and preservatives, my own Brother Ass is indeed miffed that many of the treats once enjoyed regularly are now destined only for high and holy days.
It's now twenty years since I made the hard decision to treat Brother Ass kindly, but the benefits are so profound that I could never go back to the days when I too belonged to the "we hate this worthless food" crowd. It has been a journey, one step at a time, and periodically I have had to put the rod to the stubborn donkey's back.
The first step was to grow as much of our vegetables and fruit as we possibly could. That meant a journey down a little lane called harvesting and storing rainwater, a trip that is nearing the end.
The second was to give up refined carbohydrates for ever; that turned out to be fairly simple as they frequently gave me a severe bellyache. Turning my back completely on sugar was more difficult, but then our own natural honey in moderation, no more than 3 tsp per day, came to the rescue.
Baking our own artisan bread made with 100% freshly ground flour was another interesting little lane that has borne immense benefits; it contains the vitamin E that is a natural anticoagulant and the lignans that help prevent malignant breast disease.
The third was to start making and consuming our own probiotic regularly. The kefir benefits cured me of fifteen years of stomach pain from a stubborn helicobacter infection in just one week.
Turning my back on the crowd of Christians baying "we loathe this worthless food" and joining those who view the nourishment that God has abundantly provided in the way of fresh organic fruit and veggies, has been profound; and freshly-milled grain too. Can you imagine a life without medication, no regular visits to the doctor and very little pain in your eighth decade?
Give us this day our daily bread is a prayer that has been answered abundantly; the windows of heaven have been opened. The unspoken sentiment that we loathe God's worthless food has been replaced with a heart filled with profound gratitude.
Just for the record, we are not vegetarians and red-meat such as this eisbein is on the table perhaps once or twice a week. But please don't give me the corn-fed beef from feedlots; no thank you.
Just as the church recognises completely differing views on subjects such as sex and money, I would suggest we need to face that there is another choice to be made; between worldly and heavenly food. The one leads to a long and fulfilling life, the other to obesity, type-2 diabetes and an early death.
"I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have placed before you life and death, the blessing and the curse.
So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants."
- Deuteronomy 30:19
Scientists have found that those suffering from type-2 diabetes can be put completely into remission without the use of drugs. There's nothing new about enjoying food as medicine; Hippocrates proclaimed it more than two thousand years ago.
"Behold I have given you every plant yielding seed and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food."
- Genesis 1
Whilst not actually vegetarian, they found the cure for T2D can be achieved by a return to a plant-based diet and more exercise; that means less meat. This is not dissimilar to that followed in the Blue Zones of the world where longevity is found.
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