March 22, 2017

bible study imageSubject: Refreshment

Golden text: Proverbs 3:7-8*

Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

I Samuel 14:24-30

 And the men of Israel had been hard pressed that day, so Saul had laid an oath on the people, saying, “Cursed be the man who eats food until it is evening and I am avenged on my enemies.” So none of the people had tasted food. 25 Now when all the people came to the forest, behold, there was honey on the ground. 26 And when the people entered the forest, behold, the honey was dropping, but no one put his hand to his mouth, for the people feared the oath. 27 But Jonathan had not heard his father charge the people with the oath, so he put out the tip of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it in the honeycomb and put his hand to his mouth, and his eyes became bright. 28 Then one of the people said, “Your father strictly charged the people with an oath, saying, ‘Cursed be the man who eats food this day.’” And the people were faint. 29 Then Jonathan said, “My father has troubled the land. See how my eyes have become bright because I tasted a little of this honey. 30 How much better if the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies that they found. For now the defeat among the Philistines has not been great.”

From 21st Century Science and Health**

When the curse of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and Spirit’s idea.

Beliefs that engender a national theology or political religion are the antithesis of true Christianity. Narrow systems and theories concerning God, human beings, health, and a religious society, are restrictive.

A clergyman once adopted a diet of bread and water to increase his spirituality. Finding his health failing, he gave up his asceticism and advised others never to try dietetics for growth in grace.

The mistake of thinking that either fasting or feasting makes us better morally or physically is one of the fruits of “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” concerning which God said, “you must not eat from.”[1] Human mind forms all conditions of the human body and controls the organs, bones, genes, cells, blood, etc., as directly as the determination or will moves the hand.

I Samuel 14: 38-45

 And Saul said, “Come here, all you leaders of the people, and know and see how this sin has arisen today. 39 For as the Lord lives who saves Israel, though it be in Jonathan my son, he shall surely die.” But there was not a man among all the people who answered him. 40 Then he said to all Israel, “You shall be on one side, and I and Jonathan my son will be on the other side.” And the people said to Saul, “Do what seems good to you.” 41 Therefore Saul said, “O Lord God of Israel, why have you not answered your servant this day? If this guilt is in me or in Jonathan my son, O Lord, God of Israel, give Urim. But if this guilt is in your people Israel, give Thummim.” And Jonathan and Saul were taken, but the people escaped. 42 Then Saul said, “Cast the lot between me and my son Jonathan.” And Jonathan was taken.

43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, “Tell me what you have done.” And Jonathan told him, “I tasted a little honey with the tip of the staff that was in my hand. Here I am; I will die.” 44 And Saul said, “God do so to me and more also; you shall surely die, Jonathan.” 45 Then the people said to Saul, “Shall Jonathan die, who has worked this great salvation in Israel? Far from it! As the Lord lives, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground, for he has worked with God this day.” So the people ransomed Jonathan, so that he did not die.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Let us then shape our views of existence into loveliness, renewal, and consistency, rather than into decrepitude and loss.

I knew a person who when quite a child adopted a whole wheat and vegetarian diet to cure indigestion. For many years, he ate only bread and vegetables, and drank nothing but water. His dyspepsia increasing, he decided that his diet should be more rigid. So, he ate only one meal every twenty-four hours, a meal consisting of only a thin slice of bread. His physician recommended that he should not moisten his parched throat until three hours after eating. The person passed many weary years in hunger and weakness, almost in starvation. The skill of the doctors was exhausted and they kindly informed him that death was indeed his only alternative, so he finally made up his mind to die. Then divine Science saved him, and perfect health was restored without a reminder of the old complaint.

This person learned that suffering and disease were the self-imposed beliefs of mortals, and not the facts of being. He recognized that God never decreed dis-ease—never ordained a law that fasting should be a means of health. Hence semi-starvation is not acceptable to wisdom, and it is equally far from Science, in which being is sustained by God, Mind. These truths opened the sufferer’s eyes, relieved his stomach, and he ate without suffering, “giving God thanks.” But, disciplined by self-denial and divine Science, he never enjoyed his food as he imagined he would back in the day when he was constantly hungry.

This new-born understanding that neither food nor the stomach, without the consent of human mind, can make us suffer, brings with it another lesson, that self-indulgence, gluttony, or bulimia, are sensual illusions and can’t give you satisfaction. This phantasm disappears as we better understand our spiritual existence and walk the line of a balanced life.

I Samuel 21:1-6

Then David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. And Ahimelech came to meet David, trembling, and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one with you?” And David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has charged me with a matter and said to me, ‘Let no one know anything of the matter about which I send you, and with which I have charged you.’ I have made an appointment with the young men for such and such a place. Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever is here.” And the priest answered David, “I have no common bread on hand, but there is holy bread—if the young men have kept themselves from women.” And David answered the priest, “Truly women have been kept from us as always when I go on an expedition. The vessels of the young men are holy even when it is an ordinary journey. How much more today will their vessels be holy?” So the priest gave him the holy bread, for there was no bread there but the bread of the Presence, which is removed from before the Lord, to be replaced by hot bread on the day it is taken away.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The commitment of thought to an honest achievement makes the achievement possible. Exceptions only confirm this rule, proving that failure is occasioned by a strong faith in failure.

If athletes believed it impossible to accomplish record-breaking feats, they could never do it. Their belief that they can achieve something spectacular gives their thought forces, called muscles, the flexibility and power which the unscientific might attribute to adrenaline or genes. Fear must disappear before the power of putting resolve into action can appear.

Mark 2:23-28

One Sabbath [Jesus] was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 25 And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: 26 how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” 27 And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

If human mind is kept active, must it pay a penalty by having a headache or becoming exhausted? Who dares to say that actual Mind can be overworked? When we reach our limits of mental endurance, we conclude that intellectual labor has been carried sufficiently far. On the other hand, when we realize that immortal Mind is ever active, we are able to rest in Truth. When we understand that our God-given spiritual energies and resources can’t wear out, or be trespassed upon by mortal laws, we are refreshed by the assurances of immortality, opposed to mortality.

Evidence of progress and of spiritualization can definitely be seen in the world. People are realizing the power of mind. We are learning to question drug systems and surgical procedures. Less obtrusive drugs, alternative health care treatments, responsible eating, consistent exercise, and homeopathy are being pursued. The substance of medicine is being transferred from matter to mind.

Proverbs 15: 28-33

28 The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer,
but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
29 The Lord is far from the wicked,
but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
30 The light of the eyes rejoices the heart,
and good news refreshes the bones.
31 The ear that listens to life-giving reproof
will dwell among the wise.
32 Whoever ignores instruction despises himself,
but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.
33 The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom,
and humility comes before honor.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Human beings should renew their energies and endeavors, and see the folly of hypocrisy while also learning the necessity of working out their own salvation.

Love never loses sight of loveliness. Its halo rests on its object. Isn’t it amazing that a friend is always beautiful? Men and women of seasoned years and increased wisdom ought to advance in spirituality and health, instead of lapsing into gloom and doom. Spiritual Mind renews the body with nice features.

*Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

** Text from 21st Century Science and Health, 5th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

 

[1] Gen. 2:17