Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones. — Proverbs 3:7-8
This month, we’ll continue with devotional thoughts from the Book of Proverbs on Friday. One of the 11 books in the Hebrew Bible known as the Ketuvim, Hebrew for “writings,” Proverbs is part of the “wisdom tradition,” which also includes Job and Ecclesiastes. Enjoy!
I once read a story about a great rabbi celebrating Passover with his family. On the night of the seder, the ritual Passover meal, the family recounted the story of the Exodus and concluded with the traditional blessing praising God, the Redeemer of Israel.
The rabbi’s grandson was deeply moved by the great miracles that God did on behalf of the Israelites and declared that the blessing praising God for redeeming Israel was the greatest blessing of all. However, the rabbi disagreed with his grandson. He explained that the greatest blessing of all is the one that Jewish people say after going to the bathroom!
This blessing thanks God for creating our bodies with infinite wisdom and for the gift of our health and maintaining the precious system that keeps us healthy.
God’s Gift of Health
This story reminds us that our health is just as wondrous as the miracle of the parting of the Red Sea, or perhaps even greater. The difference is that the parting of the sea happened only once, while we enjoy the benefits of a functioning body nearly every day of our lives. It’s easy to take our health for granted, but we need to recognize that the gift of our health is nothing less than a miracle from God.
In Proverbs we read, “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD… This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” So many people attribute their health to an exercise regimen, a special diet, or an especially healthy lifestyle. While all of these things are important, and we are required to do our part in maintaining our health, we must never forget that our health ultimately comes from God.
We have all seen people with incredibly healthy lifestyles become sick, while other people, who do very little to stay healthy, live long lives. Ultimately, health is not the result of our wisdom, but a gift from God.
No matter what the state of our health may be today, God can heal us and sustain us tomorrow. Recognizing that God is the true source of our well-being is good for the body, and also, very good for our soul.
Consider the amazing abilities of your body and give thanks to God for the small miracles that sustain you every moment of every day.