Your Digestive System
1: The wonder of the human body is seen in the beauty of the construction of the different parts and the way they all work together. Each system is built of millions of specialized cells working together. Each system works with all the other systems to keep the body in balanced health.
2: There is a very interesting story in the Bible of a young man who understood this important balance. He may not have understood the physiology as we do today, but he understood the important inter-workings of all the body systems.
3: At the time of their creation, God had told Adam and Eve what things were good for them to eat. God had said, "I have given you every herb and every tree in which is the fruit, to you it shall be for meat." Genesis 1:29. Man's diet before he sinned, was to be fruit, grains, and nuts. This was the very best food to keep all the body systems in good balance.
4: Because Daniel understood the relationship between health of body and health of mind and health of spiritual attitudes, he refused to eat the unhealthful foods of the king of Babylon's table. He chose to live on a simple vegetarian diet.
5: Intelligent decisions are very important when it comes to eating. Too many people eat according to custom and habit instead of according to scientific knowledge. The tongue sends a message to the brain, saying, "I like the taste of this. I am used to eating it, give me more of it." Then the part of the brain (the front part) which is supposed to make intelligent decisions is told to keep quiet. Powers of judgment, or self-control and the rule of the mind are turned off and the appetite rules the body. Do you think the control should be in the tongue, or in the brain?
6: Adam and Eve lost their beautiful home, because of listening to appetite. They were conquered by Satan because of yielding to appetite. It was on this very same point of appetite that Satan tried to get Jesus to sin. But Jesus refused to listen to Satan's suggestions. His brain and His will-power were under the control of God.
7: Each of the hundreds of millions of cells in the body must get its own food. Cells are mostly liquid. Their food must also be in liquid form.
8: The work of the digestion is to change bulky food into tiny pieces and then into liquids so the cells can use them. A group, or system of organs, has been especially designed for this work:the mouth. Digestion starts in the mouth where the teeth grind and tear the food into small pieces. Also, in the mouth the food is moistened and digestion is started by action of the saliva.
9: Some people boast of how fast they can eat. They forget that the stomach has no teeth and so it cannot grind and break up the food as the mouth can. Sometimes pieces of food, such as a peanut which is not chewed, go right through the digestive tract and out into the waste without being of any use to the body at all. Fast eating also means that the food is not mixed with saliva well, so digestion does not start properly in the mouth. This makes the work of the stomach difficult. Therefore, it is important that you chew every mouthful of food very well.
10: Your food takes a long and complicated route from your mouth through the digestive tract. The food goes down to the stomach through the esophagus. The food does not just drop into the stomach each time you swallow. It gathers here in a sort of a ball, then the valve into the stomach opens and the food goes into the stomach, where it is mixed with the other digestive juices and acids by the strong muscles of the stomach.
11: When the stomach has done its work for two or three hours, the food will have become semi-solid, then it goes to the small intestine. Here, bile from the liver breaks down fats into very small drops. Digestive juices from the pancreas break food down more, making it ready for the cells to use. The starches are changed into sugar. The protein foods are changed into amino acids.
12: The small intestine in man is about 23 feet long. For creatures with a small intestine of this length, vegetable foods are much better than meat.
13: The food has become mostly liquid by the time it moves along through the rest of the intestine. The walls of the small intestine are covered by small hair-like projections called villi. Inside each of these there is a network of tiny blood vessels. These blood vessels absorb the food that is needed and the blood cells pick it up here to carry to the rest of the body.
14: The large intestine absorbs most of the water and the body gets rid of the remaining waste in the form of feces. The process of digestion takes three to four hours. The digestive tract should ALWAYS have time to rest between meals. One should never, never eat anything between meals. If we obey this rule, we shall have less stomach trouble and our bodies will be healthier.
15: Every cell in your body depends upon what you put into your stomach for its food. Your stomach cannot make good nourishing food out of bad, poor quality or poisonous food. Every organ in your body shows the result of what you have put into your stomach. Your brain reflects the way you treat your stomach almost the same as a mirror reflects your face.
16: Because Daniel and his three friends understood these principles of the relation between the stomach and the mind, and were careful to eat only those things that were good for the whole body, they were better looking, stronger, healthier and ten times wiser than their fellow students who ate according to taste and customs. Because Daniel's mind was clear, due to his habits of proper eating, God was able to use Daniel in a very wonderful way.
17: Daniel lived in Babylon during the time of a king named Nebuchadnezzar. This was about 603 years before Christ was born. One night while the king was sleeping he had a dream but when he awoke, he could not remember it. The king had great faith in astrologers and magicians sorcerers of all kinds, so he called all these men and asked them to tell him what it was he had dreamed.
18: They asked the king to first tell them the dream and then they would tell the meaning. But the king insisted that if they were so wise as they claimed to be, they should tell not only the meaning, but the dream itself. At this the king became very angry with them all. He threatened to kill them all with their families if they did not tell the dream.
19: Then all these wise men made a great confession. They said, "There is not a man on the earth that can show the king's matter. None other can show it except the gods whose dwelling is not with men." In this statement they confessed that they did not know more than other men and that they had no connection with God. For this Nebuchadnezzar became very angry and gave order to the captain of his guard, whose name was Arioch, to kill all the wise men.
20: When Daniel heard of this, he went in to the king and asked the king to give a little time. He promised to tell the dream and its interpretation.
21: Then Daniel and his friends prayed to God in heaven, the One who created the heaven and the earth, and who knows everything. They asked Him to tell them the dream and its meaning, then they lay down to sleep. During the night God gave to Daniel the same dream that the king had seen in his sleep. God also told Daniel the meaning. In the morning, before Daniel went in to see the king, he and his friends knelt to thank God who had revealed the king's secret to Daniel.
22: When Daniel again stood before the king, the king said, "Daniel, are you able to tell the dream and its interpretation? Daniel replied, "The secret which the king hath dreamed cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers show unto the king; but there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the King Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days." And then Daniel told the King plainly that it was not revealed to him because he had more wisdom than the other men, but because God wished to reveal to the king the true meaning of things which the king had been thinking about.
23: Daniel said, "As for thee, 0 king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter, and He that revealeth secrets maketh known unto thee what shall come to pass. Thou, Oh King, sawest and beheld a great image. This image's head was of gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, and his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, the brass, the silver and the gold was broken to pieces together and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floor: and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them, and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain and filled the earth."
24: Then Daniel began to interpret the dream. "Thou Oh, King, art a king of kings, the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, strength, and glory. Thou art this head of gold." The king had been wondering what would happen in the world after he had passed on and now God was showing him. "After thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee." (True to the words God sent through Daniel, the kingdom of Babylon was overthrown by the Medes and Persians in 538 B.C. and Media-Persia was a kingdom inferior to Babylon as silver is inferior to gold. But this was not the end of the interpretation. Another third kingdom represented by the brass, "shall bear rule over all the earth." (This was fulfilled when the armies of Greece overthrew the Persian Kingdom in 332 B.C.) Greece was not as glorious as the Medes and Persians had been. The fourth kingdom, Rome, defeated Greece in 168 B.C. Called by noted historians, "The iron kingdom," it ruled the world until 476 A.D. (Rome ruled the world during the time Jesus was born).
25: As God had so clearly foretold through Daniel, a fifth universal kingdom did not arise, but instead the Roman Empire broke up into ten nations. Just as iron is strong and clay is weak and so they cannot stick together, so these ten nations have been some strong and some weak, and have not been able to stick together, although many kings have tried to unite them.
26: "in the days of these kings," God told Daniel, 'Shall the God of heaven set up His kingdom." It would destroy all those kingdoms represented by the gold, silver, brass, iron and clay. They would be blown away as with a mighty wind, and God's kingdom would fill the whole earth.. It would never be destroyed nor pass away:
27: During the past twenty-five hundred years, the message God gave to Nebuchadnezzar through His servant Daniel has been fulfilled, one point after another. Today, we are in the time of those kings in whose days God is going to restore the kingdom Adam and Eve lost to Satan in the Garden of Eden.
28: As their children, and inheritors of the promise made to Adam and Eve at that time, we may have a place in that kingdom, if, as they did, we accept Jesus as our Sin-bearer, Saviour, and King.
The great prophecy of Daniel 2 is one of the most marvelous in all the Bible. It spans 1500 years from Daniel's time to ours, and reveals that the Second Coming of Christ to this earth is about to take place.