Exodus 16:16 This is the thing which the Lord hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents. 17 And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less. 18 And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating.
This passage of scripture teaches us the very important principle of temperance in eating, which should also be carried over into every aspect of our daily activities. In this instance when the Manna was being given to the Hebrews by God, He also gave them certain stipulations and conditions which they were to follow for their own good and well-being. It is worthy of note that "some gathered more", the most likely reason being that some individuals were not convinced that an omer of manna would have been sufficient for their needs, or maybe they took extra to snack on during the day. Both of these probable excuses fall far short of the ideal given, and even though the manna was as good as it gets as far as food is concerned, yet overeating of even the best of food is injurious to health, for it does impose unnecessary strain on the vital organs and thus wears them out prematurely.
When we eat more than we should we should, the digestive system takes a lot longer to process the excess amount of food, and if the habit continues for a period of time, they become less and less efficient at digesting anything that goes into our stomach. This then can lead to chronic indigestion, heartburn, acid reflux, a compromised immune system, heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other ills which could have easily been avoided. The Lord works on the premise that prevention is better than cure, and He prefers not to engage His omnipotent power in healing us if He does not have to. However He delights in mercy, and even though at times we may bring unnecessary disease on ourselves due to intemperate eating, yet through confession, repentance, and a positive change in diet and eating habits, He will assist us greatly in the restoration of our health.
Another contributor to intemperance in eating and drinking is the issue of eating between meals, one of the more dangerous habits that have been adopted and encouraged in our day, even by health care professionals and weight loss dieticians. As Christians we need to be very careful of where we get our information and advice from, for it is often the case that what is held as truth and duty by the masses, and even professors and experts, does not ring true with the guidelines and principles which God has given us for our health and well-being. When we eat food between meals we not only interrupt the digestive process for food previously taken, but we also violate the principle of rest that God has imprinted upon all of His creation. The stomach and all the digestive organs need a period of rest before any fresh food is introduced to our bodies again, for in this way we can be assured of not only their longevity, but also of their efficiency over a lifetime.
We therefore end with a few passages of scripture which encapsulate the scriptural attitude towards temperance in eating and drinking, and if they are adopted and implemented we will certainly see and experience great improvements in health of mind, body, and soul, for they are all interconnected. Let's read:
Proverbs 24:13 My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste.
Proverbs 25:16 Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it. 27 It is not good to eat much honey" .....
Proverbs 27:7 The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.
May God grant us wisdom and an understanding heart to see the principles contained in these passages. God bless!