May 13, 2012 in Chapters

Milk and Other Dairy Foods

In the Old Testament, God’s best for His people and the reward for their obedience was always described as entering “a land flowing with milk and honey.”

Leviticus 20:24:
But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey: I am the LORD your God, which have separated you from other people.

In a figure using “wine and milk,” Isaiah calls people to come and partake of the free goodness of God.

Isaiah 55:1:
Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

God designed milk to be a blessing.  It is interesting that from the very beginning of creation that cattle are listed separate and distinct from all other beasts (Genesis 1:24).  Cattle and sheep, the most abundant milk producing animals, have been herded in flocks by man since the first generation outside the Garden of Eden (Genesis 4:2).  Without milk there would be no butter, no cheese, no ice cream.  These are foods that were designed to bless mankind.

2 Samuel 17:29:
And honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of kine [cattle], for David, and for the people that were with him, to eat: for they said, The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness.

God’s best provision for His people was “a land flowing with milk and honey” in such abundance that they would enjoy butter and cheese.  Butterfat is one of the best sources of fat soluble vitamins A, D, K and E, which are needed for calcium and phosphorus absorption to make strong bones, healthy teeth, and repair tissue.  Raw butter contains the perfect ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, anti-tumor and antimicrobial short and medium chain fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), lecithin, cholesterol, and trace minerals.  It is very healing to the intestinal tract.  The more golden yellow color of butter is indicative of higher levels of these vitamins unless, of course, it has had dye added which is a common practice in the industry.  Fats like butter and cream also slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream thus preventing extreme fluctuations in blood sugar levels which can cause mineral depletion and excessive fat storage in the body.  There is an interesting prophecy in Isaiah regarding what Jesus Christ was to eat in his youth.

Isaiah 7:15:
Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.

Scientific evidence suggests that these foods have strong influence on brain function since the brain is made of mostly fat (which butter provides) and runs on glucose (of which honey is an excellent source).  Conventional nutritional wisdom has shunned butter because of the belief that animal fat is bad.  However, a recent study linked a low fat diet with failure to thrive in children.

This is just an excerpt from "Food in the Bible."  For the full chapter, including possible reasons for dairy intolerance and potential solutions, you may download the book here.