No Enzymes? No Life. Just Ask Daniel
Scientists tell us that without enzymes, there is no life. Enzymes provide life support through the myriad of chemical processes they create and oversee in the human body – millions upon millions every day!
Without going into a good amount of scientific evidence regarding enzymes, suffice it to say that the chemical reactions that enzymes create within our bodies (and are not used up in those processes!) are staggering for their speed alone. As noted in an article at Mercola, the following information helps us begin to understand how enzymes work and their absolute necessity for life and good health.
“Enzymes are composed of amino acids and are secreted by your body to help catalyze functions that would normally not occur at physiological temperatures. They literally make magic happen and are absolutely vital to your life.
“More than 3,000 different enzymes have been identified, and some experts believe there may be another 50,000 we have yet to discover. Each enzyme has a different function—like 3,000 specialized keys cut to fit 3,000 different locks. In this analogy, the locks are biochemical reactions.
“Enzymes drive biological processes necessary for your body to build raw materials, circulate nutrients, eliminate unwanted chemicals, and the myriad of other biochemical processes that go on without your even thinking about it.”
It’s easy to see then why enzymes are so important to us for life itself, not to mention good health. Without a few of these enzymes actively working in our systems, we fall prey to all manner of illnesses, from some of which we do not recover.
So why am I writing this when I should be finishing the commentary on Daniel 11 and the prophesies found there? Actually, I’ve already started the next article in that series and will get right back to it once this one is completed and published. In some sense, there is a tie-in anyway, because I want to talk about Daniel and the choices he made shortly after his captivity that placed him on the road to continued good health. We learn about this very important decision in the opening chapter of the book of Daniel. Let’s take a look at it.
“The king appointed for them a daily ration from the king’s choice food and from the wine which he drank, and appointed that they should be educated three years, at the end of which they were to enter the king’s personal service. 6 Now among them from the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah,” (Daniel 1:5-6).
King Nebuchadnezzar (Babylon) attacked and conquered Jerusalem and the areas of that great city (Daniel 1:1). Clearly, God gave Nebuchadnezzar permission to do this and it was because He (God) chose to use Nebuchadnezzar as His arm of judgment against Israel. The reasons for this are many, but suffice it to say the people – as a nation – had simply ignored God’s commands to observe the Sabbatical Year cycle. This would have allowed the Land to rest every seven years from farming. It also meant the people were to forgive debts owed to them by other Israelites; a financial reset as it were, and slaves/servants were to be set free. None of this was observed by the Israelites and they ended up ignoring a total of 70 Sabbatical Year cycles over a period of 490 years. Prompting Nebuchadnezzar to “besiege” Israel was the start of their “incarceration” where God had Nebuchadnezzar remove the people from the Land and their captivity in Babylon would end up being 70 years (one year for each Sabbatical Cycle year they failed to observe). In essence, the Land would be allowed to lie fallow for the full 70 years. Later, in Daniel 9, we learn that God was also going to hold Israel accountable for the full 490 years in which the 70 Sabbatical Year cycles occurred. That does not enter into this article though. I’ve already written a number of articles on that and you can find them here.
But let’s get back to Daniel before I run out of room here. Once Daniel and his friends had been captured and hauled off to the capitol of Babylon, they were put on a diet that was designed to produce good health, by fattening them up. Unfortunately, like much in our western diets, the food and drink that Nebuchadnezzar wanted his new subjects to consume was not going to produce the healthful results that he was looking to achieve, though no doubt, they would put on weight.
Daniel was very concerned with the new diet because he did not want to “defile” himself with food from the king’s kitchen that his religious scruples forbade him to eat. He wanted to retain his purity before God with respect to eating only “clean” food. Daniel 1:8 states, “But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself.”
As far as Daniel was concerned, the food being offered was “unclean” to him and his friends. Being devout Israelites, who worshiped the one, true God, compromise was not to be part of Daniel’s worship experience with God. To this end, he sought to have other foods substituted. What did he request?
Verse 12 of Daniel 1 tells us exactly what Daniel requested. “Please test your servants for ten days, and let us be given some vegetables to eat and water to drink.” Daniel was desperate and so was the person in charge of the food. The commander had already told Daniel that he was concerned that if he did not give him the food requested by the king and Daniel and his friends began looking sickly, it would be his head, not Daniel’s, that would feel the edge of a sword. It was because of this that Daniel asked that they be allowed to try it for a few days (10) and see how they looked compared to the others who would eat of the king’s foods.
Long story short, Daniel and his friends look far healthier than the others (cf. vv 15-16). Why is that? Was it because of Daniel’s faith in God? Certainly, that clearly had something to do with it. God blessed Daniel for wanting to avoid foods and beverages that God had said not to eat. But God had never really taken the time to explain why Israelites should avoid certain foods in detail. He often simply said, “Don’t eat. It’s unclean for you.”
I believe that Daniel eating vegetables and drinking water was extremely good for Daniel because in a perfect world, people should be getting naturally occurring enzymes from the foods we eat. In fact, while I’m not advocating a vegetarian diet by any means (I like beef!), the article at Mercola states that we should be getting naturally occurring enzymes in 75% of the foods we eat. What is the best source for that? The best source is found in RAW (that’s right, raw) vegetables and fruit! Let’s not forget that God Himself did not forbid the Israelites from eating meats. However, there appears to be no greater source of enzymes in nature than in fruits and vegetables and raw ones at that.
What effect did eating these vegetables have on Daniel? As we noted from the previously mentioned verses 15 of Daniel 1, “At the end of ten days their appearance seemed better and they were fatter than all the youths who had been eating the king’s choice food.” The reason has to do with the fact that not only had they obeyed God, but because they obeyed God, the natural benefits of that particular food group provided the young men with health!
In those days, God saw no reason to sit people down and try to explain to them the scientific processes that occur in our bodies to give us life and keep us healthy. He simply told people “don’t eat” or “eat” without much of an explanation. The fact that God considered some foods “unclean” was likely due to the potential problems with under cooked foods like pork. It was simply far better for Israelites to avoid eating such foods.
Interestingly enough, scientists also tell us that once we cook our food above 116 degrees F, the naturally occurring enzymes in that food are destroyed. Time to consider a few things. How do you eat? Do you eat plenty of raw fruits and vegetables? If you follow a western diet, you probably don’t. Your body needs enzymes and some of them that our bodies need are only found in certain foods. If you never eat those foods, your body cannot benefit from them or do its complete job.
An absence of certain enzymes will result in illness. If you’re overweight, fatigued, tired, experience brain “fog,” and even have light pain to chronic pain in joints and muscles, the problem may actually start in what you eat.
There is so much to say about enzymes, but we’ve long run out of space. If you’re truly interested, then I would strongly suggest reading the article that I linked to above in this article. Start there and begin your learning process. Enzymes like Serrapeptase have been used in Europe for over a quarter of a century with wonderful results, but you’ve probably never heard of it. Without enzymes we become ill and die slow, painful, illness-ridden deaths. Yes, we’re all going to die eventually anyway, but I would rather spend the rest of my life being healthy and when the appointed time arrives, I die, rather than be sickly, infested with chronic pain and illnesses and then die. Wouldn’t you?
Enzymes are the proteins that not only sustain life but grant us health. Whether Daniel understood this or not, he was clearly willing to follow God’s guidelines for food and beverage. Those guidelines not only sustained his life in captivity, but enabled him to experience wonderful health. Imagine how much easier it is to trust God when we are not plagued by illnesses and pain due to a lack of necessary enzymes. Worth a shot?