Among the many rules of conduct that God gave Israel was to practice basics of healthy living, which included regular washing of hands and feet. Exodus 30:17- 21 records this conversation between Moses and God.
The Lord spoke to Moses: “You are also to make a large bronze basin with a bronze stand for washing. You are to put it between the tent of meeting and the altar and put water in it. When Aaron and his sons enter the tent of meeting, or approach the altar to minister by burning incense as an offering made by fire to the Lord , they must wash their hands and their feet so that they do not die. And this will be a perpetual ordinance for them and for their descendants throughout their generations.”
It is important to notice that this command was for all descendants for all generations. It was to be a perpetual practice among the people of Israel. Twice it is indicated that the reason this command is given is to save the lives of those who approached the presence of God. Unfortunately, it became a ritual for the people of Israel instead of a life giving principle. This ritual has been enforced globally by the Islam faith as a religious practice for effective prayers. This was not intended to be a ritual, but a nation saving health practice.
In addition to body washing, there were rules of body waste management that included digging pits to cover all human waste. Every man on the frontline was to carry weapons and a shovel in order to take responsibility for his body waste. breaching the health practices meant nationwide judgement. Even when only one person failed in their responsibility.
Health basics also included rules on moulding houses and clothes. Nothing was to be taken for granted. And no one was to be left out in the process of ensuring that there are no life threatening outbreaks. Health was the responsibility of all and a crucial part of the worship life of the people of Israel.Without becoming ancient in outlook to life, there is need to make health practices the norm of all people. It is not enough to have more medical personnel in the nation. We need a national drive to grant all Ugandans easy access to clean water. We need to revive the demand for every household to have proper solid waste management structure.
One pastor friend discovered the relevance of these health practices when he made it his goal to teach men in his village to shower once a day. And he challenged them to regularly put on shoes in spite of the severe poverty challenges they faced. Many came back to him saying that the practice had broken the power of witchcraft off their lives. They could now sleep soundly because the itching spirits of the witches had left them. And their relationships with their wives had reatly improved. The miracle was in the return to the health basics of life. This miracle can be replicated countrywide.