William Andrew Dillard
FIRST DENTAL HYGIENIST
Dental Hygienists may be glad to learn that theirs is a profession of antiquity. Most would think it a fairly new thing of the last century or so. As a matter of fact, God Himself was the first dental hygienist. Think with me a moment.
When the Hebrews were following the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night in the long trek from Egyptian bondage to the Promised Land, they were mightily blessed of the Lord. He dropped bread on them every night save the Sabbath eve; provided them with water in the desert; kept them in clothing and shoes that simply would not wear out, etc.
But, they began to complain because of the light bread, which, though tasty, they had come to disdain. So, they lamented over the leeks, onions, melons, fleshpots they had in Egypt, but here all they had was light bread. Their cry became “give us flesh to eat!”
God gave them flesh, and He also smote them while the flesh was in their mouth, Numbers 11. Much later, in their backslidden condition, the Lord dealt with them differently. The people were exposed to a dental cleaning. This is underscored by the prophet Amos who cried out against the children of Israel in these words: “And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord.” Amos 4:6.
So, the Loving God Who dealt with them severely in the wilderness wanderings to fill their teeth with flesh, also provided them with cleanness of teeth (famine), but they still did not turn to the Lord from their sinful ways . It is descriptive of a condition afflicting a lot of folk nowadays.
It seems people want the prayers of Christians when they are ill, but they do not want healing in order to serve God, they want it so they can continue their sinful lifestyle. Should they have a wreck in their automobile, they will seek a safer, more indestructible car rather than humbly submit to God’s working in their life. Should they have a blowout, they will not reckon with their actions, but simply seek blowout proof tires. Such is the status of a large percentage of what is called Christianity in general, and Baptists in particular.
There is a saying that those who forget history are doomed to relive it. Remember, the cleanness of teeth that the Lord provided His people was altogether good, but not to be desired. Those who are wise recall I Cor. 10 in which it is expressly stated that all those things that happened to Israel are recorded for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come.
It is obviously better for every Christian to keep his teeth (heart) clean lest a visit to the first dental hygienist be in order.