Right Arm, The
Health, Diet, and the Bible for Today
by Hasselmeier, Jerry P
When God first created Adam and Eve, He formed them in perfection. Their appearance and their functions were perfect as was the environment God created for them to inhabit. They did not lack anything they needed.
The Holy Bible tells us of God’s perfection and the original plan He had for us. However, as we look around the world we live in today, we see that humanity is far from perfection, and even nature has fallen from its ideal state in Eden. We face all types of problems today—crime, violence, immorality, and political and financial problems abound. We know that these problems will be swept away when Jesus returns to take the righteous home with Him, but does God have a solution while we are living on this earth today? Yes, He does. Not only is this solution for today, but it is for eternity.
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). This is the first verse in the Bible and probably the most well-known. Jesus made reference to both that text and that period of time when He debated with the Pharisees, a powerful and highly respected sect of Judaism, regarding the subject of marriage and divorce. The Pharisees were trying to prove to Jesus that according to the laws of Moses it was lawful “for a man to put away his wife” for any reason at all (Matt. 19:3), but Jesus responded that God’s ideal plan for humanity was not found in the Mosaic law. Instead, God had established the perfect plan for humanity “at the beginning” when He first created them.
Likewise the laws and ordinances given to the Jews through Moses were put in place because of their refusal to obey God. This is clearly shown in the following verses: “They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?” To which Jesus replied, “Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered [allowed] you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so” (verses 7, 8).
So according to Jesus, how do we apply God’s perfect plan in a practical way for our daily lives? It’s very simple. Pick up your Bible, and turn to page one. Let me say here, though, that we should not make the mistake that some do of focusing on what the Bible does not tell us. What God reveals to us in Scripture is very important, and we should make the most of the light He gives us right now, not always stretching our efforts to find the unknown as Eve did. Rest assured, although there may appear to be “gaps” in Bible history from our limited perspective, God has given us every bit of knowledge we need to get us out of our huge dilemma, and a mass of unnecessary information would only hold us back.
When God first created Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, they were perfect in every way—physically, mentally, and spiritually. In this perfect environment, God gave our first parents a perfect diet to follow: “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat [food]” (Gen. 1:29).
Thus, the original plan for our food included “every herb bearing seed,” which included unripe grains, tender legumes, and the oily seeds of certain plants, as well as “the fruit of a tree yielding seed.” Basically, the fruits and edible seeds of the earth were to be our fare. And for the animals, the Lord had given “every green herb for meat, and it was so” (verse 30).
The Lord also gave Adam an ideal line of work in the garden. One that would perfectly complement his lifestyle and diet: “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress [cultivate] it and to keep it” (Gen. 2:15). So we see that even in paradise slothful living was not to be tolerated. Keeping busy and working outdoors among the plants and the trees was part of God’s original and perfect design for our lives.
Agriculture is not meant to be menial labor—it was designed by the Creator to be the work of kings and queens, princes and princesses in God’s kingdom. Anyone who has a plot of land that could be devoted for the growing of trees and plants for both food and décor would benefit by pursuing this course. There is no food quite so pleasing to eat as that grown by the work of one’s own hands. If all the work done today for the development of human inventions and technology were to be devoted for the development of scientific agriculturalism, the entire planet would receive a blessing thereby beyond our imaginations.
We know what God’s ideal diet was in the Garden of Eden, but when and how did the human diet change? The obvious answer is the introduction of sin into the world. After Adam and Eve fell, God had to come up with a plan to bail them out of what they had gotten themselves into. We find the consequences of their sin and God’s plan in the following verses: “Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread [food], till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Gen. 3:17–19).
I would like to take note here that this bailout plan referred to here is not to be mistaken for the promise given of the coming Messiah (Gen. 3:15; Isa. 53), but it is, nonetheless, tied directly to that promise. With that in mind, we can deduce from the previously quoted texts that the “curse” given to Adam, after he fell from grace had two components. First, there was to be an increase in the difficulty of labor, and second, there was to be a change in the diet. Both of these changes were essential to humanity’s survival, and mankind’s long-term survival was essential for God’s plan of salvation, which depended upon the coming of the Savior, Christ our King, to rescue us.
Physically, humanity needed a “life-extender” after sinning against God. Adam and Eve had willingly chosen to literally disconnect themselves from the great Power Source of all life. It would be only natural that after Adam and Eve were put out of the garden and separated from the glory of God that their own life force within them would begin to wane like that of an uncharged battery. After all, apart from God, we are all mortal beings and subject to death. It could be reasoned that every generation following Adam would be weaker than the previous one until the human race would deteriorate and die out. But, interestingly enough, this is not what happened. Adam, with all his great might and force, lived to be 930 years. That’s right! Nearly a thousand years old! But he wasn’t the longest-lived of the human race. Methuselah, the oldest person recorded in Bible history, lived to be 969 years old, and he was the seventh generation after Adam! And Noah, the ninth generation after Adam, lived to the age of 950! How is that possible?
Along with hard outdoor labor, God had added to humanity’s otherwise perfect diet a new element that was previously intended only for the animals in Eden. It was the “green herb” that was given to him when God told Adam “and thou shalt eat the herb of the field” (Gen. 3:18). Of this the psalmist wrote, “He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth” (Ps. 104:14).
There are substances in the green herb that have incredible nutritional and health-promoting properties, things that modern science has not even come close to discovering. I speak of nothing “mystical” or “supernatural” here. This is all purely scientific, as all true science is in harmony with natural law, but because of humanity’s slowness in discovering these aspects of God’s amazing and wonderful creation, this in no way denigrates the power of the truths present in nature. Did chlorophyll, the substance in green leaves that allows for photosynthesis to take place, exist before it was discovered by human beings? Yes, indeed; we surely did not need to wait for scientific experts and researchers to tell us so to have the plants grow! It is simply by observing and harmoniously working with nature, in harmony with the truths revealed to us in Scripture, that we really come to an understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
Looking at the Garden of Eden, we get a glimpse of God’s perfect diet for His children. Then, as we look forward to Eden restored, we also see another glimpse of God’s perfect diet.
We are told by the prophet Malachi that the saints in heaven, when the Garden of Eden is restored, will “grow up as calves of the stall” (Mal. 4:2; compare to Gen. 1:30; 3:18; and Dan. 4). And correspondingly, in the book of Revelation John tells us that the saints will eat the fruits of the tree of life and that “the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations” (Rev. 22:2). Thus we see that in heaven, as the saints of God are regenerating from the effects of sin, we will utilize the healing effect of the leaves of the tree of life as we “grow up as calves of the stall.”
God gave Adam and Eve plants to eat of in paradise, and the wonderful “green herb” even has a central role for our health after we are in heaven! Should we not make the most of this wonderful nutritional gift while we are still here on this earth?
End of preview.
Here is the Table of Contents of the complete book:
2. Inevitable Decline
3. The Shining Light
5. Fading Glory
6. A Beacon for the Future
7. Dust to Potter’s Clay
8. “He Must Increase”
9. A New Era
10. His Other Temple
11. God’s Prescription for Us
12. The Spark of Life
13. Seasons, Times, and Purposes
14. The Salt of the Earth
15. Babylon’s Worldwide Deception