Principles and Provisions for Health.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth….And God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:….So God created man in His image…” Gen. 1:26 (KJV). After Adam and Eve were created, God gave them the Garden of Eden for their home. And in the Garden of Eden, God gave Adam and Eve principles that they should follow for their health and happiness.
At the very start God instructed them about their diet: “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.” Gen. 1:29 (KJV)
He also specified the food for the animals and the birds and all creeping things that were alive at that time. He gave them every green herb for their food (Gen 1:30). So we could see here that at the very beginning both man and animals were vegetarians. Flesh was not a part of the original diet for both man and animals.
Another principle that was given to Adam and Eve after the fall is found in Genesis 3: 17-19. Adam was to till the ground so he could grow plants for their food. He has to exercise more effort in order to eat. “God appointed labor as a blessing to man, to occupy his mind, to strengthen his body, and to develop his faculties. In mental and physical activity Adam found one of the highest pleasures of his holy existence….” Reflecting Christ, p. 166.4
Let us back track a little. Even before the Lord created Adam and Eve, and established principles for man’s health and happiness, He created the things man needed in order to be happy and healthy. When God created the earth, the first thing He created was light (Gen.1:3), the ultimate and primary source of energy that is needed for life. Without light, there would be no life.
Then the Lord created the firmament on the second day ( Gen. 1: 6,7). This firmament divided the waters such that some of the waters were above and the rest of the waters were below. In the firmament is found one thing that is needed for life: air.
On the third day the Lord made the land appear by gathering the waters that were below in one place. Then He made the trees, and other plants and the grass of the fields. This was to be the source of food for man and animals (Gen. 1: 8-12).
On the fourth day the Lord created the sun, moon and stars. “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: [he made] the stars also.” (Gen. 1: 14-16)
And on the fifth and sixth day, God created the living creatures. Man was created on the sixth day after everything else were created. Man is said to be crowning act of creation. It is because man was created in the image of God.
What an awesome and wonderful Creator, God is. He provided man his needs: light, air, food-bearing plants, and water. Then He instructed man the proper diet that would keep him healthy and happy. After the fall, He instructed Adam to exercise more effort in order to be able to eat.
But the Lord did not stop there. He created the sun, moon and stars to guide man in terms of times and seasons. He even divided the day into dark (night) and light (day) so man would have time to rest and sleep at night and be able to do some activity or work when there is greater light during the day.