Genesis 2:5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. 7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 8 And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
This passage of scripture clearly shows that even before sin entered the world, God ordained that we should have daily exercise. In dressing and tilling of the soil, Adam and Eve were to have their physical workout in the open air, as an integral part of their lifestyle regimen, and after sin their physical activity was increased not only for health reasons, but also as a deterrent to the numerous diseases and evils to which they would now be exposed. Let's read:
Genesis 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
The extra manual labor that would now be required in the tilling of the soil would result in a variety of blessings to the fallen human race. The heavy sweat that would result from the increased physical activity would be one of the means of removing many impurities from our systems, and the additional exercise would stave off many diseases and ailments, in addition to keeping our muscles and tissues supple and strong. That's why in our day a rigorous exercise regimen is needed, especially because we face many more diseases, and eat much more unhealthy foods than did Adam and Eve.
Today we have many different fitness programs at our disposal, such as aerobic exercise, calisthenics, weight lifting and stretching amongst others. But we will just focus on one type of aerobic exercise that God approved of, and even Jesus incorporated into His busy schedule on a daily basis. Walking. As soon as the children of Israel were emancipated from Egyptian bondage, the Lord in His wisdom put them on a walking regimen as an integral part of their rehabilitation. They walked and walked and walked, and Moses climbed and walked for much of the forty years they wandered in the desert. Let's read:
Exodus 12:37 And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children.
Exodus 16:1 And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.
Exodus 19:1 In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. 3 And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel.
And what was the result? The Bible often repeats the fact that the instructions given to us are for our own good, so let's see for ourselves the end result of their aerobic activity. Let's read:
Psalms 105:37 He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes.
Deuteronomy 34:1 And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the Lord shewed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan, 7 And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.
Note well that Moses did not die from "natural causes", but because of his sin in striking the rock; that's why in obedience to God he was able to climb mount Nebo at 120 years of age without any assistance.
Jesus also climbed and walked as a part of His daily regimen, even though the Bible states that He went about doing good. These missions of mercy were always accomplished on foot, and even when He had opportunity to swim, He walked instead. Let's read:
Matthew 14:23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
Now friends, the instruction Christ is giving us by precept and example is "follow Me". That's what each of His disciples did as they responded to the call of discipleship. They left their usual work, occupations, and life-styles behind and started "walking". Let's read:
Matthew 4:18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. 21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. 22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him. 23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
It will do us well if we can incorporate some form of walking or stair climbing into our daily regimen, following the example of Christ. Some form of aerobic activity that's suitable should be done every day, and with the blessing and grace of God, it will result in tremendous benefit and improvement to all who follow in the "footsteps" of the Master. We therefore end with a passage of scripture that will encourage us to cooperate with God in this area of our lives. Let's read:
3rd John 2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
May we begin to put into practice, what has been too often neglected, for it is indeed a part of the plan for our recovery. "Good night" and God bless!