Genesis 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 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.
Before we delve into man's diet after the fall, it's important that an explanation be given about the curse found in verse seventeen. This curse was for man's sake, as plainly stated, or in other words, for our benefit. After Adam and Eve had sinned, the natural results of their course of action would thus require much more effort for the land to produce food, but in so doing it would call into action the latent qualities in human nature, both physical and mental, and these would henceforth be of very great value to the human family in the process of recovery.
In addition to our original diet, the passage in Genesis adds two more items, namely bread and herbs, which like everything else that God has given to us, was for our own good. Let's read:
Psalms 104:14 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; 15 .... "And oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart.
And so we have a total of five categories of food given by God up to this point and they are fruit, nuts, and grains, which were given before man sinned, and the two additional categories of bread, and herbs, or vegetables. With these five food groups man would have lived in health and strength for many, many years, as is evidenced by the long years of life enjoyed by the Antediluvians, who sometimes lived past nine hundred years. Let's read:
Genesis 5:5 And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died. 8 And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died. 11 And all the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years: and he died. 14 And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years: and he died. Etc.
However, after the flood a sixth category of food was permitted since there was obviously a scarcity of the first five food groups. Flesh foods were now authorized for consumption, but with the stipulation of not eating blood, and then later on in the book of Leviticus, the Lord gave a detailed list of which flesh foods, fish, birds, and creeping things can be eaten.
But now in the twenty-first century, we are faced with many more hurdles to maintaining a healthy diet, than those in former ages encountered. We now have to deal with water pollution with mercury on an unprecedented scale, in addition to the stubbornness of the earth in food production, which is ultimately forcing farmers and scientists to genetic manipulation of seed and grain, and the use of harmful pesticides in order to supply earth's inhabitants with the necessary food. As a matter of fact, we now know that approximately 80% of all the food now available is genetically modified, and as a result, it takes much more food to supply the necessary nutrients than was required in ages past.
The question then is, how can we eat healthily in the face of these daunting obstacles that are getting worse every year? How are we to subsist on the dwindling choices and reserves we have at our disposal? As usual we turn to the word of God for the answers to all of our perplexing questions. The Bible indeed tells us that the time will come when it will not be safe nor right to eat anything from this planet, whether veggies or flesh foods , however until such a time, we must trust God to take up the slack if we do all within our power to conform to His ideal will.
God is able to add His blessing to our efforts to eat foods that are in harmony with His will, and He is also able to nourish and sustain our bodies supernaturally as we head into the last lap of the long running marathon of earth's history. This guarantee can be found in the following scriptures. Let's read:
Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Mark 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; 18 ..... "and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover".
Psalms 103:1 Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: 3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; 4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; 5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.
An excellent example of God "taking up the slack" can be found in the experience of the sons of the prophets when they were preparing a pot of soup to eat. The Bible says that at this time there was a famine in the land and consequently food was very scarce. After gathering and cooking the only wild pumpkins and herbs they could find, they then distributed the food amongst themselves and began to eat, only to find out not long after that they were the subjects of food poisoning, stemming from the wild gourds they had gathered. What happened next is a direct interposition of God to mitigate the detrimental effects of the only food they had available. Let's read:
2nd Kings 4:38 And Elisha came again to Gilgal: and there was a dearth in the land; and the sons of the prophets were sitting before him: and he said unto his servant, Set on the great pot, and seethe pottage for the sons of the prophets. 39 And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered thereof wild gourds his lap full, and came and shred them into the pot of pottage: for they knew them not. 40 So they poured out for the men to eat. And it came to pass, as they were eating of the pottage, that they cried out, and said, O thou man of God, there is death in the pot. And they could not eat thereof. 41 But he said, Then bring meal. And he cast it into the pot; and he said, Pour out for the people, that they may eat. And there was no harm in the pot.
In our day there is a famine in the land for good nutritious food, and too often we hear of food poisoning by the e coli bacteria, even occurring with vegetables and other herbs. We would need to trust in God more and more as we approach the close of earth's history, because try as we might, there is only so much we can do to eat in accordance with God's ideal will. We therefore end with a text that should point us to our never-failing refuge, Jesus Christ, who will provide for all of our needs according to His riches in glory. Let's read:
Exodus 23:25 And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.
Let us now learn the valuable lessons of trusting in Jesus and walking by faith, for they are indispensable to a victorious Christian life. "Good night" and God bless!