God’s Appointed Diet
When God created the Garden of Eden with all the beautiful plants, shrubs, trees, birds, animals, fish, and man, He proclaimed that "it was very good" (Gen. 1:31). Everything, including man, was in its perfect state; and every living thing was doing exactly what it was originally designed to do. This included the diet of each creature. To man "God said, Behold, I have given you every herb [plant] 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]. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb [plant] for meat [food]: and it was so." Gen. 1:29- 30.
This constituted our original diet which God gave us when we were in a perfect environment. Let us understand what it was. "Behold, I have given you every herb [a plant without a strong woody stem or trunk] bearing seed" is generally understood to mean grains (wheat, oats, corn, rice, rye, barley, millet, etc.), seeds (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame, flax, etc.), legumes (soybeans, kidney beans, lentils, split peas, peanuts, etc.), and other foods containing seed, some of which we call vegetables today (eggplant, bell pepper, pumpkins, cucumbers, tomatoes, okra, squash, melons, etc.). ". . . and every tree [plant with a strong woody stem such as a shrub, bush, or tree], in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed." This is generally understood to mean fruits (oranges, lemons, cranberries, apples, pears, mangos, strawberries, dates, cherries, blueberries, bananas, coconut, avocados, olives, etc.), and nuts (almonds, pecans, cashews, walnuts, chestnuts, pine nuts, brazil, etc.). The green plants of the field were the food for the animals and birds.
After Adam and Eve sinned God told them, "Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb [plants] of the field." Gen. 3:18. Now God instructed man to also eat of the plants of the field, which originally was given for the animals to eat. This is generally understood to mean leafy, flower, and root vegetables (lettuce, spinach, parsley, fennel, beets, brussels sprouts, watercress, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, turnips, potatoes, garlic, onions, etc.). This was very wise on God's part because many of the vegetables contain medicinal properties that are necessary to sustain us in a sinful, polluted world. This new diet was God's appointed diet for man.
Many years later God destroyed all living things from the face of the earth by the Flood, except the occupants of the Ark. When Noah and his family emerged from the Ark there were no trees, bushes, greenery, or plants of any kind available for food. It was going to take a little while before they could get gardens planted and harvested and trees ready to bear. So God gave them permission to eat the flesh of animals and to use their products. God said, "Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things." Gen. 9:3. God gave them permission to use meat temporarily or as a temporary diet because of insufficient plant food immediately after the Flood. Shortly after man began eating meat, his lifespan dropped from almost 1,000 years to less than 100 years.
During the time of the Israelites' wandering in the wilderness, God endeavored to start weaning His people from flesh and animal products. He gave them instructions as to which animals to eat and which ones not to eat; He told them "to make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten." Lev. 11:47. However, when God gave the Israelites only manna to eat, they were not too happy. Instead they craved the fleshpots of Egypt. After much murmuring and complaining, they were given quails to eat, but as a result many of them died.
The Bible tells us of restitution or restoration: ". . . the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began" (Acts. 3:21). In other words, there will be a time of restoration among God's people, of getting back to the way God appointed things to be. Of course this includes diet. During the reign of sin here on earth, God appointed our diet to consist of plant foods: grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Flesh and animal products were given because of a temporary need when there was not enough plant food to sustain Noah and his family after the Flood. However, now that need does not exist, and certainly we are approaching the times of restitution. Thus, it is time that we gradually make the transition back to God's appointed diet.
In God's kingdom there will be no death, nothing will eat any other creature, and humans will not kill animals and eat their flesh or use their products that were intended for the nourishment of their young. Isaiah describes that wonderful time: "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." Isa. 11: 6-9.
Let us not be like the ancient Israelites who complained and murmured against God when He tried to get them away from animal products. Let us instead focus on the exciting time ahead of us in the times of restitution and get ready for those times by training our taste buds to enjoy the food God intended us to eat, first the appointed diet while we are yet in this sinful world and eventually God's original diet when we are finally fully restored.
If you would like more information on how to make a transition to God's appointed diet, please click here.
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