“Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work (John 4:34 KJV).”
A recent paleoanthropological study theorizes that the introduction of raw meat into “early man’s” diet changed the course of “human evolution.”1 The researchers know that human teeth serve for chewing and act more as a mortar and pestle. But according to their assumptions humans were eating meat 2 million years before the introduction of cooking. Their conclusions are that men had to develop tools to process raw meat so that it could be ingested.
The biblical view of the dietary habits of early man is a bit different but it does demonstrate and evolution of sorts also. Initially to Adam, and the whole human race, God seemingly made them to be herbivores; “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be food (Genesis 1:29).” But after the eight disembarked following the flood men’s menu offerings were expanded; “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs (Genesis 9:3).” The only restriction was that blood was not to be eaten (Genesis 9:4, Leviticus 17:11, Acts 15:20).
But the diets of God’s covenant people experienced further evolutionary changes with the introduction of the Law of Moses. Now only the meat of certain animals were fair game (Leviticus 11). They were given an extensive buffet but they were to discern what was on their menu and to train their appetites for acceptable fare. God had delivered the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt and miraculously provided Manna to feed them in the wilderness (Exodus 16) but they complained about the narrow offering and demanded meat. Even in the wilderness the LORD provided meat for the masses (Numbers 11). The problem wasn’t the providence of God it was that their appetites were not trained to desire the new heavenly diet. They still hungered for the food they ate in the land of bondage (Numbers 11:5).
In the New Covenant God’s people have seen further evolutionary changes occur in regard to their diets. Certainly the prohibitions on some of those animals under the Old Covenant have been lifted. This adaptation was not easily accepted initially as we see Peter struggled with the idea of eating those things (Acts 10:12-16, Mark 7:14-23). Now then there is no meat that is forbidden; “For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving (1 Timothy 4:3-4).”
But the evolutionary change in our diets is not what is on our plates but what is in our hearts. Those shadowy practices served for a time to train God’s people to be discerning (Colossians 2:14-17). Having been set free from the ration of the bread of bondage God has invited us to dine at His table in the New Covenant (Matthew 8:11). But the discernment is to put off our old appetites and to grow in our hunger for heavenly things. “But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Hebrews 5:14).” Christians aren’t called to count calories or to pass on desert but rather to grow and feed on God’s Word each day. It’s not just a diet, it’s a lifestyle.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled (Matthew 5:6).”