Now, there's another model of life in these older pages. The Hebrew nation, as planned by God, gives one model. Here's another. It's yet earlier. It comes in before the break of sin had set things so askew.
It's the model of the true full human, the human as yet unhurt by sin. It's the Adam-and-Eve-in-Eden model.
It is really God's ideal of human life. And it is put here at the very first where anyone can quickly see it.
Of course, I am a little old-fashioned about man's start on this earth. This other teaching has so befogged all the air that it's quite refreshing to turn back to God's own picture. I am rather fond of some old-fashioned things, water, open air, fresh fruit, natural wheat, the Bible, and the like.
Adam was made the true full normal human, by direct act of God. He stood at the highest point of mature manhood, physically, mentally, and in spirit understanding.
He knew civilization at its highest, in miniature. For civilization does not consist in the culture which the Greeks had, nor the highly organized life of the Roman, nor the organized complexity of modern times.
Civilization is a moral thing. Civilization means harmonious life in contact with others. And the essential thing there is moral ideals and moral conduct. So far as any civilization lacks these it is less than real civilization.
Look at God's picture, His model in Eden. It is simple, delightfully simple, but never crude, and certainly not savage.
Here is a human, fresh from the hand of God. He is on terms of intimacy with God. They talk and walk and are busily occupied with their work together.
This man has an intimate congenial human friend at his side sharing all his life. He has a daily occupation, caring for a garden.
He has before him a great inspiring task, subduing the whole earth. There's the immediate and the distant, the near and the far, something for hands and something for mind.
He lived in the open air, sleeping as well as working and resting there. The second day he lived was marked as a rest day.
He had a daily task, work and exercise combined. He had a fruit diet. His food was all sun-cooked. He had pure water to drink. There was running water to bathe in.
Is it not a winsome picture? One is more than ever insistent on getting away from the modern phrase "the ascent of man," and toward the older phrase "the descent of man."
Certainly it would be a going up to go back to that old Eden standard of civilization and culture and life.
And there is a plain intimation, too, that this first man's bodily vigour hinged on his keeping in touch with his friendly Companion, God.
Do you remember that day they are standing under that tree of opportunity? Through choosing not to eat of it as God wished him not to do, choosing to choose God's choice, Adam would be stepping into a still closer intimacy with God. The highest thing can come only through choice.
There is a gentle but very plain word of warning about that tree. He could misuse the opportunity it gave him. He could break friendship with God if he chose.
And this is the word of warning, "For in the day that thou eatest thereof, dying, thou shalt die" (Gen_2:17, paraphrase). The dying would come automatically through the break.
There would be a beginning, a continued process, and a final result. The moment he ate was the beginning. The process went on for years. The actual bodily death didn't come till long years after.
Now, that intimation naturally includes the reverse, i.e., if thou keep in touch with me, by thine own voluntary choice, living, thou shalt live.
There would be the same movement in the opposite direction, a beginning, a process, a final result. Choosing God's way would bring him yet closer to God.
That would be the beginning of a new life by his own choice. And that would grow from less to more until a fulness of life would come, such as one simply can't take in.
Touch with God is the basis of full life, bodily, mental, of the spirit. The other word for touch is obedience.
Obedience is a music word. It means the rhythm of God's will and a man's will. No sweeter music was ever made on earth, or heard in heaven.
All this, you notice, has to do simply with the human side of health. This early model gives God 's own thought of the true full natural human man, as He planned him.
This Eden idea says, in effect, that a man should have a noble passion, a human friend, a daily task, and an outreaching purpose that calls for all there is in him.
His immediate bodily needs are open air, simple food, the exercise of a daily task, a time of rest, and running water near by.
This first man's passion was for his Friend, to please Him. To carry out His plan. By his side was his complemental self, his one nearest human friend with whom all his life was shared.
There was a garden of trees and flowers and all growing things to care for, and the cultivation of the whole earth entrusted to him to think about and plan for.