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It is impossible for me to love God with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength without considering my relationship to food. My diet, taste buds, appetite, cravings, and digestive process were all created by God and originally declared “good” by Him. He made all this for a purpose; therefore, it behooves me to know why. “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
We can be certain all that God does is wise and is for an ultimate purpose. All things contribute to His overall plan of having Christ have the preeminence. Even what may be routine or mundane has a purpose in God’s plan. We need to heighten our awareness of God and see His sovereign providence in every moment, especially while eating.
It amazes me just how many references to food there are in Scripture. And why not, we do eat often and it is an essential element of our existence. Imagine the Bible being written without food? No fruit in the garden. No feasts for the Israelites. No bountiful harvests or famine for Joseph to discuss with Pharaoh. No fasting for our Savior in the wilderness and no temptation to turn rocks into bread. I could go on, but I think you get the idea. For the Bible to have no reference to food would give pause and doubt to its authenticity and authority.
I am certainly not the sharpest theological knife in the drawer, but it seems rather self-evident with all the mentioning of food in the Bible there appears to be a larger message here for us to grasp. Before you jump to conclusions and rattle my cage for taking liberties with hermeneutics, know that it is my foremost goal to give God glory in every area of my life. In doing this I must consider Him in areas seemingly mundane and ordinary. Is God not the God of my belly or my taste buds or my desires?
In previous posts on the doctrine of food we explored that food reveals the goodness of God, food causes us to remember and celebrate, and food choice reveals our sin. This post will illumine that Scripture shows that food gives us greater insight into spiritual truths.
Because of God’s design of food, we are able to practically describe Spiritual truths using physical means. Food allows for deeper understanding of God and His Word through physical analogies, metaphors, and descriptions. It allows for a universal description of the world because everyone knows what is sweet and what is sour. We use these same words to describe things around us that are not eaten. We know that being bitter is not pleasant, that a sweet person is good, and a painting with no taste is not worth observing.
Here are a few examples:
It is fitting to be reminded of how God has used food to describe our entrance into His heavenly kingdom. Our hope is built on nothing less than to be with our Savior. He has told us “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” Our reunion with Christ is going to be a feast where righteousness, grace, mercy, holiness, joy, worship, and glory will be the banquet.
Eat well today and then perhaps consider filling your belly afterwards.
Exodus 12:14 ‘Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance.
For thousands of years, food has been a focus of our times of celebration and remembrances. Kings display their wealth by declaring great feasts. I love how the beginning of Esther describes the great banquet of King Ahasuerus’s which lasted 180 days. What wealth! Things haven’t changed much since King Ahasuerus day, except maybe the length of the feast is not quite as long. When countries host ambassadors, they have elaborate State dinners with lavish servings of all kinds of good food. In our home, we have a tradition of letting the person celebrating their birthday pick the food for the meal we eat as a family. Everybody I know enjoys Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter meals as well as a good ole 4th of July barbecue. Basically, when people gather, food is present.
The Israelite people have many feasts; Passover, Pentecost (also called the feast of weeks), the Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles (Booths), Rosh Hashanah, Purim, and more. What is interesting is that God commanded His people to celebrate with food. Specifically, God instituted the Jewish Passover feast to remember and celebrate their deliverance from bondage. The feasts were very much a part of the Old Covenant.
It is by the grand design of God that in the same way, as part of the New Covenant, we participate in the ordinance of communion to remember our deliverance from the bondage of sin. The Apostle Paul tells us that whenever we participate in the Lord’s Supper, we proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes back. Eating bread and drinking the wine of communion are ways to remember and celebrate our salvation. In the scheme of life, is there anything that should have more cause to remember than what Christ has done for us?
How interesting that God has chosen eating food as a way to celebrate the Lord’s death.
Jesus said (Luke 14:15), “Blessed is everyone who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!” The Angel told John, (Revelation 19:9), “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”