Food, food, food. We all love it and look forward to our favorite meals. It was one of the first things God provided in the Garden of Eden.
“And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” (Gen 2:8-9, KJV).
It was the purpose God had for allowing Joseph to be sold into slavery by his brothers. He was to be the caretaker of the food for Pharaoh so that there would be food for the Israelite family when they came to Egypt during the famine.
When Solomon was preparing to build the Lord’s house, he traded food to Hiram in exchange for the timber.
“So Hiram gave Solomon cedar trees and fir trees according to all his desire. And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat for food to his household, and twenty measures of pure oil: thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year.” (I Kings 5:10-11).
God provides all food, even for the animals. When He speaks from the whirlwind to Job, He reminds Job of His giving with a question, “Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.” (Job 38:41).
The Psalms remind us that manna is called the food of the angels, “Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven, And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven. Man did eat angels’ food: he sent them meat to the full.” (Psa 78:23-25).
And again in 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,” and “Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever.” (Psa 136:25).
One of the most wonderful prayers in Scripture comes to us in the Book of Proverbs. It is by Agur (the son of Jakeh), who prays, “Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.” (Prov 30:7-9).
Agur’s prayer reminds us not to place too much emphasis on food; not to be greedy with it; and not to ever put it before God. In Genesis 25, Esau came in from a day of unsuccessful hunting and was (of course) very hungry, and his brother Jacob had fixed some stew. Rather than take the time to fix himself something to eat, he sold his own birthright to his twin brother — placing one meal before his Holy blessing from God. Therefore, we are warned in the New Testament not to ever copy Esau’s choice, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.” (Heb 12:15-16).
Let us not forget our birthright as God’s children — do not put food first in our lives; keep it as a blessing rather than an object of worship.
James reminds us that we are to make sure those around us have enough to eat.
“If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?” (James 2:15-16).
Let us do a bit of fasting now and then, so that we remember to truly appreciate the Creator and give thanks for every morsel of food, and let us make sure that others are not hungry while we eat plentifully during this time of staying safer at home.