Eating is simply something you have to do. Where we have enough we tend to eat three meals a day, or more. A problem comes when we are preoccupied with eating. But the Holy Bible has lots of positive things to say about meals.
Our town is known as the food and drink capital of Staffordshire. It’s not a bad tag to have! The annual Food and Drink Festival complement the range of places to eat this month.
The Holy Bible often speaks about eating to celebrate past events. For example, the Passover meal was a reminder of Israel’s exodus from slavery in Egypt when a plague of death passed over their homes. The blood of a sacrificial lamb protected them. Jesus changed the meaning of this meal when he used it to mark his death as the Lamb of God. It is known as The Lord’s Supper. In another part of Israel’s history they took a desert journey during which God satisfied their hunger. They learnt how just as the hand of God sustained their physical life, so they also depended on God’s word of promise to sustain their spiritual life.
The Holy Bible also talks about how food can become the unhealthy focus of our attention. The phrase “greed is idolatry” (Colossians 3v5) applies when we think that food can satisfy a deep-seated need such as providing comfort. Food can be misused when we disregard others through selfishness or by looking down on those who don’t do the same as us. The Apostle Paul had to correct some bad teaching that was being peddled as a super-spiritual lifestyle, but was in fact destructive: ‘they forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving” (1 Tim 4v3). He later reminds those who are proud of being self-made people: “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Tim 6v17).
We are given an important general principle: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10v31). Eating with family and friends is something that Jesus did. Meals together are a sign of the goodness of God. The act of giving thanks before a meal acknowledges our dependence on God for life and humbles us before Him.