I’ve been on a lot of diets. Diets for fibromyalgia, diets to lose weight, diets to gain weight and a lifelong diet—a gluten free diet. I’m a celiac.
Along the way, I’ve learned that the Bible has much to say about food and how the way we approach food affects our relationship with God.
In the beginning, God created the Garden of Eden, and He gave it to Adam.
The Bible begins with food … and a command. In the beginning, man’s food was from the trees in the garden of Eden, except for one, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. All other trees would bring life, but this tree would bring death.
Interesting that this command was given to Adam, but it was the woman who was enticed, deceived by Lucifer, to eat from the one tree that was forbidden because Satan promised her that she would be like God.
After Adam and Eve ate the fruit, they hid from God. Then came death.
Throughout the Bible, there is a dance with food. Somehow what we put into our bodies is tied to our relationship with God.
Before God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, He had them prepare the Passover Lamb. This feast is remembered every year at Passover.
Then, Moses led the Israelites into the wilderness, and the Egyptians followed them. God parted the Red Sea, and the Israelites crossed on dry land. The Egyptians followed them right into the middle of the Red Sea, and the Red Sea crashed down upon the Egyptians and drowned them, saving the Israelites!
We often experience a miracle, sometimes as big as the parting of the Red Sea and most times, smaller than that, but still pretty incredible, and then parched hunger and thirst come; then we complain as the Israelites did when they had no food in the desert. But God was always there for them, and He said,
Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction. Exodus 16:3
This manna, bread from heaven, would represent Jesus, our bread from heaven.
God established feasts as memorials to remember God’s work in His people’s lives. God established the dietary laws for the Israelites, to set them apart from the pagan society, and it so happened that it was a healthier diet than the rest of the world enjoyed.
In Biblical times, when people sat down to eat together, they did not have knives, forks, and spoons, they used their bread to dip into the communal plates and lift out food. They believed that they became one with each of those eating at the table. That’s why it was scandalous for Jesus to eat with the publicans and tax collectors.
There were times of fasting when people needed answers or a special work from God. I’m thinking of Esther calling a three-day fast before she went before the King or Daniel’s three-week fast from pleasant food for understanding prophecy.
Jesus spoke of fasting, but His disciples did not fast while He was with them, because He was the bridegroom.
Jesus fed the 5,000 and the 4,000. He made water into wine.
Much written in the Bible about food. God created food to be pleasing to the eye, to sustain life, and to fellowship with Him. God created food to be a blessing to man. Yet, Satan used food to break fellowship with God and to bring death.
Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are. 1 Cor 3:16-17
The Bible ends with food and a feast. In Biblical times, the marriage feast was seven days long. The Marriage feast of the Lamb will be seven years.
“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” Rev. 19:7-9
And the tree of life will be in the midst of heaven:
Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Rev 22:1-2
In light of the Biblical perspective on food, 2013 will be a year in which I savor the richness of the textures, the colors, and the tastes of food. This year, will be the year, I pay more attention than I already do to what I put into this temple of God. This year, I’ll reflect upon my relationship with food and how it is related to my relationship with God.
My prayer for you:
Creator of all that is good and delightful, thank You for creating a universe filled with an abundance of colors, textures, and tastes. Help us to remember that our bodies are Your holy temple. Empower us to be more mindful of what we put into this temple of Yours. Thank You for all the pleasures You have given us.