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The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds. . . . And God saw that it was good.
The biblical story opens among fruit-bearing trees and closes with a feast. The pages in between depict tables heavy-laden with food. Some of that food is simple (Ex. 12:20), some of it is decadent (Daniel 1), some of it is metaphorical (John 6), and all of it emphasizes the ties that bind us to each other and to God.
This month we’ll accept the psalmist’s invitation to “taste and see that the LORD is good” (Ps. 34:8). We will explore how food and eating are woven into Scripture and what this can teach us about the nature of God’s will for our lives.
We start in the Garden of Eden where God made “all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food” (v. 9). It’s hard to imagine humankind without food, but it’s worth noting that God could have made humans who don’t need to eat. Interestingly, we were created from the beginning—even before the Fall—as beings who do need to eat. Why?
In her book Eat with Joy, theologian Rachel Marie Stone suggests that food connects us to others—other people and other creatures—in millions of ways, some visible, many hidden. And food connects us all to God. She writes, “Eating with others is more than just a symbol of friendship, or belonging, or mutual trust—it is a living metaphor for our connection with other human beings as well as our dependence on the God who feeds us.”
By creating humans with the need to eat, God signals that we are fundamentally interdependent creatures. The technology we create to streamline our food production—from rakes to meat-packing plants—is frequently the result of collaboration. And before that, all food production is dependent on the sun and rain provided by God. Through food, God offers the gift of ongoing relationships with each other and with Him.
Apply the Word
When young Jewish students start their religious studies they are given a dab of honey on a square of waxed paper and told: Never. Forget. What. God. Tastes. Like. As we begin this study, take some honey out of your own cabinet (or perhaps a bit of jam from the fridge) and spread it on a cracker. Say a prayer of gratitude for God’s tasty provision of food and of His Word.
Pray with Us
Procurement Services provide the faculty and staff on Moody’s Chicago campus with all the supplies necessary for work. We appreciate their service and ask that you pray for Paul Brackley, Brenda Crump, Ed Jordan, and Stephen Richardson.