Food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart. – Psalm 104:14-15
Scripture reading: Psalm 104
The Bible starts with Adam and Eve in a garden full of trees bearing all kinds of good food. The Bible ends with a wedding feast. In between, God rains down food for his people in the form of quails and manna; He appears to enjoy seeing us break bread together! Elijah is discouraged; God sends ravens with food to nourish and comfort him. The sacrificial system and Passover involved eating to the glory of God. Jesus chose to first reveal His power and identity by multiplying wine at a wedding – vats full of the best wine. He saw 5000 hungry and decided to feed them all by multiplying very little. He raises up the daughter of Jairus, and immediately tells them to give her something to eat. Everywhere we look in Scripture we see the affirmation of the aesthetics, the variety, the nourishment, the joy of food and eating. Paul includes the legalistic denial of certain foods as belonging to the “doctrine of demons” – “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving” (I Timothy 4:4).
“Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do” (Eccl. 9:7).
Suggestions for prayer
“I love Thee for giving me clusters of grapes in the wilderness, and drops of heavenly wine that set me longing to have my fill. Apart from Thee I quickly die, bereft of Thee I starve.” – The Valley of Vision: Blessings
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mark Stewart serves the Burlington URC in Burlington, WA.