Updated: Oct 6, 2021
We seem to have mixed emotions about food. Our mood swings from positive descriptive words about food – yum, delish, tasty, scrumptious – to assigning value to certain foods based on current diet trends. Low fat, low carb, clean, gluten free, and vegan all possess some level of judgement on food. And while certain foods are certainly more significant in terms of nutritional value, I think we tend to lose sight of the basic belief that food is good. I love the Truett Cathy quote that can be found adorning the walls of most Chick-fil-A restaurants: “Food is essential to life; therefore, make it good.”
We want good food, but do we truly believe that food is good? When we’re trying to shed a few pounds, do we believe food is good or do we see it as the enemy? When we’re beckoned back to the freezer for another serving of ice cream, do we still believe food is good or do we curse it for its allure?
God created food when He said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds ... And God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:11–12). After He created man and woman, God gave them every seed-bearing plant as food (Genesis 1:29). Food is good. God says so. But we need to understand its purpose, reset our thinking, and put it back in the proper place in our lives.
God created us with a need for food and He accounted for that daily provision. Our daily need for food is symbolic of our daily need for Him. He is our provider. He sustains us. He is our daily bread. Food provides the energy for our bodies to function and it sustains us so we can continue His mission and calling. This should be the starting point in our thoughts about food.
With this in mind, consider the following ways God intended food to be viewed.
God is the creator of food and the entire cycle of how we grow the plant foods we eat. He’s also responsible for the lifecycle of the meats we consume. We are dependent on him for life.
God blesses us with food.
In biblical times, food was perceived as a blessing from God. Manna was a good gift that God provided daily for the Israelites during their wandering. The promised land was described as flowing with milk and honey. And many of the miracles Jesus performed involved the blessing of food.
Worship and celebration.
There are numerous references to food being used as worship and celebrations in the Bible. In the tabernacle, during Passover and other feasts, when the wall around Jerusalem was rebuilt, making sacrifices and giving thanks for the harvest and many celebrations including references to the wedding feast.
Additionally, we see other references and connections to food in the Bible. Jesus refers to himself as bread of life and living water. In the act of communion as worship, we use bread and drink to represent Jesus’ body. In another context, we see communion with others happen around meals. We join together to share a meal and fellowship. We build relationships with others around the table. Repeatedly throughout the Bible, we see evidence of how God deems food. Food is indeed good when we use it as God intends.