A small flame

A small flame

food vs God: the first battle

In the past months, I've read several good books about food and God. But I decided that it was time - past time, probably - to do a study on food and eating in the Bible. I want to see what God says about food and I want to look at the stories about food that he chose to include in his Word. Nothing like going to the owner's manual to figure out how it ought to work :O)

I've really been enjoying the study! I'm keeping it simple - basically, I'm finding passages that use the words 'food' and 'eat' and studying them. I read in context, maybe look at some cross-references, and think about what I'm seeing. I'm not using any other resources - commentaries, etc - at this point. Just the Word. There are some passages I've passed on studying - ones that talk about Noah bringing food for the animals into the ark, for example - but I've found some thought-provoking passages too. Nothing super-profound; just my own, small flame.

I wanted to share some of my thoughts here. Maybe they will give you some food for thought too. . .

First up, the garden of Eden account in Genesis 1-3.
It is fascinating to me that the first 'do not' command recorded AND the first sin revolved around eating!

It's a familiar story, so I'm not going to tell the whole thing here. Just a few bits:
1:27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.

2:8 And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

I was struck as I read these verses with the fact that God gave his creation lots of 'do eat' trees and only one - ONE! - 'do not eat' tree. God is so generous!

I also loved that God made all that food beautiful and delicious (2:8) I love that beauty is part of God's character. And I love that he is, again, so loving and generous in not only giving his creation sustenance but in making it delightful. I've thought often about that in the past year, actually. God could have created the fuel our bodies need to live to be something very bland and unappetizing - think soggy milk toast or cold oatmeal :O) - but he didn't! Instead he created a vast array of colors, flavors, scents, shapes, textures for us to enjoy. We are so, so loved!

But you probably already know what happens. The serpent comes and starts questioning God's command to 'not eat'. He deceives Eve and she begins to doubt God's goodness and wisdom. So she and Adam eat the fruit. From the ONE tree in the entire garden that was forbidden.

Eve did what I so often do. She took God's good gift and twisted it into something ugly. Genesis 3 says that Eve 'saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate' The wording in this verse reminds me of the wording used to describe God's creation of the trees/food in chapter 2. God gave his creation beautiful, delicious food and Eve used that same gift of beautiful, desirable food as a reason to sin.

Then, the story goes, everything came crashing down. The creation hid from their Creator because they were suddenly ashamed and guilty. And, eventually, they were forced to leave the amazing garden God had made for them to enjoy. God's 'do not' was never intended to make them miserable or hold them back from joy. It was for their good; a protection given out of love. But they thought he was holding out on them. And by the time they realized He wasn't, it was too late.

And don't I do that sometimes too? Like Eve I get my perspective all backwards and I begin to see God's 'do not's as damaging and depriving instead of reveling in the way He loves and cherishes me by protecting me.

These verses are great for meditation. Kinda bring this whole story back to where I live:

'I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.' 2 Corinthians 11:2-3

A sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
Working toward that!


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