Food and Vice
As Americans, we have abundant food resources that reflect the bounty of the Lord’s provision. Daily, we consume a wide variety of foods from whole wheat crackers and hickory grilled fish to bottled spring water and freshly squeezed juice. Our shelves and stores and warehouses and restaurants all testify to sufficient supply.
Beyond mere provision, flavors, too, are a gift from God. After the Fall in Eden, He was under no obligation whatsoever to make our foods taste good; and yet, they do.
While we eat and drink to rejuvenate ourselves through divinely designed functions created to sustain us, the lure of a satisfied palate can become the doorway to overindulgence. That doorway can become a road to idolatry as the temptation of flavor and ‘food comfort’ supersedes self-control. Instead of fresh grilled fish we dream about fast food tacos. Rather than spring water we consume gallons of soft drinks and corn syrup enriched liquids that stress our systems. Not only do our choices tend to lean towards unhealthy foods, but our ability to step away from the table wavers as well. Food is our fuel and temptation.
After the completion of Christ’s atoning work at Calvary, all Old Testament dietary laws and restrictions were lifted. (Colossians 2:16ff) The cornucopia has been laid before us through the sacrifice of Christ and we should be joyful with each bite we take. “..Everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.” (1 Timothy 4:4-5)
As the holiday season quickly approaches, let us be reminded about the joy of food and her lure. While we can experience great culinary heights in the consumption of wonderful foods we must remember moderation. Food brings us together as a people and a Body, but self-control is living in the Spirit. Overindulgence is sin.
The celebratory goodness in feast and festival is of God, but the glutton should put a knife to his neck. (Proverbs 23:2)