We have a generous portion.
What, then, is the lesson that we, the people of today, can learn from the experience of the Israelites? The first is this: the Lord is our portion. As it is written in Lamentations 3:22-24, we can rely on God, for His love is great, and His compassion never fails. If we only allow God, He can satisfy every craving and fulfill every need.
To say that God is our portion means that God is the very source of everything—happiness, joy, blessing, and satisfaction. We may turn to other things, but only God can fill us because the portion He gives us is the only provider that will satisfy us. At the same time, it means that God is everything we need—we are content with Him and His provision. We need not seek or get more, for what He gives is enough for us.
Another lesson we can learn from the manna experience of the Israelites is that it is possible to glorify God in how we consume food. In 1 Corinthians 10:31, we are told that whether we eat or drink, we must do it for God’s glory. This means we can glorify God in everything, including how we eat and consume.
Food and Worship
Could you keep it in Moderation?
As we have seen, God is not a God of reckless excesses and unlimited indulgences. God is a God of temperance, self-control, and sufficiency. A godly way of consuming food is in Moderation. In Proverbs 23:21, we are told: “From the drunkard, and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.” Here, we see that the one who drinks too much, overeats,s and sleeps too much will experience poverty. It is when we consume more than we lose more. What do we lose? We lose our health, our capacity for self-discipline, and our God-given gift of self-control.
Make a Decision to Satisfy the Body’s Needs, not its Greed.
It is essential to make the distinction between a need and a craving. A craving is something we can choose not to fulfill; a need is something that we must satisfy. Author Kim Taylor developed the concept of SANE, which helps us honor our needs and keep our cravings in check. The idea SANE is an acronym that stands for:
Start when you are hungry
Appreciate every bite
No food is forbidden
End when signaled
The first point ties in with what we mentioned earlier about self-control and self-deprivation. The two are not the same. In a way, there is some indulgence involved in self-control. We allow ourselves to experience what we crave while setting boundaries, exercising temperance, and deliberately consuming in Moderation.
The second point of the acronym gives us the freedom to savor and experience the sensate pleasure that food brings. There is beauty in what is called mindful eating. We can eat well not only because we are eating healthy food but also because we are eating the food with much awareness. Our body is affected by what we eat and how we eat it. This is why we must eat without distractions and chew our food correctly while mindfully savoring the different textures and flavors of God’s provision.
As for the third point, no food is forbidden; this honors the fact that food is something we need and must never refrain from. Remember that during the wilderness wanderings of the Israelites, God did not command the Israelites to fast when they were in deep hunger. Instead, God supplied them with what they wanted: bread and meat. But, their food consumption was not unlimited—they were only to get what they needed for the day. The end of the day was their signal to end their consumption. In the same way, as seen in the last point in the SANE acronym, we, too, must stop when we have already had enough. Remember, we must satisfy our body’s needs, not its greed.
Enjoy Meals with Others
Lastly, the best way to glorify God in our eating is to have our meals in table fellowship with others. God delights at the sight of His children eating together. This is why ohe shared a meal with his disciples n the night of Jesus’ death.
Sharing the meal with others does not just allow us to share God’s blessings with others. It also allows us to consume food in Moderation because our attention is diverted: from satisfying our cravings to enjoying the meal with God’s family.
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