Doctrine of Food – Food Provides Understanding of Spiritual Truths


It is impossible for me to love God with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength without considering my relationship to food. My diet, taste buds, appetite, cravings, and digestive process were all created by God and originally declared “good” by Him. He made all this for a purpose; therefore, it behooves me to know why. “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

We can be certain all that God does is wise and is for an ultimate purpose. All things contribute to His overall plan of having Christ have the preeminence. Even what may be routine or mundane has a purpose in God’s plan. We need to heighten our awareness of God and see His sovereign providence in every moment, especially while eating.

It amazes me just how many references to food there are in Scripture. And why not, we do eat often and it is an essential element of our existence. Imagine the Bible being written without food? No fruit in the garden. No feasts for the Israelites. No bountiful harvests or famine for Joseph to discuss with Pharaoh. No fasting for our Savior in the wilderness and no temptation to turn rocks into bread. I could go on, but I think you get the idea. For the Bible to have no reference to food would give pause and doubt to its authenticity and authority.

I am certainly not the sharpest theological knife in the drawer, but it seems rather self-evident with all the mentioning of food in the Bible there appears to be a larger message here for us to grasp. Before you jump to conclusions and rattle my cage for taking liberties with hermeneutics, know that it is my foremost goal to give God glory in every area of my life. In doing this I must consider Him in areas seemingly mundane and ordinary. Is God not the God of my belly or my taste buds or my desires?

In previous posts on the doctrine of food we explored that food reveals the goodness of God, food causes us to remember and celebrate, and food choice reveals our sin. This post will illumine that Scripture shows that food gives us greater insight into spiritual truths.

Because of God’s design of food, we are able to practically describe Spiritual truths using physical means. Food allows for deeper understanding of God and His Word through physical analogies, metaphors, and descriptions. It allows for a universal description of the world because everyone knows what is sweet and what is sour. We use these same words to describe things around us that are not eaten. We know that being bitter is not pleasant, that a sweet person is good, and a painting with no taste is not worth observing.

Here are a few examples:

  • Our tongue distinguishes what sweet what is bitter and that is to help us ingest good and reject evil. Isaiah 5:20 says, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”
  • We crave things wrongly and God provides practical understanding of how these things are unhealthy. Proverbs 25:27 “It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glory to search out one’s own glory.”
  • Hunger tells us that we are in need of nourishment. The more we are in need, the greater the craving becomes. Even though we eat, the hunger returns. In contrast, in John 6:35, Jesus says, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”
  • Our hunger, the taste of food, and our enjoyment of food helps us to understand how we are to crave the Word of God. Psalm 119 “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
  • We know how we feel quite nice after a good meal and how our soul can be satisfied in the same way by being filled with the things of God. Psalm 63:5 “My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips” and Psalm 34:10 “young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.”

It is fitting to be reminded of how God has used food to describe our entrance into His heavenly kingdom. Our hope is built on nothing less than to be with our Savior. He has told us “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” Our reunion with Christ is going to be a feast where righteousness, grace, mercy, holiness, joy, worship, and glory will be the banquet.

Eat well today and then perhaps consider filling your belly afterwards.


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