You Are What You Eat

It's an old saying, and often used in jest, but what we heat actually says alot about our spiritual walk.
It's an old saying, and often used in jest, but what we heat actually says alot about our spiritual walk.

Season 1 Episode O

4The riffraff among them had a strong craving for other food. The Israelites wept again and said, “Who will feed us meat? 5We remember the free fish we ate in Egypt, along with the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic. 6But now our appetite is gone; there’s nothing to look at but this manna!"Numbers 11:4-6 CSB

Photocredit: Unsplash/Andrea Tummons
How we deal with food says a lot about how we deal with our spiritual walk. In this episode, we're looking at Numbers 11:4-6 and how easy it is for the devil to tempt us away from God with something as simple as a meal.

Can you imagine eating something bland like oatmeal or grits, for days on end? Some times we have to give up the comforts of home to accomplish God's mission. How we handle giving up our favorite foods can indicate our willingness to turn away from sin. The Israelites thought it was better to be in bondage with great food, than free with a temporarily "bland" diet. When God is delivering you from a situation, what will you say?

Inspiration for the Episode

I went on a mission trip to Belize earlier this month[1] and after I'd paid all my money, I found out we weren't going to be having lunch—not like lunch isn't included so we have to pay our own way but like we won't be taking a break during that time so there will me no time for lunch. Y'all I was floored because I love lunch. Lunch is my favorite meal of the day. Not only do I just love food, but its a great break for resetting the day. If I had a rough morning, lunch is the time to reset for the afternoon. So, when I found out there wasn't going to be lunch, I had to have a deep conversation with God. I spent a lot of time mentally preparing for a week of no lunch. Once I got there, the very first night there was a mix up during dinner. Many people in the group got frustrated and while I don't want to go into detail about what was said, the situation very much reminded me of the how the Israelites behaved in Numbers 11. That is how we got to this episode.

What Happened in Numbers 11?

In Numbers 11:4-6, the Israelites are frustrated with their meal situation. God provided manna for them every day and this manna was sufficient for every need, but it wasn't the lavish feasts of Egypt. Although they were enslaved in Egypt, they had access to a variety of foods that they had grown used to. Now, they were free but only had manna.[2] They lamented this fact and actually wished to return to Egypt and bondage over the food!

How Does it Relate to Today?

The Bible doesn't tell us exactly what manna tastes like, but based on the description I think of it like oatmeal (or grits for my fellow southerners). Both oatmeal and grits are pretty bland by themselves, but can be really awesome if you add to them. Nonetheless, I can't imagine eating only oatmeal or only grits for days on end...

If you're like me, you are privileged to eat what you want when you want to eat it. Sure, there are times when I'm running late or something comes up and I have to eat late; or maybe I'm missing an ingredient and have to wait for a store run. However, ususally I am able to decide I want to eat, go to the fridge or pantry and find exactly what I want. In the times I don't have it, I may go get it. It's nothing for me to passover the vegetables in my freezer and go to the store because I suddenly had a craving for zucchini. Not everybody has that luxury There are people who don't know when they will get there next meal or what that meal will be.

Israel was in between the privilege of eating what they wanted whenever they wanted and not knowing if they would see food again. God gave them what they needed but not necessarily what they wanted. In this situation, they reacted the way many of us today would. For example, we know that certain foods are bad for us—fats and deep fried foods may give us high cholesterol and sugary things may give us diabetes—but it tastes good. We will often choose the deep fried oreo or a quick burger and fries over a kale salad. In other words, we would choose bondage to health problems over a healthy life style. In the same way, we choose bondage to sin over freedom in God.

In Belize we were being asked to eat what was prepared for us for one week. Just one week of discomfort. We're not talking about a 40 day no food fast or a 21 day Daniel fast or even a 10 day Daniel fast. Just 7 days... People were upset. If we can't handle that, how are we going to handle any other temptation Satan throws at us?

References and Footnotes

  1. Mission Trip Episode: Miracles in Belize
  2. As I edit these show notes 3 years later, I realized that this is very much like financial slavery as well. Many of us would not move to a place with less modern comforts for a cheaper cost of living so that we can reclaim our time; instead we give all our time to corporations to afford the comforts of modern life.

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