Enough is as good as a feast
by Stan Crees
God's word has much to teach us about food, its provision, storage, benefits and our responsibility to share it. Read Psalm 65. This provides a clear example of God’s generous nature. Here God is seen to bless the land with showers so that crops grow abundantly, providing more than is needed. There are similar passages in Psalms 68, 104 and 107.
Joseph (Genesis 41) wisely stored food for anticipated years of famine. The writer of Ecclesiastes mentions five times the enjoyment of eating as a gift from God. God is seen to be directly involved in providing food when he fed the Israelites in the desert with quail and manna. Read Exodus 16.
Today this same gracious God continues to provide for our needs. The fact that we grow food or earn money to buy it, can allow us to forget God’s involvement. Worse still is the fact that we may be tempted tempted to store up and accumulate too much food. Our self-sufficiency may lead us to exclude God and the needy around us. As the Israelite story unfolds (Deuteronomy 6 and 8) Moses warns the people with the words, ‘When you eat and are satisfied, be careful not to forget the Lord your God.’ In the parable of the rich fool (Luke 12) Jesus extends a warning against the accumulation of wealth without concern to help others.
It is good that this issue of Footsteps is concerned with food security and the need to plan ahead. This activity, certainly in areas of our world where food supply is limited and erratic, is a matter of good stewardship. But as we follow its advice we must remember the warnings in God’s word ( Matthew 25). Out of love for him we must make sure our needy neighbours have that quality of life which enables them also to give thanks to God.
- From Exodus chapter 16 discuss the significance of Israel’s manna becoming full of maggots and stinking if it was stored. How should this affect our attitude to storing food we do not need?
- How does your faith in God affect your relationship with Christians world-wide who do not have enough to eat?
- Read 2 Corinthians 8:13-15. Consider the distribution of food in your own community and discuss ways of improving the situation.
Pray that God will give us greater compassion for those who barely survive from day to day in our global community.
Stan Crees is Liaison Officer of Operation Agri with the Baptist Missionary Society, 45 Grosvenor Road, Wallington, Surrey, SM6 0EN, UK.