“Bringing food from the earth: wine that gladdens the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread that sustains his heart.” Psalm 104:14,15
God is great. God is good. Let us thank Him for our food. Amen.
As a kid, I must’ve prayed this prayer thousands of times. It was a reflex that flipped on like autopilot every time my family sat down at the dinner table.
It’s only as I’ve gotten older that I’ve come to fully appreciate the truths in this simple childhood prayer.
I bring it up because Thanksgiving Day shines a spotlight on food. The gathering of family and friends centers around a table showcasing a cornucopia of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, and the like. It’s a day that tickles our tastebuds like no other.
We are, as the psalmist reminds us in Psalm 104, to rightfully recognize that it is the Lord that provides our food and “brought it from the earth” (14). We are to thank Him for the many ways that His “bread” has “sustained our hearts” throughout the year (15).
But notice that the psalmist also points out another purpose of food. Food not only “sustains” our hearts but “gladdens” our hearts.
In other words, God provides food not only for our physical nourishment but for our enjoyment. He gives us food to help “make our faces shine” (14).
In one sense, this is not surprising. We’re already aware that eating delicious food brings joy to our souls and a smile to our faces.
But have you ever paused to consider the alternative?
Paul Tripp explains, “God designed His world to give you pleasure every day in a variety of ways… For instance, God did not decide that you would be physically fed by a tasteless gray pill. He unleashed His creativity on your diet so that you can consume an almost endless variety of smells, tastes, colors, and textures. So eating is not just a habit of sustenance; it is one of life’s greatest pleasures.”
Can you imagine sitting down this Thanksgiving to only swallow a “tasteless gray pill?” Yuck!
Instead, we gather to enjoy a feast of epic proportions. Even if money is tight and the meal this year won’t be as epic as years past, we are still blessed as we revel in an assortment of options and flavors.
But remember, God didn’t provide these tasty treats only for our delight. Each one serves to point us to His good nature, to help us see His kindness.
You see, we serve a God who didn’t just create an apple. Out of His kindness, He created 7,500 different types of apples for us to enjoy! Plus, also out of His kindness, He created caffeine to awaken us in the morning and revive us in the afternoon. (Aren’t you glad?)
And keep in mind, the Lord lavishes these and countless other foods upon people who, for the most part, mock His existence, rebel against His authority, and reject Jesus Christ as the true “Bread of Life” (John 6:35).
Nevertheless, day after day, week after week, year after year, He showers us with His kindness.
Today, as you celebrate Thanksgiving, don’t just woof down your food like a famished dog. Savor and rejoice in each bite. Let it stir your heart to worship. Recognize every morsel for what it truly is: a manifestation of His grace.
After all, He really is great. He most certainly is good.
By all means, let us thank Him for our food.
Written by Jonathan Munson, Executive Director, RFTH