Summary: You are only truly one with Jesus when you eat with Him. You are only truly one with anyone by means of eating with them. It was by means of food and eating that Joseph worked out reconciliation with his brothers.

Life revolves around eating, for where there is no eating there is no life.

Our vacation made us all the more aware of this obvious truth, for everyday

we had to make decisions about where we would eat. In Fort Lauderdale

where we stayed there is a place to eat every few feet, and along the ocean

there is one expensive place after another where people can eat while watching

the ocean.

It is beyond my ability to conceive the massive amounts of food that are

eaten daily in the huge hotels that line the beaches. Conrad Hilton of Hilton

hotel fame tells of the stock of food needed each day in the famous Stevens

Hotel in Chicago many years ago. He writes in his autobiography Be My

Guest, "To feed the population of the Stevens on an average good day takes

1000 pounds of butter, 1000 dozens eggs, the meat of ten steers, and 1000

pounds of pork. We drink 700 gallons of coffee and possess a mechanical

dishwasher that would clean the debris at a top speed of 193,000 pieces of

silver and china per hour."

I share this just to give you an impression of the massive amounts of food

that people eat in hotels. We were light eaters, for as soon as it got light we

started to eat. Not really! But the fact is, while on vacation you tend to eat

more than you do in your routine pattern of life. Everywhere you go that is

special and fun there is an abundance of food that is appealing and expensive,

and people are eating it like pigs at the tough. The point of all this is that

eating is one of life's greatest pleasures, and it is the one most frequently

enjoyed. It plays a major role in God's plan for man.

These chapters of Genesis dealing with Jacob and Joseph and his brothers

all revolve around food and eating. Famine had gripped the world and Joseph

has become the savior of the world by his plan to store food during the good

years. The economy of the world and the plan of God for His people all

revolved around food. Our text here in Gen. 43 is all about food and eating,

and this motivated me to call to your attention just how important this subject

is in the Word of God.

Eating is really for the birds. They need to eat at least half of their own

weight each day to survive. Young birds need even more. This means your

average size robin needs 14 feet of worms a day. When Lavonne and I lived in

the country we learned by observation that cows are pretty much just eating

machines. We would go into town in the morning and cows would all be in the

fields eating, and 8 to 10 hours later we would return and there they were still

eating. They lived to eat and their destiny is to be eaten.

Eating, of course, is the basis for all of life. Without food all life would

cease, and so though we do not eat all day, nor do we eat half our weight each

day, it is still a vital part of our existence. The interesting thing about this

most common behavior of life is how often it is related to the plan of God.

Half of the 5th chapter of Mark is about the miracle of raising up the daughter

of Jairus. The tension was enormous. This synagogue ruler's house was full

of people crying and wailing. Jesus had to clear them all out, and then He

took the mother and father with Peter, James and John into the room of the 12

year old girl. Jesus astonished them by saying to her, "Little girl get up!" She

stood up alive, and the story ends with Jesus saying these words, "Give her

something to eat."

Jesus had just performed one of His greatest miracles. He raised a person

from the dead. Only a hand full of people in all of history have had this

unique experience. But the first thing Jesus says in this glorious context of

supernatural power is, give her something to eat. Miracles can bring you back

from the dead, but they don't feed you. Even the miracles of feeding 5000 was

not a feeding by miracle. It was a providing of the food to feed the 5000. They

still had to put it in their mouth, chew, and swallow, or the miracle would have

been in vain. The point is, Jesus linked the supernatural and natural together

as vital partners in life.

Anybody who tries to be so spiritual that they reject the natural is just as

foolish as those who so depend on the natural that they reject the

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