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
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