“Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things;
and give me life in your ways.” Psalm 119:37
“When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
observe carefully what is before you,
and put a knife to your throat
if you are given to appetite.
Do not desire his delicacies,
for they are deceptive food.
Do not toil to acquire wealth;
be discerning enough to desist.
When your eyes light on it, it is gone,
for suddenly it sprouts wings,
flying like an eagle toward heaven.” Proverbs 23:1-5
“Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me;
hear, that your soul may live.” Isaiah 55:1-3a
“Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you… I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” John 6:27,35
We were made to eat, food being the fuel for our bodies to subsist and thrive. There are also material goods vital to meeting basic needs and functions for a healthy, productive life. But the Lord gives clear caution against upending these priorities out of balance, and elevating the status of important things to ultimate things.
One distinction is who we seek as the Source- self, or Jehovah Jireh. We can puff ourselves into self-dependence and indispensability, yet He is the One who provides for our every need (and want). We must guard against thinking it is only in our power and grit to amass things, and beware taking credit for favors and success we’ve received. When we take charge, we are subject to pride and self-importance, diminishing our high view of God and reducing Him to a Dispenser of blessing on our efforts. Is this our temptation and tendency? Would we transform our thinking by dwelling on what is true of Him? (Genesis 22:8,14; Deuteronomy 8:10-19; Philippians 4:19; James 1:17)
Another distinction is the value we place on material goods and earthly treasures. Have they become ends, and thus idols, in themselves? What is our drive and goal? Have we allowed our enjoyment of food to morph into gluttony, opened the love spigot on money, or erected heart shrines to performance, accolades, education? Where have we unbridled our affections to run wild and wayward or inordinate? What’s occurred in our souls that we seek the gifts over the Giver? (1 Corinthians 6:13; 1 Timothy 6:10)
Seeking the Lord Jesus first satisfies in itself, and keeps all else in right perspective and place. Would we exchange the worthless things of this earth for the worthwhile that never passes away? (Matthew 6:19-21,24-33)
Good Father, purify my every appetite. Help me always be a steward of Your goodness and graces, serving You with joyfulness and gladness of heart because of Your abundance. (Deuteronomy 28:47)