Lighten Up: Why isn’t this anyone’s favorite verse?
Deuteronomy 31:20 NLT
For I will bring them into the land I swore to give their ancestors—a land flowing with milk and honey. There they will become prosperous, eat all the food they want, and become fat...
I don’t think anyone in modern society today has any idea how difficult hunting and gathering is. We are so used to grocery stores; no one I know can fathom the idea of getting food all on our own. It sounds hard. And even if you have a garden, you have to wait for it to grow.
I love this illustration from Deuteronomy 31. This description is actually placed in the middle of a stern warning from God, but it is still and accurate description of how God desires to be all that we need. His desire is to bless us, even beyond what we need & beyond what we imagine.
Imagine going where God leads and having every single need met. These Israelites have nothing, and he tells them not to worry because where he is leading them will contain everything they need. They’ll even be able to eat all the food they want and become fat! That doesn’t sound like barely scraping by. It sounds like God is willing and excited to bless us FAT, HUGE, and BIG TIME.
We’ve never had it so easy, and yet we complain. Food is readily available and inexpensive, but it isn’t organic enough or gluten free enough or sugar free enough. So we worry about what we’ve actually been freed from what God did not intend for us to worry about. Maybe God provides for us so readily so we can use our surplus to bless others. Instead, we spend way to much on what we think we need and never notice how much God has already blessed us. No thank you, Lord, I read an article today that said eat this not that.
Anyone tired of trying to save ourselves? Anyone sick of making sure you won’t put something in your mouth that will kill you or make you break your scale? That’s a lot of pressure, and clearly, God did not intend for us to live under that kind of pressure. Eat and be thankful; that’s all the instructions God gives. If there were special instructions beyond this that would enable us to help God make our lives better, Jesus would’ve said something, but God doesn’t need my help nor the insight I received from the internet anyway.
1 Timothy 4:3-5 NLT
False Teachers say it is wrong to be married and wrong to eat certain foods. But God created those foods to be eaten with thanks by faithful people who know the truth. 4 Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks. 5 For we know it is made acceptable by the word of God and prayer. (And I reject the argument that we don’t have the same food as they did back then, for God knew what the food of 2019 would be like and still gave no further instruction about it.)
Whatever I’m about to eat, I receive it with thanks. It doesn’t matter where it came from. And if food is part of fellowship, I should be eager to eat it all the more. I want to tell my girlfriends who always seem to have a headache to just eat some food; the headache will go away. God did not send Jesus to save me from sin and death so that I would die from the food available to me.
Clearly, I learn from experience that eating food that doesn’t agree with me and overeating will make me feel sick, but the idea of getting FAT off what God provides is very appealing to me. It is a biblical truth I find comforting and amazing. Fat is a perfect word that compares with God’s generosity. His desire is to bless and bless some more as we follow him, not watch us barely scrape by for those who ignore his Word and his direction and insist on meeting our own needs for ourselves.
The vegetarian who thinks red meat is evil, is ironically eating pesticides. Everyone nowadays knows to drink plenty of water too – water that is full of plastic residue from bottles or whatever contaminates from our trash that has leeched into the water table. If you think your are saving yourself, you are fooling yourself... The wisest thing to do is pray before eating, thank God for it, and lighten up.
I love how you provide for me. All that I need. More than I need & more than I would have ever thought of too. You are generous. And FAT is a perfect word that compares with your generosity. You are great, and kind and faithful and do not delight in people struggling to get by or trying to save themselves. YOU are the one who gives life, health, food and many, many blessings to those who love and fear you. And I love you so much and thank you and pray in Jesus’ name, amen.