“Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.”
When my oldest son, Luke, was just two years old, we took him to a toy store and let him pick out a small toy. Thinking he might be overwhelmed with choices, we led him to miniature tractors, a dump truck, several colorful dinosaurs, and some balls, but we were amazed when he went straight for the plastic food. After he had picked out a package that contained two tiny pieces of fake bread, some rubber meat that resembled bologna, a piece of flimsy yellow plastic cheese, and a minute bottle of pretend mustard, we went to the register, paid for the item, and got in the car to leave. Luke was impatient as we ripped open the plastic packaging and gave him his new toys; and as we pulled out of the parking lot, we heard a little voice from the back seat declaring, “This not good!” As I looked back in surprise to his surly declaration, I saw that he had put all of the sandwich pieces together and was trying to eat them—to no avail. We now knew the real reason for his unique toy selection that day.
Luke was hungry—thus the reason he picked the toy that looked like food—and only real food would satisfy the craving he had for nourishment. Aren’t we like that too? The psalmist says in Psalm 107:9, “[God] satisfies the hungry with good things…” but we go about our days feasting on popular culture, fads, social media, and other people’s opinions. We hungrily ingest unwholesome images, inappropriate entertainment, and irreverent advertisements without considering what they are doing to our minds and spirits. Jonathan Edwards, the famous Puritan Preacher used to pray that God might “stamp eternity on [his] eyeballs” so that he could focus on eternal things, not temporary distractions (and I’ll bet you that Pastor Edwards had a life a tad less distracting than ours).
We need to hunger to see a God that is so glorious that He transforms our lives. We must dine on the Truth of His word and the privilege of His presence. We can ‘taste and see that the Lord is good’ (Ps 34:8) by turning our eyes from worthless things and onto He who is Worthy. We have contented ourselves with the “fake food” that our society says will fill us when have a feast of God’s goodness available for the taking. He invites us to “delight in the richest of fare”.
God gives real food—nourishment for our souls—and Living Water that never runs dry. And when we begin to understand that only He can meet our deepest needs, we finally say “This not good!” to all that the world offers. As we look toward Easter this week, let’s yearn for Jesus by focusing our imaginations upon Him, His death, and His glorious resurrection. No longer will we dine on cheap imitations but on the true Bread of Life, Jesus Christ.
“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”