“Eat What You Find”

“And a voice came to him, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ But Peter said, ‘Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.’ And a voice spoke to him again the second time, ‘What God has cleansed you must not call common’” (Acts 10:13-15).
One of the challenges of traveling to different countries and cultures is that of finding food that one can enjoy. People everywhere eat from the same basic food groups, but what one culture considers “meat” may seem like garbage to others. On one campaign to a jungle area of Guyana we were served “mystery meat” several times. None of our group knew what it was, but no one was brave enough to ask. Still, it digested and we kept up our strength.
In one of his visions the prophet Ezekiel was given a scroll and told, “Son of man, eat what you find” (Ezekiel 3:1). Obviously this was symbolic and not at all related to one’s diet, yet this simple command is very similar to New Testament teaching about food. Paul once prophesied that false teachers would command abstinence from certain “foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving” (1 Timothy 4:3-4). This does not mean that we must eat all kinds of meat. Elsewhere he states, “He who eats (meat), eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat (meat), to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks” (Romans 14:6; cf v. 2). His statement in 1Timothy is a condemnation of those who would restrict the diet of others. We may personally choose to eat, fast, abstain from meat, or otherwise regulate our own diet, but there is no Biblical or Spiritual grounds for prohibiting others to eat any particular type of food which was created by God.
“Eating what one finds” is good practical advice to a traveler at the mercy of foreign culture. There is often simply no choice. It may not fit our taste or customs, but generally speaking if others can eat it and remain strong and healthy, we probably can also. Certainly there are many who have particular restrictions based on health conditions like diabetes, heart disease or obesity – these obviously require a different approach. Otherwise, however, the fact is that our food taboos are usually based on personal taste or cultural bias, not on biological necessity, and certainly not on Biblical command.
As stated previously, Ezekiel’s “food” was the scroll on which was written the Words of God. His was a symbolic act, and we too may find spiritual application to the thoughts already discussed. If a stranger in a foreign land finds it necessary to eat whatever is available to him there, regardless of how unappealing it may seem, so we must absorb and do whatever God presents to us in his will. Ezekiel was not to write his own sermons. He was to preach the word which God gave him. “Then He said to me: ‘Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them’” (Ezekiel 3:4).
It is common today to find people who pick and choose from Biblical teaching, modern philosophy, and other religions, doing that which seems good to them. This is a totally invalid approach to religion. God’s will is not subject to popular approval or judgment. It is what it is. “He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice. A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He” (Deuteronomy 32:4). When we turn to his Word it must be to find and do his will. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

Share your thoughts: