Eating and drinking in order to forget our problems will never work; Jesus is "the bread of life," the only One who satisfies.
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. (Proverbs 23:1-3).
If you turn on the TV, drive down a highway, or walk through a store, you’ll be bombarded with messages inviting you to feast: All You Can Eat... Indulge Yourself... Have it Your Way.
Our culture has a lot in common with the ancient Persians, who loved eating and drinking. One of their feasts lasted six months! Esther, Chapter One, gives us some characteristics of this marathon party, hosted by King Ahasuerus.
- He was motivated by a desire to show off his wealth. He gave a feast for all his officials...while he showed the riches of his royal glory and the splendor and pomp of his greatness (v. 3-4).
- He and the people were drunk and could not think clearly. The royal wine was lavished according to the bounty of the king (v. 7).
- He used it as an opportunity to indulge in lust and impropriety. He commanded... Queen Vashti before the king with her royal crown, in order to show the peoples and the princes her beauty, for she was lovely to look at (v. 10-11).
- He ended the feast by dissolving his marriage. Vashti is never again to come before King Ahasuerus (v. 19).
Instead of providing satisfaction, this feasting led to anger, pain, and regret. We experience the same thing: eating or drinking to forget our problems, dull our pain, or fit into a social circle. This type of feasting will never satisfy, but a relationship with Jesus will. He is “the bread of life.” Whoever comes to Him won’t hunger, and whoever believes in Him won’t thirst (John 6:35).
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” –C.S. Lewis