Remember the story in Acts of Paul and the shipwreck? You can find it in Acts 27 if you want to review it. But they had not eaten for 14 days and Paul urges them to eat. I like what he says.
“Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you” (Acts 27:34). The word meat here is the word for nourishment or food and is not restricted to flesh. I think if we look at this phrase, we can get some insight into the purpose of food.
Paul says it’s for your “health.” I think we could say this in terms of what we should eat today. It should promote our health. By the way the Greek word here for health is “sōtēria.” It’s normally translated salvation. Yes, part of our salvation package is health. Yet we have a part in our health and that’s the food we eat.
I think most of us want long life and quality life. Nutrition is an important part of that equation. God created food to sustain us. In fact, He created it to sustain us forever had not death entered. But a lot has changed in our food choices since the Garden of Eden. Back then the fruits and veggies were so nutritious they were enough to fuel their health. Today the food is entirely different. Death entered the Garden. In the last 50 years our food has gone from poor to bad. We can find very little if any of our food in the Garden of Eden.
Food is for our health. As other translations say, “it is for our survival.” I know that our present food plan has been tailored more for health. As we learn more about what foods promote health and what food don’t, we can make better choices. It’s better to be proactive with health than try to fix it after it’s broken. I read a lot in this area and I know that every point seems to lead to some controversy. So, we have to rely on God’s grace and wisdom to lead us through the labyrinth of food data available today.