There is nothing better for mortals than to eat and drink, and find enjoyment in their toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God; for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? – Ecclesiastes 2:24-25
|Ancient Israel was an agrarian society, which means the vast majority of people were farmers and everyone counted on having a good harvest from year to year. They were a very communal culture and their calendar revolved around festivals in honor of the wonders God had done. When they ate and drank together it was quite literally the enjoyment of their toil because it was the food they planted, harvested, processed and prepared. They were intimately involved in the food process from start to finish, but it relied on the hand of God to offer favorable conditions. To us, our work can seem much less fulfilling because we toil in an office to do work we often scarcely understand so that we can buy food wrapped in plastic that was grown thousands of miles away from our homes. And yet, if we take a step back we can see, like the writer of this passage, that we can find enjoyment in our toil when we remember that “…every perfect gift is from above…” (James 1:17). Today – eat, drink and enjoy the fruits of your labor with a friend or a brother or sister in Christ and give thanks to God for his bountiful blessing! |
Gracious God, thank you for making food delicious and thank you for people to enjoy it with. When life feels like a bleak, repetitive cycle, help us remember to step back and enjoy the fruits of our toil, enjoy our family and friends and most of all enjoy You, who gave us these gifts. Amen.