Food is something we all need to survive. Food is also a pleasure that we often enjoy. When food is denied for the Israelites, problems arise.
“And the men of Israel had been hard pressed that day, so Saul had laid an oath on the people, saying, ‘Cursed be the man who eats food until it is evening and I am avenged on my enemies.’ So none of the people had tasted food. Now when all the people came to the forest, behold, there was honey on the ground. And when the people entered the forest, behold, the honey was dripping, but no one put his hand to his mouth, for the people feared the oath. But Jonathan had not heard his father charge the people with the oath, so he put out the tip of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it in the honeycomb and put his hand to his mouth, and his eyes became bright. Then one of the people said, ‘Your father strictly charged the people with an oath, saying “Cursed be the man who eats food this day.” And the people were faint. Then Jonathan said, ‘My father has troubled the land. See how my eyes have become bright because I tasted a little of this honey. How much better if the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies that they found. For now the defeat among the Philistines has not been great.” (I Samuel 14:24-30 ESV)
Acting rashly. Depriving people of a basic need. Saul was making poor decisions as a leader and the consequences followed.
Peter had a vision in his hunger.
“The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth. In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. And there came a voice to him: ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ But Peter said, ‘By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.’ And the voice came to him again a second time, ‘What God has made clean, do not call common.’ This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven.” (Acts 10:9-16 ESV)
The Lord was prompting Peter to eat. Peter resisted because he thought he would be breaking rules, but the Lord corrected him.
In both passages, both men needed to rely on the Lord. The Psalm selection today reflects on their and our help coming from Him. If we rely on ourselves, we are hopeless.
“If it had not been the Lord who was on our side…let Israel say now
If it had not been the Lord who was on our side when people rose up against us,
then they would have swallowed us up alive, when their anger was kindled against us;
then the flood would have swept us away, the torrent would have gone over us;
then over us would have gone the raging waters.
Blessed be the Lord, who has not given us as prey to their teeth!
We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers;
the snare is broken, and we have escaped!
Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 124 ESV)