Thursday, June 13, 2013

Praying Before Or After Our Meals?

I recently came across a power point presentation that discussed some of the laws of the bible and which groups adhered to which laws.  The presenter claimed that some laws were followed by NO ONE.  Looking more closely at these particular laws, I was surprised to find laws that I had never heard of, that were supposedly from scripture.  I will share my investigations as they progress.

One particular law that the presenter said NO ONE observed was praying thanks for our food AFTER our meals.

Like many of my adventures in Torah, this felt like an awakening shock.  If this was truly what the scriptures called for it raises so many questions!  Even as I step out on this journey for Truth I THRILL at the adventure of it.

What would this say about the character of YHWH?
What would this say about how He wants our hearts to approach Him?
WHY would this law be tossed aside and replaced by an opposing tradition?

So first, we search to find if this is indeed scriptural.

Searching for the words EAT and THANK I find.....

"When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which he has given you."  Deuteronomy 8:10

So, we now know that it is in the Torah.  And though it is in not in the book of Leviticus, it is just as valid a law as say, Deuteronomy 6:7 about teaching our children "when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up."

What would this say about the character of YHWH?
Specifically it says that YHWH has given us the good land.  He has provided our food.  He has provided our space.  He has provided us the day.  He has provided each bite, and each breath.  YHWH provides - YHWH Jireh.  This particular attribute of YHWH is called upon by Abraham (Genesis 22:8) when he is called to sacrifice his son Isaac.  He said YHWH would provide the sacrifice (prophetic *wow*).  And as Abraham lifted the knife, the Angel of the Lord (Yeshua) stopped Abraham from the fatal blow and pointed out the ram for him to sacrifice instead.  YHWH Jireh.... beautiful.

What would this say about how He wants our hearts to approach Him?
Amazingly.... this is telling us to thank, praise and bless YHWH from a position of SATISFACTION!  This really astounds me.  It is so different from my understanding and this is where the shock comes for me.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
I have always thought that I must pray always and give thanks from my position of NEED.
Now I am not saying that YHWH is promising us an everflowing cup of abundance every step we take in this sin stained and fallen world.
But it directly pertains to our HEART.
As Exodus 20:17 says in the Ten Commandments, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."
Your heart should not be coveting what you do not have.  But you should be content and satisfied with what IS provided for you.
In Philippians 4:11 Paul tells us, "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances."
So YHWH is telling us to ENJOY what He provides.  But afterwards, when we are satisfied, REMEMBER who provided it for us.  How often we pray in need?  And how often we neglect Him when we are satisfied?

WHY would this law be tossed aside and replaced by an opposing tradition?
Unfortunately... as I consider why it has become tradition to pray our thanks BEFORE eating.... I can think of only ONE reason.
Remember that the Pharisees sought to appear MORE HOLY than all others, and called upon the people to adhere to strict and hard to keep 'laws' that were NOT in the Torah.  They were notorious for reading the Torah in the synagogue, and THEN teaching the people their traditions and rules on top of it as if they were YHWH's Laws, known as the Talmud. (Matthew 15:7Matthew 16:6, Matthew 23:5, Mark 7:6, Luke 11:42)
I'm sure they thought, "If the word calls on you to pray after you eat.... doesn't it make you even MORE HOLY to pray before you eat?"  This effort to 'one up' God every chance we get doesn't earn us points!

Obviously now, the vast majority of people have NO IDEA that the Word tells us to pray after we eat.  And I know the scriptures say Yeshua also gave thanks before eating.

But try to remember YHWH after you have had your fill also.  He deserves it and so much more.

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