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A Balanced Diet

The psalmists were captivated by the God of creation. Of course, the world they lived in was a little cleaner, a little purer, maybe a little more beautiful, because man had not yet exploited it. They recognized their dependence on Him for their sustenance: "He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and vegetation for the service of man, that he may bring forth food from the earth, and wine that makes glad the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread which strengthens man's heart" (vv. 14,15).

Food, wine, oil, bread--these were staples for Jewish people in that day. Do not think that because the psalmist mentions wine he's talking about drunkenness. The Bible certainly warns against being drunk. Rather, he says that God supplies our every physical need and even above and beyond those needs. "God . . . gives us richly all things to enjoy" (I Tim. 6:17).

In the Bible wine is a picture of the Holy Spirit. At Pentecost, when the people of God were rejoicing and worshiping and praising the Lord, the crowd said, "They are full of new wine" (Acts 2:13). Do you have the joy of the Spirit today? "Be not drunk with wine," Paul said, "but be filled with the Spirit" (Eph. 5:18).

Oil also is a picture of the Holy Spirit, who makes the face to shine. Moses had a shining face because he fellowshipped with God. Stephen had a shining face because he gave his life for God. Jesus had a shining face on the Mount of Transfiguration. Bread is a picture of the Word of God. It strengthens the heart. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God" (Luke 4:4).

God wants to give us gladness; He wants to give us radiance; and He wants to give us strength. The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to make the child of God more like Jesus. Do you maintain a balanced spiritual diet with the staples God provides? Food, wine, oil and bread are symbols of how He nurtures and nourishes you. Feed on His Word and allow the Spirit to control your life.

Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group ( Used by permission. All rights to this material are reserved. Material is not to be reproduced, scanned, copied, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission from Baker Publishing Group.

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