Food Porn & The Praise of YHWH

Why do we praise God? Does God have the emotional insecurity of a 13 year old girl, needing to be repeatedly told by us that we love Him? Does His ego need reassuring? If He knows everything, why do we need to tell Him in song that He’s ‘great’ or ‘awesome’? How should He respond? ‘Gee, thanks guys, but I already know I am.’

Food Porn may help us understand. I assume that all you culturally savvy followers of Sanity’s Cove are familiar with this phenomenon. It pops up on social media feeds everywhere, and especially on Instagram. You sit down to an exceptionally delicious looking meal, snap a photo of it, and upload it for all your social media followers to see and drool over covetously.

Why do people do this? Why snap a picture of the food you’re enjoying just to broadcast it?

It’s praise. That’s why. Food Porn does nothing for the actual food itself. It has no ego that needs boosting. Your plate is not going to look up at you and say, ‘Thanks, I put extra effort into my appearance today. Glad you think I’m InstaWorthy!

We don’t do it for the food. We do it for us. We praise the food because it brings our enjoyment of it to a whole new level.

Hong Kong
I was at a restaurant in Hong Kong last year when I experienced this to an almost distressing level. Though I spent most of my time in that city with my Asian friends, I found myself alone one evening while they were otherwise occupied. I went to a restaurant to eat dinner―all by my lonesome―and there discovered the best Chinese dumplings on the planet.

I was ‘oooing’ and ‘awwwing’ as I was enjoying this top tier gastronomical experience. I kept talking to myself about how good they were because I had no one else at my table to listen to me. It was an existential crisis! I had to call my wife back in Britain just to tell her about the majesty of what I was eating. The joy this food brought me constrained me to tell others. Being able to praise this food climaxed my celebration of it. The food was truly worthy.

It may have even made it onto my Instagram feed.

We praise God, not because He needs it. He doesn't need our praise anymore than our food needs it. It's us who need to do so. We were designed to give praise. It is the appropriate climax of a heart that is enjoying God. It lifts our celebration and lets those around us know that what we are enjoying is truly worthy.

‘Taste and see that YHWH is good!’ -Psalm 34

And if the term ‘Praise Porn’ goes viral, remember you read it here first. 
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For more, please check out our book Elijah Men Eat Meat: Readings to slaughter your inner Ahab and pursue Revival and Reform 

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