Pumpkin Pie, Pilgrims and the Promised Land

©Joy Dunlap  https://joydunlap.com

If you plan on baking or eating a pumpkin pie this fall, you might be interested to know the original is thought to be far different from today’s recipes.

The pie was in the pumpkin!

It’s believed the Pilgrims did bake “pumpkin pie” but first they hollowed out the pumpkin, then loaded it up with milk, honey and spices.  

As I think about what went into that pumpkin pie made by Pilgrims, I contemplate God’s promise to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt into a land flowing with milk and honey.

Despite God’s rescue of them from enslavement and difficult circumstances, their gratitude waned. Their commitment wavered. Their trust eroded.

Due to their disobedience and sinful attitudes and actions, most missed the opportunity to go into the Promised Land.

The Israelites had moved about in the wilderness forty years until all the men who were of military age when they left Egypt had died, since they had not obeyed the Lord.

For the Lord had sworn to them that they would not see the land he had solemnly promised their ancestors to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey.  Joshua 5:6 NIV

The land of milk and honey flourished with the essential and extraordinary.

God wanted to take them there, but they needed the courage, obedience and trust to follow His direction. 

Instead of thankful hearts that stayed true to following God, they became whiners who turned to worshipping false gods and creating idols.

God sent Moses to set the people free, but they chose disobedience and sin which resulted in their loss of reaching the good – the Promised Land – God had originally planned for them.

Thus, they languished outside the lush land, stuck in the desert, where most died.  

After 40 years in the wilderness and following Moses’ death, the only ones in their generation who got to enter the Promised Land were Joshua and Caleb who urged the people to trust God.  

Scholars say it was more than 2500 years later when the Pilgrims came to America – a land of vast resources, scenic beauty and opportunities – to find religious freedom.  But, since that time, many hearts and minds in America have turned away from God, pursued adverse actions, or let the Lord slide into irrelevance in daily lives.

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 1 Peter 2:1-3 NIV

The value of  “milk and honey” still exists. God’s Word and wisdom is available to nourish and grow us. But He also provides incredible wonders of enjoyment in His Creation to sweeten our experience.  We have to discover them and delight in them.

Let’s ask ourselves:

  • Is my life full of the “milk and honey” God serves?
  • Am I craving God’s Word and His truth?
  • Grateful for the spice and the sweetness He provides each day?
  • Delighting and growing in Him?

Oh, how I want the Lord to fill me daily so I may experience and share His love, goodness and nourishment in a life-enhancing way!  

Remember that historic “pumpkin pie” filled to the brim with nourishing milk and honey providing strength and sweetness for delight?

If we want to make something similar to how that Pilgrim pumpkin pie may have been baked in a pumpkin, this recipe can guide us, or if we want to try one with honey, milk and spices, this Honey Pumpkin Pie delivers a throwback taste in the familiar crust.

Consider serving one of these, or this one for Thanksgiving, and share the history of pumpkin pie, as well as the Biblical account of the journey to the Promised Land full of milk and honey.

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8 NIV

  • What do you most enjoy pumpkin or pumpkin spice in?
  • Do you ever use honey at home?
  • When is a time you felt like you’ve were in a spiritual desert outside of a thriving, nourishing life in the Lord? What about when you grumbled or got angry with God?
  • How is God sweetening your life right now?
  • In what ways have you seen God’s faithfulness to you this year?

The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward. Psalm 19:9b-11 NIV


Life is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full! ™


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