The Acceptable Christian Sin of Gluttony #18 (A Message for the Church)



TEXT: Exodus 16:1-3

1 And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.

2 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness:

3 And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.

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Richard Baxter said, “Gluttony is a voluntary excess in eating for the pleasing of the appetite, or some other carnal end. It is sometimes an excess in quantity, when more is eaten than is meet. Or else it may be an excess in the delicious quantity, when more regard is had to the delight and sweetness than is meet. Or it may be an excess in the frequency and ordinary unseasonableness of eating; when men eat too oft, and sit at it too long.”

According to Stanford Health Care Center, obesity can contribute to sleep apnea and respiratory problems. “Sleep apnea, which causes people to stop breathing for brief periods, interrupts sleep throughout the night and causes sleepiness during the day. It also causes heavy snoring. Respiratory problems associated with obesity occur when added weight of the chest wall squeezes the lungs and causes restricted breathing. Sleep apnea is also associated with high blood pressure.”

This is an uncomfortable subject for many of us, but if you listen and take heed, this particular series can not only change your life spiritually, but it can save your life physically.

In this passage, we find the children of Israel about 50 days out from their deliverance from Egypt. God, under the direction of Moses, has led them into the wilderness. Their supplies are running low; food and water are hard to come by. And the children of Israel begin to complain, saying that it would have been better for them to remain in Egypt. Now, in Egypt, the Hebrews were slaves, they were given the difficult tasks of building a kingdom that was not there own, their newborn sons were taken from them and killed in order to prevent the population from growing too strong.

Despite all this, the only thing the children of Israel focus on as they remember their time in Egypt is the food. They said, “In Egypt, we sat by the flesh pots, and we did eat bread to the full.” In the parallel account of this passage in Numbers, they said, “Who shall give us flesh [meat] to eat? We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick.” The Israelites were ready to go back into bondage in Egypt, just so they could have a taste of some food.

There is something seriously wrong with this picture. They didn’t care about what God was doing. They didn’t care about where Moses was trying to lead them. They were willing to toss all that aside just so they could satisfy their stomachs with the food they liked. This text reminds us that we need to make sure we have our priorities straight. Food should really be very low on the totem pole. Jesus said, “Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?

PRACTICAL STEP: In “The RAVE Diet and Lifestyle,” Mike Anderson continues sharing with us why we should refrain from eating animal foods. He writes, “Calorie for calorie, plant foods are far richer in nutrients than animal foods, with green vegetables being the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet. From a weight loss perspective, many studies have confirmed that over time, the more people eat meat, the more they gain weight. The more people eat whole plant foods, the less likely they are to gain weight. In a recent multi-nation study, it was found that without exception, the thinnest people ate a complex carbohydrate diet, while the fattest people ate a meat-based diet.”