BIBILICAL HEALTH AND GLUTTONY

Dt 21:18-21   . . .This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he a glutton and a drunkard. . . .
Pr 23:2, 20-21   . . .put a knife to your throat if you are a man given to appetite.   . . .the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty. . . .  

I think all those who fear the Lord would agree that stubbornness, rebellion, disobedience, and drunkenness are sins.  Actually, stubbornness might not be recognized for what it is, but the Bible calls it as the sin of witchcraft!  It is placing my will against someone else’s, and especially against someone with authority over me, like my parents or the Lord Himself.  It’s very serious!  

But there is another sin mentioned in connection with these:  gluttony.  Did you notice?  Gluttony is defined as excess in eating; extravagant indulgence of the appetite for food (Webster’s 1828 English Dict.).  Like drunkenness, gluttony is not the indulgence of sinful things, but the over-indulgence of what is lawful, of what God has given us to use, enjoy, and gain benefit from.  And, food, of course, is essential for life and health, whereas alcohol is not.  

I remember some years ago a brother in the faith said that you don’t have to be fat to be a glutton.  (And, I will add, not all fat people are gluttons.)  I have to admit enjoying eating and having to control my appetite, especially as I’m getting older.  My metabolism isn’t what it used to be, and I do not exercise as much.  But if I want to remain reasonably healthy, I need to control not only what, but how much, food goes into my mouth and down to my stomach!  (Phlpn 4:5  Let your moderation be known in all things.  The Lord is at hand!)  

Gluttony is a sensitive topic amongst believers.  It is not seen really as a sin, or we don’t really know where the limit is.  I remember once saying to a brother – who admits to over-eating – that he should try more to control his appetite.  His response was very defensive:  “Don’t you have things in your life, too, that aren’t under control?”  In other words, don’t judge me. . .especially for something I enjoy.  

Once at a wedding, I had just begun a three-day fast for someone with a spiritual problem.  There was lots of tasty food on the tables!  I just walked around, looking at it, wanting to prove to myself – and, who knows, maybe to angels – that my fast was genuine and my commitment to it important – more important than all that good – and free! – food at a wedding celebration, a very legitimate place to feast.  Thankfully, the food and my stomach did not control me, but rather I subjected my members under spiritual authority, both mine and God’s.  

Food is not only a gift from God for which we give Him thanks, but it is also given to strengthen and refresh us for our work and other proper activities in life. (1Cor 7:29-31  . . .and those who use this world as not misusing it.  For the form of this world is passing away.)  

We have been speaking for many weeks about being healed, being healthy.  We have discussed spiritual causes and spiritual cures.  We have also spoken about our attitudes, like thankfulness, in our lives as having an influence either for health or for sickness.  We are responsible before God as persons created in His image, and even more so now with the Holy Spirit dwelling within us who are born-again.  

As priests of God in Messiah, we are responsible:
Ezek 44:23; Rom 14:17  to know the difference between the holy and unholy, and between the unclean and clean

Let the Holy Spirit control us, and not food or drink.  The Kingdom of God does not consist of these things, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.  The ‘kosher’ dietary regulations given to Israel under the Torah were for the purpose of learning the difference between the unclean and the clean. (Lev 11:46-47)Under the New Covenant for those now in Messiah, the lesson for us in the context of this teaching today is:  don’t eat like a pig!  Don’t BE a pig!  The Lord has taught us – especially perhaps us Jews – that all foods are made pure (the clean animals were already ‘pure’), for they only typify the substance of what God is after in US. (Mk 7:14-23; and other NT references 

Rom 12:1   by the mercies of God present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  We belong to Jesus, and He has all authority over our lives.

1Jn 1:9   If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

We have to deal with our sin; God will enable us as we do it FOR MESSIAH.  

Let us glorify God with our whole person: our heart, our mind, our tongue, our stomach — our body, our soul, our spirit.

BIBLICAL HEALING: A SOUND MIND

2Tim 1:7   God has given us a spirit of a sound mind (sanctified common sense)

1Tim 4:8   Bodily exercise profits a little

Ps 127:2   YHVH gives His beloved sleep

1Tim 4:3-5   God has given food which He created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth; for every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with prayer; for it is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer.

BIBLICAL HEALING: THANKFULNESS

Ps 100   A Psalm of Thanksgiving.  Serve YHVH with gladness; come before His presence with singing. …Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, into His courts with praise.  Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.  For YHVH is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations.  

This psalm gives us the reason to be thankful:  God is good!  He has made us His people, and He is worthy of our praise.  Very simple:  those who know who the true God is are to be people who know how to be thankful.  As believers in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, He has even given us His Spirit to enable us to be thankful even when there seems no good reason to be.  

I read something an older person wrote on the internet which blessed me because it is clear that this man or woman appreciates the life – the new life, the abundant life, the eternal life – that God has given through the forgiveness of his/her sins.  This is what he/she wrote:   

“In everything give thanks!!!  Yes, even with an illness such as bipolar we can be faithful and obedient and give thanks!!!  I give thanks to all of you who have shown your thankful hearts!  May God bless you for your obedience and faithfulness.  May you be as encouraged by others’ thankfulness as I have been!!!  May you be blessed with the knowledge of something new to be thankful for today!  Praises to our King in Heaven, God the Father, to God the Son who came to pay the price of salvation, and to God the Holy Spirit who lives in us, comforting and encouraging us, sealing us for all eternity reunited with God!!!”  

Thankfulness takes our focus off the problem (or off our own self or needs) and places it on the One who can solve the problem (or who has solved it or given help, etc.).  Whenever I speak with Eila, Assia’s mother and Esti’s grandmother, it blesses and encourages me in my faith in the Lord.  She always expresses thanks and praise to Jesus, despite very much physical and emotional pain in her life.  It is humbling for me:  will I be thankful under similar circumstances of life?  In giving thanks to someone, we relate to that person as God’s servant.  We acknowledge a human being created in the image of God doing something worthy of God, to whom we give thanks for all things in any circumstance.  Paul the apostle gives himself as an example for us to be strengthened through faith to give thanks through suffering for Christ’s sake.  We relate both vertically and horizontally as human beings – unto God and unto one another.  

Gratitude is more than a simple word of appreciation for food we are about to eat, or as a polite response when someone has helped us.  Both those things are good and right, but we have been called to be a thankful people.  Thankfulness is an attitude, a spirit deep within the Spirit of God that spills over, flows out to those around.  It is the good fruit of someone who KNOWS what the Lord has done for him/her on the cross.  

In a study done a few years ago on the attributes of gratitude, researchers (Robert Emmons from UofCal-Davis, and Michael McCullough from U of Miami) considered how an attitude of thankfulness influences our emotional and physical well-being.  Their report included these observations:   

–Participants who were accustomed to remember things each week for what they were thankful reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the coming week compared to those who remembered their hassles or neutral life events.  

–Participants who remembered the things for which to be thankful were likely to make more progress toward important personal goals (academic, relational, health).  

–Participants accustomed to giving thanks daily were more likely to report that they helped someone else with a personal problem or that they offered emotional support to another.  

–Thankful people report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, and optimism, and lower levels of depression and stress.  This disposition toward gratitude appears to enhance pleasant feeling states more than it diminishes unpleasant emotions.  The study noted that grateful people do not deny or ignore the negative aspects of life.  

The research indicates that those who are thankful experience a healthier sense of well-being.  

Col 2:6-7   As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving 

We want to give thanks today to some people who work hard that do not always get thanks as they ought.  It is important to say, so that there is no misunderstanding:  we do not do something right or good IN ORDER TO receive thanks.  But it is always right to give thanks – to God always!; to human beings usually.