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.