Jesus Christ said, “It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer.”

The Acceptable Christian Sin of Gluttony #54


TEXT: Judges 3:14-17

14 So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.

15 But when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, the Lord raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded: and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab.

16 But Ehud made him a dagger which had two edges, of a cubit length; and he did gird it under his raiment upon his right thigh.

17 And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man.

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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 the last passage that we looked at on this subject, Numbers 34, we saw an entire group of people defined as gluttonous due to their inordinate desire, first for any kind of food, and then especially for meat. In this passage, we see a single man defined as “fat.” Eglon was the king of Moab, and during the period of the Judges, he oppressed the children of Israel in the land of Canaan. The Bible writers described him as “a very fat man.”

Now, society will tell us today that it is not right to describe somebody as “fat.” In fact, this past weekend, a short story published in The New Yorker about a young woman’s dating experience caused an abundance of commentary online. One of the reasons why is because the writer seemed to imply that the man she was dating was undesirable because he was fat. Vox writer Constance Grady commented, “Adding to the backlash against the story was the sense that the narrative is fat shaming, and that it is constructed around the unexamined idea that fat bodies are inherently gross and bad. The idea that Robert’s fat body is intrinsically disgusting, some critics have argued, reinforces a sense that fat people are themselves inherently disgusting, even worthless.”

Cruelty or meanness in language, attitude, or actions toward a person who is overweight or obese should not be tolerated — especially among Christians. But, we are not helping ourselves or others if we refuse to acknowledge reality and use euphemisms to describe the result of sin. The writer of this passage was not being mean when he described Eglon as “very fat.” In fact, a few verses later, Eglon’s obesity plays into the story of Ehud freeing the children of Israel from Eglon’s rule. But we should allow this passage to remind us that, only by acknowledging the truth can we make positive progress in the future.

If the Lord tarries his coming and we live, next time, we will continue looking at lessons we can learn from this passage about how we can overcome gluttony.

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REGARDING INTERMITTENT FASTING:

James Clear, author of “The Quick Start Guide to Intermittent Fasting,” says regarding weekly intermittent fasting: “One of the best ways to get started with intermittent fasting is to do it once per week. The occasional fast may not cause you to cut down on calories consistently, but there are still many other health benefits. In on example, lunch on Monday can be your last meal of the day. You then fast until lunch on Tuesday. This schedule has the advantage of allowing you to eat every day of the week while still reaping the benefits of fasting for 24 hours. There are a wide range of variations and options for making weekly intermittent work into your schedule. For example, a long day of travel or the day after a big holiday feast are often great times to throw in a 24-hour fast. Perhaps the biggest benefit of doing a 24-hour fast is getting over the mental barrier of fasting. If you’ve never fasted before, successfully completing your first one helps you realize that you won’t die if you don’t eat for a day.”