Summary: Are you a fat baby?
I was recently at a pastor’s conference in East Texas. The church is definitely a country church and when I say backwoods it was back in the woods! The church is a hundred years old and the pastor is in his eighties and has been preaching fifty-six years. I had a great time. The preachers were all just down home country preachers that still had some fire left in them not quenched by a seminary education. I could have stayed a month!
One of the preachers from Mississippi told us about a child that his son was caring for because the mother was a crack head prostitute and in jail. They had her nine years until her biological mother got out and some judge gave the child back to her. Now she lives in squalor and I fear that at some point “Mom” might decide to use her for extra income. Pray for the child!
I said all this to say that when she was an infant the church folks called her “poor baby” because no one wanted her. At the church that held the conference they had a child they called “church baby” who is now two and wants to shake hands with everyone. They joke that he is going to be a politician.
Nicknames are fun and often they do describe a particular characteristic about a person. In Thailand, my nickname was tooie nooie, which meant baby fat. I was a very large baby but they called my taller heavier friend “water buffalo” so tooie nooie was OK with me. Somewhere we got the idea that a fat baby is a healthy and happy baby but we know that isn’t true anymore. Fat babies usually become fat adults and often die young or endure a plethora of ailments. I want to speak to you about three fat babies. The first one is the nation of Israel in the Old Testament.
Deut 32:15 But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.
The picture I see here is a fat spoiled rotten kid that is kicking and crying. He may have started out stamping his feet and screaming then falling on his tail kicking up a hissy fit as his face turns red with anger or frustration. We have all seen these kinds of kids and as a lady who once attended here said, “It makes you want to volunteer for a drive by whuppin’!” It may have been your child so there was no need to drive.
I read about one couple that broke their child’s temper tantrums. He liked to bang his head against the step as he screamed. One day, Mom had enough and she took him by the head and starting doing it for him. Not as hard as he was doing it but as she did it she said, “I can see why you like doing this.” Then she called for her husband and he did it saying how much fun it was. The child never did that again. A year later a brother was born. At some point, the new child tried the same technique. The other and wiser brother came over to him and said, “Forget it, it doesn’t work!” It’s a great cure! They probably saved him from a concussion and taught him a lesson!
God had provided so much for the nation Israel. Like a loving father, God guided them, gave them plenty of food, drink and land. God put them high on the earth and they lived high on the hog figuratively since they didn’t eat pork but they were very prosperous and safe. They were fat babies! They started out serving only God but that was to change.
Somewhere along the line like the time they tired of the manna in the wilderness they became disenchanted or ungrateful and developed an interest in the false gods of their neighbors. Some of those gods allowed some pretty exciting and exotic things. They were told to be separate from them but they got the seven-year itch and went looking for things they should have never even known about let alone experience.
They had fun for awhile and may have even appeared to have prospered for awhile for indeed sin is pleasurable for a season. God in His patient love and mercy allowed them to exercise their free will until He could bear no more. They traded the relationship they had with the true God for the deceptive glitz of an affair with the devil and his minions. The sweet taste of sin would turn terribly sour in stomachs.
They forgot the Rock that had brought them to birth as a nation sustaining them in a land that was surrounded by their enemies. They made peace with people that God told them not associate with and even married into the tribes. They were His sons and daughters and yet they chose to provoke Him to wrath. They had seen what He had done to the ancient gods of Egypt yet they thought the new ones were better.