1. We have been talking about deadly sins. Sins that plant themselves deep within us and can take over our lives. Sins that lead us to other sin and sins that separate us from God.
2. Today we look at a fifth deadly sin. And as we consider this sin - it may seem harmless compared to the others. After all, is gluttony not simply a problem about eating too much. Is that real that bad a sin? And do we really have a problem with gluttony? How many people here have a problem with eating too much?
3. Well, that may be true. We may not have a problem with eating too much but we may still have a problem with gluttony. And as we consider what gluttony really is, we may discover that we need to deal with this sin as well.
1. What is gluttony? One Bible dictionary defines a glutton as one habitually given to greedy and voracious eating. To be voracious means to be exceedingly eager. To be called a glutton is not a nice thing. A glutton a person was given to loose and excessive living. In the NT it was used to describe a rascal or scoundrel who had a uncontrolled or excessive fondness for some specified object or pursuit.
2. Gluttony has to do with much more than food. A glutton is one who craves food but a glutton is also any person who is craving for something to satisfy his soul.
3.For the hunger we feel is a much deeper hunger than to fill our stomache. For there is a great cavity within each one of us that earns to be filled. We often fill that hunger with things - clothes, jewelry, cars, sex, food. We eat out of boredom, we eat to rewards ourselves, we eat out of frustration (so easy to eat when we are upset), we eat when we are depressed, we eat when we are stressed or angry. We eat because we hope it will satisfy our longing. But it doesn’t.
4. Our real inner longing isn’t for food. It is for something deeper and more meaningful. Our longing is for purpose, for love, for community, for God. That is why God put that hunger in us.
5. But that hunger is painful and rather than allow us to see how empty we are without God we fill it before we get to that point that we ask God to fulfill our deepest desires.
6. Frederick Buechner says that a glutton is one who runs to the icebox for a cure to a spiritual malnutrition. That we use our possessions to camouflage a bankrupt emotional and spiritual life. That we seek status and position to camouflage our low self-esteem. We run after anything and everything to camouflage our fear of becoming nothing.
7. The prophet Amos made this charge against the people of Israel:
Amos 6:-5 You lie on beds inlaid with ivory and lounge on your couches. You dine on choice lambs and fattened calves. You strum away on your harps like David and improvise on musical instruments. You drink wine by the bowlful and use the finest lotions, but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph.
The nation was in political, and more important yet, spiritual ruin and yet they drank and indulged themselves to excess so they ignored there problems. Like someone who goes to the fridge to get a sandwich or another bottle of beer rather than to deal with the problems in their life. They escape reality but nothing is really changed. To close my eyes top a situation does not take it away.
8. What do you crave in life? What do you desire more than anything else? What satisfies your soul's appetite? Is it food, is it drink? Is it work? It is so easy for a man to work long hours to feel important or to escape the problems in his marriage. Is it recognition? is it acceptance? Iis it a sport or hobby you can loose yourself in?
9. So often these things do not seem that bad. In fact these things are gifts from God. God has blessed us with so much food and such a variety of tastes. But we can so easily abuse this gift. We can abuse our talents, our work, our skills, almost anything.
10. And when we do, we see why gluttony is such a terrible sin.
11. For the things we crave are of no lasting value. That's what Solomon discovered as he looked back over his life
Eccl 2:10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.