Summary: The 2nd sin Sodom was condemned for was "abundance of bread". What could that possibly mean, and how can we be sure we don't fall into the same trap that condemned this evil city?
OPEN: We showed this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpyNoA1b20g (From timestamp 0.0 to 0.35)
Just so you know, I’m pretty sure you’re not going to get this at Kentucky Fried Chicken any time soon. An order of 10 of these wings will cost you $45 and an order of 50 wings (plus champagne) will set you back $1000.
When I first saw that video, the term “More money than sense” came to mind. Why on earth, would people do stuff like this? (Pause) Well, because they can. They have the money, they feel they deserve it, and it’s all the rage in places like NYC. There’s a kind of “snob” factor involved here. People can brag “I ate some 24 karat chicken wings!!!!"
But what this is really all about is the reflection of a self-absorbed culture. It’s a culture where some folks have money to burn… and they don’t know what to spend it on. And so they end up spending their money on bizarre food fads like this one.
Now this is really nothing new. This type of thing has been happening for centuries. In fact, here in our text this morning, that may even have been what happened in Sodom: “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: "she and her daughters had… (an) excess of food...” Ezekiel 16:49
They apparently had so much food they didn’t know what to do with all of it. As I was researching the text for this morning’s sermon, I found that most scholars identified this sin as being the sin of “GLUTTONY’
• Proverbs 23:20-21 “Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.”
• Proverbs 28:7 “He who keeps the law is a discerning son, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.”
• Proverbs 23:2 “Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.” (all these verses are from the HCSB)
Now being overweight is NOT what Proverbs is talking about. A heavy-set comedian from the 50’s named Buddy Hackett once said “I was reading one of those weight and height charts the other day, and I discovered something --- I’m not too fat, I’m too short.”
Being overweight is NOT what Proverbs is talking. Now granted, being overweight CAN BE the end result of gluttony, but THIS sin talked about in Proverbs is something different. Gluttony is when people “drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat” Proverbs 23:20
These are the type of people who don’t eat to live… they live to eat, They stuff themselves until they’re uncomfortable. When they go to a smorgasbord, they take the phrase “All you can eat” as if it’s a personal challenge. When they eat they literally “pig out.”
Often, this is the behavior of lazy people. Paul condemned the people in Crete by quoting the proverb of one of their prophets that said: “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” (Titus 1:12) They were known to be totally focused on self gratification and self-indulgence.
ILLUS: At my home church we had Thursday Nite suppers. About 60 or more people would show up for a Carry-in, Bible Study, and Choir practice (since my family was in the choir we showed up every Thursday. One year I remember a guy who started coming at the beginning of the Fall. At first he just picked up a dish and went through piling food on the dish as he went. But after a couple of weeks he apparently went out and bought himself a huge food tray (it looked a lot like this: http://www.amgoodsupply.com/thunder-group-stainless-steel-6-compartment-tray-pack-of-12-slcst006). Every week he piled that huge tray high with food. And I remember thinking – that’s an awful lot of food. I like the food (it was always good) but that’s an awful lot of food. And I watched him week after week, and as time went by he got fatter and fatter. And over that time life got rough for him, his wife left him and I think I remember that he lost his job. Looking back I’m convinced that “gluttony” was a symptom of something deeper and more troubling in his life.
Proverbs says that if you have a problem with this temptation of gorging yourself you should “Put a knife to your throat…” Proverbs 23:2 (HCSB version). In other words… get control of this, deliberately cut back on portions. Do something to change your obsession with food.
ILLUS: The Biblical discipline of fasting is a great way to train yourself to do without food. I remember years ago when a guy from the church I served then was in the ER. He was a really heavy young man, mostly from overeating, and he’d come to the ER because he was experiencing chest pains. The chest pains were not heart related – they were pains in his chest because of his overeating! He looked up at me from the gurney and asked me to pray for him because he’d not eaten in 24 hours. And I remembering thinking “you’d do well not to eat for another 24 hours or more.” He could have survived for weeks on the amount of girth he’d attained. But the complaint about not eating struck me as odd. What I told him was this: “You’ll be OK. You need to remember that Jesus survived without eating for 40 days. If He could do it… so could you.”