Summary: Gluttony is more that just eating more than your fill. The true face of the sin of gluttony is that we can desire something more than we desire God.
An unknown predator has entered our lives; one that starts as soon as we are born. Most of us would never recognize it if we saw it because “it” is the norm of the society we live in. We sometimes feel that it is almost a right because we live in such a land of abundance. America has so many resources and so much to offer to anyone and everyone who reaches out for it. We have a wonderfully abundant country and because we have such abundance a predator has lurked into our hearts and our minds. Slowly throughout our lives, the predator of Satan known as gluttony has drilled its way into our hearts and minds. It has burrowed so deeply that we have become almost a slave to it. Gluttony is the desire for excess; wanting more, bigger, better, more often, faster stuff. I think it is time to overcome our seeming obsession with the destructive sin of always desiring and taking more than we need. We can regain control of our appetites, viewing habits, and seeming “need” for more stuff.
America seems to be ripe for such gluttony. A few examples include one about Dodger’s stadium; which now offers seating for an all you can eat buffet type concessions stand. You pay about 40 or 50 bucks and you can go to the concessions stand as many times as you want and pick up four items at a time. Reading some of the interviews, people seemed to be absolutely ecstatic about having such a “great idea.” They could gorge themselves and in the end save money doing it. While I was researching the idea of gluttony trying to find illustrations that are considered addictions, not once did I find a single illustration of the desire of excess to be an addiction. Yet, that is exactly what gluttony is – an addiction to something whether it be food, materialism, or even television.
The true face of the sin of gluttony is that we can desire something more than we desire God. Food and entertainment become more valuable and more important to get than spending time with God. Paul refers to this type of behavior in Philippians 3:19 when he says, “…whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.” Society today purports bigger and better stuff all the time. Everything has to be super-jumbo sized. I am waiting for McDonalds to come out with a two pound mega burger for like $15. Yet, we have at least one example of a man who decided not to eat the jumbo food; one man who had conquered his desires and subjugated them to God’s laws. Daniel knew his boundaries and where he should and shouldn’t indulge himself so that he could stay true to God.
The Example of Daniel – Daniel 1
Daniel decided he would not eat luxurious food from the kings table but instead would eat what he needed to stay alive. Daniel 1 describes the deportation of the Israelites to Babylon. The best and brightest young men would be employed in the king’s service. They were to be fed from the king’s table with the best food in the land. Daniel would have none of it. “Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself.” The guard’s do not want Daniel not to eat the choice food. If Daniel and his friends did not look good in front of the king, they would lose their jobs and possible their lives. Daniel then asks for a test period where they can experiment with the new diet. “Please test your servants for ten days, and let us be given some vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance be observed in your presence and the appearance of the youths who are eating the king’s choice food; and deal with your servants according to what you see.” At the end of the ten days, the young men looked better than those who ate from the king’s table. Daniel had won a small victory over the temptation to become latched to luxurious food. He rejected the king’s food, in favor of a controlled diet which was plenty nutritious to keep him alive.
Daniel set a good example for us to learn from. Later Daniel ate and drank normally with the King. However, he set the pace for his life by abstaining to prove he had dominance over earthly desires. We will look at three earthly desires we face most often, how we obsess over them, and a one word answer on how we can overcome them.