Summary: How many "fat" preachers do you know? Is that acceptable? Here’s a sermon that deals with that question.

Temperance In Eating

1 Samuel 4:10-18

10 So the Philistines fought, and Israel was defeated, and every man fled to his tent. There was a very great slaughter, and there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers.

11Also the ark of God was captured; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died.

12 Then a man of Benjamin ran from the battle line the same day, and came to Shiloh with his clothes torn and dirt on his head.

13Now when he came, there was Eli, sitting on a seat by the wayside watching, for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city and told it, all the city cried out.

14When Eli heard the noise of the outcry, he said, "What does the sound of this tumult mean?" And the man came quickly and told Eli.

15Eli was ninety-eight years old, and his eyes were so dim that he could not see.

16Then the man said to Eli, "I am he who came from the battle. And I fled today from the battle line." And he said, "What happened, my son?"

17So the messenger answered and said, "Israel has fled before the Philistines, and there has been a great slaughter among the people. Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead; and the ark of God has been captured."

18Then it happened, when he made mention of the ark of God, that Eli fell off the seat backward by the side of the gate; and his neck was broken and he died, for the man was old and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.

Do you know which verse in that passage catches my attention?

The last one!

It says Eli was "old and heavy"

I don’t think it’s unimportant

that God chose to include the fact that Eli was "heavy".

Eli was a priest in Shilo!

He was the spiritual leader of the people.

He had 2 sons serving as priests, but they were wicked men.

Their sexual affairs with women who came to the tabernacle

as well as their practice of taking meat meant for offerings...

was driving people away.

Yet, we must give old Eli some credit.

When he hears what his sons are doing,

he chastises them and urges them to stop it.

So Eli knew what was right and wrong.

1 Samuel 2:29-30 adds an interesting aspect to his ministry.

29 Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling place, and honor your sons more than Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people?’ 30 Therefore the LORD God of Israel says: ’I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever.’ But now the LORD says: ’Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.

So Eli must have been eating those stolen sacrifice meats, too!

In fact, he had become "fat" on those meats!

Eli was far from being a "temperate" man.

God chose to remove Eli from his priestly duties!

I’ve heard of preachers

being dismissed from the pulpit for many things.

Adultery and fornication is the number one reason.

Other sins such as sexual abuse is another big one.

Some believe that a divorced man cannot be a preacher.

Some have been dismissed for steeling money and fraud.

But I’ve never heard of a pastor losing his job for being obese!

How many extremely over weight preachers do you know?

How many extremely over weight church people do you know?

Is it wrong for a preacher or any Christian to be over weight?

It’s obvious that in most cases,

A grossly overweight person is not exercising temperance.

Does God require pastors to be "temperate"?

Titus 1:7-8

For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled,

That word "self-controlled" means "temperate".

It’s the same thing!

1 Tim. 3:1-3

This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate,...

So, there you have it!

Preachers must be "temperate".

Now, I’m not suggesting that all "fat" preachers should be fired!

This is a message for preachers and all church people!

Today’s sermon is about "temperance"

And I submit to you that obese people are not temperate people!

Let me tell you the true story of a duke who lived nearly 1,000 years ago in what is now Belgium. His named was Raynald III. He was a knight who served in the Second Crusade and remained in the Holy Land after its defeat. He ruled as Prince of Antioch from 1153 to 1160 and through his second marriage became Lord of Oultrejordain. He was a controversial character in his own lifetime and beyond. Raynald III lived a life of indulgence and was obese. His Latin nickname was Crassus, which means, "fat."

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