Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sunday Sermon Notes - 2.25.07

The second deadly sin of the series that we are dealing with is Gluttony. In Latin the word is "gula", which can also be translated as "excess". Traditionally we think of a glutton as someone who eats and drinks too much. But gluttony can be more then just a sin of the flesh, it can be a way of life: excessive consumption can be deadly no matter what the object.

The story of Solomon is, in one sense, a story of excess. He asked God for wisdom instead of wealth and honor, so God gave him what he did ask for, and because Solomon didn't ask for the other two, God gave it to him. One would think that with all the wisdom he had, he could handle the wealth and honor. What is fascinating is that not only did Solomon receive the wealth and honor that God directed to him, he also reached out for and took more wealth. It is almost as if Solomon mistook God's promise of wealth and honor as permission to attain/consume as much wealth as possible.

In 1Kings1-11 we have the rise and fall of Solomon. The author elegantly informs us of the subtle consumption that in the end ruins Solomon. Chapter 6 tells us of Solomon building the Temple. Chapter 7 tells us of Solomon building his own Palace. The author writes: ...the temple was finished in all its details according to its specifications. He had spent seven years building it. It took Solomon thirteen years, however, to complete the construction of the palace." Notice that already Solomon's perspective is skewed, he has consumed almost twice as much as the LORD requested for the Temple.

Starting in Chapter 9, continuing through the demise of Solomon in Chapter 11, notice how many times gold is mentioned. God shows up to Solomon and outlines the deal, David did it once on the deathbed, this is God's second time - and this time God outlines the curses that will come for disobedience.

I think that there is a connection between the excessive consumption of gold, wives, "honor", and "stuff" and the downfall of Solomon.

James, in his invective against wealthy oppressors surely had Solomon in mind: 5v1,5 "Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery (think Solomon- who died a warped, frustrated old man) that is coming on you. You have lived on earth in luxury (lust) and self-indulgence (gluttony). You have fattened yourself as in a day of feasting when there was to be no feast.

We think we are a sex-obssessed, lust-full people. And we are. But more so, we are gluttonous, we have excess and yet crave more, our barns are stuffed to overflowing, we pity the poor - not because they have no food or shelter, but because they have used cars and only local channels on their televisions.

Lust and Gluttony are the Sins of the Flesh. And they both kill, the soul and the body.

Jesus' invitation to us: redirect your desires - seek first the kingdom of God and his rightness; redirect your cravings - hunger and thirst for righteousness.

This is more then sentimental, pious religion. This is the antidote to a bloated, unhappy, restless existence, devoid of God and the good life we can never purchase or possess.

Is Gluttony your sin?

Try "feeding" on God, he'll help you use your excess to bless people rather then deprive them. Wouldn't you like that?

1 comment:

Marsha said...

Isn't it interesting that we are talking about gluttony the Sunday after "Fat Tuesday"! I'm enjoying/looking forward to this sermon series.