TEXT: Numbers 11:4-6
4 And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?
5 We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick:
6 But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.
Overcoming gluttony requires discipline. The words discipline and disciple both come from the same root word. V. Raymond Edmond, author of “The Disciplines of Life,” wrote, “Discipleship means discipline! The disciple is one who has been taught or trained by the Master, who has come with his ignorance, superstition, and sin, to find learning, truth, and forgiveness from the Saviour. Without discipline we are not disciples, even though we profess His Name and pass for a follower of the lowly Nazarene. In an undisciplined age when liberty and license have replaced law and loyalty, there is greater need than ever before that we be disciplined disciples.”
Matthew 4:1-4 says, “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
John R. Rice said, “Scripture has so much to say about fasting that we would do well to look once again at this ancient Discipline. The list of biblical personages who fasted reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of Scripture. Many of the great Christians throughout church history fasted and witnessed to its value; among them were Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, David Brainerd, and Charles Finney. Fasting, of course, is not an exclusively Christian Discipline; all the major religions of the world recognize its merit. he fact that all these persons, in and out of Scripture, held fasting in high regard does not make it right or even desirable, but it should make us pause long enough to be willing to reevaluate the popular assumptions of our day concerning the Discipline of fasting.
You can listen to over 150 podcasts that I did on fasting at Prayer Motivator Devotional.com
Sarah Christmyer wrote, “Maybe it’s easier to see gluttony as evil when there’s not enough to go around. But feasting has become an American pastime, only matched by our obsession with dieting – and where would one be without the other? Abundance has become less a cause for thanksgiving as a challenge to consume as much as possible.”
According to ABC News, “Wider waistbands seem to widen the pay gap. One George Washington University School of Public Health study found a strong connection between greater obesity and shrinking wages. Examining data from the 2004 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, the researchers discovered that wages among the obese were $8,600 less for females and $4,772 lower for males compared with their thinner counterparts.”
This is an uncomfortable subject for many of us, but if you listen and take heed, this particular series can not only change your life spiritually, but it can save your life physically.
The mixed multitude stirred the waters of discontent among the children of Israel and they all began expressing that they were tired of the manna that God had been giving them and wanted some meat to eat. This passage gives more insight on the nature of the manna with these words: “The manna was as coriander seed [the seed from which comes cilantro and parsley], and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium [a fragrant, transparent precious stone]. And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil.”
We see here that the children of Israel had learned to make do with the manna. It may not have been what they wanted or what they had gotten used to in Egypt. But it was all they needed. They had learned to make different types of foods out of manna.
But, like us, they were not content with their needs being supplied. They desired something more, something different. They were not content. If we are honest with ourselves we will admit that much of our gluttony stems from a lack of contentment. We are not content with our portion size and we want seconds. We are not content with the foods we have on hand and we want something different. We are not content with breakfast, lunch, and dinner — we want snacks in between and a late night dessert.
If we are going to conquer the sin of gluttony, we must also conquer the sin of discontentment — a sin which, as we will soon see from God’s response to the children of Israel is not taken lightly.
If the Lord tarries his coming and we live, next time, we will continue looking at what this passage tells us about God’s plan for man’s eating habits.
PRACTICAL STEP: In “The RAVE Diet and Lifestyle,” Mike Anderson begins sharing his third rule for a healthy lifestyle which is “no vegetable oils.” He writes, “Strictly speaking, vegetable oils are part of the Refined Foods group because they contain no fiber, they’re devoid of nutrients and they’re 100 percent fat. Although I say vegetable oils, because these are what are mostly consumed, I mean any oils (e.g., nut oils, coconut oil, etc.).”
Now, we are going to continue looking at the “Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting ” from Healthline’s “Intermittent Fasting 101 – The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide”:
– Heart health: Intermittent fasting may reduce LDL cholesterol, blood tri-gly-cer-ides, inflammatory markers, blood sugar and insulin resistance. These are all risk factors for heart disease.
– Cancer: Animal studies suggest that intermittent fasting may help prevent cancer.
– Brain health: Intermittent fasting increases a brain hormone called BDNF, and may aid the growth of new nerve cells. It may also protect against Alzheimer’s disease .
– Anti-aging: Intermittent fasting can extend lifespan in rats. Studies showed that fasted rats live as much as 36-83% longer .
Keep in mind that the research is still in its early stages. Many of the studies were small, short in duration or conducted in animals. Many questions have yet to be answered in higher quality human studies.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.