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The Sin of Gluttony (Proverbs 23:19-21)

Introductory Thoughts

Scripture misconceptions are frequently based upon superficial understanding of Bible texts and truths. For example, very few Bible teachers seem to grasp the biblical definition of gluttony. Most people consider gluttony as referring to the sin of overeating. However, the Bible’s built-in dictionary suggests a completely different scenario. Consider the two parallels within our text. Proverbs 23:21 defines the drunkard as someone among winebibbers in verse 20. Additionally, Proverbs 23:21 defines the glutton as someone among riotous eaters of flesh in verse 20. This context shows us that gluttony is not determined so much by the amount of food eaten, but the manner of food consumption. The fact that gluttony and drunkenness are mentioned every time together further confirms this truth (Deuteronomy 21:20; Proverbs 23:21; Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:34). Notice that the last two references in Matthew and Luke refer to the false accusations hurled toward the Saviour. When Christ’s accusers referred to Him as a gluttonous man and a winebibber, they were referring to His associations with the publicans and sinners, not His personal eating and drinking habits!

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): God meant for you to enjoy eating and drinking (Ecclesiastes 5:18). It needs to be done with the right purposes in mind (Ecclesiastes 10:17). God brings judgment when we do not eat and drink for the right reason (Exodus 32:6-8, 19-20, 26-28).
  • (For everyone): Read 1 Corinthians 10:31. What does this suggest about the importance of diet? How can a person eat to the glory of God?
  • Individuals should be careful about the amount of food eaten, but not because of fear of being gluttonous. From the scripture, what is the scene in which someone would be gluttonous?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask the Lord to help you be scriptural in every facet of life.
  • Thank the Lord for the built-in dictionary of His word.