When was the last time you over-indulged? Capital Punishment Style? With Habenera Heartburn—Insufferable Indigestion—Mount Vesuvius Acid-reflux—Migraine inducing Nausea—Behemoth Bloating with Boa Constricting belt tightening. Did two boxes of Alka-Seltzer help? A quart of Pepto-Bismol? A case of Tums? An injection of liquid Protonix or stronger? Was an EMS ride to the ER included? Did the ER nurse get the fluids running right away, or did you have a couple more hours endurance in the crowded waiting room? Costly trip, huh? Expensive ice cream?
Gluttony is a weighty matter. It’s addressed in the Old Testament (OT) book of 1 Samuel; along with some of its consequences. Eli was an OT priest and judge of Israel who had two sons; Hophni and Phinehas and “They were wicked men who had no regard for the Lord” 1 Samuel 2:12. Serving as helpers to the high priest, they were allotted a portion of the sacrifices to eat, but they demanded more—much more. How bad were the boys? They took advantage of their position to satisfy their own lust for power, possessions, and control. Their contempt and arrogance toward both people and worship undermined the integrity of the priesthood. Eli knew they were evil, but wouldn’t correct them. These boys stole the first-fruits before they were offered to God on the altar. They were a couple of ruthless chow-hounds. A prophet predicted the destruction of Eli and his family. The two sons dying on the same day was a sign that validated this prophecy. Was it any coincidence that Eli died within hours of his sons? No!
The Bible gives us a detailed record of Eli’s death. 1 Samuel 4:18 says, “Eli fell backwards off his chair, by the side of the gate. His neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man and heavy.” Eli was an OT person with a modern problem. The recognition and respect that he earned in public did not extend to his handling of his private and family affairs. He might have been a decent priest but he was a terrible parent. Oh, he responded to others problems, but he definitely didn’t solve any of his own.
When you serve the Lord, putting Him first, it leaves a sweet taste that lingers. When you serve yourself first, and over-indulge, Satan’s pride enters in and turns the sweetness to bitter.
There is a lesson here in over-indulging; know your limitations.