Christian tradition has long listed seven “deadly sins.” The list includes:
While Scripture itself does not contain such a specific list, the principles of Scripture reveal that these seven vices are indeed avenues through which Satan seeks to gain control over souls. The first six deal with emotions and motivations. Gluttony, however, is different in that it deals with actions.
Most people define gluttony as simply eating too much. Those who are slender often feel superior to those who are overweight, assuming the person who weighs more, must be eating more. Gluttony, however, encompasses much more than simply eating an extra serving of dessert.
The only way for Yahuwah to communicate with the soul is through the mind. Thus, anything that beclouds the mind or numbs the senses must be avoided at all costs. Overeating can make the mind fuzzy, but so can caffeine, tobacco, drugs, alcohol, foods that are too rich as well as foods that are too heavily spiced.
The best foods for promoting spiritual growth are the foods that were given to Adam and Eve in Eden: fruits, nuts and grains. After sin, vegetables, which had been the food for the animals, were added to their diet. Following the flood, when much of the earth was under water and the children of Noah had not yet had a chance to plant gardens, certain “clean” meats were allowed. While Yahuwah gave permission for people to eat meat, it has never been the best food for the human body. In fact, after adding meat to the diet, the lifespan of the human race very quickly lessened to the point that Shem outlived seven generations of his descendants – including Abraham!
All who are seeking righteousness will find that returning to a very simple diet, free of strong spices, sugars, fats, additives and preservatives will be a tremendous blessing in the battle to overcome sin. This important principle was clearly understood by the mothers of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. These godly women lived at a very dangerous time in Israel’s history. They believed the prophecies of Jeremiah that Jerusalem would fall to the armies of Babylon and the people would be taken prisoner. By faith, they raised their children to stand for principle no matter what the cost.
When Daniel and his three friends were taken prisoner to Babylon, the training they had received in their childhood homes was not forgotten.
And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.
But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. (Daniel 1:5, 8, KJV)
Like many today, the prince in charge of the eunuchs believed that the heavy food offered by the king was superior to the simple food requested by Daniel and his friends. He replied:
I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? Then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king. (Daniel 1:10, KJV)
Daniel knew that many of the other Hebrew prisoners were relishing the rich foods, exotic dishes and delicate wines offered by the king. They were eating the unclean meats eaten by the pagans, disregarding Yahuwah’s law. He wisely asked Melzar, the eunuch directly in charge over him, for a trial period. This was long enough for the effects of eating the two different kinds of food to be observed.
So Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
“Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our countenances be examined before you, and the countenances of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.”
So he consented with them in this matter, and tested them ten days. And at the end of ten days their countenance appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies. Thus the steward took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables. (Daniel 1:11-16, NKJV)
It should be noted the force of the words: “Daniel purposed in his heart.” No matter how graciously treated by the king of Babylon, he was still a prisoner of war. This was not a one meal deal, but would be his food ever after. To refuse to eat what was offered as a kindness and a compliment could have been viewed as an insult. Daniel risked his life to stand for what he knew was right on diet. Whether he had received permission to eat simply or not, he would not have eaten the king’s delicacies – even if it cost him his life.
Yahuwah blessed the faithfulness of Daniel and his friends:
As for these four young men, [Yahuwah] gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. Now at the end of the days, when the king had said that they should be brought in . . . the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm. (Daniel 1:17-20, NKJV)
Yahuwah has promised: “Them that honor me will I honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.” (1 Samuel 2:30, KJV) Yahuwah kept this promise to Daniel and his friends. He will do the same for all who determine in their hearts, as did Daniel, to do nothing that will bring dishonor to their Maker.
Appetite has been one of the main ways Satan gains control over people since Adam first sinned by eating of forbidden fruit. It was over appetite that the Saviour, in the wilderness of temptation, was first tested. Where man first sinned, Yahushua must first over come. This He did and He will give victory to all who earnestly seek it.
Today, more than at any other time in history, appetite is an effective tool used by Satan. Flavor enhancers, and the additives and preservatives added to today’s food actually stimulate the appetite, making people feel more hungry. Genetically modified (GM) foods have been shown to change the genetic makeup of the consumer. Dr. Stanley Ewen, a consultant histopathologist with Aberdeen Royal Infirmary has expressed concern that a cauliflower virus used in GM foods could increase a person’s risk for cancer. He even called for testing of ground water near farms that produce GM foods.
A recent study proved conclusively that GM corn caused tumors in rats.
In September of 2012, Caern University in France released the first ever long term study of rats given GM corn, one of the most widely consumed of genetically modified foods. The results proved conclusively that GM corn caused tumors in rats.
Chickens, dairy cattle and animals raised for meat are routinely pumped full of growth hormones and various antibiotics, all in an attempt to make more money by producing more eggs, milk and meat. These come through in the eggs, dairy and meat products produced and do have an effect on those who eat them.
Bisphenal A, or BPA, is yet another product that assaults the human body. It is a plastic additive used for bottles and to line tin cans to preserve flavor freshness. The problem is it releases estrogen into the foods and drinks packaged in it. A recent study “found ‘compelling’ evidence that the plastic additive . . . may negatively impact women’s reproductive systems and cause chromosome damage, birth defects and miscarriages.” (See http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/09/25/study-links-bpa-to-birth-defects-miscarriage/.)
All of these “modern” additives to the foods we eat have an effect, not only on our bodies, but our minds as well. A body that is sick or tired does not and cannot have the clarity of thought which a well body has. The “still, small voice” of Yahuwah becomes very difficult to discern when the mind is in a fog from what has been put into the body. Thus, the control of appetite becomes a duty and solemn obligation.
The diet designed by the Creator for Adam and Eve in their sinless state, is still the best diet for those who would overcome sin. A vegan or plant-based diet, is not only the healthiest diet, but also the safest, as it will be free from the growth hormones, the chemicals and the diseases that are so rampant in the average animal based diet.
It is true that Scripture records Yahushua as eating fish. It is reasonable to conclude that He also ate other clean meats, including the Passover lamb or kid eaten at Passover suppers. Scripture records that when Yahuwah visited Abraham on His way to Sodom and Gomorrah the day before their destruction, Abraham fixed Him and the two angels accompanying Him, a meal.
And Abraham ran to the herd, took a tender and good calf, gave it to a young man, and he hastened to prepare it. So he took butter and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree as they ate. (Genesis 18:7, 8, NKJV)
Some people believe and teach that meat should never be eaten, even at the cost of one’s life. Others have caused offense and hurt feelings, turning people away from the truth, by refusing meat prepared by hosts who were not vegetarians. The stories in Scripture of Yahuwah and Yahushua eating meat provide balanced parameters whereby Yahuwah’s people can understand all the principles of diet reform.
Yahushua was born an Israelite. He lived the life of an Israelite and ate the foods available in that day when there was no way to preserve and refrigerate fresh foods. However, the meat of His day did not contain the diseases and the hormones which contaminate the meats of today. To those who would refuse to eat meat, even if meat was all that was available to preserve life, Yahushua’s example teaches that the preservation of life is a greater principle that should not be ignored. Life is a precious gift and while one should always stand firm for principle, the preservation of life itself is a principle as well. As a rule, the best preservation of life is the avoidance of animal products which bring disease and becloud the mind. However, if starvation is the only other alternative, eating clean meats, properly drained of blood, is acceptable, although not desirable.
Yahuwah’s acceptance of Abraham’s hospitality teaches kindness and graciousness to those who do not know any better or who, in attempting to provide hospitality, have nothing better to offer. It is always best to err on the side of kindness. This does not mean that those who do know better or have access to healthier foods may eat whatever they like. Rather, it simply means that when you are in a similar situation, let kindness and thoughtfulness of others dictate your actions.
Victory over appetite is one of the most important and difficult battles to be won. As Satan seeks ever more ways to corrupt the bodies and minds of people, a simple, healthy diet of foods prepared in as natural a way as possible will be very helpful in gaining victory over the fallen human nature. Those who gain the victory over appetite, as did Daniel and his friends and even Yahushua Himself, will find that every other victory will follow in its train.
As with other sins, Yahushua is the answer for every temptation and addiction.
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Yahushua the Son of Yahuwah, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (See Hebrews 4:14-16.)
Surrender your life, your will, your body to Yahushua. He is just waiting to give you victory over every besetting sin. Enter into the joy of victorious living through Him.