Natural Truth

May 14, 2013

Gluttony, Famine and the Deception of Leaven

Obese American next to a starving African child

Defining the Foundation

When we think of gluttony, I think most of us identify it as Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines it: “Excess in eating; extravagant indulgence of the appetite for food.”

Generally speaking then, it would appear that famine, or the absence of food, would be the exact opposite of gluttony. So my question is: would it surprise you to know that, in scientific terms, a glutton can actually die of starvation? Well, not exactly starve, but…let me explain.

There are some, though I shall not name names, who subscribe to the idea that if you eat enough, you’ll eventually get everything the body needs to function. This is…an interesting philosophy. Eat enough of what? Is it possible to be obese and malnourished? Is it possible for an individual to overeat and still be starving? Absolutely. But what does this mean for the Christian?

A brief synopsis, according to an article written by Suzanne Dixon, an internationally recognized expert in nutrition, and the Executive Editor of Nutrition Intelligence Report, is as follows:

The key to understanding this paradox is to understand the difference between macro- and micronutrients. Macronutrients provide the body with energy in the form of calories. Think carbohydrate, protein, and fat…Micronutrients are indeed “micro,” meaning that we need them in small quantities for good health. This includes vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, or phytochemicals, such as carotenes and polyphenols. Vitamins and minerals are vital for life – it’s right in the name – vitamins. Without them, we’ll end up with a deficiency.

In the case of phytonutrients, Miss Dixon says that while a deficiency won’t kill you, it can cause major health problems down the line. Unlike phytonutrients, severe deficiencies of vitamins or minerals required by the body for daily function, can not only result in severe illness, but many can ultimately be fatal.


Bodily Deception

Miss Dixon goes on to explain that:


…noted nutrition experts now suspect that when we’re over-nourished in terms of calories, but undernourished in terms of micronutrients, our bodies have a harder time judging how much food we truly require to satisfy nutritional needs. 

We have basic needs for micronutrients – vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Our bodies will tell us to keep eating until we meet those basic needs. If you eat foods that are low in micronutrients, which not surprisingly includes many “diet” foods, you need to eat more of them to reach the point where your body senses that you’ve gotten enough micronutrients.


So, in essence, our bodies believe we’re starving, and in fact we actually are starving, if we lack the necessary fuel the body needs to work, even though we may be stuffed to the proverbial gills with macronutrients. Not only that, but the convoluted actions of gluttony confuse the body’s processing and self-analysis. So, even in obesity, with a massive plate of food in front of you for every meal, you can, in true scientific reality, be starving, and that starvation can lead to major illness, and even death in serious cases.

What’s my point with all of this hoo-ha? Well, admittedly, it’s a spiritual one. I’m trying to make a connection here about an assumption I believe many of us make inaccurately, because we do not have, nor do we delve into, all the available information, or ponder the possible conclusion any further than our own first assessment – i.e. the easiest, and most obvious possibility. But we’ll get to that spiritual part here in a minute or two.


What is Famine Anyway?

To bring the point home, there are a couple of other definitions I would like to list here. Firstly, utilizing the same dictionary, the definition for famine is, “Scarcity of food; dearth; a general want of provisions sufficient for the inhabitants of a country or besieged place.” 

Hmmm…So going by this definition, it appears it is an absence of food that defines a famine. Ok…so what is food? Well, food is what you eat. That’s right. But let’s check on that one anyway.


Food is:

1) In a general sense, whatever is eaten by animals for nourishment, and whatever supplies nutriment to plants.

2) Meat; aliment; flesh or vegetables eaten for sustaining human life; victuals; provisions; whatever is or may be eaten for nourishment.

3) Whatever supplies nourishment and growth to plants, as water, carbonic acid gas, &c. Manuring substances furnish plants with food.

4) Something that sustains, nourishes and augments. 


Here we can plainly see that the word “food” actually translates in all of its definitions to “nourishment; provisions; sustaining human life.” So all consumables are not necessarily “food” in the technical sense.

A famine, then, could indeed be present, even if a massive amount of consumable substances were present, as long as the content was completely void of nourishment. I believe the new generation’s way of phrasing this would be to call it “empty calories.”


The Spiritual Conversion

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:” – Amos 8:11

Many Christians I’ve spoken with about this verse believe that our Bibles will be taken away from us during the future times of persecution. They believe the famine God speaks of here will be the physical access to the Word of God. I am not so sure about that.

If it is possible today to be malnourished in the midst of one of the wealthiest countries in the history of the world; one so saturated with food that we’ve subsidized farmers for the past century, is it not possible to starve for the Word of God in the midst of a room full of Bibles?

Of course it is. This concept is nothing new. Food without nourishment is worthless. In essence, it is leaven: an inflatable substance that takes up space without adding value. It expands the belly of the beast so it feels full, yet the body remains hungry, craving the nutrients it has yet to receive. This is why Christ is represented as unleavened bread; a Stone made without hands, etc. Our Savior is purity; no additives; complete nutrients; the Fountain of Living Waters; mana.

In many churches, in many cultures, and in many homes today, the world is deceived by leaven. They are told things that make them feel good; things that “encourage” them; things that make them joyful for a moment or two. And they are told these things oftentimes straight from the pulpit that is supposed to be teaching them Truth. But shortly after the message ends, the spirit finds itself needing to be encouraged once again.

The deficiency – that feeling of need – returns ever so quickly, because the spirit has not truly gotten what it needs to sustain itself and grow. It has not been properly nourished. Instead, it has been fooled by false fillers; it’s been inflated with empty calories.

This is why, I believe, many people of today are nonspecific addicts of distraction. We are cyclical addicts in that we spend our day going from coffee, to tea, to donuts, to television, to movie theaters, to social engagements, to sports, to martinis, to dates, and finally to bed. In this way we are locusts, bouncing from thing to thing as the impulse moves us. We are machines of distraction seeking to fill the hole in our spirit that cannot be filled with the things we put in it. Because it can only be permanently filled with one thing: The unfiltered, untampered, unhindered Word of the Living God.

Are we not indeed starving in the midst of gluttony?

Isaiah 29:1 Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices. 2 Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow: and it shall be unto me as Ariel. 3 And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee. 4 And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust. 5 Moreover the multitude of thy strangers shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff that passeth away: yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly. 6 Thou shalt be visited of the Lord of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire. 7 And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, even all that fight against her and her munition, and that distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision. 8 It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion. 9 Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. 10 For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. 11 And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: 12 And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. 13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: 14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.

Welcome to the famine in the midst of a feast.

In Pursuit of Nourishment,

The Informed Servant

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About the Author

Joe Christian
Joe Christian is a student of God's Word. He has no formal education, but has spent the better part of 20 years studying The Bible by following subject and object, and studying the original languages of the Scriptures. You can too.



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