Wednesday, March 2, 2011

God Wants Your Fat

American obesity has been the societal evil of choice for media outlets to focus on in recent years. Even the first lady has made conquering American obesity her personal mission. And it is a real issue. Statistics tell us that over 60% of the American population is considered overweight, and this includes children. So we’ve set up healthy eating commissions in our schools, gaming software like Wii Fit, television programs like the Biggest Loser, and other methods to get rid of the fat in our culture.

Yet the Bible says God wants our fat. In Leviticus 3:16 we read, “All fat is the LORD’s.” Why does God want the fat? We curse fat in our culture, but God says He wants it. Why? Fat reveals prosperity and plenty. Even ‘poor’ people in our country are overweight. Regardless of the fact that many are eating junk food, obese ‘poor’ people reveal how prosperous we are as a nation. You don’t find obesity an issue with the poor in third world countries. Fat results from prosperity and plenty which our country has.

In Biblical times, fat was also considered a sign of prosperity and plenty. When scripture refers to the ‘fat’ portions of an item it was referring to ‘best’ portions of that item. The Hebrew term translated ‘fat’ is also translated ‘best’ in some passages like Number 18:12, “All the best of the fresh oil and all the best of the fresh wine and of the grain, the first fruits of those which they give to the LORD, I give them to you.”

In the Torah, God required the fat tail of the sheep and all the fat on the inside organs of their sacrifice to be burned for him. The Israelites were not to eat that portion, but offer it up to the Lord. In that culture, the fat tail of a sheep was considered the best portion of the sheep and is still treated as a delicacy in many parts of the world today.

So what was God requiring in wanting all the fat for Himself? He was asking for the best from Israel. This helps clarify why God accepted Abel’s offering in Genesis 4:4. There we read that Abel brought ‘fat’ portions from the first born of his flock. He brought the best to the LORD. Cain simply brought some produce from his harvest, not even the first fruits. Abel brought his best, and Cain brought his leftovers. God accepted Abel’s offering and rejected Cain’s.

Are you offering your ‘fat’ to the LORD, the best you have to offer or are you offering your leftovers of time, money, and abilities? I’m afraid I can be more like Cain and use the fat for myself and give the leftovers to God. God deserves the best though, doesn’t He? He gave us His best by giving us Jesus Christ. What are you giving God?

God wants your fat.

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