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via: DesiringGod.orgBinge-Eating, But Starving by Marshall Segal

Much of the world is dying of starvation, and they have all the food they could ever dream of eating. Full, but empty. Clothed, but naked. Rich, but unbelievably poor.

Plate of cookies

Source: Demansia / Getty

One of the worst ways God can afflict us is to so satisfy us in this life that we no longer need him, no longer even think of him. It’s the most extreme, most devastating malnutrition. Human starvation — a real, excruciating tragedy today — is light and momentary compared with the spiritual and eternal reality it pictures. Whole nations are so gratified by this world that God is an after-thought or no thought at all. We are eating and eating and eating, and never satisfied.

All-You-Can-Eat Dreams

When God was angry with Israel — a people he’d chosen for himself, delivered from captivity, and promised everything — he cursed them with an intense and insatiable hunger. “They slice meat on the right, but are still hungry, and they devour on the left, but are not satisfied” (Isaiah 9:20). When God’s fury fell, food lost its ability to satisfy. They ate and ate, and never felt full, until they were even eating the flesh off of their own arm (Isaiah 9:20). Binge eating, but starving to death.

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Later, Isaiah explains God’s judgment against those who oppose or ignore him:

As when a hungry man dreams, and behold, he is eating and awakes with his hunger not satisfied, or as when a thirsty man dreams, and behold, he is drinking and awakes faint, with his thirst not quenched, so shall the multitude of all the nations be that fight against Mount Zion. (Isaiah 29:8)

The men or women fixated on experiencing as much pleasure as possible here on earth is like those who dream they are eating and drinking, but wake up hungry, thirsty, and without anything to eat or drink. The beautiful banquet before their eyes — perfectly grilled meats, colorful and fresh fruits and vegetables, bread right out of the oven, the fountain of wine — is all just a mirage, a cruel figment of a hungry person’s imagination. The worst first world problem is that so many of us are living the dream, not knowing that the sun will rise and open our eyes to reality. Every delicious dream must end.

And when that day comes, those who have fed on this world will frantically try and offer all their expensive possessions in exchange for real food, real life, and be found wanting forever.


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