OK, so now we have 2000 years of Church history, we gather together to worship our God, and we have been taught consistently by those in the body that are called to instruct us. What do we do with all that?
In many cultures around the world fat is synonymous with wealth. In the Philippines where I was a missionary, that was the case among some of the people. If a family's child was fat this was a sign that the family was well off. In biblical times for the most part it was the same. Fat represented wealth. Many verses in the Old Testament tied fat with God's blessing (Gen. 27:28; Job 36:16; Ps. 36:8; etc.).
Fat also represented the part of the sacrifice most desired by God and therefore was not to be eaten by those who sacrificed (Lev. 3:3, 9, 17, c.f. 16).
Yet fat also had a different connotation in Scripture as well. The fat or the blessing of God also saw the people growing indifferent to His will.
20 When I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, the land I promised on oath to their forefathers, and when they eat their fill and thrive, they will turn to other gods and worship them, rejecting me and breaking my covenant.
Nehemiah stated that this fat was the reason for God allowing the nation to have been taken captive by a foreign power...
25 They captured fortified cities and fertile land; they took possession of houses filled with all kinds of good things, wells already dug, vineyards, olive groves and fruit trees in abundance. They ate to the full and were well-nourished; they reveled in your great goodness. 26 "But they were disobedient and rebelled against you; they put your law behind their backs. They killed your prophets, who had admonished them in order to turn them back to you; they committed awful blasphemies. 27 So you handed them over to their enemies, who oppressed them. But when they were oppressed they cried out to you. From heaven you heard them, and in your great compassion you gave them deliverers, who rescued them from the hand of their enemies.
Fatness in the Church
Although in many cultures our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, are dying for their faith, laying their lives down for the sake of Christ, the American church for the most part is fed and fattened and comfortable. We gather together being given the word for the day yet we are lacking in commitment and the depth of relationship that God desires for our lives. We have become full, fat, and for the most part ineffective.
What is the answer?
We have wealth, physical and spiritual. It is imperative that we use this to touch the world or our belief is useless. Not only must we consider helping those that suffer because of their faith, we must reach out to a world that is desperately in need of Jesus Christ. We must go or send, we must share with those that would treasure one page of Scripture as a wealth much greater than gold.
What will our legacy be?
So what will out legacy be? Will it be that of a people that had taken the blessing of the Lord and used it to build His kingdom, or will it be one of a people that became fat and blind to the needs of those that have so little; a church that has become captive by its wealth?
We have a mandate to give to those in need; the hungry, the homeless, the persecuted, the lost, and all those that need wealth of the Kingdom of God.
We have that wealth resident within us and the ability to give it to those who so desperately need it. May we do so for the glory of God.