Overweight and Undernourished
By Hal Lindsey
A nutritional paradox fills our world. Vast numbers of people are obese and malnourished at the same time. It has to do with the kinds of food most readily available. Many of those foods have lots of calories, but not much nutritional value.
Experts give many reasons for the problem as well as some possible answers. A 2019 NPR article suggested that governments should provide more funding for “women farmers to create value-added products.” Apparently, they don’t believe male farmers have the gift of raising nutritionally rich foods.
When God presented this problem to the Children of Israel, He gave them a different solution. He said, “Consider your ways!”
Cyrus the Great allowed almost 50,000 Judeans to return to Jerusalem from their Babylonian captivity. They began rebuilding the temple, but for a variety of reasons, halted the work. Over time, they became complacent and left the job unfinished. Then God raised up the prophet Haggai to bring an end to Israel’s complacency toward Him and His temple.
Haggai 1:5-7 (NKJV) says, “Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Consider your ways! You have sown much, and bring in little; You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.’ Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Consider your ways!’”
The New Living Translation of verse 6 says, “You eat but are not satisfied. You drink but are still thirsty.”
In America and in much of the world today, this describes hundreds of millions of people. They eat and eat, yet they don’t feel satisfied. Why? Because their bodies are not receiving the nutrition they need. So, they eat some more, but still feel hungry because their bodies are still starving for needed nutrients. So, they eat some more.
It also works on a mental level. Americans spend vast amounts of time consuming information and entertainment in front of their phones, computers, and television screens. On average, they spend more time watching their screens than they do sleeping. But they’re still hungry for more. They’re fat with facts, but sense that something crucial is still missing.
“The Lord of hosts says, ‘Consider your ways!’”
And what are our ways? Like those ancient citizens of Israel, our people have become obsessed with comfort and entertainment. For them, the temple represented their responsibilities to God and His purposes. But instead of focusing on those responsibilities, they chose to have fun, relax, and work only toward building personal wealth. Through Haggai, God pointed out a primary truth. Putting ourselves first is like eating bags of sugar. It will make us fat, but it won’t satisfy.
This is not about constructing church buildings. It’s about putting God first in our lives, as individuals, as families, and as a nation. In Matthew 6:33 (NASB), Jesus said, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.”