"The Gift Of Self-Indulgence"

Several years ago, there was an upscale London department store that advertised a new gift card with this interesting slogan found beneath the card: “The Gift of Self-Indulgence.” Throughout the store, signs, slogans, and even name tags called attention to the cards — and according to one employee, sales of the gift cards during the first weeks of the promotion had been very strong, far exceeding company expectations (not unusual considering the slogan beneath the gift card!).

In Ezekiel 16:1-63, the prophet focuses on Jerusalem, whose people suffered God’s judgment because they embraced a self-indulgent lifestyle brought about by selfish pride. Ezekiel records:

This was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit” (Ezekiel 16:49-50).

Historically, the Lord has dealt harshly with His people who became arrogant, overfed, and unconcerned about the spiritual welfare of others (Ezekiel 16:49; cf. Numbers 11:16-34; Deuteronomy 15:7-11; Hosea 4:1-19; Obadiah 1:3-4; Revelation 3:14-19).

Fortunately, there is a remedy for the sin of self-indulgence. That remedy is the desire to please God and serve othersnot to serve ourselves (Philippians 2:4; cf. Romans 12:10; 1 Peter 5:5-6).

Let us remember that the more we serve the Lord and others, the less we serve self (Matthew 16:24; cf. Acts 11:22-24; Acts 13:42-43; Acts 14:22; 1 Thessalonians 3:1-2).

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets