Those Whose God Is Their Belly

“Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly…”

— Philippians 3:19 kjv

Paul talks about enemies of Christianity “whose god is their belly.” As commentators would agree, I think here he is referring not merely to food. Though many of them no doubt are gluttons, this would be a metaphor for an inordinate love of all earthly, worldly and material things.

Jesus said, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Thus, it is fine to ask God to meet our material needs. But the person whose god is his belly loves the material things of this earth beyond normal appetites.

In his first epistle, Peter refers to such people and rebukes those who would abuse the Gospel as a means for filthy gain: “Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, take care of them, not by constraint, but willingly, not for dishonest gain, but eagerly” (1 Peter 5:2).

And so Peter is warning us of the same thing that Paul is warning us of—we are not to minister for money’s sake, and we need always to be watchful for those who wear the clerical garb and yet do it for money’s sake. I am always concerned when I see would-be ministers that are too concerned about the things of this world.

Paul tells us that the workman is worthy of his hire. But people should not go into the ministry for money’s sake. The Gospel is good news. It is not for sale. The only price paid for the Gospel is the price of the blood of Jesus.

Lord, give us the strength to seek You and not to seek after pleasures. We thank You for what You give us. Help us to be ever mindful to seek Your kingdom and Your righteousness…