Scripture

Vs 1 When you sit down to eat with a ruler, observe carefully what is before you,
Vs 2 and put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite.

VS 3 Do not desire his delicacies, for they are deceptive food.

Vs 6 Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy; do not desire his delicacies,
Vs 7 for he is like one who is inwardly calculating.

“Eat and drink!” he says to you, but his heart is not with you.

Vs 17 Let not your heart envy sinners,
but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day.

Vs 18 Surely there is a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.

 

Observation

 

Fascinating juxtaposition to start off this Proverb.

I am to be keenly aware of the type of person I am in the presence of.

And I am to be astute as to what it is they may be offering me.

 

Two different types of people … the “powerful” and the “stingy” …

Both have the appearance of being generous … offering their “delicacies”.

 

But ultimately, they have ominous outcomes.

Their primary relationship is with their “delicacies” … their possessions … their “stuff”.

 

The powerful want to control me with their delicacies … “deceptive food”.

The stingy are controlled, themselves, by their delicacies … “inwardly calculating”.

 

Application

 

So what am I to do?

A lot of people are controlled by their stuff.

And a lot of people want to use their stuff to control other people.

Maybe I am one of those people … hopefully not always!

 

Well, there are a lot of “do nots” in this proverb.

But what are the “to do’s”? … What should I do?

 

Vs 1 … “observe carefully” …

So, I need to be mindful of who I am surrounding myself with and the offerings I am available to.

Vs 2 … “put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite”

This sounds so gruesome … but I think the author wants to make a strong point with the language …

Kill your appetite! … It will lead you down bad paths if you don’t kill it!

 

And how do I kill an appetite? … By starving it to death!

It’s so easy to think my appetite will go away if I just feed it … give it what it wants.

This is such foolish thinking, though. … Appetites always return wanting more than before!

 

I must starve my appetites.

“Do not desire the delicacies” is repeatedly stated.

 

But I can’t just go through life and the day thinking …

“do not desire” … “do not desire” … “do not desire” ….

This is miserable … and the fatal flaw of Buddhism.

 

What then must I do?

Fortunately, I am given the answer …

Don’t “envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day”!

 

Fear the Lord all the day …. this is the posture I am to maintain …

Be in awe … be overwhelmed … recognize the majesty and sovereignty of God!

Compared to that … the delicacies of anyone are insignificant!

 

Not only are they insignificant … but they are hopeless.

But in the fear of the Lord … “there is a future” … there is “hope”.

 

Prayer

 

Thank you, God, that you are good.

You are better than any delicacy.

Remind me when I forget and envy others for them.

Remind me when I am stingy or controlling.

And let me recognize your grace as better

In Jesus name

Amen