Proverbs 23 begins, “When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee: And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.”
Hmm,perhaps Proverbs and Hannibal Lecter go together after all?
Ahh, but after reading a few commentaries, translations and the AMP version, it begins to make more sense, “When you sit down to dine with a ruler, Consider carefully what is [set] before you; For you will put a knife to your throat If you are a man of great appetite. Do not desire his delicacies, For it is deceptive food [offered to you with questionable motives].”
Now that is some truthy- truth! We become really vulnerable to the things we are starved for and people can exploit that vulnerability in us and use it manipulate our behavior. In the modern world we are not sitting down with rulers so much as sitting down with pornography, entertainment, cable news, drugs, alcohol, relationships. Advertisers alone make a living off of exploiting our appetites, feeding our secret desires so we’ll buy products.
We are a hungry people with many appetites. If you can get that hunger met by the Lord, it becomes much easier to avoid temptation. When we are not starved, we aren’t so vulnerable to being bribed by a slice of bread.
Verse 6-7 offers us, “Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.”
I think I’m really liking Proverbs 23. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” Yep. Learning to discern the heart is critical. What’s your motivation? People can have simple words or inartful wording but if the heart is right, it is music to my ears.
Verse 9, “Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.” Yes, I’ve noticed. Now I just need to work on the “speak not” part.
Verse 17 is interesting, “Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long.” We do that! We actually envy people their sins and will make all kinds of snide comments. I’ve seen it, I’ve heard it, I’ve even engaged in great debates on the internet that were nothing but envy and a rather childish proclamation, “it’s not fair!” In the world we tend to have this idea that there is some kind of scarcity going on, a limited amount of everything and somebody else is getting it all. Even sin.
Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh….
There goes my Hannibal Lecter fantasy. Apparently cannibalism is out. I believe the line from the Silence of the Lambs was, “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.”
Listen to your father, who sired you,
And do not despise your mother when she is old.