Isaiah 6:1-7:25; 2 Corinthians 11:16-33; Psalm 54:1-7; Proverbs 23:1-3
Do Not Get Used to It
When you sit to dine with a ruler,
note well what is before you,
and put a knife to your throat
if you are given to gluttony.
Do not crave his delicacies,
for that food is deceptive.
– Proverbs 23:1-3
When you read these verses you may think it is just another warning about gluttony with an especially strong warning to cut your own throat if appetite claims you. However, sandwiched between verse 1 and 3, verse 2 has a more specific, yet expanded meaning. Verse 1 puts us in the home of a political figure of significance, and verse 3 warns us that his delicacies are deceptive.
Have you ever heard someone say, “I could get used to this,” while enjoying a stay at a luxury hotel or as a guest on a yacht? He could adjust to that lifestyle but does not have the resources. But what if he had access to it without having to pay? Therein lies the danger and the need for self discipline and character.
Imagine a promising, honest candidate for his first political office is in the home of a senator, a governor, or any “ruler.” Over a sumptuous meal this aspiring office-holder is promised more such evenings with many people of means and influence to help him with the pressure of financing his campaign. It does not matter what he supports otherwise, but he must support one side of a specific issue in order to gain access. This is the short version of how a totally corrupt career can begin. These delicacies are deceptive.
Politics aside, are there places in our lives where we can take part in the “deceptive foods” of those who would sway us from the Gospel in order for us to gain access? What are we willing to compromise to be on the “A List”? Do we have the character and integrity to know when we are being deceived and to resist while clinging to the Word? We need to be willing to say, “I’m not going to get used to this!”
St. Peter’s Church
Lake Mary, FL