Proverbs 23 opens with an admonition concerning those who are given to rich foods and a gluttonous appetite. As the son of a king and the father of a son who would be king, Solomon warns his son that dining with the rich and powerful may be dangerous to your health!
The majority of those reading this blog are, like this author, “common stock” and ordinary kind of people. The idea of dining with the rich and famous is foreign to us. As a son of the south, my appetite runs more toward a bowl of grits for breakfast, a sandwich and sweet tea for lunch, and cornbread and pinto beans for dinner! In fact, not to confuse anyone, an evidence of my southern roots is that “lunch” is dinner and “dinner” is supper [non-southerners are now thoroughly confused]! Since we are talking southern delicacies, let’s top dinner off with a piece of “pee-can pie” [sic]!
Proverbs 23:1-3 – “When thou sittest [dwell; remain; abide] to eat [devour; consume] with a ruler [wealthy; powerful; influential], consider diligently [regard; discern; understand; notice] what [and “Who”] is before thee: 2 And put [call for; commit] a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given [as a slave to a master] to appetite [greed; lust]. 3 Be not desirous [covet; lust; long for] of his dainties [delicacies; savory meats]: for they are deceitful [lies; vanity; emptiness] meat [foods; breads].”
We take two lessons from this passage: 1) When dining with the rich, powerful and influential, be discerning of what you are consuming and with whom you are dining. Watch your table manners; be discreet; be disciplined in your appetite. (23:1-2)
The Biblical story of Daniel’s refusal to defile himself with the “king’s meat and wine” (Daniel 1) is a powerful illustration of Proverbs 23:3. The savory smell of the king’s meat might have stirred Daniel’s appetite; however, he had resolved that he would not defile himself…he would not be a slave to his flesh.
My friend, “Golden Corral” might be your idea of the good life; but spending too much time at the pig trough is not only unwise, it will send you to an early grave!