Another area in which we need wisdom is in our us and abuse of the gifts that God gives. Things that God designed to be a blessing (food and drink) can become a curse if we don’t use them wisely. Proverbs 23 has several warning about gluttony and drunkenness:
Proverbs 23:1–3 “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.Be not desirous of his dainties:For they are deceitful meat.”
- The idea here is to not be controlled by your appetite. While sitting with a generous ruler who has lots of nice food (‘dainties’ or delicacies), we still need to be in control of our faculties and exercise restraint. Notice, he says ‘consider diligently what is before thee’, ‘put a knife to thy throat if thou be a man given to appetite’.
- Nice food and drink have a way of deceiving a person, softening up their convictions, and causing them to compromise their principles. In that setting, an individual must be on guard and exercise radical self
- How have we gotten out of control in our eating or drinking? Do we consider diligently what is before us and take serious action if we are a person given to appetite?
Proverbs 23:6–8 says “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;
- This person is a stingy man who offers much but doesn’t really want others to take much. He lays out a bunch of ‘dainty meats’ and says ‘eat and drink’ but his heart is not really in it.
- This means that we must be careful to not overindulge because some people don’t really want us to ‘eat as much as we want.’ This
realisationcan cause us to regret having eaten anything. So again, we must exercise wisdom when lots of nice food is laid out.
- How do we
takenadvantage of situations to overindulge? Are we the type of people who offer a lot but really don’t mean it?
Proverbs 23:20–21 says “Be not among winebibbers; Among riotous eaters of flesh: For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: And drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.”
- These verses summarise the warnings to not hang around those who love to overindulge in alcohol and food. The drunk and the glutton will come to poverty. Instead of working and being industrious, love for too much wine and food will cause a person to be lazy (‘drowsy’) and bring them to rags.
- Are we hanging around the wrong type of people or believing the wrong messages about food and drink?
Proverbs 23:29–35 says “Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? Who hath contentions? who hath babbling? Who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; They that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, When it giveth his
- The final, longest section on this topic is about drinking. It warns about all the negative consequences that ‘tarrying long at the wine’ can have. It can cause sadness and problems. It can cause fighting and incoherent talking. It can give wounds without cause, red eyes.
- Wine may look lovely and refreshing, but in the end, it will bite like a serpent and sting like an adder. It can cause all sorts of strange
behaviour, strange words, sickness andslavery. Even though it causes so many problems, most people keep seeking it yet again.
- Do we
realisethe dangers of drinking and the pain that it can cause us and others? Are we listening to God’s wisdom about alcohol and wine? We ignore His warnings to our own peril.