The indulgence of the appetites is a sin that easily besets us.
We should apprehend ourselves to be in danger when in the presence of luxury, gluttony and sensuality, and should restrain ourselves from such gratifications, lest our hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and that day come upon us unawares.
1 When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee:
2 And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.
3 Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.
4 Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.
5 Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.
6 Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats:
7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
8 The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.
9 Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.
10 Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless:
11 For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee.
12 Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.
13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
15 My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine.
16 Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things.
17 Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.
18 For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.
19 Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.
20 Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh:
21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
22 Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.
23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
24 The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.
25 Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.
26 My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.
27 For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit.
28 She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.
29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.
34 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.
35 They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.
Proverbs 23:1-5 – J. Vernon McGee
Proverbs 23:6-12 – J. Vernon McGee
Proverbs 23:13-25 – J. Vernon McGee
Proverbs 23:26-35 – J. Vernon McGee
A NIGHT’S WORK.
More than one man has been hanged for doing what he did not mean to do. When anyone under the influence of liquor commits a crime it is no longer an extenuation or defense to say that he was not responsible. This is so because it is a matter of human experience that if one sets a match to gunpowder it will explode and if one pours liquor down his throat he is filling his brain with the seeds of malice, hate and murder. Many a man has scoffed at such a statement at twelve o’clock at night, but has seen awful proof of its truth, when, awakening at nine in the morning he recovers from a fatal debauch and sees the work of his own drunken and murderous hand.
Proverbs 23:17—Be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.
I asked a working man the other day how he fared. His wife, the partner of many years, has died, and there is no one to welcome him on his return from work and prepare for him. His fellow-workmen, younger men, delight in tormenting him and increasing his arduous toils, because they hate his simple godliness. A physical weakness grows upon him distressingly. But he said that he was very happy, because he lived in God. All the way along it was Jesus—Jesus when he woke in the morning; Jesus when he went to bed at night; Jesus when he wrote a letter; Jesus when he went to the butcher’s shop to buy his little piece of meat for Sunday-said he, “He made the beasts; He must know what is good to eat.” And when I asked how he managed to maintain this life, he said, “I always ask Him to rouse me up early enough to have a good time in fellowship with the Master.” From the way he spoke, he reminded me of the priest’s portion of the shoulder and breast as symbolizing the strength and love of the Lord Jesus.
If we are in the love of God we shall be in his fear; for though perfect love casts out fear that hath torment, it introduces the fear that dares not cause needless pain to the Infinite Lover of souls. We fear to tear open his wounds again, to expose his heart to the spear-thrust, or to miss aught of his gracious pains to make us what He wants us to become.
“If ye keep my commandments,” the Master said (John 15:10), “ye shall abide in my love.” To abide in his fear is equivalent to abiding in his love. They are two sides of the same coin. Only they love who fear. The woman feared Solomon’s sword, because the babe was her own. —Our Daily Homily