Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 20:17 Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel. 18 Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war.
Mouth Full Of Gravel
We’ll take a look at a couple verses today which can be taken separately or even together I believe without changing the meaning… The first is:
Proverbs 20:17 Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel.
In other words when a man uses all kinds of deceitful and underhanded tactics to get what he wants; yes it may be bread like the text indicates… but it could be any kind of gain he obtains. After he gets what he has set his heart on the sweetness soon disappears and is replaced by something he can hardly tolerate.
I think I have probably eaten bread before and found a small piece of gravel in it… Even if its one grain a person will try and spit it out… But if it is hot freshly baked bread and it is oh so wonderful smelling and has sweet butter on it… and as a person chews it he finds it to be filled with gravel they will probably break a few teeth… not good! And for for sure it will not settle their stomach or give them nourishment and strength… no true satisfaction can come from it.
And, like bread; if he gained money or lands or power by deceit… at some point he will find the sweetness he envisioned was a lie. For one, God did not create our hearts with an ability to find satisfaction in the abundance of things related to mans glory; nor does he allow deceit to bring peace and joy. The end of that path is a mouth full of gravel… That might be another way of saying how sin itself always brings brokenness, death and separation from God forever.
Of course all of Gods words is linked together and its truths never contradict one another. So, even though these proverbs can stand alone they also compliment one another. The same truth can be seen in the next verse about waging war…
Proverbs 20:18 Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war.
How are these similar? Don't wage war for deceitful reasons…. like for gain; which is similar to the man who deceived to gain in verse 17. You see, some kings go to world for gain of riches or land… some even seem to want to take over the world, right? So whether you are king and it is war with a country or if you are a normal person with no particular title and want to make a better living… Don't war with deceit in order to gain wealth… Solomon says plans are established by counsel… and where can we find the best counsel? Gods word of course… and sometimes we find it is expounded to us in guidance from godly brothers and sisters.
You see, Gods word gives us counsel in relation to things of the heart… What are our motivations for making gains in our life? What are the motivations for a king going to war? There are good and bad reasons for both. Good counsel helps guide us so that at the end of the day our mouth is not full of gravel instead of bread.
John 6:35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.