Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 23:19 Hear, my son, and be wise, and direct your heart in the way. 20 Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, 21 for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags. 22 Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. 23 Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding. 24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him. 25 Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice. 26 My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways. 27 For a prostitute is a deep pit; an adulteress is a narrow well. 28 She lies in wait like a robber and increases the traitors among mankind.
In our passage today we can hear the intense passion behind Solomon's words. He speaks to his son about not getting caught in two major traps that satan through the world sets for men. Solomon began this chapter cautioning about the snare of seeking wealth and things, then he mentioned how wisdom, knowledge and understanding helps us in discerning a number of other snares we encounter. The two giant spiked rusty toothed traps for today are one who overindulges… the two in this category he says are drunkards and gluttons; and the second is a prostitute or in the same grouping, an adulteress… Solomon also as with our last devotion lets his son know how keeping his instruction will make him glad; and this time he mentions how it will honor his Mother and make her glad as well.
Alright, so for today, first Solomon talks about drinking alcohol and also about eating food; however; he does not does not give us any indication that either is wrong in themselves. Remember, in the last devotion we spent some time talking about discernment in all the issues we face in life. It is no different here. Solomon gives us one of the touchstone tests to run by what we eat and drink that helps us in our discernment. He says not to be among those who are over-eaters and over-drinkers. This path heads toward poverty and slumber and clothes of rags.
You know, this world is full of claims for happiness. Whether its product advertisements or Politicians promises or Religions that say send money or do this or that and you will find happiness… We need discernment to navigate through all this noise and clutter. The Apostle Paul gives us some other litmus tests that helps in our discernment. We will look at this as a screening of whether something is right or wrong in relating to eating and drinking like Solomon mentions in today's text. This set of tests can be used in relation to the prostitute and adulteress Solomon mentions as well and so just keep that in mind. We have discussed her in a number of past Proverbs so today we will focus mainly on food and drink… But still, these verses can be a help in discernment in all areas of life for sure.
1st Corinthians 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
So if… what you eat or drink… or if… the reasons you are in the place you are and with the people you are; if… you are indulging yourself… all these things… if… they are not glorifying to God then do not partake or associate in this situation. A good help I think… you know… common sense usually is pretty clear whether what we do in the situation we find ourselves in will glorify God.
Next Paul says something similar but instead of food and drink he mentions word and deed… still it applies across our life and here we get an extra help for discernment:
Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Again whatever we do it should be for the glory of God… but in this verse Paul accents the act of worship even more than he did in the 1st Corinthians verse.
“do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
So in this discernment barometer we can ask ourselves “Can I do this with a heart of worship? Can I be thankful to God for this because it glorifies Him through his Son?”
Here's another great verse to help us: 1st Corinthians 8:13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.
So we can include that as a test for whatever and whenever we do something or go somewhere or take something into our body.
There's a lot more tests we could talk about but I think we’ll finish up today with this one:
Galatians 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
So let’s not be confused in this. The desires of our body are not wrong in themselves… I mean eating is a good desire right? Without it we might not eat and would die. The problem we face is as Paul indicates by what measure we “walk”. In other words what motivates where we walk and what we eat and drink and do… all things in the flesh.
If our flesh is the motivating factor for our eating then we will not stop when we have finished a cup of ice cream or a plate of our favorite food. If our flesh is pushing us then we will eat when we are idle and eat when we are nervous and eat when we are fearful and eat when we are watching tv and… well you get the idea.
So being motivated by the flesh are working against the motivation of the Holy Spirit.
God wants to be the one who motivates or quickens us to glorify him through the way we eat and drink and all our works… He doesn’t want us to seek for joy in food or drink… that path can lead to physical poverty, slumber and rags… but even more importantly it will lead to spiritual darkness.
So if you want true joy then walk in the Holy Spirit… and that begins with delighting in Gods Son Jesus who lived, died and rose again that we might have fellowship with God.
Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.