Wise Saying #6:
“When you sit down to dine with a ruler, think carefully about who is before you. If you have a big appetite, put a knife to your throat! Don’t be greedy for his delicacies, for they are deceptive food.” (Proverbs 23:1-3 CJB)
Today’s Wise Saying, follows nicely the question asked in Saying #5. If one is to stand before kings, one had better know how to behave. The ruler’s invitation to dine with him presents an unusual opportunity for success or failure, for his host can influence the person’s career for good or ill. Thus, the Wiseman counsels his son to “think carefully about who is before you.” The ruler will be watching; taking note of the subordinate’s actions. Therefore, if the young man is given to over indulgence, he must take extreme precaution to display the utmost self-control and propriety. Since the king’s delicacies will seductively lure the son to greedily overeat and thus ruin his reputation by being a glutton (cf. 23:19-22; 28:7). While our proverb is narrowly focused on food and dining with an observant superior, it can be interpreted broadly with all appetites in every situation of life. So the take-away for today is, think carefully about who and what is before and live a life of self-control and property in all things, at all times, because others are watching you closely. By doing this, we will avoid the snares of greed and gluttony.
This week’s theme: The Thirty Sayings of the Wiseman