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. Prov 23:1-3The first time I read the above verses, I was a baby Christian and was very surprised to see such harsh wording in the bible. I was very carnal at the time so I understood the concept of 'appetite.' I understood the concept of eating too much and drinking too much and of lust. The idea of putting a knife to your throat as a reminder that what you are considering eating will bring sudden death was not lost on me at the time.
Now, as a more mature Christian, re-reading these verses, they are all the MORE important and profound. Because now I understand that the term "meat" in the bible often refers to deep doctrine, and that not everyone believes the same concerning the meatier things of Scripture. So the verse means something far more penetrating. If you are sitting with someone in authority over you be careful of the doctrines laid out before you because they could be all sugar and spice, but not very nice. It is the false doctrines that are the deceitful meat. We see this in our church culture today. The sports arena churches of today are preaching the false Jesus of the prosperity gospel and not the true Jesus of the cross, yet they are the preachers being called to represent "Christianity" in our society. The knife should still be at our throats, because at any moment the "doctrine's of demons" (or dainty meats) will suddenly be something that we could fall for and believe - sometimes due to the peer pressure of the masses.
This world, and in particular, our American culture is SATURATED with filth and false doctrine. Every where you look there is sin and debauchery and you almost can't go anywhere without bumping into a lie and carnality. Now we are all Lot's being vexed day by day, and satan, our evil adversary, is constantly testing the boundaries, constantly assailing us with lies and propaganda ESPECIALLY when it comes to the truth of God's Holy Word. The flesh is always vulnerable to temptation and sin is only a mouthful away sometimes. Consider what it is that you are eating.
Andrew Jukes, in his book, "The Restitution of all things." discusses the idea that God's Word is like a veil AND a revelation. To the carnal man, a veil, and it cannot be penetrated by the natural mind of man. But to the spiritual man - a revelation - and more and more is revealed by the Holy Spirit as he teaches the spiritual man. He also talks about how we are partial revelations as well. I was fascinated by the concept because the Word also says that:
Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.Please read 2 Corinthians 3 because there is more there, but I don't have room enough to quote the whole thing.
And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;
Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 2 Cor 3:2-6
We are God's epistles - known and read of all men. What do men and women read when they read your life? Are you indistinguishable from the rest of American society? Are you indistinguishable from the prosperity churchs, with their sugar doctrines and deceitful meat? Or do people read, "LOVE GOD AND LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR" when they read you. You will win far more souls by loving them like Christ does, then whether or not you talk them to death. I know that it is God that gives the increase, but we may be the only bible these people ever read.
It is time to leave this carnal world and all it's filth behind and put on the whole armor of God. To stand in the gap for the lost of this world and be an epistle that speaks of the mercy and love of God and how Christ died for them, as he did for us. Be strong in the Lord and the Power of His Might.
Blessings in Christ