January 2014: Proverbs 23 by Doug
I had some difficulty picking a focal point for today’s Proverbs writing. Why? Most of the options are not single-verse Proverbs. It’s important to always keep verses in context and to read complete sentences. We are especially driven in Proverbs to skip that, but we shouldn’t.
I did find interesting, though, Proverbs 23:1 and its following verse. Partly because, as you can see if you compare various translations, 23:1 can be a standalone sentence or it can connect to 23:2. I happen to like it as separate sentences:
First, 23:1 warns you in general about the delicate nature of dining with those in power. Consider what they offer, because it can be treacherous.
Consider also whether or not you really want it, because that’s the other aspect here. It is easy to envy the possessions of kings, but what of the responsibility? The world is filled with rulers who take the power and possessions and disdain the responsibility—representative democracy was born out of the abundance of that nonsense. Yet even elective officials suffer the same disease.
Consider the responsibility that comes with the high table.
Now, you can add Proverbs 23:2 to the sentence and just make it about the food and controlling your physical appetite, but I think there’s more here. Control yourself, and become not indebted to those in power.
They may only desire to stay in power.