Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.
Be cautious about the good life. Finer things, like luxurious eating and drinking, can be dangerous. Restrain your appetite and desire for the lifestyle of the upper class, for it is deceitful. Lifestyles of the rich and famous? No, it is lifestyles of the dead and damned.
The time past of your life – before you were converted to the true religion of Jesus Christ – should be enough time with their lifestyle. You now reject lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, and banquetings. And though they think your strictness is strange for no longer participating with them, you know their judgment is coming (I Pet 4:3-5).
Solomon’s proverbs are often stand-alone statements without much context, generally unrelated to the proverbs before and after, but it is important here. The context is lunch with a ruler (Pr 23:1). Wisdom warns you to consider carefully (Pr 23:1), for fine living can deceive you, especially if you are a man with a desire toward it (Pr 23:2-3). Do not be fooled into wanting his lifestyle, for it is vanity and soon flies away (Pr 23:4-5). Fine dining and flattering words do not prove a man’s heart, so watch out (Pr 23:6-8).
The lust of the flesh is a powerful and common temptation (I Jn 2:16). It caused your first mother to take the forbidden fruit, when she saw that it was good for food (Gen 3:6). The devil used it as his first temptation of Jesus Christ – to turn stones to bread (Matt 4:1-4). Your desire for the luxurious living and expensive eating of the rich can be seductive.
Fine dining is dangerous for most men. If you love to eat, put a knife to your throat (Pr 23:2). You must be very disciplined (Matt 18:8-9). It can lead to surfeiting – gluttony, so your Lord warned against it (Lu 21:34). As saints of the day and light, you must be awake and alert, not addicted and dulled by luxurious living (Rom 13:11-14; I Thes 5:6-8). You eat to live; you do not live to eat. You must rule your appetite; it cannot rule you.
Fine dining is seductive for most men. The pleasure and atmosphere of such food and lifestyle is enticing. The ambiance of a fine restaurant is carefully planned, and it can be powerfully alluring. It can easily lead to a fixation on income, pleasure, and fine things, when your priority should be the love of God over pleasure (II Tim 3:4). Godliness with contentment is great gain, but there is little contentment at a ruler’s table (I Tim 6:6-10).
King Solomon, the writer of these proverbs, daily sat at a fabulous table with the finest meals ever prepared and served. Even the queen of Sheba was shocked by what she observed at his table (I Kgs 10:4-9). He knew more about real happiness than any rich man, culinary expert, or executive chef. He wisely taught that love, peace, and righteousness can make any fare or menu a feast, which even the poor can enjoy daily (Pr 15:16-17; 17:1; 28:6). Believe these inspired priorities and feast on crackers tonight.
Fine dining is deceitful for most men. Fine food and wine lead men to relax their guard and be ensnared (Pr 23:33; Gen 19:30-38; Hab 2:15). Many sins are planned over a meal. Fine food breaks down resistance, like wine and strong drink do. Women have been taught the fastest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Men seduce women through fine dining. Much business is done over lunch, as salesmen have expense accounts to seduce clients by the means of a nice meal in a nice restaurant. Watch out!
You must keep your body under to win the race you have entered (I Cor 9:24-27). Your Lord did not have a comfortable place for His head to sleep, let alone a cushy seat at the head of a fine table covered with luxurious food (Matt 8:20). You do not need a five-star anything. You must not make provision for your flesh, for you are at great enough risk without encouraging it any further (Rom 13:14; Matt 6:34). Be prudent and wise. Avoid the lifestyles of the rich and famous, and let love and peace make any food delicious.
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