TEXT: Proverbs 23:1-3
1 When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee:
2 And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.
3 Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.
Dr. John Walvoord and Dr. Roy Zuck said, “When invited to a banquet hosted by a prestigious host, a person ought to be humble and restrained. He should be aware of what is around him, and if he is tempted to be gluttonous he should restrain his appetite. Humorously the guest is advised to put a knife to his throat (rather than to his food)! This does not mean he should commit suicide but that he should cut back on his gorging. Gluttony, interestingly, translates the Hebrew nep̱eš, which has a variety of meanings including physical life, oneself, one’s appetite or craving, and the seat of those cravings. Foods that are delicacies in a royal banquet may be deceptive. A ruler-host may seem to be friendly by serving a sumptuous meal, but in reality he may be planning to betray his guest or do him an injustice. The banquet may be a “buttering-up” occasion.”
This is an uncomfortable subject for many of us, but if you listen and take heed, this particular series can not only change your life spiritually, but it can save your life physically.
In this passage, advice is offered to the “man given to appetite” — in other words a man who likes to eat heartily. It is given in the context of meeting with a ruler for some business matter. The man given to appetite would be at a disadvantage if the ruler places delicious food in front of him because the man’s love of food may override his mental acuity and alertness. He may be so interested in eating that he is not fully invested in the issue he came to discuss. Besides that it does not look good or professional to be a glutton and gorge yourself in front of government leaders, business leaders, or anybody that you’re trying to win over to your point of view, and for that matter, in front of anyone, because it makes you look bad.
The Holman Old Testament Commentary provides the following explanation of this passage: “These verses give wise advice to the social climber who has been invited to dine with a leader. He might find it easy to be awed by the king’s splendor and spend his time congratulating himself on his good fortune and gorging on the banquet before him. But Proverbs warns, ‘Be careful.’ He must be cautious and aware of his surroundings. If he is given to gluttony, he should put the knife to his throat, not in the meat! The powerful seldom give away favors for nothing; they often want something in return. So a person cannot afford to be blinded by the lavish meal; it is deceptive (literally, bread of lies). You may end up the loser in the exchange.”
Note again the strong metaphor used to describe how one should resist the temptation of gluttony. “Put a knife to thy throat,” the wise preacher says, “If thou be a man given to appetite.” Charles Ellicott writes that this command means to “use the strongest methods to keep thine appetite in check if thou art likely to give way to it and to be overcome by meat and drink.” The writings of early church fathers on gluttony reveal that many believed excessive eating dulls our mental and spiritual senses. And, I am sure that you have found that, after a heavy meal, we are more inclined to go to sleep than we are to get up and work. If we are serious, not only about out spiritual life, but about our work life as well, we need to practice this passage and put the metaphorical knife to our throat so that we won’t eat more than is necessary.
PRACTICAL STEPS ON INTERMITTENT FASTING: Today we will continue looking at the Leangains model of intermittent fasting. Martin Berkhan, one of the biggest promoters of this model, recommends roughly a 16 hour fasted period and an 8 hour fed period with the fasted period lasting through the night and morning and the fed period lasting through the afternoon and evening. He provides the following key points regarding the practice:
“- No calories are to be ingested during the fasted phase, though coffee, calorie free sweeteners, diet soda and sugar free gum are okay (even though they might contain trace amount of calories). A tiny splash of milk in your coffee won’t affect anything either (but use sparingly and sensibly if you drink a lot of coffee). Neither will sugar free gum in moderation.
“- The fast is the perfect time to be productive and get things done. Don’t sit around, get bored and brood about food.
“- Meal frequency during the feeding phase is irrelevant. However, most people, including me, prefer three meals.”
PRACTICAL ADVICE ON EATING RIGHT: In “The RAVE Diet and Lifestyle,” Mike Anderson continues sharing why he recommends not using any vegetable oils. He writes, “In a nutshell, here’s the argument against oils: all dietary fats — be they animal or plant fats of all kinds — at levels above 20 percent of total calories, cause heart disease. This has been demonstrated in many clinical tests. In order to prevent heart disease, you have to reduce your overall fat intake. A diet of 100 percent whole plant foods is as heart-healthy as you can get. Why introduce a highly concentrated form of fat, such as vegetable oil, that will surely bring your fat intake level into an unsafe zone?”
Now, we are going to continue looking at some “Frequently Asked Questions About Intermittent Fasting” from Healthline’s “Intermittent Fasting 101 – The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide”:
6. Will fasting slow down my metabolism?
No. Studies show that short-term fasts actually boost metabolism. However, longer fasts (3 days or more) can suppress metabolism.
Now, in this series, as we focus on overcoming the sin of gluttony, and managing our bodies as God intended, we must not lose sight of the most important part of our existence — our spiritual life. Even those of you who are fit, who eat right, and who exercise regularly must still address the condition of your soul. You may keep your body in perfect condition till the day you die, but you will still die — we all will, and the only thing that will matter is the condition of your soul. Is your soul in shape? Is your soul in right standing with God?
The only way to make sure of that is to trust Jesus Christ as your Savior from sin and the consequences of sin. He alone can save your soul, put you in right standing with God, and ensure that you do not perish in Hell. Now, if you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, here is how you can trust Him today.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.