Word to the Wise (part 6) – Proverbs 23:1-3

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Proverbs 23:1–3 When you sit down to eat with a ruler, observe carefully what is before you, 2 and put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite. 3 Do not desire his delicacies, for they are deceptive food.

Important people can make friends easily. Power, influence, fame, wealth, and even infamy are mysteriously attractive. Even if the person is not particularly virtuous, their ethos alone can be alluring.

This applies to everyone from pacifist gurus to mob bosses. In the case of a king, even a subtle display of wealth or power reveals just how much he has compared to a commoner. In the case of royalty, simply being in their presence can make you feel special. Solomon warns his sons that if a ruler wines-and-dines him for the purpose of getting his cooperation, then he must take drastic action.

If you don’t, the situation may become irresistible. Know your weaknesses. If you do, then you are ahead of most people. Think of David and Uriah. At one point during the sordid drama involving Bathsheba, David actually gets her husband drunk at his table. Uriah should have put a knife to his throat before the enemy put an arrow through his heart.

If you receive special attention from an influential person, and there’s no obvious reason for it, then you would be wise to keep your guard up.

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