When you sit to dine with a ruler,
note well what is before you,
2 and put a knife to your throat
if you are given to gluttony.
3 Do not crave his delicacies,
for that food is deceptive.
“It is a shame for a saint to be a slave to his palate. Isaac loved venison too, too well.”
4 Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
have the wisdom to show restraint.
5 Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
for they will surely sprout wings
and fly off to the sky like an eagle.
Riches do not consist in the possession of treasures, but in the use made of them.
He who multiplies riches, multiplies cares.
Riches have wings.
6 Do not eat the food of a stingy man,
do not crave his delicacies;
7 for he is the kind of man
who is always thinking about the cost.
“Eat and drink,” he says to you,
but his heart is not with you.
8 You will vomit up the little you have eaten
and will have wasted your compliments.
9 Do not speak to a fool,
for he will scorn the wisdom of your words.
To profit from good advice requires more wisdom than to give it.
– Wilson Mizner
A leader must have the courage to act against an expert’s advice.
– James Callaghan
“Be yourself” is about the worst advice you can give to some people.
– J B Priestley
Unruly ambition is deaf, not only to the advice of friends, but to the counsels and monitions of reason itself.
– Sir Roger L’Estrange
When your mother asks, ‘Do you want a piece of advice?’ it is a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway.
– Erma Bombeck
10 Do not move an ancient boundary stone
or encroach on the fields of the fatherless,
11 for their Defender is strong;
he will take up their case against you.
Do not remove the ancient landmark: Literally, the ancient landmark was normally a stone marker for a property line. Moving the landmark was a way to make your field bigger and to steal from your neighbor. Symbolically, the ancient landmark was a tradition or custom from ancestors.
12 Apply your heart to instruction
and your ears to words of knowledge.
“There is no easy way to gain instruction. It requires discipline and application. Disregard the ads that promise it in ‘three easy lessons.'”
13 Do not withhold discipline from a child;
if you punish him with the rod, he will not die.
14 Punish him with the rod
and save his soul from death.
15 My son, if your heart is wise,
then my heart will be glad;
16 my inmost being will rejoice
when your lips speak what is right.
3 John 1:4 (ESV)
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.
18 There is surely a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.
19 Listen, my son, and be wise,
and keep your heart on the right path.
20 Do not join those who drink too much wine
or gorge themselves on meat,
21 for drunkards and gluttons become poor,
and drowsiness clothes them in rags.
22 Listen to your father, who gave you life,
and do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 Buy the truth and do not sell it;
get wisdom, discipline and understanding.
24 The father of a righteous man has great joy;
he who has a wise son delights in him.
25 May your father and mother be glad;
may she who gave you birth rejoice!
26 My son, give me your heart
and let your eyes keep to my ways,
27 for a prostitute is a deep pit
and a wayward wife is a narrow well.
28 Like a bandit she lies in wait,
and multiplies the unfaithful among men.
Quick. Give me 10 men, off the top of your head, who you know or who have been in the news in a negative light because of illicit affairs.
Now, isn’t it telling that coming up with that list is so easy to do?
Who says the Bible is old and out-dated?
29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has strife? Who has complaints?
Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?
30 Those who linger over wine,
who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.
31 Do not gaze at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup,
when it goes down smoothly!
32 In the end it bites like a snake
and poisons like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange sights
and your mind imagine confusing things.
34 You will be like one sleeping on the high seas,
lying on top of the rigging.
35 “They hit me,” you will say, “but I’m not hurt!
They beat me, but I don’t feel it!
When will I wake up
so I can find another drink?”
Yet there is hope in Jesus for the drunkard and drug addict. “Is anything too hard for the Lord? May his name be praised for a full deliverance from the enslavement to sin—to all sins and to every individual sin—and even from the chains of this giant sin. The drunkard becomes sober, the unclean holy, the glutton temperate. The love of Christ overpowers the love of sin.”
Don’t those last few verses sound like song you have heard on the country music station?! Here’s Johnny Cash singing Kris Kristoffersen’s classic “Sunday Morning Coming Down.” Can’t say the lyrics are particularly edifying but they prove the point of the last few verses of this chapter of Proverbs, and it’s Johnny Cash! Click HERE to listen!
Or you may prefer something more edifying. HERE is Pat Barrett and “Hymn of the Holy Spirit,” asking for divine guidance in all of life.