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Do Not Eat The Bread of a Miser

“Do not eat the bread of a miser, nor desire his delicacies; for as he thinks in his heart, so is he. ‘Eat and drink!’ he says to you, but his heart is not with you. The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up, and waste your pleasant words.” (Proverb 23:6-8)

Before we even begin to break down this Proverb let me point out that some who read what I have to write will cry out stridently, “This is judgment and judgement is bad!”

Ignore them. These are fools (since they don’t really know God) and they do not know, in the spiritual sense, what they are talking about.

“Do not eat the bread of a miser, nor desire his delicacies…” (Proverb 23:6)

The writer warns us to not eat the bread of a miser. A miser is a selfish man, one who hoards what he has and shares as little as he possible can.

The Hebrew word translated here as “miser” is more properly translated as “one who has an evil eye.”

The Amplified Bible translates this verse in this way:

“Eat not the bread of him who has a hard, grudging, and envious eye, neither desire his dainty foods;” (Proverb 23:6 – Amplified Bible)

Let’s go deep with this Proverb. Let’s not think that it’s about eating bread made from grain.

We don’t often realize it but we literally share OURSELVES when we live in selfless ways. When we give our time, our money, our stuff, our focus….for the benefit of another….this is our “bread”.

Truly, “our bread” is our very selves.

A “miser” like the one in this Proverb, withholds himself, giving himself to no one….usually not even God, really.

He is an envious person, sharing with no one else….but ALWAYS looking to see what someone else has….ALWAYS looking to see what he can get from another so he can hoard that too.

The writer of Jude speaks of a “love feast” in that epistle:

“These are spots in your LOVE FEASTS, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.” (Jude 1:12-13)

The term “love feasts” refers to the meetings of the Church that took place in the homes of first century Christians. These were VERY personal meetings in which believers SHARED THEMSELVES with one another.

It was how the Apostles modeled how we were to “do church”. It was how the Apostles modeled how Christians were to live – personally, sharing themselves with one another.

The Church has devolved a lot since that time – often taking into itself the comparatively impersonal ways of the world system.

Because of this, it is VERY important that we supplement the distant relationships that most Christians experience with REAL and personal relationships with our brothers and sisters, practiced openly and willingly.

It is spiritually healthy that we do so, yet we must be aware of the “misers” that prey on the Body of Christ. It IS judgement to recognize a spiritual “miser” but it is NOT a mean or sinful thing to do.

Spiritual discernment (judicial estimation) is a gift from God (1 Corinthians 12:10).

THAT’S why the world cries out when we exercise this gift and discern that something IS what it is. The world and all who are in the world (the lost and ungodly) are in the grip of satan and satan HATES godly discernment.

We MUST be aware of those who are assigned to us by the enemy to drain us.

“Do not eat the bread of a miser, nor desire his delicacies; for as he thinks in his heart, so is he. ‘Eat and drink!’ he says to you, but his heart is not with you. The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up, and waste your pleasant words.” (Proverb 23:6-8)

Proverbs 23:7 says that even though the selfish one gives the APPEARANCE of wanting to share himself with you, “his heart is not with you.”

You’ll know this when the person’s interest seems to wane when the topic is not himself or what he can get.

You’ll know this when the person asks you for something and gets angry with you or rejects you because you simply can’t or don’t wish to give it.

You’ll know this when simply disagreeing with the person causes him to attack you.

You’ll find yourself hungry to do anything to please the person, thinking you did something wrong. It’s not wrong to say “no” or “I can’t” or “I disagree”.

The reality is that all along this was true: “his heart is not with you” and it will turn out that the entire “love feast” you had with this person…sharing yourself….believing the other was sharing himself with you…will be wasted.

"The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up, and waste your pleasant words.” (Proverb 23:8)

As I write this I am aware that this sounds like a harsh word given through what I am writing here today. It might, on the surface, seem to be so negative.

I don’t think the Lord intends it to be.

This is an encouraging word, designed to protect us from what Jude refers to as “filthy dreamers” who “defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries” (Jude 1:8), “spots” (hidden reefs, places of danger and potential shipwreck) "in your love feasts” (Jude 1:12), “grumblers, complainers” who walk (live habitually) “according to their own lusts” who “mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage” (Jude 1:16) and “sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.” (Jude 1:19)

God sees them as they are and wishes that, for our spiritual health and benefit, we see them as He does.

Let us be so intimate with Jesus that we can truly sense Him meeting ALL our needs (Philippians 4:19) so that we never become “misers”. In the abundance of LIFE we receive from Jesus (John 10:10) we will be able to share ourselves freely with those whom the Lord chooses for us to share ourselves.

Let us not be afraid to be in close, intimate relationship with others.

Yes, there ARE “misers” out there…many unaware that they are on assignment from the devil to shipwreck our faith (1 Timothy 1:19).

If we sense the Lord would have us enter relationship and share “our bread”….our very selves…let’s do so freely.

Fear of being around people like this is still “fear of man” and that, in itself, is a trap.

Instead, let’s simply trust the Lord and His guidance in this:

“The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.” (Proverb 29:22)

Let us, therefore, be wise in terms of who we share ourselves, being in close godly relationships, judging well and withdrawing “our bread” from the “miser” when we discern that to be the case.

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” (Jude 1:20-21)

Some of these “love feast spots” will be touched and truly grieved by the distance we wisely put between ourselves and them. Let’s discern any repentance we might see.

“And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.” (Jude 1:22-23)

Godly judgement is not about meanness at all. It’s about spiritual discernment and wisdom, good stewardship of our souls and the careful and wise advancement of God’s Kingdom into this spiritually filthy world.

May we Christians all live wisely in Christ.

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.” (Jude 1:24-25)

Pastor Mike McInerney

Mike McInerney Ministries, Inc.

Decatur, Texas

© February 23, 2018

(For use with permission)

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