“When you sit down to eat with a ruler, consider carefully what is before you; and put a knife to your throat if you are a man given to appetite. Do not desire his delicacies, for they are deceptive food.” (Proverb 23:1-3)
What is a ruler? A ruler is one who has the right to govern. This could be referring to humans in authority over areas of the earth; however, it COULD very well be in reference to something else.
The Apostle Paul mentions rulers in Ephesians 6:12 (“the rulers of the darkness of this age”) while speaking of how satan has organized the demons.
Most of us do not knowingly sit down to eat with demons. Using symbolic language, the writer of this Proverb might just be warning us about those times when we unwittingly “sit down” to eat…or to take in…the temptations set before us.
We are told to “consider carefully what is before” us. The term “consider carefully” means to “fully understand.” We cannot do this if we are not aware of our spiritual surroundings at all times.
“Be sober, BE VIGILANT; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
Let’s purpose in our hearts to pay attention to what satan tries to do with us and to do this properly we MUST be aware of our weaknesses.
“and put a knife to your throat if you are a man given to appetite.” (Proverb 23:2)
Now, God would not have us actually put a knife to our own throats.
This is a dramatic way of saying “MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT take in the bad things you know are personal weaknesses for you!”
If you aren’t sure what your weaknesses are, why not ask the Lord to reveal them to you?
Perhaps the praises of people are your weakness. Maybe it’s a craving to be loved or valued. It could be money or power or titles.
The term in verse 2 “given to appetite” has to do with “lusting for something” and we ALL do lust for something. We must know what that is for us so we can be wary and aware when we find ourselves seated at a table with some evil spiritual “ruler” so we will wisely refuse to take it in.
“Do not desire his delicacies, for they are deceptive food.” (Proverb 23:1-3)
The term “Do not desire his delicacies” means “Do not strongly lust for” them.
Satan will have his demons lay out for us the things for which we lust. He KNOWS what they are because it was he who built those hungers inside us our whole lives.
We are tempted to take them in because, deep in our hearts we think they are nutritious to our souls and really will satisfy our soul hunger.
They never do. (THAT’S why we go back to those tables over and over and over again.)
The writer of this Proverb is warning us in verse 3: “Do not desire his delicacies, for THEY ARE DECEPTIVE FOOD.”
In other words, what that satanic “ruler” will offer up is FAKE food.
There is no nutritional value in it at all.
What can we do, instead, with our soul hunger? Turn to Jesus!
“Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be filled.” (Jesus speaking as reported in Luke 6:21)
Let’s cry out to Jesus for HIM to fill us up and when He does, let’s purpose in our hearts to RECEIVE what He and ONLY He can supply: REAL food for our souls.
Should we find ourselves seated at a table with an evil spiritual ruler today, may we not be people “given to appetite” because our hungers are satisfied in Jesus and none of ruler’s “delicacies” will be appealing to us in the least because we will see the deception in them!