Proverb for the Day 23:1-3 — A Free Lunch?

When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive.

Thus begins a discussion about an invitation to dine with a ruler. Here are two commands and some basic advice – think very carefully about what is happening and what you might do! The first command is to “note well what is before you” and then the advice – put a knife to your own throat now, if you are planning to indulge yourself!

The second command is “do not crave” all the good stuff he offers you, because all is not as it might appear at that moment. While not stated explicitly, the reason is simple. As the modern wise saying goes – “there’s no such thing as a free lunch!”

When a bigshot invites us to eat with him, it is a good possibility he wants something from us. While the meal is free and I can eat all I want now, I better understand he might well expect something from me later. And there is a very good chance he will want me to do things I would not normally do on my own.

This is how life works and, whether the “ruler” is a player on the streets, a politician or even a religious leader, we are supposed to think carefully about what is happening and what might be coming. If I find myself so willing to satisfy my appetite for food, drink, drugs, sex, rock-n-roll or whatever – I might as well just go ahead and hurt myself now! Because this is certainly going to cost me big-time later.