Monday, March 23, 2009
Proverbs 23 "Food, Money, Sex & Alcohol"
People in America are looking for relevance in the church, today. If this chapter doesn't smack of relevance, I do not know what will. God deals with four issues that I think America struggles with. God is not afraid to tackle them. One thing we must keep in mind is that this is for everyone. We can not teach it if we are not practicing it.
2 and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. (Yikes)
Right off the bat, we are confronted with one I struggle with, gluttony. I hate this one; because, I love all kinds of yummy, sweet, fancy, gourmet, fast, you name it food! Okay, see how quickly we can be caught up in the area food. Addictions come in all forms and food can be one of them. Sad, I know and this can be tough because we need to eat in order to live. But God wants us to find balance. He wants us to enjoy food but in moderation. So go on and have an Oreo(praise Jesus) but do not eat the whole package. We need to teach our children portion control too. This will help them learn self control as they grow. We need to have a healthy relationship with the food we put in our mouths.
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.
The American dream: house, car, vacation home up north, 2.5 kids, 2.5 baths, Starbucks in the morning, boat, vacations, 401K, early retirement the list can go on and on. The question is, "Is the list all you think about?" What are our needs and what are just plain wants? Look at our economy today. I think we are in the state we are in because of our greed for the American dream. We bought beyond our means and used money that we do not have. We need to be good stewards of the money God has given us. Does our money control us or do we control our money? My husband always uses the quote, "You can always tell the heart of a person by how they spend their time and their money!" The key here is moderation again.
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
Listen my friends, any relationships outside of God's design of marriage is wrong. Once again we are confronted with our potential for selfish indulgences. God looks down into the deep parts of our hearts, the parts that are so secret, and the parts nobody knows about. He knows our desires and our longings. We need to bring into submission every area of our lives. God designed sex to be fulfilling, wonderful, and full of pleasure; but within His plan. His plan will bring joy. In our sex driven world; God brings it all back it into perspective. Bottom line God is speaking about our selfishness. Let's not forget what Christ says in the New Testament where he goes right straight to the matter of the heart.
Matthew 5:28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
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.
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?"
I think this passage speaks for itself. I have a feeling the last question speaks to the heart of addiction. "When will I wake up so I can find another drink?" I will not claim to know anything about alcoholism; I have never even had a sip. But I have seen the destruction it has caused in a person and their family. God does not want us to be addicted to a substance; He wants us to be whole and healthy, functioning in a real world. He wants us to depend on Him with a problem not get lost in a bottle.
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.
God wants us to have a future and a hope Jer. 29:11! He wants us to teach these precepts to our children. He wants us to control life's problems not our problems controlling us. His plan is full of joy and promise for me and my children.
I will be zealous for you today, Lord; and I will
Check out my friend's perspective on Chapter 23!