A Knife to Your Throat
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
observe carefully what is before you,
and put a knife to your throat
if you are given to appetite.
Now there’s a real attention-getter: put a knife to your throat! Solomon is asking you to imagine rubbing shoulders with royalty—like Sheriff Andy Taylor and Aunt Bee in Hollywood or the Clampett’s in Beverly Hills; or a Third-World laborer watching “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” on rabbit-ears TV. Or, for that matter, people like you and me caught up in the love of luxury. If you are tempted by comfort, convenience, and self-centered ease—if you are given to appetite (v. 2b)—if you are inclined to let the good life rule your whole life, then put a knife to your throat.
Solomon will go on to give reasons for such drastic measures (vv. 4-8); but he starts where we must always begin to deal with disorder in our lives—he begins with motive. We must deal ruthlessly with what drives us. Lust, greed, ambition (the big three), or the hundred variations and combinations. For the pleasure-seeking hedonist, Solomon prescribes a knife to your throat.
A knife to your throat is a graphic way of saying that you must put something more important in place of something less important (or worthless, or dangerous!). A knife to your throat is literally a matter of life and death. So with a knife to your throat, choices are easy—I choose to live, not dine; I choose life over cuisine; I choose survival over sumptuous fare.
Scripture does not forbid sumptuous fare, of course, but we must never forget that the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17).
Welcome to Christ Church this Lord’s Day. God fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them (Ps. 145:19).
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