Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Eat and Drink My Precious...
"Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy, do not desire his delicacies, for he is like one who is inwardly calculating. 'Eat and drink!' he says to you, but his heart is not with you." (Proverbs 23:6, ESV)
The NKJV uses the word miser in place of stingy and the NASB reads miser. The literal reading in the Hebrew is "an evil eye." The KJV reads, "Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye." (Bold mine)
First, we need to establish the fact that this "evil eye" is not related to "enchantment" or the superstition of black magic. This is a phrase that can be contrasted with a word in Proverbs 22:9, "a bountiful eye." The good eye refers to a man who is giving or bountiful. The ESV, NASB, NKJV, RSV, and even the NLT are correct when they translate this word to "stingy" or "miser." So, what does this mean?
There are those individuals who pretend to be our friends. They welcome us with loud and hearty invitations to come and be their friend and to eat with them. However, they are not sincere in their words or their invitation. They actually begrudge each bite that you take of their food. Why? First, they are greedy. They do not like to share anything with anyone including their food. Second, they are not sincere in their offer of friendship. They only want to use an unsuspecting person for their own greedy means.
Viewing the movie Social Network started me thinking about what was the motive behind all of the "friend requests" that one gets on our Face book page? Why do these people want to be friends with me? Of course those whom are related to us and those whom we have been friends with for quite some time usually give us no cause to worry.
The second thing that made me think of this warning is the seemingly innoculous button entitled "followers." So many people want us to follow their blogs. So they pretend to like ours and say nice things about our blog but always the motive is, "the invitation to follow their blog." Usually these requests are harmless.
In real life we need to develop discernment and utilize care of those whom we take into our bosoms as friends. When we recognize someone to be this miserly or stingy that they despise sharing small things such as a meal, the wise tell us to not with eat them. Let him keep those things to himself.
The most important reason that we need to reject these foods, regardless of how delicate or "sweet" they may be, is we do not want to find ourselves in a position of "debt" to such an individual. We find a second and supportive reason for rejecting such invitations in verse eight, "you will vomit up the morsels that you have eaten, and waste your pleasant words." Once you have recognized that you have been fooled by this man's invitation, and you have been used by him or placed into a compromising debt, you will probably experience such revulsion and shame that you may even vomit. Not to mention all of your sincere and well meaning conversation was useless.
Have you come across someone who is so stingy or misery that he hates to share even his food?
Do you have an experience of such a situation that you might want to share for instructional purposes?
How do you recognize a man with a greedy, stingy, or miserly eye?