Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 23:6-8: “Do not eat the bread of a miser, Nor desire his delicacies; For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. ‘Eat and drink!’ he says to you, But his heart is not with you. The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up, And waste your pleasant words.”
Excesses are dangerous at the dinner table (Proverbs 23:19-21). In Proverbs 23:1-3, we are warned to not let appetite overrule our good judgment, or in other words, don’t let a politician buy our vote with bar-b-que! Then, in Proverbs 23:4-5, we are warned not to irresponsibly chase after “riches” as our only goal in life, for there is much more to a good life than that! Now, in Proverbs 23:6-8, we are again warned not to listen to a “miser” encourage us to “eat and drink” his food, because he begrudges every bit of what we would enjoy. His heart is not as open as his invitation! The guest’s “pleasant words” (table talk) will be wasted because the “miser” is resenting the guest’s enjoyment.
Contrast this hypocritical feast with the genuineness that Jesus teaches Christians to have: “Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:12-14). Jesus taught that there should be no underlying political motive for giving an invitation for a meal! “Now it happened, as He went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely” (Luke 14:1). When it says “they watched Him closely” it describes their sidelong, judgmental observations just looking for a reason to condemn Him.
The honesty of a Christian invitation is seen that when a fellow-Christian is in wilful, deliberate sin, for which he/she refuses to repent, faithful Christians would refuse to extend social opportunity around the dinner table (1 Corinthians 5:9-13).
As Proverbs points out, good judgment should always take precedence over appetite and social fellowship!
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.