“And put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite”

November 4, 2018

I’m currently journaling my way through the Book of Proverbs, using this beautiful resource from Crossway. I wrote the following in reference to Proverbs 23:1-3:

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.
Do not desire his delicacies,
    for they are deceptive food.

23:2: “if you are given to appetite”: By which this rich ruler can make you do his bidding. This warning need not apply only to food! We sell ourselves out for many other things, too—all for the sake of our appetites. Yet the Book of Proverbs (along with the rest of scripture, of course, though Proverbs makes this point many times) tells us repeatedly that we can satisfy our truest, deepest appetite in one place, in one object: in God alone, and in those things that belong to him. This book, the Bible, in which I’m writing these words, contains everything necessary—as God’s Spirit speaks to me through it—for my happiness. How many times does Proverbs say that the knowledge and wisdom it offers are better than gold and silver—and that I should pursue this before anything?

Dear Lord, give me a deeper appetite for all that is within this book. Indeed, this is exactly what you’ve been doing for years—since 2009. But I want and need more. I need more of you! You want me to be happy with the happiness that’s found only in you. I want that as well!

As C.S. Lewis said:

God gives us what He has, not what He has not: He gives us the happiness that there is, not the happiness that there is not. To be God—to be like God and to share His goodness in creaturely response—to be miserable—these are the only three alternatives. If we will not learn to eat the only food that the universe grows—the only food that any possible universe ever can grow—then we must starve eternally.[†]

C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (New York: HarperOne, 1996), 47.

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