The King’s Banquet Prov. 23:1-8 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
People are impressed when they receive an invitation to a fancy dinner party – but this verse tells us that you’d better watch out because there are some hidden traps at the charity ball, at the $1,000 per plate political fund raiser and at the expensive business luncheon that will come back to haunt you.
First, you’d better consider the menu – v.1-2 – you couldn’t afford that fare on a regular basis and the rich food and delectable deserts will put you in an early grave – Solomon says you’d be better off slitting your own throat than to die with the effects of the diet you are consuming – diabetes, gout, heart disease, cancer, liver problems, the slow demise of failing health due to poor diet can be excruciating – a quick death would be far less agonizing – the Jews lived better on manna than any other group has ever lived during any 40 year period – Daniel lived better on pulse than on the king’s menu (Dan 1).
Second, you’d better consider the deceit – v.3– many a meal has been planned and many a guest has been invited to simply get them OBLIGATED – some how by the time the party is over, you have an obligation that is going to cost you money or worse yet your life – in the end it will be an advantage to your host rather than to you – Esther had a banquet for the king and Haman – Haman would have gladly given any sum of money to get out with his life.
Third, you’d better consider the end – v.4-5– most of these banquets are about money – but consider this – many of the revelers are living on money that is draining out of their reserves so quickly that they will be broke in less than a decade – many are simply there with all the glamour and they are displaying the wealth of the bank that finances them – that high rolling lifestyle will cause that money to disappear quicker than you think – there is more sorrow associated with money than you should ever hope to know – 1 Tim 6:9-10.
Furthermore, a man with a regular menu of sumptuous fare may be heading in a direction you don’t want to go – Lk16:19-31, 1 Sam 25:10-11, 36-38 – would you like to join either of these characters in hell – they lived well here but they have been tormented ever since.
Fourth, you’d better consider the host – v.6-8 – he has an evil eye – Prov 28:22, Mk 7:22 – on a doctrinal note, the evil eyed ruler of this passage is a reference to the antichrist who will use a feast to deceive the Jews into making a covenant with him that he never intends to keep – it is the hospitality of the meal that convinces them that he is their friend – in 2 Sam 13:8 Absalom killed Amnon at a feast.
See what throws you off is that you are being invited to a very nice affair – what you cannot see is the motive (the heart motive 7) of the fellow throwing the party – how many mobsters were slain at a dinner party – all the sweet pleasantries and all the sweet words are gone as the slain guest violently curses his death by a man that he thought was his friend – his heart is not with thee as the heart of the antichrist will not be with the saints and the Jews.
Not all feasts are bad – i.e., the marriage supper of the Lamb – you’d just better be sure that the host truly loves you or else you’re better off staying home from the party!