th (2)Do you like colorful flowers in your yard?  I do.  I can blame it on my grandmother. Her yard always looked like the cover of a Southern Living magazine.  She would spend hours in her yard each day, pulling weeds, digging in the dirt and creating a spread of color that would rival a paint palette.  It took a lot of work on her part, but she was always pleased with her results and said it was more than worth the time she dedicated to it.

I did some digging of my own. I didn’t pull out my gardening gloves or my trowel; I grabbed my Bible, my journal and a concordance.  I spent my time digging in the Word, looking to unpack a couple of verses of Scripture to learn the meaning of them.   I discovered  two verses that revealed so much more than what I initially thought, but it took some digging on my part.  When I cleaned up from my work, like my grandmother, I was pleased with my results and found it oh, so worth my time.

Proverbs 23:1-2 says,

When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.

On the surface, it sounds like King Solomon said kill yourself before you give in to eating too much.  But upon further scrutiny I learned so much more. For example:  
  • The Hebrew meaning of the word gluttony (hephesh) means self, life, creature, person, appetite, mind, living being, desire, emotion, passion. Having that understanding completely changes the implications of the verse.  Basically, it’s saying put a knife to your throat if you are given into the sin of luxury, sensuality, or indulgence.
  • King Solomon tells the reader to take note of what is before him and how it will impact him. We have to be aware of our temptations. Temptation will come our way.  It’s simply a part of life, but God will always provide a way out [1 Corinthians 10:13].
  • King Solomon isn’t telling the reader to commit suicide in the literal sense; however, he is suggesting we die to self so the thing in front of us that tempts us to sin has no hold over us.  When we die to self we no longer seek to please our own desires, rather, we seek to please the Lord.

As you dig to find meaning in one verse, it will almost always lead you to another that supports it or offers further explanation, such as Psalm 141:4 which says,

Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil, to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers; let me not eat of their delicacies.

The bottom line of this digging expedition is:

Anything other than Jesus that we pursue in excess is a sin and will take control of us if we don’t take control of it.

So what do we do? Praying Psalm 141:4 over ourselves would be a good start.  Recognizing a temptation when we see it and dealing with it head on causes the temptation to lose it’s hold on us. There is nothing that will truly satisfy us but Jesus.

That’s what I found after a little digging. Have you been digging today? If so, share what you found. We can all benefit from one another’s work. It’s how we strengthen one another [Proverbs 27:17]. Well, I’d love to stay and chat longer, but I have more digging to do.  What about you?