(Given the season of summer arriving, it is often a time when we relax our guard. The young men and women will be out and about. The “Vanity Fair” opens its doors, free admission.)
Pastor Vince Giardino opened with Proverbs 23:1-3. Before reading the scripture he explained to us about John Bunyan and his book of “Pilgrim’s Progress”. John spent many of his Christian years behind bars in England because his ministry was outside of the protacal church set up by England’s authorities. That was the Catholic Church. Pilgrim’s Progress was a symbolic, metaphorical book based on the life of a Christian. In the book Christian comes to a place known as “Vanity Fair”. A place where all kinds of desirable things and offerings were available. (It seems that the vanities of Vanity Fair are presented to us regularly during our Christian life.)
Proverbs 23:1-3 Pastor explained that we could consider the ruler in verse 1 as what rules us. Ps. 141:3-4 was David crying out to God to keep him from wickedness and to not eat of their dainties.
- Appetite – Natural Desire for pleasure or good. Gratification of body and/or mind.
- Dainties – Something nice, looks good to the eyes and tastes good.
- “The Ruler” When the time comes when we sit down (relax) before the ruler. Watch what you are looking at. What controls us will offer the little dainties. We should know we are being set up and just say, “No Thanks”. Prov. 20:17 “Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth will be filled with gravel. 1Pet 4:3 Our past as explained by Peter. “Let it suffice”. If we are not saying “No” then what are we full of that does not give us the ability? Heb.5:12 is about our growing up or digressing in our faith. Consider your appetite, how it should be for righteousness. Lk 15:16-17
- “The Remedy” To remedy the rulership. Prov 23:2 – The part of us that would be desirous of the dainties, should be dead on the cross, but kill the old man. Rom. 6:6 “our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” 2Pet. 2:6-9 – The remedy being to kill the man of sin and know that God knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation.
- “The Reality” Prov. 23:3 Deceitful food, a promise of good but only evil results. The reality we should have a taste for faith. Ps 19:9-10 The desire for the things of God. Is 55:1-2 What God offers as opposed to the dainties. The Bread of Life, wine and milk. “…let your soul delight itself with fatness.” Jn 4:10 “Living Water” by which we will never thirst. Remember the warning in Prov 23:1 “Diligently” consider what is before thee. Urgently consider.
Just saying “No” does not work alone, but it is our faith in knowing that God delivers us out of the house of bondage. (That Egypt, in us; the ruling Pharaoh.) By faith we can say “No” and not reconsider later. It is the trust and the hope that is set before us. God has delivered us and will bring it to completion.