October 23

Written by Bill Grandi on October 23rd, 2019

My title for this devotion is Contentment vs Envy.

Have you ever read a passage and your first reaction is initially, “What?” “What in the world is the point?” I read one of those today. It isn’t like I hadn’t read it before. I can’t even begin to count how many time I have read Proverbs. But today this one stuck out. It is Proverbs 23:1-5. So let’s take a look at it.

First, Verses 1-2: Okay, so I’m invited to a king’s or a ruler’s table for a meal.  Not that it’s ever going to happen but let’s suppose. 🙂 I’m to look over what is set before me and if my appetite roars (and it probably will), I am to put a knife to my throat. Sort of extreme don’t you think?  If I’m not eating, why in the world was I invited?

Then I’m told not to desire his delicacies because they are deceptive food (v.3). Wait a second! That is food in front of me. What is so deceptive about that?

This all sounds so whacked doesn’t it? I’m invited to a feast but I’m not to eat. And the food isn’t really real. It’s all so confusing.


You read the rest of the passage and then it all begins to make sense. At least to me. I believe verses 4-5 spread light on it. I think what the issue is comes to down to envy. Greed. Jealousy. Desire for more. I say that especially because of verse 5: “When your eyes light on it, it is gone, for suddenly it sprouts wings, flying like an eagle toward heaven.”

Envy is an ugly monster. As is greed and jealousy. The desire to have what someone else has is an insidious disease which can end up taking over our soul. It is an empty pursuit (Verse 4 tells me to not toil to acquire wealth).

“Father, keep my eyes from empty pursuits, from thinking I must have something more. Help me not to desire what others have but be content with what I do have.”


2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Envy is an ugly monster, Bill, that’s for sure. Let us be content with the good things God has given to us, and us alone.

  2. floyd says:

    Envy comes from the poison of a unsettled heart. To know our Father is to know peace. Which in the NT is translated as “prosperity”. I find that fascinating. It’s never what the world thinks it is…