6 Do not eat the bread of a selfish man, Or desire his delicacies; 7 For as he thinks within himself, so he is. He says to you, "Eat and drink!" But his heart is not with you. 8 You will vomit up the morsel you have eaten, And waste your compliments.
Proverbs lays out for us here three verses that warn us of selfish and greedy men. The term used to describe this men is a man of an 'evil eye.' This term is a Hebraism that refers to a man whose eye is set in a way that he is covetous and very selfish when it comes to his money. This guy has evidently made a promise of a sumptuous meal. To break bread with someone in this day was to offer them a meal. And from what we read here - this man is putting quite a the spread before us. It does not only involve putting food before us - but delicacies. Delicacies here is the Hebrew word "mat'am" and it means a very tasty, delicious food. It indicates soemthing like gourmet food or special tidbits and delicacies that were usually only served to the wealthy and influential person. This meal is provided to catch our eye - but dull our sensest. This is not just a Big Mac at Mickie-D's. This would be an entire meal at a fancy restaurant - including a top shelf dessert as well.
Why would this man do this? What is even more important though is that God warns us to stay away - and not eat it - and not to be drawn in by the delicacies! We are warned against the desires that arise in us as we look at te delicacies set before us. Again, one might ask, "Why?"
The answer lies with the character and the motives of the man who is providing the meal. He has a reason for what He is doing. And according to this passage - his motives are evil, selfish, and self-centered. Let's look a little further at all this as we seek to get all we can from this warning - as well as how all this applies to what we can face from men in THIS generation that use the same tactics.
God now reveals to us this man's heart. The motives of his heart are hidden from us and the only way we know them is when God reveals them to us. This man thinks within himself differently than he is acting outwardly. His outward words say, "Eat and drink!" There is every indication that he is all about his hospitality. There is a problem though. His words do not match his heart. Who he is in his heart is who he really is and since his heart is not with us, we should question his true motives.
Why would someone provide a great spread like this - and not have their heart in it? The answer to this question is that greed and selfishness are what motivate him. Ever been to a "free meal" or a "free weekend" at a time share? Yeah . . . that's what we're talking about here. We are provided what seems like an innocent and wonderful gift. Problem is the entire time we are enjoying it we are being set up for the real purpose. The gift is given to get something from us! Before the night is over - before the weekend is over - there is going to be a presentation. The reason for all the generosity is that you are supposed to buy something - commit to something. I've been to a free weekend at a resort - and the term "high pressure sales" is an understatement of what I eventually faced. When my "free" weekend was over, I honestly wished I had just paid for my so-called free vacation. That was one of the longest three hours of my entire life.
When someone's heart is not with you in providing that great meal or that wonderful weekend; when someone's heart is not with you in giving you those "free tickets" or that gift card for a free meal, you need to know that a the heart is not set on giving, but greed. You are being lured into a way for Mr. Generous to make money in the end.
We are told that we will vomit up the morsel we thought we enjoyed. There will be a disgust in our hearts when we eat this man's food. That disgust will only be experienced after we find out the real agenda here. He didn't do this for us . . . He did it for himself. Covetousness and profiteering were the real reason this for Mr. Generosity's gift. In the end you feel like a fool for being tricked into doing something you "normally" would not do. You curse your desires that deadened you to the warnings of the Holy Spirit.
Remember my time share story? Oh, how embarassingly this ended. I told myself that I would not buy anything! I was going to be strong - and say NO to everything. Then I'd enjoy the rest of my free vacation and go home. Remember the "high-pressure sales pitch?" Well, in the end, we didn't buy a time share. Instead we paid a ridiculous price for a promised "future" vacation - actually three were promised. I'm not stupid enough to fall for just one! Of course the promised triple play did not quite work out like it was mapped out for us. In fact the entire sitaution was a debacle. In the end - I vomited out the vacation we took - and wished I could take back my compliments about what a "great deal" I had just gotten! Remember this . . . when a selfish, greedy man "gives" you something, he has every intention to more than double or triple what he invested. At least that is my story - and my savings (or lack thereof) is sticking to it!
In the end - you feel like a fool for complimenting the generosity of your host. You look at what was provided - and you think that it is wonderful. But the cost in the end - oh the cost in the end - makes you feel like a complete idiot for ever accepting his invitation. You kick yourself for ever getting involved.
There are plenty of evil-eyed men out there in the world. They have their plans and their purpose for their pseudo-generosity. But remember that we've been warned by a wise God - and a wise man who walked with God - that there are subversive plans in this pseudo-generosity. The plans of these heartless givers are laid out like a trap for the unwary and the unsuspecting to step into. They want to catch your eye with their delicacies - and keep you from seeing the long-term plan in their ruse of free provision. Believe me when I say that their intention is to make far more than they have given. The truly wise man will see this ahead of time - and avoid even a meal provided by one whose eye is evil - and whose plans are selfish and filled with snares.