Proverbs 28:7- He who keeps the law is a discerning son, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.
I'm already a day off on my gluttony posts. I guess that shows how much I really don't like thinking about the sin that I continually take part in. It is unfortunate, but over time, I hope to rectify it. At any rate, there are a few things in this verse that I want to look at and share with you.
Not every verse we will discuss talks directly about the sin. While I believe this verse does suggest that gluttony is a sin, it won't tell you much about it. Instead, it is a verse about choosing your friends and being a wise follower of the law.
Matthew Poole said of the last part of this verse, "He shameth his father, because he is a foolish son." I don't mean the teenager who plays football or is overly active and who is eating that much because his body needs the fuel. In fact, we're not even talking about the child being the overeater. It's the fact that he cannot choose his friends. He is not the glutton, but picking friends that cannot control themselves is a disgraceful act. As demeaning as the picture is, this is the shame Poole speaks of.
This is not to say that we should look down on someone who struggles with eating. His friends have a problem with control, but that makes me one of those friends. If I were to attack them, it would be akin to me making fun of my own kind. And this is a serious matter. Someone who cannot control their appetite needs help controlling, not ridicule. Notice here that the writer does not say that he shames himself, or even that his friends shame themselves, but rather that the son disgraces his father. He disgraces his father because he chooses friends who cannot control themselves. This is what makes this verse more about choosing friends than about the sin of gluttony proper.
On that note, I believe we can learn a second thing from the verse. The fact that in the first line we see what a wise (discerning) son is like, in that he obeys the law, we can make a claim that this verse suggests evidence that gluttony is indeed a sin. I am a Baptist, which means that I don't ascribe to the 7 Deadly Sins of Catholicism. However, this doesn't mean that I don't see sin when I read it in scripture. The fact that a wise son follows the law, and a disgraceful one is around gluttons suggests that gluttony is a sin.
However, this verse is not about the result of the sin of gluttony. While it is a sin, it is not the sin being committed here. The simple fact is that the son disgraces his father by picking uncontrolled friends. There are other verses that state more explicitly how much of a sin that gluttony is, which we will investigate in future posts.
Stand by for more study! Oh, and please visit the poll on the far right!