Proverbs 23:1-3

“When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
consider carefully what is before you,
and put a knife to your throat
if you possess a large appetite.
Do not crave that ruler’s delicacies,
for that food is deceptive.”

There’s a great scene in “The Office” shortly after the two branches merge. Andy has just come down to Scranton and it watching his co-workers from the Stamford branch quit or get fired.

He says:

“It’s like we’re touring Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory and dropping off, one by one… Well, guess what? I’m not falling in a chocolate river.”

As I’m sure we all know, the whole point of Willy Wonka’s golden ticket charade was to test some kids in the hopes of finding someone who could replace him. He didn’t want to hire an adult because the adult would want to make candy their way not Willy’s way. As you the kids and their chaperone’s toured the factory, they each had the opportunity to try certain things. They also had the chance to see and observe things that weren’t for them to test. Things were put before them as a test, and if they partook of them, they failed.

Of course, all of them failed the tests but one, Charlie, and even he made a few mistakes. However, he passed the biggest test which is why he ended up getting everything.

This is how it was with King’s back in the day. They would bring people into their kingdoms to test them. Who knows what reasons they had. They may have wanted something. They may have wanted someone to owe them something so they could get something from them.

But imagine yourself in that situation. Imagine yourself touring Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory and you have the opportunity drink from the chocolate river. Imagine you have the chance to drink fizzy lifting drinks. Imagine you have the opportunity to make a huge amount of money if you’ll sell a secret.

It’s tempting. Especially when it’s right there in front of you. When it’s within reach and you’re hungry, it’s tempting to want to reach out and take a bite of food.

It might not be food. It might be money, or a job offer. It might be a relationship or friendship. It might security or peace. But whatever is being put in front of you to get that thing very likely comes with consequences you’ll want nothing to do with.

But that isn’t just food. It’s a test. And as soon as you take that bite, you’ll instantly regret it. You’ll wish you could spit it back out. You may not actually turn blue and puff up like a blueberry, but you’ll feel like you are. And, you’ll feel just as ridiculous. Do whatever you have to do to restrain yourself. You’ll be glad you did.