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  • Dr. Stieglitz

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 23:21

"For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe one with rags"

heavy drinker

This is the Hebrew word saba, which means drunkard; one who consistently imbibes high amounts of alcohol.


This is the Hebrew word zalal, which means to be light, worthless, glutton. The idea is that one who only consumes food -- but does not produce anything so that others can eat -- is worthless. Each of us is responsible to produce more than we take in. The glutton, however, consumes far more than he/she produces.


This is the Hebrew word numa, which means drowsiness and slumbering. This is the person who does not fight the urge to sleep their problems away. This is the person who gives in to the impulse to just sleep a little more, to let the comfort of the bed dictate the actions this person takes that day.

In Solomon's day there were really only three addictive substances to hide pain: alcohol, food, and sleep. In each case, if you medicate the emotional or relational pain you are feeling rather than process it and work it through, it will result in poverty -- either poverty financially, emotionally, relationally, or spiritually.

What is Solomon's point that God is prodding him to make? The shortcut to pain relief does not end where you think it does. Solomon is jabbing at us to say that the quick fix for relational pain causes more pain, not less. You will be clothed with poverty and rags.

We will all be tempted to not face the problems and difficulties in our life. There are many ways to avoid the pain of real life in the modern world beyond alcohol, food, and sleep even though these three remain popular. There are movies, drugs (both illegal and prescription), video games, books, sports, gambling, pornography, and hundreds of others. While these diversions promise a way to get through or to get ahead, they divert you to an impoverished future. Don't do it. Face the problems you have; make the changes that are needed. Have the difficult conversations. Admit you were wrong if you were. Admit that you don't understand why things happened the way they did. Do the positive things that you can do.

Until tomorrow,

Gil Stieglitz

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