When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee:
2 And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.
3 Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.
4 Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.
5 Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.
6 Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats:
7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
8 The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.
9 Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.
10 Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless:
11 For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee.
12 Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.
13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
15 My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine.
16 Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things.
17 Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long.
18 For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.
19 Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.
20 Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh:
21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
22 Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.
23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
24 The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.
25 Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.
26 My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.
27 For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit.
28 She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.
29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.
34 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.
35 They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.
But, isn’t truth free? How would we buy it, then? What does it mean to buy something? Wouldn’t “buying” be an exchange of an item of value for something of equal value? But Truth is such an incredible treasure, how could we ever afford it?!?
“Come and buy…without money and without price,” Isaiah replies.
What, then, do we trade for truth? Time, effort, and relationship.
The verse continues, recommending also “wisdom, instruction, and understanding.” How do we acquire those? Time, effort, and relationship, again, but also money—for books, tuition, resources.
But how would we sell truth? Choosing other things above truth, things that would jeopardize our growth in understanding or incapacitate our learning or effectiveness.
Truth makes us free. How?
First, Jesus is Truth! He came to show us what God is like, so we no longer have to be afraid of Him, so we can grow in the relationship of grace that comes with trust. As we see the beauty of who He is, in contrast with our native self-centeredness, we have a choice: Do we want to be like Him? or do we want to stay the same? Grace not only gives us the opportunity to choose, but empowers us to live our choice—to make it true!
And that is the ultimate freedom!
Virginia Davidson, Artist—designing and building stained glass windows
Spokane Valley Seventh-day Adventist Church, Washington State, USA