A wise warning not to cheat or steal, no matter how tempting or immediate you’ll be rewarded:
Pro 20:17 Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man, But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.
When we take something that isn’t ours, or cheat someone or lie to get ahead, we may immediately get ahead – the Word says “it is sweet” as in at first, it’s great – I embezzled a bunch of money from my job, now I can go buy a 1st class ticket to Maui! That’s pretty sweet, right?
But let’s look at the second half of the text, afterwards his mouth will be full of gravel…yikes, harder to think of something more unpleasant and further from sweet, than a chewing on rocks.
So the guy may have gotten the first class ticket to Hawaii from the money he stole, but then he is sin is revealed, and the punishment is terrible, What is a first class ticket for a two week stay in Hawaii, when he later winds up spending two years in jail. That’s just one scenario, but while those are just punishments meted out here on earth, what is even scarier is upsetting God who commands us not to steal or be dishonest?
Such is the case with all of sin really, we may get a sense of instant gratification at first, but the end result is punshment! We can take it back to the garden of eden, the forbidden fruit certainly had to taste good to Eden when she bit into it, but that fleeting pleasure pails in comparison to getting thrown out and banished forever, right?!
So, how to we avoid the unsettling taste of gravel in our mouth, that today’s Proverb speaks of? We don’t sin! That is the central call of The Gospel, our sins are taken away when we declare Jesus as Lord, because He became sin, and put those sins to death, and He also calls on us to repent or stop sinning, so we can be spared that mouthful of rocks, or worse yet, eternal punishment! The juice is not worth the squeeze!