The righteous eats to the satisfying of his soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want.
Bodily satisfaction is an essential element in our happiness so long as we are in this world. The text implies that the satisfaction of the body depends upon the condition of the soul; and this is a great truth greatly neglected. Consider what bodily satisfaction requires.
I. BODILY HEALTH. No food can satisfy a diseased body, a body whose organs and functions are out of order. But the condition of the soul has much to do with physical health. The anxieties, ill-tempers, recriminations, impure passions of a wicked heart, will soon reduce the body to disease, feebleness, and ruin. On the other hand, a true, virtuous, and happy soul tends to physical health. "A merry heart doeth good like medicine." One thought can disorganise a healthy body and do much to restore a diseased one.
II. BODILY SUPPLIES. The supplies necessary to satisfy the body should be —
1. Of a right kind. A body restless with hunger would scarcely be satisfied with confectionery. Now, the condition of the soul has much to do with the kind of food. The soul not only modifies our natural appetites, but creates artificial ones, and hence supplies provisions for the body which are unnatural and unhealthy. The soul, by its working on the body's appetites, has brought to the body's table compounds unsatisfying and deleterious.
2. A right amount. An insufficient amount, even of right provisions, would leave the body unsatisfied. But the question of sufficiency also depends greatly on the soul. Indolence, extravagance, intemperance, bad management, often so reduce men's material resources that they are left utterly destitute of the necessary food. These thoughts, we think, give an important meaning to the text, "The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want." A corrupt soul will evermore have a dissatisfied body.
Parallel VersesKJV: The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want.