Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Proverbs 15 : 16 - 17 A little can be better than a lot!

Pro 15:16  Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.
Pro 15:17  Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.

In our verses yesterday, Solomon had told us that a cheerful spirit would make even those who have little of what the world offers, have a continual feast. Today we'll look at his formula for that feast. In verse 16, he instructs us that we need holiness, and in verse 17 he says we need love. Let's get out our magnifying glass and check this out, OK?

A little of this world's goods, if we are good stewards of it, and enjoy it in reverence of the Lord, may be far more comfortable and enjoyable to us than if we had great treasure. In previous studies, we've noted that those who are wealthy, who have abundant treasures, often have great trouble with it --- it's quite the opposite from making their life easy.  It increases their cares and worries, and even can affect their sleep! Hey, I bet Solomon knew about that first hand.....the Scripture notes all of his vast wealth. It is human nature when one is wealthy, to trust in that wealth, and not in God; so it is far more desirable in my book, to have a little of the world's "gold," to live by faith, and to enjoy God's providence and care. I recall an old hymn that George Beverly Shea sang many times: "I'd rather have Jesus than anything this world affords today."

In the next verse, Solomon contrasts a simple meal of herbs with a huge banquet - a stalled ox was one that was penned up and allowed to get fat. (We all know what no exercise will do, right?!) So, a stalled ox was a key component to a sumptuous meal for the well-to-do. But you notice that this wealthy king tells us that if you don't have love, it just doesn't cut it! He says a simple meal of herbs would be better than the incredible meal --- if there is love there. If there's no love there, a person doesn't feel comfortable, or welcome, or, or, loved! (Wonder if he's speaking from personal experience here, too? I bet that among that huge number of wives he had, there were some who nagged, or were just generally not so nice!)

So, tell me what you think about Solomon's formula --- he says holiness, reverence for God, and love, if you mix them all up together, will make you feel like you are at a feast, no matter what your situation. Wonder if this is what Paul meant?
"for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." Phil 4:11b


Belinda said...

I try so very hard to remember Phil 4:11b. We all have our issues, and it's not easy to keep the mindset that it's better to have less and be happy in the Lord. I know in my heart that God has given me what He wants me to have.
My son used to wish he had a big huge house like his friend. I always told him I wouldn't want to clean a house like that. Now, he realizes he doesn't want the house payment that goes with one that size. There are always cons to having monetary wealth. There is never a con to having God's love.

Snoodles said...

I find myself nodding as I read your comment, Belinda. The son that is estranged from us once wrote to us, "why don't you get 'real' jobs and make enough money to really support your family?" LOL One day when he is older he will have kiddos and he will value the time with them, and he might even make the same decision we did. The Mr. turned down a huge promotion once because it would have required him to spend huge amounts of time away from his kiddos. He was content with less, and thought having time with them was "more". Just one reason I love him!

Hillbilly Tonya said...

I had a not so nice discussion with a bill collector yesterday. (for that knee MRI--long story the hospital sent it to collections on accident. They forgot to set up a payment plan in their system and it got kicked out due to not paying the whole thing off.) Anyway this lady asked if I have a job and I said that I am a stay at home mom.Then she proceeded to tell them that that is my decision, I chose to make that a priority so I have to deal with it. I asked her if she had kids and she said she has 7 but chose to make working a priority. I told her back, "I'm sorry your children aren't a priority but mine are". She changed the subject. LOL. Even if mom's have to work--the priority still should be family and if we have to sacrifice then we do!