16 Better is a little with the fear of the Lord,
Than great treasure with trouble.
17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is,
Than a fatted calf with hatred.
Do we really believe this teaching? Do the actions of our lives demonstrate this truth? Are we really content with only our basic needs met, with love and a small dinner available to us? There are several enemies to contentment in this world. Satan attacks our contentment in Christ in as many ways as he can. Our enemy knows that if we can be made discontent that we will become distracted and spend more time getting than enjoying Him and giving to others.
Think about this with me. “Better is a little than a great treasure and better is a small vegan dinner than a good steak or roast.” Put that way, we would disagree on several levels. But add in “with the fear of the Lord” and “where love is” and we fully understand. What good is treasure without the Lord in your life? Jesus illustrated this several times; the rich young ruler wanted his riches more than discipleship and the rich man who ignored the beggar Lazarus opened his eyes in hell. King Saul had the wealth of Israel but hated David and lived in constant jealousy while he ate, well, “like a king.”
When the apostle Paul wrote, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am in to be content.” He was teaching us the same wisdom lesson that Solomon was trying to teach. Contentedness begins in the heart and overcomes the desires of the stomach and the flesh. When at peace with God and when at peace with those who love me us, we should be content and thankful, even for a meager meal. If we have peace and love and an old car and the same clothes as last year, and a small house or apartment, we should focus on what we have and not miserably wish for more. I have been in the grand homes of the unhappy wealthy and eaten at the full tables of the rich. But scarcely is the meal finished before the bitterness of life comes out through the discontent of everyone there.
Please note, this is not saying that all rich people are miserable. They are not. There are the wealthy who love the Lord, live in fear of Him and are content. God uses these people to fund His kingdom work in this life. Solomon’s point is that wealth does not bring peace and love but true wealth begins with the fear of the Lord and love toward those at the table with us. You may be wealthier than you realize.
It is Friday, try to join us for prayer at 11:45 today. I believe that God honors us with His guidance and His power to do His work when we pray to Him. We begin reading a Psalm and then pray praise to God from the Psalm, we ask God to shape our lives according to the Psalm, and then we pray for others that God will meet their needs according to the teaching of the Psalm.
Pray with us for Sunday that God will prepare those of us who are preaching and teaching. Pray that those involved in the children’s ministry and the music ministry and the audio and media teams that all will serve to the glory of God and do so with complete unity of heart and purpose. May our God be exalted and His word go forth with His power and His authority. I will be bringing a message on the seriousness of sin as John teaches us that there is a sin unto death.
Have a great day in the Lord,