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.
In the NIV, it reads like this:
16 Better a little with the fear of the Lord
than great wealth with turmoil.
17 Better a small serving of vegetables with love
than a fattened calf with hatred.
When Paul wrote in Philippians 4 that he had learned to be content with much and with little, he made an important statement, a lesson that all of us need. Every day we are bombarded with wealth all around us and with the apparent benefits of that wealth. We are invited to get rich quick schemes as well as home based “businesses” that guarantee freedom from our jobs. The idea of getting rich is something most of us, if not all of us, have pondered at one time or another. Solomon, arguably the richest man who ever lived, came to realize that a simple dinner of vegetables and herbs with love was better than the best cut of beef without love.
Have you ever sat down to a nice meal when a cloud of frustration and anger was over the table? You really wanted to enjoy the meal but the bickering and the bitterness going back and forth took the joy out of the meal. It wasn’t the food that was bad, it was the attitude at the table that made the difference.
While I have known Christian businessmen and women who were very successful and honored the Lord with their wealth, I have also known successful men and women who just were not happy. They liked to have fun but they had no fear of the Lord and their lives hinged on their success or lack of it. Solomon reminds us that it is not our bank account that makes the difference but whether or not we fear the Lord that makes the difference.
Yesterday, the man we have prayed for, Pak Median, went to be with the Lord. In his life, this man was extremely successful and highly respected. Yet he died. At death, a few things matter: 1. Did the person who died fear the Lord and place his faith in Christ to bring him to God? 2. Did the person who died love his family and those around him so that in death he is remembered as a good man? I have seldom heard people at funerals talk about how much money one made. At that point, as is true in all of life, what matters is whether or not they knew the Lord and lived for Him.
If you are pursuing wealth, pursue the fear of the Lord first. If you are pursuing good meals and good things, pursue love first. Wealth can enhance love or wealth can expose the lack of it.
Please pray for Patrick and his brothers and sister and mother as they go through three very full days of people coming by. In this culture, the casket is at the home and people come by throughout the day and night. The burial will be tomorrow, Saturday.
We gather at church today at 11:45 for our Friday prayer time. Do stop by and join us.
Pray for Sunday as all of prepare our hearts to gather around the Word of the Lord. We need God’s truth opened to our hearts and lives so that our faith may increase and our knowledge of God will lead us throughout our lives.
Thank you for your prayers this week.
Have a great day in the Lord,