John T. Willis

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Proverbs 15:16-19

Proverbs 15:16-19 contain four proverbs:

15:16--Better is a little with the fear of the Lord
than great treasure and trouble with it.

15:17--Better is a dinner of vegetables where love is
than a fatted ox and hatred with it.

15:18--Those who are hot-tempered stir up strife,
but those who are slow to anger calm contention.

15:19--The way of the lazy is overgrown with thorns,
but the path of the upright is a level highway.

The proverbs in Proverbs 15:16-19 all deal with priorities: "this" is better than "that."
1. Earthly possessions, which enjoy a very high rating in the modern Western world, do not promote true human life; only "the fear of the Lord," that is, holding God in the highest respect, can give human life meaning.
2. Love in a household or a community or a church holds people together. A huge, delightful meal is here one moment and gone the next. Hatred among those consuming a large banquet destroys hearts and relationships.
3. One who quickly becomes angry brings chaos into a quiet gathering of people. By contrast, one who is slow to anger brings peace into a hostile environment.
4. God is concerned with the whole person. He does not divide individuals into categories. One example of this is the contrast between laziness and righteousness in verse 19. An upright person by her or his very nature cannot be lazy, but is motivated to serve God in all possible ways and circumstances.

John Willis