Proverbs 15:16 Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith. 17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.
I picked up a pocket calendar at my eye doctor’s office. I’ve been carrying one to record what I do each day since the 70’s. It has quotes for each month. I hadn’t read May’s until the other day. It says “two things define you–your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything.” It reinforces what the scripture says here in Proverbs. Read the verses again.
What does it tell us? Don’t get mad at God. Don’t fuss at God. Don’t complain and murmur. Wait on the Lord. He takes care of us. There is never a place when we’re down to nothing. I stretch the gas in my car as far as I can. I get a reminder with that blinking light telling me it’s very low. Even then there is still a little gas in there. Have you ever changed the direction of your push mower when it starts sputtering just so the gas would move? It mows a little longer doesn’t it. There is more in it.
As Christians we never have nothing because we have God. A little is all right. Wait patiently for God to care for us. The widow in the Old Testament had just a little meal left in the bottom of the barrel, just enough for her and her son to have one more meal. The man of God asked for something to eat and because she used it for him her faith was rewarded. From that day on she always had enough. Every time she went to the barrel there was meal in it. It wasn’t full; it was enough. If the Lord is in your heart, just be faithful and it will be all right. Little is much when God is in it. Don’t get ahead of him. Don’t focus on what you can see; look at what you can’t see. That’s what faith is. In the same vein, do not be overconfident when things to well. Do not assume the times of much will always be. I have 35 cents in my squeezie. Sometimes I have more than that, but in some countries this would be a day’s wages.
The teaching is in verse 16 but the illustration comes in verse 17. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith. It’s better to sit down to a table with little. We’ve all been there. I’ve sat down to nothing but beans, potatoes and cornbread because that’s all we had. I’m sure you’ve done the same. It’s better as long as there is love than sitting down to a steak when there is hatred at the table. People have the best cars, houses, and food. They have servants to cook and serve it. The table is set with the finest but they sit and curse each other while they eat. Remember without God you have nothing.
Let’s turn to Philippians 4 and see what Paul says.
11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
Contentment with little. Contentment with much. Millionaires still want more. Why? They aren’t content. Beware of riches. They can lead you to a fall. Many have come into success and money. They forget God. They quit church. Contentment is something we learn. The Bible gives us instructions on how to live in little and much. We can be a Christian on top of the mountain and when the mountain is on top of us. This is so important for us to learn. What do we still need even if we have it all? God. What do we still need if we have nothing? God. This is how we get to verse 13 and why it make sense. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
“Little is much when God is in it. Labor not for wealth and fame. There’s a crown and you can win it if you go in Jesus’ name.”