(#95) The Proverbs of Solomon 15:17-One Ingredient Makes All Food Better

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 15:17: “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, Than a fatted calf with hatred.”

Huge houses, heavily-laden tables, fancy cars, loads of recreation, none of these can take the place of “love” within the family! “Love” makes a little a lot! People who are raised in a loving home frequently comment, “We didn’t know we were poor.” Riches and poverty are states of mind, more than something in the hand! There is much more to life than working to have things, so “Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease!” (Proverbs 23:4). Solomon later will write there is, “A time to love” (Ecclesiastes 3:8), and we must love in this life, for when we die, our earthly “love” perishes with us, so we must “Go, eat your bread with joy, And drink your wine with a merry heart; For God has already accepted your works. Let your garments always be white, And let your head lack no oil. Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 9:7-9). Without a loving home, life is empty, shallow, and vain! With a loving home, it matters little what possessions we may not have. After life’s experiences had tumbled in, Solomon wrote: “Better a handful with quietness Than both hands full, together with toil and grasping for the wind” (Ecclesiastes 4:6).

No proverb says it better than Proverbs 15:17, but other proverbs emphasize this truth: “Better is a little with righteousness, Than vast revenues without justice” (Proverbs 16:8); “He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends” (Proverbs 17:9); “Open rebuke is better Than love carefully concealed” (Proverbs 27:5); “A faithful man will abound with blessings, But he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished” (Proverbs 28:20).

Jesus clearly taught this Wisdom when He said, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Luke 12:15); and the Holy Spirit echoed it through Paul, “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content” (1 Timothy 6:6-8).

Job #1 is to make our homes full of love, designed to build up each member with truth, honesty, and forgiveness. Paul’s commands surely apply within the home: “But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth” (Colossians 3:8); “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Colossians 4:6). No one who loves their child will say the horrible things we hear said in public. Truly “above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).  How are your meal-times?

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.