Better is a little with the fear of the LORD, Than great treasure with trouble. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, Than a fatted calf with hatred. – Proverbs 15v16-17
Does anybody remember money? You know; that coloured paper stuff that we used to keep in our pockets? It’s the stuff most of us had plenty of just a few years ago. We bought houses and cars and phones and toys and games and holidays and anything else that caught our fancy. Those were great days, weren’t they?
Or were they? Were they good days? Coming so swift on the heels of all the scandals in religion the Celtic Tiger gave us something new to trust in. If we can’t trust our religion, maybe we can trust our money.
But now it too has failed us. Now we are back to where we were before, but worse. We started to think that if we had plenty of stuff we could be happy. Religion has failed us and money has failed us.
It seems that we have forgotten what is really important. Religion has soured us to God and all that money we had has made us forget the importance of things like love and loyalty and friendship. So now we are lost in a morass of failed ideas.
Proverbs has an answer for us. ‘Better is the reverence of God than great treasure with troubles. Better is a dinner of herbs that a fatted calf with hatred.’
Religion is not God. It will always fail. Stuff brings contention and it never lasts anyway.
Respect for God, what the Bible calls in some translations the ‘fear of the Lord’ keeps our focus on Him instead of religion.
If we focus on love for each other it will carry us through like no amount of stuff ever will.
In times like things maybe we need to look to the things that endure; a love and respect for God himself and love of reach other. They have carried us through before; we might be wise to look back there again.