A proverb that has withstood the test of time

I was watching a high school soccer game (our side won), and letting my mind wander a bit, when Proverbs 15:17 popped into my mind:  “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.”

Isn’t that lovely?  It’s also a pithy piece of wisdom that is as true now as it was when written down thousands of years ago.

Do you have a favorite Biblical passage that reminds you what’s important in life?  (And no fair citing John 3:16, because I know that trumps all other passages.)  After all, one of the reasons the Bible lives on today is because of its timelessness, not just when it speaks directly to man’s relationship with God, but also when it speaks to man’s relationship with his fellow man or with his inner needs and drives.

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  • Ron19

    1 Corinthians Chapter 12
    Of the diversity of spiritual gifts. The members of the mystical body, like those of the natural body, must mutually cherish one another.
    12:1. Now concerning spiritual things, my brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
    12:2. You know that when you were heathens, you went to dumb idols, according as you were led.
    12:3. Wherefore, I give you to understand that no man, speaking by the Spirit of God, saith Anathema to Jesus. And no man can say The Lord Jesus, but by the Holy Ghost.
     12:4. Now there are diversities of graces, but the same Spirit.
    12:5. And there are diversities of ministries but the same Lord.
    12:6. And there are diversities of operations, but the same God, who worketh all in all.
    12:7. And the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man unto profit.
    12:8. To one indeed, by the Spirit, is given the word of wisdom: and to another, the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit:
    12:9. To another, faith in the same spirit: to another, the grace of healing in one Spirit:
    12:10. To another the working of miracles: to another, prophecy: to another, the discerning of spirits: to another, diverse kinds of tongues: to another, interpretation of speeches.
    12:11. But all these things, one and the same Spirit worketh, dividing to every one according as he will.
    12:12. For as the body is one and hath many members; and all the members of the body, whereas they are many, yet are one body: So also is Christ.
    12:13. For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free: and in one Spirit we have all been made to drink.
    12:14. For the body also is not one member, but many.
    12:15. If the foot should say: Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body: Is it therefore not of the Body?
    12:16. And if the ear should say: Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body: Is it therefore not of the body?
    12:17. If the whole body were the eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling?
    12:18. But now God hath set the members, every one of them, in the body as it hath pleased him.
    12:19. And if they all were one member, where would be the body?  12:20. But now there are many members indeed, yet one body.
    12:21. And the eye cannot say to the hand: I need not thy help. Nor again the head to the feet: I have no need of you.
    12:22. Yea, much, more those that seem to be the more feeble members of the body are more necessary.
    12:23. And such as we think to be the less houourable members of the body, about these we put more abundant honour: and those that are our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
    12:24. But our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, giving to that which wanted the more abundant honour.
    12:25. That there might be no schism in the body: but the members might be mutually careful one for another.
    12:26. And if one member suffer any thing, all the members suffer with it: or if one member glory, all the members rejoice with it.
    12:27. Now you are the body of Christ and members of member.
    12:28. And God indeed hath set some in the church; first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly doctors: after that miracles: then the graces of healings, helps, governments, kinds of tongues, interpretations of speeches.
    12:29. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all doctors?
    12:30. Are all workers of miracles? Have all the grace of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
    12:31. But be zealous for the better gifts. And I shew unto you yet a more excellent way.
    1 Corinthians Chapter 13
    Charity is to be preferred before all gifts.
    13:1. If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
    13:2. And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 
    13:3. And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
    13:4. Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely, is not puffed up,
    13:5. Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil:
    13:6. Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth:
    13:7. Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
    13:8. Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made void or tongues shall cease or knowledge shall be destroyed.
    13:9. For we know in part: and we prophesy in part.
    13:10. But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away.
    13:11. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child.
    13:12. We see now through a glass in a dark manner: but then face to face. Now I know in part: but then I shall know even as I am known.
    13:13. And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.
    Various (2010-02-18). The Douay-Rheims Bible (Halcyon Classics)

  • Tonestaple

    Psalm 100:
    Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
    2 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
    3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
    4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
    5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
    Also, Psalm 23, mostly for the last verse:
    Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

  • http://www.celiahayes.com Sgt. Mom

    When I look at the political shenanigans going on these days, I am rather comforted by Kings 1, Chapter 19, Verse 18 – “Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.”

  • Mike Devx

    I’m with Ron 19.  I specifically choose 1 Corinthians 13.  Then I saw that he’d already chosen it!
    No matter.  Here it is again.  :-)
    I love it for its opening admonitions about hatefulness even when righteous, and then the beauty of its poetry concerning love, and its conclusion.
    1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a]but have not love, it profits me nothing.
    4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
    8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
    11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
    13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

  • Mike Devx

    Just to be clear, in 1 Corinthians 13, we are not speaking of ‘eros’ love, but of a far less personal kind of love.  I think it is called “agape” love.  
    The love a truly caring and concerned President would have for the countrymen he is leading.  You could never deliberately harm those you have responsibility for, be you a parent, a family member, a community leader, a government leader…  
    At this point I cannot help but think of Obama.  Coldly clinical, devoted to his philosophy in only the abstract sense, he would lead millions to extreme harm or worse, and shrug his shoulders, go to sleep, and call it a good night.  Benghazi, anyone?  From there it is but a short step to the murderous dictators of the 20th century, who slaughtered millions of their own.

  • Caped Crusader

    PSALM 121
    I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills; from whence cometh my my help?
    My help cometh even from the Lord, who hath made heaven and earth.
    He will not suffer thy foot to be moved; and He that keepeth thee will not sleep.
    Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
    The Lord himself is thy keeper;  the Lord is thy defense upon thy right hand.
    So that the sun shall not burn thee by day, neither the moon by night.
    The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil;  yea, it is even He that shall keep thy soul.
    The Lord shall preserve thy going out, and thy coming in,  from this time forth for evermore.

    Now I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;  neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.  Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption,  and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast,  unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

  • Michael Adams

    All of these are good.  I also like, “and it came to pass.”  It did not come to stay.  It came to pass.
    More seriously, I very much like Celia’s, about the seven thousand, and hope that is true, once  again.

  • tjmoseid

    Genesis 1
    The Creation of the World
         In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
    If one’s worldview, one’s reasoning, one’s very life does not rest upon this fact, they are in danger of becoming a Progressive or even worse kind of fool.

  • Charles Martel

    Book, I know I’ve told this story before, but your wonderful citation takes me back to a cold night 26 years ago in upstate New York.
    My wife, 2-year-old son, and I had flown east to visit her parents near Schenectady. She had been estranged from them for years, moving to California in 1969 to live as far away as she could from their vast assortment of resentments and neuroses. Her father in particular was a small, pinched soul, always at war with his neighbors, or my wife’s older sister, and the world in general. He detested anything that reminded him that he was not the center of things or that thwarted his expectations.
    It was early October and an unexpected heavy snowfall fell while leaves were still on the trees. Thousands of them toppled, snapping power lines and cutting off electricity over much of eastern New York. We shivered for three days in my in-laws’ house. Our only consolation was that my father-in-law had set the water heater temperature to 180 degrees, so we were able to make hot soup from packages. Otherwise it was a bleak time, fighting cold, darkness, and my in-laws’ constant, unrelenting negativity.
    Finally, we heard on our portable radio that a restaurant in town had restored limited power and was serving dinner that night. We arrived to find many other people waiting to get in, but fortunately were seated pretty quickly.
    When we sat down, the waitress apologized that the restaurant was dimly lit, because full power hadn’t been restored, and that the menu was limited to three entrees because the kitchen didn’t have all it needed to cook the full menu.
    I was in heaven. The restaurant was warm, both from the partially restored power and patrons’ animal heat. There was a joyous buzz all around, as people contemplated sitting among other happy folks eager to eat hot food after three days of crackers, cereal, and cold canned goods. We were immersed in a glowing interlude.
    Except for my father-in-law. He was in hell. He complained that there wasn’t enough heat or light. The menu was too limited, and we had been forced to sit, family-style, with perfect strangers! Oh, why did we come here when we could have been happy at home in the cold and dark?
    “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.”

  • http://rockportconservatives.blogspot.com/ Ruth H

    Matthew 6:34  From the Sermon on the Mount
    Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
    I did not realize this was my favorite, but I quote it a lot.  I am a worrier and it is a reminder not to borrow trouble.
    I would have said Psalm 27 but this is what popped into my mind so it tells me it is my favorite.

  • heather

    Not as cheery as many of the others, but so true. “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”
    “The truth shall set you free.”

  • MacG

    Being this is mostly a political site I cannot resist:
    As dead flies give perfume a bad smell,    so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.2 The heart of the wise inclines to the right,    but the heart of the fool to the left. Eccl 10.
    More seriously:
    John 11:35 “Jesus wept.”  and ” Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16
    Revelation 21 is a favorite of mine assuring a future and this is not all there is.  It is kind of long but beautiful imagery of a new Jerusalem.
    “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
    And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
    Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
    The New Jerusalem
    And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper. It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. There were three gates on the east and three gates on the north and three gates on the south and three gates on the west. And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
    The one who spoke with me had a gold measuring rod to measure the city, and its gates and its wall. The city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal. And he measured its wall, seventy-two yards, according to human measurements, which are also angelic measurements. The material of the wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation stone was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; 20 the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
    I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

  • MacG

    This is a favorite of mine though a bit out of context.
    “28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female,for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Glatians 3

  • johnfromcolumbus