Proverbs 15

16 Better a little with the fear of the LORD
than great wealth with turmoil.
17 Better a small serving of vegetables with love
than a fattened calf with hatred.

Doing the little things matter. In God’s economy, the little things, done sincerely, matter more to Him than the big, hairy, audacious achievements.

In 1987, the Danish movie Babette’s Feast premiered. Surprisingly, the low-budget movie went on to win an Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film the following year. Set in the 19th century, the movies tell the story of a French woman, Babette, who works as a servant in a small remote, religious Danish village.

Since the village was poor, Babette, was willing to work without wages. She laboured willingly for 14 years. She lived and served for two kind-hearted sisters, who happen to be spinsters. Their father, now dead, was then the pastor of the village. As the story unfolds, it was about kindness and love overcoming prejudices.
One day Babette received a letter from her nephew in Paris. Reading the letter, Babette was stunned – she had won a lottery for 10,000 francs! Taking inflation into consideration, it would amount to about RM18,000 today. That is a huge sum of money then! The money could have changed Babette’s life entirely.

To celebrate, Babette offers to cook a special French dinner for the village elders at her expense, in memory of her hosts’ father. Though initially reluctant, the spinsters agreed.

The night of the dinner was special. They also had a special guest – a French Army general, known to the villagers. The dinner went well. Everyone enjoyed the dishes with some of the finest wine from France.

After the guests have left, the spinsters were appreciative and thanked Babette sincerely for the wonderful dinner. However, the sisters now expected Babette to leave them, and return to France with the money she won.

It was then Babette revealed (sorry for the spoiler) that she had used her entire winnings on the dinner. She didn’t spare any money for herself! What a shocker! Now, some might say that is a wasteful thing to do. But she simply wanted to show her gratitude to the two sisters.

Proverbs 15:16-17 tells us that it is better to have little, with fear of the Lord, than much wealth. Yes, great wealth can cause distress, leading to the fear of losing it all (v16).

But when one has little, there is nothing to fear as there’s not much to lose.
In the same vein, it is better to cook a simple meal of vegetables, as long as it is done with love (v17). I am certain that none of us will really be able to enjoy a sumptuous, delicious meal if we know it was done with hatred and contempt.
I enjoy the simple things in life. I would rather a simple meal with a smile than a delicious dinner with the finest French wine served with a scowl.

Babette did an amazing thing. She cooked the best French dinner, with the finest of wines, wearing a smile. Unfortunately, none of the dinner guests, knew about Babette’s sacrifice, except for the hosts. What Babette did, came from her heart. Babette didn’t hold back. She was just grateful to her two willing hosts who took care of her.

What about us? How will we show our appreciation to our Maker? Our God doesn’t need meals to be served. He only requires a cheerful heart. A heart filled with gratitude. A heart that loves Him and obeys Him only. Is that too difficult for us? Rest assured, the little things that we do, matter a lot to God.

Prayer: O Lord, I confess I have sometimes looked at doing the big things. Sometimes I wanted human praise. Now I know all I need is praise from You, and You alone. Forgive me, Lord. Help me to be faithful in little thing s. Help me to serve You willingly, not grudgingly. In Jesus’ name, I ask. Amen.

By Prathab V

xxx

每日灵粮
15/5/20
作者:帕拉他伯(Prathab V.)
箴言 15: 16-17
少有财宝、敬畏耶和华、强如多有财宝、烦乱不安。
吃素菜、彼此相爱、强如吃肥牛、彼此相恨。

做小事其实很重要。在上帝的眼中,真诚做的小事对祂而言比重大、胆大包天的成就更为重要。1987年,丹麦电影《巴贝特之宴》首映。出人意料的是,这部成本不大的电影在第二年获得了奥斯卡最佳外语片奖。这部电影发生在19在世纪,讲述了一个法国女人巴贝特的故事,她在一个偏远的小村庄里当仆人。
由于村里很穷,巴贝特愿意无薪工作。她乐意工作了14年。她为两个善良的未婚姐妹服务。她们已过世的父亲曾经是该村的牧师。随着故事的发展,这讲述了一部关于善良和用爱克服了偏见的电影。

有一天,巴贝特收到了她侄子在巴黎来的信。读了这封信,巴贝特却吓呆了–她赢得了10,000法郎的彩票!如果将通货膨胀因素考虑在内,这数目将达到今天的约18,000令吉。那真是一笔巨款!这笔钱可以彻底的改变巴贝特的生命。为了庆祝,巴贝特愿意自掏腰包,为乡村长者做一顿特别的法国晚餐,以示纪念她主人以死去的父亲。尽管最初不情愿,但那两姐妹最终还是同意了。

吃晚宴的那天很特别,来了一个特别的来宾-那就是村民们都认识的一名法国将军。晚宴进行得很顺利。当晚的菜肴配上法国最好的葡萄酒,每个人都很享受。当晚宴结束后,那两姐妹表示赞赏,并衷心感谢巴贝特的晚餐。但是姐妹们现在却知道巴贝特将要离开她们,并返回法国用她赢得的钱来开始她新的生活。后来,巴贝特(这里透剧一下,不好意思!)透露她已经把全部的奖金都用在了晚宴上。她已没钱留给自己!这真是令人震惊!现在,有人可能会说这是一件多浪费的事情,但是对她来说她只想对那两姐妹表示感恩。

箴言15:16-17告诉我们,少有财宝、敬畏耶和华、强如多有财宝。的确,巨大的财富会引起困扰,烦乱不安并导致害怕失去全部财富(16节)。
但是,当一个人拥有很少的东西时,就没有什么可担心的,因为没有太多的可以损失。同样的,最好是简单地煮一顿菜,只要是用心来做(17节)。我敢肯定,如果我们知道有一道美味佳肴是用了仇恨和鄙视来煮的,那么我们谁都无法真正的享受那佳肴。我喜欢生活中的简单事物。我宁愿一顿带微笑的简餐,而不是一顿丰富但却皱着眉头吃的一餐。

巴贝特做的很棒。她带着微笑,烹制了一顿最好的法国晚餐在配上法国最好的葡萄酒。不幸的是,除了主人之外,所有晚宴嘉宾都不知道巴贝特的牺牲。巴贝特的所作所为来自她的内心。巴贝特没有保留。她就只有对她两位主人的感恩。

那我们呢?我们将如何表达对创造者的感恩?我们的上帝不需要什么晚宴。祂只需要一颗喜乐的心。一颗充满感恩的心。一颗爱祂并且顺服于祂的心。这对我们来说会太难吗?放心,我们所做的任何小事对上帝而言都很重要。

祷告:

上帝啊,我承认我有时只想做大事。有时我只想要别人的赞美。但现在我知道我所需要的只是祢的肯定,就唯独祢。主啊,请原谅我。帮助我在小事上忠心。帮助我乐意的服事祢,而不是心不甘情不愿地服事祢。我奉主耶稣的名祷告,阿们。

胡斐译

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