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Dinner Of Herbs Or Fatted Calf

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Proverbs 15: 17 contains this thought-provoking observation: “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred.” A “dinner of herbs” is the kind of meal poor peasants would normally eat. Some translations call it a “meal of vegetables.” A “fatted calf,” on the other hand, depicts the “centerpiece of a sumptuous banquet.” Thus, when the Bible says, “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred,” God is telling us that love is so important to one’s life it makes poor circumstances better than a loveless life with great wealth. 
Wise men know this proverb is true. We’ve all heard of wealthy people who are miserable—rich couples, whose love for each other, turned to hatred. They live in mansions, surrounded with finery, eat at tables with filet-mignon, but the love and closeness they once had is gone. Now they spend their days trying to ignore and avoid each other! 
So yes, its still true that “a dinner of herbs where love is,” is better than a fatted calf with hatred. It is also true that God’s Word can help people learn how to have real love for others and inspire more love in others. In fact, under the right circumstances it can even restore love to broken marriages. 
One final word to those who are newly-weds. Don’t fall into the trap of neglecting your marriage as you scramble around trying to get more things. Remember, love with privations is better than hatred with superfluity. What is the use of the fatted-calf in the stall, if hatred makes a hell of the home? Material success is not wrong, but don’t let die, the love that can turn every simple meal into a banquet, while you are looking for the fatted-calf! Think on these things.


Dennis Abernathy 

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