“Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.”
Would You Rather
Have you ever played “Would You Rather?”? It’s sort of a conversation-starting kind of game, if it’s a game at all. There are no winners or losers.
One person asks an either/or question like, “Would your rather eat a roach, or aspirate a snotty baby’s nose by mouth?” The answer would have to be one or the other, not an “I would never do either!” You have to choose.
In the case of the above question, either answer is a loser…unless you’re one of those mother’s who do that kind of thing to your snotty baby…or unless you eat bugs. Most people would just lose the contents of their stomachs.
What we see in this proverb not an either/or question, but a better/than comparison. Unlike the “would you rather” question, this one has a clear winner and loser.
What is “better”? Little. Just the scrapings. Hardly anything.
What is “than”? Great riches. A storehouse full of provision. More money than anyone else. But notice, there’s nothing “bad” or “wrong” with great riches; it’s just not better.
Better than what?
Great riches are not better than scraping by if great riches are all you have. It’s better to have hardly anything and have the fear of the Lord, a righteous heart, a forgiven soul, a peace that passes all understanding, than great wealth and all the worry and anxiety it can bring.
Oh, but remember how in the first game of “Would You Rather?” there are no real winners? That’s not the case at all with choosing to have a little and the fear of the Lord!
Here’s a little secret: If you choose a little and the Lord, the eternal riches far exceed anything one could amass on earth. Jesus asked, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
As the old hymn says, “I’d rather have Jesus.”