Better Choice – Quietness

23 August 2020 PM – Proverbs 17:1 – BC20 – Scott Childs
Introduction: Natural health experts say that one of the major contributors to poor health is stress. That is why they recommend things like meditation, slow deep breathing, peaceful walks, gratitude journals, Bible reading and prayer to calm the spirit. In this stress-filled world, our homes ought to be havens of peaceful quietness.
Transition: As we look at the Better Choice of quietness found in Proverbs 17:1, once again, we will define the terms, examine the contrast, and identify applications.
  1. Define the terms
a.         Dry morsel
1)         This was a dry fragment of bread. The root word of “morsel” implies that it was a broken piece of bread or even a crumb.
2)         Not only is this morsel small in quantity, it is dry in content. The word dry describes something that is parched or ruined. Sometimes it describes a dry wasteland. Such a crumb is not at all pleasing to the taste.
3)         This dry morsel was like the crumbs described by the Syrophenician woman. (Matthew 15:27) “And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” It was like the crumbs Lazarus desired. (Luke 16:21) “And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
b.         Quietness
1)         This word depicts peaceful quietness.
2)         Its root word means to be at rest, prosper, be quiet, or to be at ease.
3)         Here is a home where there is a truly peaceful atmosphere. The home is calm and pleasant.
4)         Not only is it quiet, but it is prosperous in the sight of God. The members of the home are at peace with each other and with God.
c.          House full of sacrifices
1)         The sacrifices here refer to animal sacrifices. For many of the animal sacrifices, God required the priests to burn only a portion of it. The remainder of the sacrifice belonged to the giver. He was to take it home and eat it with his family. Read Lev 7:12-17.
2)         After offering his thanks or peace offerings to God, the remainder was for the giver to eat.
3)         When a wealthy man offered several sacrifices and had lots of meat for his family and friends to eat with him. He had a house full of sacrifices.
d.         Strife
1)         This describes any controversy, dispute or quarrel.
2)         An atmosphere of arguing and quarrelling is never a happy, pleasant, peaceful, cheerful place to be. This is a stressful environment.
2.        Examine the contrast
a.         Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith
1)         We must remember who it is that is giving us this information. This is not just an idea that Solomon came up with one day. The Holy Spirit of God laid it on his heart to pen these words.
2)         Yes, that dry crumb of stale bread set on your family’s dinner table is not very appetising, but if you have a peaceful, quiet, restful atmosphere around your dinner table, that more than makes up for the dry meal.
3)         We must never underestimate the value of peaceful quietness in our home. Arguing, fighting, rebelling, raising voices, yelling, name-calling and the like, destroy the peaceful quietness that God wants to exist in our homes. God is telling us in this verse that we must place a higher value on peaceful quietness in our homes than on eating tasty meals.
4)         Things that can rob your home of quietness include:
a)         Lack of holiness – We must focus on pleasing God.
b)         Lack of forgiveness – We must forgive like God every time there is a conflict.
c)         Carnality – If you do not read your Bible, confess your sins and pray every day, you will lack peace.
d)         Complaining – If we grumble about the dry meal that God has provided, this can lead to strife.
e)         Selfishness – When everyone wants their own way this causes clashes.
f)          Exaggeration – Saying things like “you always” or “you never” irritate others.
g)         Worry – causes tension
h)         Busyness – Stress caused by too much work and not enough relaxation will make you irritable.
5)         The Psalmist wrote, (Psalms 119:165) “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” Isaiah also wrote, (Isaiah 26:3) “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
b.         Than an house full of sacrifices with strife
1)         Here is a family that just offered thanks or peace offerings to God. Such offerings were supposed to be worshipping God. After killing a lamb, sheep, goat, or calf and giving part of it to God to thank Him for all He has done for them, they took the rest of the meat home to have a great feast. God tells us that they have a house full of sacrifices.
2)         Everyone likes feasts. Big holiday meals are very enjoyable. Delicious food is very satisfying.
3)         This feast, however, is not a very happy time. The house is full of strife. Family members are arguing and fighting around the table. They are jabbing each other with harsh and unkind words. (Proverbs 12:18) “There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.” Here is a classic verse about strife. (Proverbs 30:33) “Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.
4)         This family that just went through the ritual of worshipping God is now at strife. Their meal will give everyone indigestion, but most of all, it displeases the Lord.
5)         It is sad how quickly our attitudes can change, especially when we are not as close to the Lord as we ought to be.
3.        Identify applications
a.         We must adjust our priorities
1)         God says that it is better for us to enjoy a quiet peaceful meal of dry bread than to feast on delicious food in an atmosphere of arguing and conflict.
2)         God places great value on quiet peacefulness in our homes. If that does not typically describe your home, you need to ask God to show you what you need to change.
b.         Principles to apply
1)         We do not need to have much in this world in order to enjoy excellent peaceful quiet relationships.
2)         Often, the more we have in this world, the more discontented we become. We need to be content!
3)         Since God is the giver of true peace (Isa 26:3), then giving Him first place in your personal life and in your home will enable Him to make your home peaceful.
4)         When God enables you to have a feast, be sure to thank Him for it, guard the atmosphere around it, and seek to please Him in it.
5)         If your home often has more strife than quietness, confess the sin to God and set out to find the cause and make the needed changes.
Conclusion: Let’s not be guilty of allowing our homes, especially our mealtimes, become places of strife, arguing, complaining, and fighting. Instead, let’s keep strive to make our homes and mealtimes places of quiet peacefulness where God is honoured and we are physically and emotionally refreshed.
            If God has placed His finger of conviction on an area of your life that needs work, let Him have His way with thee.
Song: His Way with Thee – 367