Proverbs 27:9 – “heartfelt counsel of a friend”

It may be hard for us to understand how oil and perfume can make the heart glad. This is the illustration for how sweet the heartfelt counsel is of a friend. In Bible times and mostly up until modern days, oil was used for many purposes. It was used to light a lamp. It was used for cooking. It was used for skin treatments. It was used for stomach ailments. Oil was a very important product. Perfume or incense was also a very important commodity. It was expensive because it came from remote places of the world. It was often a mixture of spices from different countries and even different continents. It had a very sweet but powerful scent. Perfume or incense was used to cover up other odors such as in the process of burial. You can imagine that since there wasn’t “febreeze” or Lysol, a warm day could stir up all sorts of unpleasant aromas. Having both oil and perfume was a symbol of abundance, wealth, and blessing. These could be reasons it was used in ritual practices of the Old Testament. It ushered in the presence and favor of God and it covered the stench of their sins when they offered their prayers and sacrifices to God. The writer of Proverbs is saying that the counsel of a friend is just the same. The counsel of a friend can give light when we couldn’t see which way to go. The counsel of a friend could soothe our aches and pains especially as they share good news, a smile, or some laughter. The counsel of a friend could help us not be so horrified over the stink of our situation. The counsel of friends is very important merchandise. Talk is not cheap. It is valuable. Let friends speak into your life. Let friends share with you their insights, observations, and suggestions for what you need to do. It is good for your heart to have the encouragement of friends. Godly and wise friends are a symbol of abundance, wealth, blessing, and the favor of God in your life.

Prayer Starter: God, over the past several weeks, I am grateful that I have been discovering Your heart. I know that You see my heart, my thoughts, and my motivations. That is a little scary and intimidating because I know that You are a holy God and I am not. But I also know that You want my heart to simply believe and trust in You. You want my heart to simply love You and rejoice in the good that You desire to give us. You are not only my Father in heaven but my friend. Your friendship is precious to me. Because of your friendship I can experience true friendship with other believers here on earth. Don’t let me be prideful to think I don’t need friends. It may be hard for me to open up to others, but help me do that so I can receive the wise counsel that is good for my heart. It is for Your glory. Amen.

You’re reading a devotion from the Easter Devotional Plan 2016. For the rest of the 40 day plan, visit here.