*What is Better
*The enemies of truth deleted some 200 words from this article.
are good and bad things in the world. There are also better things in life. There
are enough people in this world who cannot differentiate between the good and
evil. There are even more people who do not know what is better. Least of people
know what is best. The same concept applies to what is important and what is unimportant.
Not many know what is more important. Very few people know what is the most
important just as very few know what the best is. Once I lectured on Strategy
at Xian Jiaotong
University when graduate and doctoral
students and professors asked me how come I had the ability to correspond with
the presidents of the United
States? I told them I did not communicate
with them about important things. They were stunned. Did I write to the
American presidents about unimportant things? Of course not! I discussed with
the presidents of the United
States about the most important things and
that was why they had to respond. I never donated one penny to any American
president. See ·
The Nixon I Know and Precious Collection .
will find most interesting and instructive to learn what are better as it is
written in the Bible.
1. A little of a righteous is better than the abundance of many wicked.
Psa 37:16,“A little that the righteous has is better than the abundance of many wicked.”
Note: This Scripture is a didactic parallelism. Little is contrasted with abundance, the righteous is compared to many wicked. Better in Hebrew is towb which means more good, pleasant, agreeable, excellent, valuable, beautiful, happy, prosperous; - it occurs 559 times in the Old Testament. Better is comparative. A little in Hebrew is m@`at which means littleness, few, fewness, small, not much; - it occurs 102 times in the Old Testament. Little is substantive. Abundance in Hebrew is hamown which means wealth, plenty, riches; - it occurs 83 times in the Old Testament. Probably wealth is the most important thing to most people. Righteous is the opposite of the wicked. Righteous in Hebrew is tsaddiyq which means just, lawful, right, correct, upright, honest, virtuous, innocent, pious; - it occurs 206 times in the Old Testament. Wicked in Hebrew is rasha` which means guilty one, one guilty of crime, guilty of sin; - it occurs 263 times in the Old Testament. A little that the righteous has is better than the abundance of many wicked. Many wicked in the world want only wealth and power and sex. Probably you could not find a righteous man in Washington, Wall Street and Hollywood. The righteous are few, the wicked are many. There is no value in the quantity of the wicked.
Luk 12:15,“And He said to them: Beware of greed, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
Greed in Greek is pleonexia
greedy desire to have more, covetousness, greediness, avarice; - it
occurs 10 times in the New Testament. A man’s life does not consist in the
abundance of the things he possesses. Life does not consist in what you have,
but what you are. A righteous poor man is better than a wicked rich man. The
American prevalent values of money, power and sex are contrary to the Christian
values of faith, hope and love.
2. God’s lovingkindness is better than life.
Psa 63:3,“Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You.”
Lovingkindness in Hebrew is checed
goodness, kindness, mercy, faithfulness; - it occurs 248 times in
the Old Testament. There is almost nothing is better than life. For example,
what is the use of money, power and sex if you do not have life or if you are
dead? However, life without God’s lovingkindness is miserable. Yes, my lips
shall praise the Lord for all His goodness, kindness, lovingkindness, and
faithfulness to me. God’s lovingkindness is better than life, than worldly
life, than earthly life.
3. A day in God’s courts is better than a thousand.
Psa 84:10,“For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.”
Court in Hebrew is chatser
which means the holy tabernacle and temple. In the Old Testament there
was the Holy Tabernacle, later Solomon built the Temple. It was better for a day in God’s Holy
Tabernacle or Temple
than a thousand days anywhere. It would be better to be a doorkeeper in the
House of God than to live in the mansion of wickedness. There are many wicked
royal palaces, mansions, and houses of corrupt leaders and dictators. It is
better to have God with you than to have a thousand wicked kings, queens, presidents,
and state leaders with you. It is important to remember where you are and with
whom you are.
4. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.
Psa 118:8, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.”
Note: Trust in Hebrew is chacah which means to seek refuge, flee for protection, put trust in God, confide or hope in God; - it occurs 37 times in the Old Testament. Peoples of the world like to associate themselves with the rich and powerful people, people in authority. For that reason even though many Americans realize that American presidential politics are money politics and power politics and corrupt politics, they are still crazy and excited about power and support candidates who are not good for the country. To put confidence in Hebrew is batach which means to trust, trust in, to be secure, to set one’s hope and confidence upon; - it occurs 120 times in the Old Testament. The peoples of the world put their hope and confidence in leaders even corrupt leaders, it is better to trust in the Lord. Supremacists put their trust in superior military power and money, there is no refuge in power, ask yourself where is Babylon the greatest empire in history now? All empires crumbled and perished. There is no security in nuclear weapons and no protection in missiles and anti-missiles. American leaders who trust in superior military might to pursue world domination are in fact leading the United States to death and destruction. Jesus warns American leaders,
“Then Jesus said to him: Put your sword back into
its place; for all those who take up the sword will perish by the sword.” In taking up the sword to dominate and dictate
the world, America
will perish by the sword. I have no confidence in any system of government. I
have no confidence in any leader. I have no confidence in military might. I
trust in the Lord. I trust Jesus Christ the King of kings and the Lord of lords
is coming to reign and rule the world with saints forever and ever.
5. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.
Psa 118:9, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.”
To trust is to seek refuge, make refuge in, flee for protection, put trust,
hope in. Prince in Hebrew is nadiyb which means
a ruler, leader; - it occurs 28 times in the Old Testament. Prince symbolizes
the leading person, chief. There are many princes; the prince in government,
the prince in business, the prince in finance, the prince in industry, etc. Why
is it better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes? All
leaders and rulers die and many are corrupt and unreliable. Some giant
corporations whose leaders are also considered like princes, but giant
corporations also fall and vanish like empires and kingdoms.
6. The law of God’s mouth is better to me than thousands of coins of gold and silver.
Psa 119:72, “The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of coins of gold and silver.”
Law in Hebrew is towrah
which means direction,
instruction, doctrine, body of legal directives, the Deuteronomic or Mosaic Law;
- it occurs 219 times in the Old Testament. The law of God’s mouth is the Word
of God. The Word of God is better to me than thousands of coins of gold and
silver. When I was a kid I saw Dutch guilders which were worth more than
American dollar coins. Gold and dollar are linked. When dollar’s value drops,
gold price rises. As concerns grow over the EU and American sovereign debts
crisis, analysts believe in the event of extreme dollar weakness the gold price
could hit $2,500 per ounce. The value of currency is not fixed. When the
currency of a nation drops, it means that nation is in worse off financial
situation. The price of rare coins is not solely based on their weight in gold
or silver, but also a matter of historical significance, rarity, condition and
demand. For instance, the U.S.
1933 Double Eagle, is probably the most expensive coin ever sold ($7.6 million);
it is also rich in international intrigue. Flowing Hair Dollar, a rare coin
tops the list of world’s most expensive coins. It was sold for $7,850,000,
making it the world’s most expensive coin. The Word of God has eternal life, so
it more precious than the most expensive gold coins in the world.
7. The proceeds of wisdom are better than the profits of silver.
Pro 3:14,“For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold.”
Note: Proceed in Hebrew is cachar which means gain, profit, gain from merchandise; - it occurs 4 times in the Old Testament. The gain of wisdom is better than that of silver. The gain of wisdom is better than that of fine gold. The profit of wisdom is better than silver and gold. Ah, how stupid are people who are greedy for money! Most people in America would rather have money than wisdom. Probably most of the peoples in the world would prefer to have money than wisdom. Wisdom in Hebrew is chokmah which means shrewdness, prudence, good judgment, fine discretion, sagacity, soundness of thinking and correctness of action; - it occurs 149 times in the Old Testament. I am not rich and do not aspire to become rich. Little money I earned I spent in seeking wisdom and gaining understanding. Most people of the world are interested in the proceeds of stocks and bonds than the proceeds of wisdom.
4:7,“Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get
understanding.” I do not have the honor or pleasure of knowing anyone who wants
to get wisdom. You wonder why there are so few wise men or women in the world.
8. Wisdom is better than rubies.
Pro 8:11,“For wisdom is better than rubies, and all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.”
Note: Ruby in Hebrew is paniyn which means a precious stone, red gem, pearl; - it occurs 6 times in the Old Testament. Together with sapphire, emerald, and diamond, ruby is considered one of the four precious stones. All the things we may desire cannot be compared with wisdom, for wisdom is better than rubies. Ruby is a red most desirable gem due to its hardness, luster, durability, and rarity. It is said that transparent rubies of large sizes are even rarer than diamonds. Good things need to be compared in order to determine which is better. The tragedy of tragedies in the last days is that you can hardly find people who seek wisdom. Jesus Christ is the Wisdom of God.
9. The fruit of wisdom is better than gold.
Pro 8:19,“My fruit is better than gold, yes, than fine gold, and my revenue than choice silver.”
Note: Fruit in Hebrew is pĕriy which means produce (of the ground), progeny (of the womb), result of labor or endeavor, reward; - it occurs 119 times in the Old Testament. The fruit of wisdom is better than fine gold or choice silver. Fine gold and choice silver are precious, but not as precious as wisdom.
Pro 16:16,“How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.”
you tell me what is most important to you, I will tell you who you are.
10. Better is the one who is slighted but has a servant, than he who honors himself but lacks bread.
Pro 12:9, “Better is the one who is slighted but has a servant, than he who honors himself but lacks bread.”
This proverb presents the practical worth of wisdom. To be slighted in Hebrew
is qalah which means to be disgraced,
to be lightly esteemed, to be dishonored, to be despised, to be treated with
contempt, to be made light of, to be counted despicable, to be treated
shamefully; - it occurs 6 times in the Old Testament. It is better to be
despised but having a servant, than to be honored but having no bread. There is
some honor which does not have practical value. Empty title has no practical
value. Bread is more valuable than empty honor or title.
11. Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure with trouble.
Pro 15:16,“Better is a little with the fear of the LORD, than great treasure with trouble.”
The poor has very little. The poor who has very little with the fear of the
Lord is better than great treasure with trouble. A corrupt former Taiwanese
leader is reported to have great treasure of real estate worth hundreds of
millions of dollars in Taiwan
and foreign countries, but he is in jail with trouble. Trouble in Hebrew is mĕhuwmah which means tumult, confusion, disquietude, discomfiture, destruction,
vexation, problem, turmoil, great emotional disturbance; - it occurs 12 times
in the Old Testament. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Those
who have wisdom will not be greedy or corrupt and they stay out of trouble.
12. Better is a dish of vegetables where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred.
Pro 15:17,“Better is a dish of vegetables where love is than a fatted calf served with hatred.”
When I was a kid I ate only meat and disliked vegetables until I learned meat
alone was not good for your skin or health. When you can have sirloin or salmon
steak, who would want a vegetarian diet? But love is better than hatred. It is
better to have a dish of vegetables where love is than a fatted calf with
hatred. So much is ruined by hatred in this world. I know supremacists hate China and Chinese people and do not like to see China become a
strong and rich nation. In fact, American hegemonists have been doing everything
possible to stop China’s
rise by calling it China’s
threat. A nation is poor indeed to spend all it has and run into big deficit
and debt just to want to be the supreme power in order to dominate and dictate
the world. Such a nation not only practices hatred and has become the most
hated nation on earth. For a home to be healthy and happy love is necessary.
Where there is love, eating vegetables is better than eating sirloin steak and
spareribs served with hatred.
13. Better is a little with righteousness, than vast revenues without justice.
Pro 16:8, “Better is a little with righteousness, than vast revenues without justice.”
Righteousness in Hebrew is tsĕdaqah which means justice, truthfulness,
uprightness, righteous acts, according to what is right, in just measure, in
punishing the wicked and rewarding the godly; - it occurs 157 times in the Old
Testament. Justice in Hebrew is mishpat which means that which is just,
judgment, without partiality, according to law, lawfulness, fairness, rectitude,
propriety, fitting measure, the use of authority and power to uphold what is
just, lawful and right; - it occurs 421 times in the Old Testament. Doctors and hospital owners, drug and
insurance companies, labs and medical suppliers have vast revenues without
justice because they overcharge and defraud patients and bankrupt millions of
families. Revenue in Hebrew is tĕbuw'ah which means income, financial gain, profits,
return, yield, proceeds from investment; - it occurs 42 times in the Old
Testament. The American healthcare cost in the highest in the world, highest
because healthcare providers gouge patients and commit predatory practices. All
monopolies have vast revenues. Wall Street executives who created the economic
and financial crisis in 2008 looted the world more than $50 trillion dollars.
Wall Street executives who gamble on investor’s money can earn several billions
a year. Lawyers because of monopolistic and predatory practice such as class
action suits can have vast revenues in billions. Most of the rich and powerful
have great wealth and vast income because they have no righteousness and
without justice. It is better to be a poor honest man than the richest crooked man in the world.
14. Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
Pro 16:19, “Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.”
Note: Humble spirit means lowly in station, lowly in position, cast down, humble of condition or spirit. Spoil in Hebrew is shalal which means prey, plunder of war, private plunder, booty, dubious gain; - it occurs 73 times in the Old Testament. As a historical footnote: The United States launched an unjust war against Iraq because Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction as it was accused; this does not mean I have any sympathy for the dictator, but the dictator of Iraq was very wealthy with many palaces. The self-righteous American mass media and Western media never report what happened to the vast treasures of the Iraqi dictator. Where did his money, gold, jewelries and other treasures go? Did the American troops and others divide the spoil (worth billions of dollars)? The proud supremacists conquered nations and looted their wealth under false pretenses?
in Hebrew is ge'eh which means
arrogant, high-minded, haughty, having high opinion of oneself; - it occurs 9
times in the Old Testament. It is better to be humble and lowly than to loot
wealth of the rich and divide the booty with the proud. Usually the victors
take the spoils of war. The United States
violated the international law and violated the sovereignty of China in giving control of China’s Diaoyu
Islands to the defeated war crime
nation of Japan
which unconditionally surrendered. How outrageous! Moreover, the United States supports the evil empire of Japan in making false claim to China’s territories and declared to cover Diaoyu Islands
under the US-Japanese defense treaty. How outrageous is the sole superpower!
How un-Christian activity! How diabolical!
15. He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty.
Pro 16:32,“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who captures a city.”
Note: Anger in Hebrew is 'aph which means wrath, rage, the blowing of breath through the nostrils as of those who are enraged; - it occurs 276 times in the Old Testament. Quick-tempered, hot-tempered and bad-tempered persons are more liable to have high blood pressure or even heart attack. Mighty in Hebrew is gibbowr which means strong, powerful, impetuous, influential; - it occurs 158 times in the Old Testament. Supremacists, hegemonists, militarists, imperialists and generals all think themselves mighty. Theory X managers and supervisors routinely and habitually explode their anger on their subordinates. He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty. If you can control your temper, it is better than to capture a city. Rule in Hebrew is mashal which means to have dominion, reign, control, exercise dominion, rule over; - it occurs 81 times in the Old Testament. He who rules his spirit is better than he who captures a city. You have heard of generals, governors, presidents, officials, executives who fail to rule their spirit and committed adultery or sex scandals and fall from grace. How the mighty fall! A person who knows how to control his anger is better than a mighty general or a national leader.
16. Better is a dry morsel with quietness, than a house full of feasting with strife.
Pro 17:1,“Better is a dry morsel with quietness, than a house full of feasting with strife.”
Morsel in Hebrew is path which means a piece of bread, bit, fragment, crumb;
- it occurs 15 times in the Old Testament. Quietness in Hebrew is shalvah which means ease, calmness,
in the midst of security, without noise, in peaceful and relaxing manner, tranquility;
- it occurs 8 times in the Old Testament. Usually there is no quietness in
Chinese restaurants. One time in a Hong Kong decent
restaurant after a tired flight, I thought I could have peace and quiet in
enjoying a good lunch. That was impossible. Peoples of many nations are
suffering what I call DND (Disorderly, Noisy, Dirty) syndrome. Strife in Hebrew
is riyb which means controversy, dispute, quarrel,
contention, verbal fighting, discord; - it occurs 62 times in the Old
Testament. Feasting is like a banquet. It is better to have a dry piece of bread
with quietness, that a house full of banquet with strife. If solitude is the
luxury of a philosopher, quietude is the necessity of an author. Harmony is
precious in a house. Strife is the main cause of poor mental health in many homes.
17. Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.
Pro 19:1,“Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.”
Note: Integrity in Hebrew is tom which means completeness, fullness, innocence, simplicity, uprightness, perfection; - it occurs 23 times in the Old Testament. Perverse in Hebrew is `iqqesh which means twisted, distorted, crooked, perverted, froward, corrupt, deceitful; - it occurs 11 times in the Old Testament. A man who has no integrity is perverse in his lips. A pervert does not walk in integrity. The poor who has integrity is better than a pervert who has no integrity and is a fool. A pervert and one who has no integrity may be rich. How many rich and powerful people in the world you know who walk in integrity? Many Western leaders and all Japanese leaders do not walk in integrity and they are perverse in their lips. The perverted Japanese leaders say China’s Diaoyu Islands belong to Japan. Why would anyone buy what belongs to them and nationalize them? And then Japanese leaders suggest that China share in the development of Diaoyu Islands. Would you share your wife with a pervert? China can never share its territories with Japanese perverts. People who are perverted and do not walk in integrity are fools in the sight of God. Fool in Hebrew is kĕciyl which means a stupid fellow, dullard, simpleton, arrogant one, impious person, ungodly person; - it occurs 70 times in the Old Testament. The Hebrew definition of a fool fits the description and action and attitude of Japanese leaders who have no integrity and who are perverse in their lips in distorting historical facts.
18. A poor man is better than a liar.
Pro 19:22, “What is desirable in a man is kindness, and a poor man is better than a liar.”
Desirable in Hebrew is ta'avah which means pleasant,
delightful, honorable; - it occurs 20 times in the Old Testament. Kindness in
Hebrew is checed
goodness, faithfulness, goodliness, lovingkindness, mercy,
benevolence, pity for those in misfortune; - it occurs 248 times in the Old
Testament. What is desirable in a man is not his money, power, good look or
talent. This is a great truth: What is desirable in a man is kindness. A man
can be kind even if he is poor. Liar in Hebrew is kazab which means a man of falsehood
or untruth, deceptive person, lying man; - it occurs 31 times in the Old
Testament. A poor man is better than a liar. Probably Japanese leaders and officials are the greatest liars because they shamelessly changed historical facts. Why is it all Japanese leaders are
liars? A poor man is better than a Japanese prime minister or Japanese
officials who are full of lies. Liars and killers are children of the devil.
19. Better to live in a corner of a roof than in a house shared with a contentious woman.
Pro 21:9,“Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a contentious woman.”
Pro 25:24,“It is better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a contentious woman.”
Note: A corner of a roof is not a good place due to heat or cold. You see beggars stay at corners of a street. Contentious means brawling, discordant, quarrelling. To share is to have fellowship, to have company, to associate, to have partnership or to enjoy something with someone.
contentious woman is terrible to associate with. Perhaps the lines on Lincoln’s face and
forehead were due to the fact he shared a house with a contentious woman, a bad
wife. Unhappy is the man who has a contentious wife.
20. Better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman.
Pro 21:19,“Better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman.”
Wilderness in Hebrew is midbar
uninhabited land, solitary place, desolate land, desert; - it
occurs 271 times in the Old Testament. Unless you are John the Baptist, you
would not survive in wilderness. Angry in Hebrew is ka`ac which means vexing, provocative, hot-tempered,
grievous, indignant; - it occurs 25 times in the Old Testament. It is better to
live in the wilderness than with a contentious and angry woman. The voice of a contentious and angry woman threatens the peace of mind.
21. It is better that he say to you: Come up here, than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince.
Pro 25:7, “For it is better that he says to you: Come up here, than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince, whom your eyes have seen.”
To be elevated is better than to be put down. It is always nice and easy to go
up than to go down. Up and down is the situation of life, it is much better to
be up than to be down. The same thing applies to a corporation, it is much
nicer to work for a company that is expanding and doing well than to be
expecting a big layoff. Hiring may be individual, lay off may be in mass.
Promotion is individually going up; layoff may be going down en masse. It is
better to be promoted than to be demoted or discharged. When you are humiliated
in the presence of the prince is much harder than to be humiliated among your
own peers. The rich and powerful usually cast an evil eye looking down at
22. Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed.
Pro 27:5,“Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed.”
Note: Rebuke in Hebrew is towkechah which means correction, reproof, punishment, chastisement, impeachment; - it occurs 28 times in the Old Testament. Rebuke has its place. Pro 17:10,“A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.” Rebuke can be public or private, open and secret. Some rebuke must be done openly, most rebuke can be done privately. Ecc 7:5,“It is better to listen to the rebuke of a wise man than for one to listen to the song of fools.”
No American preachers ever rebuked American presidents for being liars and killers since the end of World War II.
No Taiwanese preachers ever rebuked Lee Teng-hui and Ma Ying-jeou for worshiping idols even they claim to be Christians.
X managers or supervisors suffer abnormal personality problems; they enjoy
humiliating people in public. They have pleasure in abusing and mistreating their
subordinates verbally. Abusive supervisors and managers do not have ability to
motivate their employees. It is always bad for a manager or supervisor to make
open rebuke of their employees. There is a cost when you insult the dignity of
a man. Parents should not rebuke their children in front of other people. It
has negative effect when you humiliate people in public. I have never seen or
observed true love carefully concealed. Conceal in Hebrew is cathar which means
to hide, cover up, keep from being seen, keep out of sight; - it occurs 82
times in the Old Testament. Love cannot be concealed just as light
shines in the darkness. Light cannot be concealed. Truth cannot be concealed.
23. Better is a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.
Pro 27:10, “Do not forsake your own friend or your father's friend, nor go to your brother's house in the day of your calamity; better is a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.”
The idea is similar to the Chinese saying: Faraway relative is no better than a close neighbor. Faraway water cannot extinguish
nearby fire. Human beings are restricted by time and space. If you are in one
place, you cannot be at the same in another place. If you are here, you cannot
be there. If someone is far away from you, it is impossible to be near you. A
nearby neighbor is better than a brother far away. What a good neighbor can do
for you, a brother far away cannot do.
24. Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich.
Pro 28:6, “Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich.”
Integrity in Hebrew is tom which means
innocence, simplicity, completeness, fullness, uprightness,
wholeness; - it occurs 23 times in the Old Testament. Perverse in Hebrew is `iqqesh which means twisted, distorted,
crooked, perverted, froward, deceitful, fraudulent; - it occurs 11 times in the
Old Testament. To walk in Hebrew is halak which means to conduct oneself,
to live in a manner, follow a manner of life; - it occurs 500 times in the Old
Testament. Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than the rich who is
perverse in his ways. There are many who get rich by becoming perverse or
crooked in their ways. I cannot remember recalling anyone who is rich and
walking in his integrity. I often think business people (big and small) are
hard to enter the Kingdom
of God because they lie
all the time or most of the time. Do you know any politician who walks in his
integrity and does not lie? It is frightening to know that doctors and hospital
owners who are perverse in their ways and commit fraud and excessive billing
all the time. Most Americans would prefer to have riches than integrity.
25. Nothing is better than for a man that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor.
Ecc 2:24, “Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God.”
In a perverse country like America,
crooks and criminals can enjoy the fruit of your labor. Bankers like Citibank
can pay you 15 ￠ interest a month for your deposit of $15,000, or $1.80 a year at the interest rate of 0.01
percent annually. At the same time Citibank charges you $5 for each check you
write. And charge you $20 a
month if you do not maintain your monthly balance of $15,000. Doctors and
hospitals can rob your lifetime savings and bankrupt you in one illness. Crooks
and criminals can blackmail you for what you never owe them and the legal
system does not protect you. In a car accident, fake claimant and corrupt
doctor and lawyer conspire to strip you everything you have. A good society is
where a man can eat and rink and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor.
26. Nothing is better than to rejoice and to do good.
Ecc 3:12, “I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives.”
Note: To rejoice in Hebrew is samach which means to be glad, to cause to rejoice, gladden, make glad; to have expressions of joy; - it occurs 152 times in the Old Testament.
Psa 35:9,“And my soul shall rejoice in the LORD; it shall exult in His salvation.” The righteous rejoice in the Lord because of His salvation.
Luk 10:20, “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.” Those who are saved, their names are recorded in heaven in the Book of Life.
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” Rejoice in Greek is chairō which means
to be glad, to be well, to thrive, to be full of joy; - it occurs
74 times in the New Testament. Christians must rejoice in the Lord always; yes,
always no matter it is sunny or rainy. Christians have plenty to rejoice
because we have hope of glory in Jesus Christ. There is nothing better for a
man (woman included) than to rejoice and do good in his life. To do good is to
show kindness to someone, to be kind towards someone. Those who do good will
rejoice, and those who rejoice must do good. There is nothing in life than
rejoicing and doing good. I know there are people who rejoice in doing evil,
they are the wicked ones. Just as pigs rejoice in dirty mud, so the wicked
rejoice in doing evil. Supremacists, terrorists and Japanese and Filipino leaders rejoice in doing evil.
27. Nothing is better than that a man should rejoice in his own works.
Ecc 3:22, “So I perceived that nothing is better than that a man should rejoice in his own works, for that is his heritage. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?”
Yes, indeed, nothing is better than a man should rejoice in his own works. When
you do what you love and you do it very well, it is a great joy. Just as a
farmer joyfully gathers the harvest, a man rejoices in the fruit of his labor.
most people do not like what they do, they do because they need to make a
living, and they do to pay their mortgage. I have met people who were very
afraid of their supervisors, they are afraid to be laid off or fired and being
unable to make monthly mortgage payment. There are supervisors and managers who
know this fact and take advantage of their subordinates by abusing and
threatening them. To rejoice in your work (not life work, but livelihood), you
need to like what you do, your supervisor, you co-workers, your pay, and your
working environment. If any one of these requirements goes wrong, you can be
miserable. Abusive supervisors cause the most mental, emotional and psychic and
even physical damages to their subordinates. I knew a woman who confided with
me how her new supervisor tortured or mistreated her and she developed a brain
tumor and died young. Enlightened corporate executives need to establish policy
and procedure whereby employees may channel their grievances or file complaints
without fear of retaliation or being fired. There is a very useful method of
job evaluation that is evaluation of management by their subordinates. Working
for business and government all my life, I do not know any corporation or
agency that practices evaluation from below. Performance evaluation whether in
public or private sectors is usually done one way, from above down. You know
why there are many terrible incidents happening in American workplaces,
shooting and suicide. There are foreign companies making big money in China
that treat their employees like dogs, requiring them to work 7 days and 7
nights (although five days in the office, the rest of hours at home) a week
without overtime pay. Their supervisors will give them orders and assignments
even at night or early in the morning while they are not in the office.
28. Better is he who has never existed than he who has seen the evil work that is done under the sun.
Ecc 4:3,“Yet, better than both is he who has never existed, who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.”
How terrible is the evil work that is done under the sun; it is so evil that it
would be better to have never existed than to have seen the evil work that is
done under the sun. Evil in Hebrew is ra` which means bad, disagreeable,
malignant, unpleasant; that which is giving pain, unhappiness, misery; displeasing,
sad, harmful, grievous, unhappy, unkind, wicked; - it occurs 663 times in the
Old Testament. Work in Hebrew is ma`aseh which means deed, act, activity, labor,
pursuit, undertaking, business, enterprise, doing; - it occurs 235 times in the
Old Testament. I certainly do not want to see evil Japanese militarists who cut
open the belly of a pregnant Chinese woman, take out the infant and throw it up
in the air and cut it to pieces as it falls down to the ground. I do not want
to see how Japanese troops force feed water and suds into the mouth and rectum
of a Chinese victim so that his belly balloons up and Japanese militarists step
on his abdomen so that water gushing out from all holes of the body. Evil
Japanese militarists should have never existed. I certainly do not want to see
the naked Jews pushed into a great furnace to be burned alive. Nazis
should never have existed. I certainly do not want to see bombs exploded in a
crowd and body parts fly in all directions. Islamic terrorists should never
have existed. I believe this statement of Solomon is a hyperbole. If I had never
existed, I would not be able to do some good for the sake of Christ which I
have done in my life. If I have never existed, I would not have seen the beauty
of the green valley from Oslo
skip jump. If I have never existed, I would not have seen the most beautiful
beaches in the world where the sand was fine as powder that you can use it to
rub your skin or brush your teeth. If I have never existed, I would not have
seen the crystal clear river of Kanas Lake in
Xinjiang like the pure river of water of life. If I have never existed, I would
not have seen the glorious sunset from the shore
of West Lake, Hangzhou or its marvelous peach blossoms in
spring. If I have never existed, I would not have seen the beauty of millions
of orchids. To exist is to come into being. I have existed to do what the Lord
wants me to do in my humble life. Although I have known the evil deeds of men
and women and children, I am glad God has predestined and called me into
existence in Christ. I will live because my Redeemer lives forever.
29. Better a handful with quietness than both hands full, together with toil and grasping for the wind.
Ecc 4:6,“Better a handful with quietness than both hands full, together with toil and grasping for the wind.”
Since the Fall of man, toil and grasping for the wind can describe the human
existence. Whether you have a handful or both hands full, the same you toil and
grasp for the wind. Toil in Hebrew is `amal which means labor, trouble,
hard work, mischief, misery, travail, sorrow, pain, weariness, vexation; - it
occurs 55 times in the Old Testament. People are dumb because they go for
quantity instead of quality. A handful with quietness is better than both hands
full with weariness. Quietness in Hebrew is Nachath which means rest, peace, tranquility,
quiet attitude; - it occurs 8 times in the Old Testament. I
increasingly dislike dining at a Chinese restaurant or any restaurant where
children are screaming and adults talking loudly with stupid noisy rock and
roll music. Those who seek money, power and sex are grasping for the wind.
Striving for money, power, sex and glory is a vain pursuit.
30. Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.
Ecc 4:9,“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.”
Two are better than one because human beings need companions. It is not good
for man or woman to live alone. It is a joy to share the reward for labor
together with someone you love. A joy shared is doubled, a sorrow shared is
lessened. To pray you need a solitary place. To think you need solitude. To
write you need quietude. To live a productive and happy life you need a mate.
31. Better a poor and wise youth that an old and foolish who will be admonished no more.
“Better a poor and wise youth than an old and
foolish king who will be admonished no more.
Note: A wise youth may be poor, an old king may be foolish. Whether a person is wise or foolish has nothing to do with his/her age, or with his/her position in the world. I once asked my female students in a lesson on decision making: Would you marry a poor and wise youth or an old and rich man? A young man is not necessarily wise; an old man is not necessarily rich and foolish. No matter you are young or old, if you no more accept advice or admonition, you are poor and foolish. To be young and poor is better than to be old and poor. It is most terrible to be old, poor and sick anywhere in general, and in America in particular. To be young and foolish maybe better than to be old and foolish. To be old and wise is better than to be young and foolish. Old age does not guarantee wisdom.
32. Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.
Ecc 5:5,“Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.”
Vow in Hebrew is nadar which means to make a vow,
pledge, promise voluntarily; - it occurs 31 times in the Old Testament. If you
make a vow, you must perform. If you make a promise, you must keep. If you make
a pledge, you must fulfil. A poor man who keeps his promise is rich. A rich man
who does not keep his word is a pauper. A man is only as good as his word.
Beware of those who are quick to promise but never perform.
33. A stillborn is better than he who begets a hundred children and lives many years, but his soul is not satisfied with goodness.
Ecc 6:3, “If a man begets a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with goodness, or indeed he has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better than he.”
There is no guarantee that the rich and powerful his soul will be satisfied
with goodness. There is no guarantee that a man who begets a hundred children
his children will take care of his old age and burial. Blessed is the one whose
soul is satisfied with goodness. Money, power and sex cannot satisfy your soul.
Love, truth and wisdom can satisfy your soul in general, salvation and the
blessings and gifts of God can satisfy your soul in particular.
34. Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of desire.
Ecc 6:9, “Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of desire. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.”
Note: Sight of the eyes is so important that a man can hardly function without it. I have much sympathy for the blind and willing to walk to help them. Yes, many blind people have been trained to live normal life. Of all the functions of the body, sight is so vital to be able to get in touch with the outside world. A man can think or pray or sing by himself. A man cannot fully interact with others without seeing. No matter how intelligent you are, without sight you cannot see the beauty, glory and majesty of the sun, moon and stars; the beauty of various flowers; the majesty of snow-caped mountains and the vastness of sea, etc. Without eyes you cannot see the blossoms in the spring and the golden yellow leaves in the autumn. Without sight you cannot see the eyes beaming with love and tenderness. Without sight you cannot see the charm of a sweet smile and the agony of sorrow. Without sight you cannot see the tranquility of the valley and the serenity of a moon-lit night. Desire in Hebrew is nephesh which means mind, emotion, passion, vitality of life, innermost being; - it occurs 753 times in the Old Testament. The desire of man wanders in the desert of life and cannot find rest. Jesus says,
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
Are you weary and heavy-laden because of problems and troubles and worries of this world, come to Jesus and He will give you rest, peace of mind and the hope of glory for eternity.
35. Man is better with no increase of vanity.
Ecc 6:11,“Since there are many things that increase vanity, how is man the better?”
Vanity in Hebrew is hebel which means vapor,
breath, something transitory, evanescent, frail and empty; - it occurs 73 times
in the Old Testament. The most precious things that you cherish in the world
are vanities. Human life is full of vanities. Vanity degrades any man or woman.
In my youth I discovered: There is vanity in beauty but no beauty in vanity.
The Western values of money, power and sex are vanities of vanities.
36. A good name is better than precious ointment.
Ecc 7:1, “A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of one's birth.”
There are many rich and powerful people in America without a good name. What
is worse, most Americans respect money and power no matter what. There are many
who prefer money and power than a good name. For the righteous, the day of death
is better than the day of birth. For the wicked the day of death is the Day of
Judgment. The most stinking man in the world today is the evil prime minister of Japan, the evil beast and Hitler of Asia. He is so stinking that no perfume can help because he denies all the war crimes, genocide, sex slavery committed by Japanese aggressors and oppressors in World War II, the man of sin even distorts historical facts by calling the wicked Japanese soldiers fighting for peace!
37. Better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting.
Ecc 7:2,“Better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men; and the living will take it to heart.”
Mourning in Hebrew is 'ebel which means to make a wailing
cry especially for the dead, expression of grief, feeling sorrow, lamentation;
- it occurs 24 times in the Old Testament. It is proper to cry for the dead.
Even the son of David wanted to kill him, when his son died, David mourned for
him. 2Sa 18:33,“The
king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And
thus he said as he walked: O my son Absalom, my son, my son
Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my
son, my son!” Feasting in Hebrew is mishteh which means a
celebration or festival, having a feast, a rich and elaborate meal, drink,
banquet; - it occurs 46 times in the Old Testament. In a poor country people
are undernourished and underweight; in a rich nation people are obese. For
ordinary people, the house of feasting is better than the house of mourning.
For the wise, it is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the
house of feasting. Why? Death is the end of all men, the end of life on earth.
Arrogant evolutionary scientists, do you know the time of your death, the date
of your end? Since you do not even know what is going to happen to you, how can
you know things happened billions of years ago?
38. Sorrow is better than laughter.
Ecc 7:3,“Sorrow is better than laughter, for by a sad face the heart is made better.”
Sorrow in Hebrew is ka`ac which means vexation, grief, frustration,
feeling sad, contrition, affliction, anguish, sadness; - it occurs 25 times in
the Old Testament. Laughter in Hebrew is sĕchowq which means jest, laughing stock, mocking,
derision; - it occurs 15 times in the Old Testament. The laughter of a fool is
worse than the cry of a monkey. The English proverb says: An ounce of mirth is
worth a pound of sorrow. The preacher teaches the opposite. Why？Sadness makes a man
serious. Life is a serious matter. Life is not a joke. Pain makes man think, and
thought makes man wise. Wisdom is to pay the price. Sadness can teach a heart
what university cannot teach. One who has suffered, by sadness his heart is
made better to appreciate life, goodness, justice, truth and wisdom.
39. Better to hear the rebuke of the wise than for a man to hear the songs of fools.
Ecc 7:5,“It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise than for a man to hear the song of fools.”
Rebuke in Hebrew is g@`arah which means a
reproof, sharp reprimand, blame; - it occurs 15 times in the Old Testament. It
is not pleasant to the ears to hear a rebuke, but the rebuke of the wise has
instructive value. The sound of music is pleasant to the ears and the voice of
an opera singer is marvelous. It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise man
than to hear the songs of fools. There are many songs of fools on TV and on
stage. The worst songs of fools are the rock and roll and the music that drives
40. The end of a thing is better than its beginning.
Ecc 7:8,“The end of a thing is better than its beginning; the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.”
What has begun well may not end well. All is well that ends well. It is too bad
when a thing begins well but ends badly. There are many businesses that begin
well and vanish. There are many good restaurants, the more money they make they
worse they become. It is possible to begin an enterprise poorly, but the entrepreneur
learns and succeeds. It does not matter where you come from; it matters where
you are going. Patient in Hebrew is 'arek which means
slow to anger, longsuffering, bearing or enduring pain, forbearing,
able to wait long calmly; - it occurs 15 times in the Old Testament. Proud in
Hebrew is gabahh which means arrogant, haughty,
self-important, high-minded, overbearing, showing an overweening opinion of
oneself, exulting in oneself, exhibiting an air of superiority; - it occurs 4
times in the Old Testament. The secretary of state of the United States John
Foster Dulles was so proud in spirit that he refused to shake hands with Zhou Enlai
the prime minister of China.
The leaders of the sole superpower are usually proud in spirit. Do you know any
American leader who is humble in spirit? Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson were
so arrogant that they threatened China with atomic bombs. Spirit in
Hebrew is ruwach which means disposition, nature, hallmark,
seat of moral character, mind, temper, impulse, will, inner force; - it occurs
378 times in the Old Testament. The spirit of a man reveals his true character
and self-worth. Just as the end of a thing is better than its beginning; so the
patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. You rarely meet the rich
and powerful people who are patient in spirit no matter of what race or country
of origin. In America,
almost all rich and powerful people are proud in spirit. The white supremacists
are the most arrogant people on earth. When a black in power and wealth, he is
worse than a white supremacist. Japanese leaders are the model examples of men
without integrity who are proud in spirit with perverse lips. The men of those
nations which usually treat women as inferior are among the worst kind of men
and having the worst kind of spirit.
41. Why the former days were better?
Ecc 7:10, “Do not say: Why were the former days better than these? For you do not inquire wisely concerning this.”
Not all inquires are wise. You do not even know the present days, how can you
be sure about former days. It is better make the best of what you have than to
imagine what was in the past. In the scheme of things, God has declared in the
last days things will get worse and worse. There is a universal degeneracy in
morals. The China of 1985
that I first met was not the same China of 2012 I know. The China of 1985 was more honest and moral than
today, the China
of today is more modern and prosperous than before. The America of Nixon was not
the same America
of today. In all respects it was a better America. When Nixon was president, California was golden
and today it is rusty iron in all respects. The world is not getting better?
The night is far spent, and the day is at hand. It is not wise to inquire why
the night is far spent; if the night is not dark and deep, how would the dawn
arrive? Men are not competent judge of past and present, and not knowing the
reason of many things. When the days are evil, we should be grateful because
they could become worse. It is wise to be contented with what you have and with
a grateful heart. Old days were better because today the wicked and evildoers get worse and worse.
42. A man has nothing better under the sun that to eat, drink, and be merry.
Ecc 8:15,“So I commended enjoyment, because a man has nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink, and be merry; for this will remain with him in his labor all the days of his life which God gives him under the sun.”
Enjoyment in Hebrew is simchah
which means joy, mirth, gladness, gaiety, pleasure, glad
result, happy issue; - it occurs 94 times in the Old Testament. If you observe
all celebrations of all nations they have one thing in common: people eat,
drink, and be merry. Is there anything better under the sun for men to do other
than to eat, drink, and be merry? For worldly men, women and children; no. For
spiritual man, yes. Jesus says, Jhn
4:32-34, “But He said to them: I have food to eat that
you do not know about. So the disciples were saying to one another: No one
brought Him anything to eat,
did he? Jesus said to them: My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to
accomplish His work.” The food of Jesus was to do the will of God who sent Him
and to accomplish His work. Do you know any preacher or pastor who considers
the work of God more important than what to eat and drink?
43. A living dog is better than a dead lion.
Ecc 9:4, “But for him who is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion.”
The English proverb says: While there is life, there is hope. There is hope for
him who is joined to all the living. It is wrong to commit suicide under any
circumstances. Life is precious. There is no reason for a Christian to commit
suicide because there is hope of glory for all children of God. Lion is the
king of animals and is much stronger than a dog. But a dead lion is no better
than a log. A dead lion not only has no strength, it cannot do anything. A
living dog is better than a dead lion. There are some Chinese turncoats who are
running dogs of supremacists. There are corrupt leaders of the world who are no
matter than dead dogs. What life has is better than what is dead.
44. Wisdom is better than strength.
Ecc 9:16, “Then I said: Wisdom is better than strength. Nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.”
Wisdom in Hebrew is chokmah which means shrewdness, skill,
prudence, good judgment, wit, erudition, sagacity, comprehension of various
learning, knowing what is supreme; - it occurs 149 times in the Old Testament. Strength
is Hebrew is gĕbuwrah which means might, power,
force, mighty deed; - it occurs 61 times in the Old Testament. American
supremacists and Islamic terrorists are most dangerous people because they
believe might is better than wisdom, power is better than justice. The poor man’s
wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard. Wisdom of the poor cannot be
applied because it is despised. Once I wrote to Carter about developing a
national health plan to cover everyone but not to exceed $500 billion dollars a
year, he despised my proposal and did not even care to respond. However, I was
surprised after election loss for his foundation Carter wrote me asking for
money. Today the American healthcare system is the most costly in the world
because of monopoly, organized crime, fraud and waste and blatant overcharge at
more than $3 trillion dollars a year. However, President Richard Nixon was
quite different from Carter. When I proposed a national policy and strategy to
President Nixon, not only he listened and even personally responded in two
signed official letters. Please see · The Nixon I Know and · Precious Collection . Nixon was a great president who
recognized wisdom no matter from the poor or rich. I also know another
president who would write back to any rich man who wrote him. This is only one
aspect why I consider in my life time there were only two great leaders:
Richard Nixon and Deng Xiaoping. Unfortunately, the words of the rich and
powerful have clout; the wisdom of the poor is despised and not heard. To
despise in Hebrew is bazah
which means to hold in contempt, disdain, look down, scorn,
trample with feet; - it occurs 43 times in the Old Testament. The word of the
rich and powerful has weight and people will listen. In America the
wisdom of the poor is trampled both by government and business.
45. Wisdom is better than weapons of war.
Ecc 9:18, “Wisdom is better than weapons of war; but one sinner destroys much good.”
Note: The American leaders after Nixon do not have wisdom, and they think weapons of war are better than wisdom. The American imperialists practice aggression and war of conquest to expand their power and wealth. Weapons of war do not improve one bit the quality of life. Nuclear weapons do not feed, clothe, house or educate the people. The leaders of poor nations who want to be a major power by wasting money on weapons of war such as aircraft carriers, war planes, war ships, missiles and antimissiles, and nuclear weapons are guilty of depriving their people a decent living. One corrupt and wicked leader destroys much good. The 1 percent of population can destroy much good for the 99 percent. Many foolish leaders of nations build or buy weapons of mass destruction. In some countries they have aircraft carriers and war planes, but their peoples do not have the necessities of life such as food, water, electricity and shelters.
46. Love is better than wine.
Sgs 1:2,“[The Shulamite] Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth--For your love is better than wine.”
Note: True love or sincere love is better than wine. I do not like wine, and I do not drink wine; but I am sure love is better than many things. I know love is better than hate, love is better than strife and many bad things in the world.
Sgs 4:10, “How fair is your love, My sister, my spouse! How much better than wine is your love, and the scent of your perfumes than all spices!”
love between a man and a woman is a wonderful thing, better than many good
things in the world. There are many who think love is sex especially people in
the West in general, and in America
in particular. Love is not sex, love may have sex, but sex is not love.
47. A Name better than that of sons and daughters.
Isa 56:5,“Even to them I will give in My house and within My walls a place and a name better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off.”
Note: God will give a name, a place, and a kingdom to the children of God which are better than to have many sons and daughters. There are servants of God who have no sons and daughters, but they will have what God has prepared for them better than many sons and daughters.
Rev 2:17,“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.”
Those who overcome, the Spirit will give them a white stone and a new name
written on the stone. I am sure this is more valuable than all precious stones
48. Those slain by the sword are better off than those who die of hunger.
Lam 4:9,“Those slain by the sword are better off than those who die of hunger; for these pine away, stricken for lack of the fruits of the field.”
Note: This is a comparative statement. It does not mean it is good to be slain by sword. To be slain by the sword are better off than those who die hunger. To die of hunger must endure longer and more painful sorrows. Just like Jesus says,
Mat 5:30,“If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into Hell.”
is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole
body to go into Hell. There are those who think to suffer in Hell is a mental
state. Jesus confirms those who reject Him will suffer body and soul in Hell
forever. The wicked will have resurrection to face God’s judgment with a body
that can feel pain, the worms to torture and the fire to burn; forever dying
but not dead.
49. It is better for me to die than to live.
Jon 4:3,“Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live!”
Jon 4:8,“And it happened, when the sun arose, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat on Jonah's head, so that he grew faint. Then he wished death for himself, and said: It is better for me to die than to live.”
Note: These were the words of Jonah the prophet. Jesus not only certifies Jonah was a prophet and a great prophet.
Mat 12:39,“But He answered and said to them: An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet.”
Mat 12:41,“The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.”
Luk 11:32, “The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.”
who am I that I should criticize a great prophet? I believe it is normal to
have a death wish some of the time, but abnormal to have death wish often or
all the time. When you know what God wants you to do and do it, it is wonderful
50. It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Mat 18:6,“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”
Mar 9:42 "But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.
Luk 17:2,“It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.”
Better in Greek is sympherō which means profitable,
useful, suitable, expedient; - it occurs 17 times in the New Testament. This
is a terrible truth: You can cause one of little ones who believe in Christ to
sin. The little ones I am thinking of boys and girls who have been raped by
Catholic priests and nun, teachers, coaches, boy and girl scout masters,
parents, relatives, etc. It is a terrible sin to cause some one to sin. What
does it mean to cause someone to sin? I believe drug traffickers cause people
to sin to get hooked on narcotics. Pimps cause prostitutes to sin. Prostitutes
cause men to sin. Prosperity gospel preachers cause church members to love
money and the world. Corrupt leaders cause his subordinates to sin. There is a
Chinese saying: If the upper beam is crooked, the lower beams are bent.
51. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed.
Mat 18:8, “If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire.
Mat 18:9,“And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire.”
Mar 9:43,“If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched—”
Mar 9:45, “And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched—”
Mar 9:47, “And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire—”
A similar idea: A living dog is better than a dead lion. It is better to suffer
for righteousness here on earth and enter the Kingdom of God
than to enjoy the wealth and pleasure of this world and to be cast into the
everlasting fire. A little suffering on earth is no comparison to the great
glory in heaven. Sin leads to death, repentance leads to life. It is better to
have little now and have much later. It is infinitely better to be poor on
earth and rich in heaven and eternity than to be rich on earth and to be cast
into Hell fire forever.
52. It is better not to marry.
Mat 19:10,“His disciples said to Him: If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”
1Cr 7:9,“But if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
1Cr 7:38,“So then he who gives her in marriage does well, but he who does not give her in marriage does better.”
Note: It is better for some not to marry in the context of some situation. It is better for most to marry as a general rule. It is a pitiful case for many a man with his wife. It is also a pitiful case for many a man without a wife.
1Cr 7:9,“But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” Burn in Greek is pyroō which means to be inflamed with sexual desire; - it occurs 6 times in the New Testament. It is difficult to be a man, for passion burns like fire. Probably and generally speaking men have stronger sexual needs than women. Many famous or infamous American men even with their wives they still burn with passion and commit adultery. Wishing and practicing to have extramarital relations is a greed. There are people who are greedy for money, there are people who are greedy for fame, and there are people greedy for sex. It is better for drug addicts, patients with AIDS, defects and degenerative diseases, etc. not to marry.
53. She had spent all that she had and was no better.
Mar 5:26,“And had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse.”
This is a great injustice, medical injustice. Why should a person spend all that
he/she has and does not getter better from medical treatment? Why the United States
has the most costly and predatory healthcare system in the world? Why doctors
and hospital owners, drug and insurance companies, labs and medical suppliers
are allowed to gouge and overcharge patients and bankrupt millions of families?
Now American and Western doctors have gone to China
and charge whatever they please; and there are two medical systems in China: one for
the rich with few patients, and one for the common people with crowds and long
lines. The hospital business by virtue of monopoly is the most profitable
business in the world no matter in what form of government. The most outrageous
thing is that the U.S.
government knows how doctors and hospitals and other healthcare providers
defraud or suck the life blood of American people and does nothing to stop the
evil practices. A patient should not spend all he/she has or goes bankrupt for
medical care. The healthcare terrorists (doctors, hospital owners, drug and insurance companies, etc.) are worse than many terrorists.
54. The Old is better.
Luk 5:39, “And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says: The old is better.”
It has been said: The old wine is better. I have no interest or knowledge in
wine, old or new wine does not matter to me since I do not drink wine at all.
It has been said: Old friends are better. I say: Good and true friends are
better, it does not matter old or new. Probably old friends have a record or
history of reliability, new friends you do not know. Old shoes do not pinch
you. Nowadays you can buy a pair of good new shoes that do not pinch you. New
house is better than old house because it is better built and equipped with
quality materials. A poorly built house, the older the worse. New furniture is
better than old furniture. New car is better than old car because less likely
to have a breakdown. There is no old truth or new truth. Truth is eternal only
you have not discovered it. Jesus is the truth, the same yesterday, today and
55. Neither we eat are we the better.
1Cr 8:8,“But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse.”
Note: Food does not commend us to God, or to be a better Christian or more spiritual. Whether you are a vegetarian or a meat eater does not incur favor from God. Food, the right kind of food, is important to your health. Fatty, salty, oily, sweet and sour food are generally are unhealthy for your health. One should eat according to the nutrition one needs. Expensive food does not necessarily mean better food.
56. It would be better for me to die than that anyone should make my boasting void.
1Cr 9:15, “But I have used none of these things, nor have I written these things that it should be done so to me; for it would be better for me to die than that anyone should make my boasting void.”
1Cr 9:15, “But I have used none of these things. And I am not writing these things so that it will be done so in my case; for it would be better for me to die than have any man make my boast an empty one.”
Boast in Greek is kauchēma which means a glorying or boasting, matter or ground of
glorifying, rejoicing, satisfaction; - it occurs 11 times in the New Testament.
Apostle Paul rejoiced because he did not live on the Gospel, he did not get pay
for preaching the Gospel, he did not make his living on preaching the Gospel; he
was self-supporting. There are some American preachers who think they are very
smart and important because they get rich in preaching the gospel; they even
made a special version of the Bible in their names for sale. Preachers of
megachurches glorify in having private planes, etc. Even if you preach the
Gospel not for pay and absolutely free, there is nothing to boast. A good
servant of Christ does what he must do.
57. A desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.
Phl 1:23,“For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.”
Tired and burdened preachers and believers may have a desire to leave the world
and to be with Christ, which is far better. Desire in Greek is epithymia which means craving, longing,
strong wish, active hoping in a good sense; - it occurs 38 times in the New
Testament. However, it is un-Scriptural and against the will of God to commit
suicide. Enemies of Christ may kill true believers and make them martyrs, but
no believers can make themselves martyrs or kill themselves under any
circumstances. It is forbidden for Christians to kill themselves. Christians
who have the hope of glory have no reason to kill themselves. For a child of
God, to die is to go home – the place Jesus Christ has prepared for all who
believe and follow and serve Him. Heaven is a real place, not a figment of
imagination, not just a state of mind. If you do not believe in the Paradise of
God, you are not qualified to be a preacher. If you are a preacher and do not
believe in heaven, you are a false preacher and a servant of the devil. There
is nothing better than to be with Christ; however, a servant of Christ must do
here on earth what he must do.
58. Let each esteem others better than himself.
Phl 2:3,“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”
Conceit in Greek is kenodoxia which means vain glory, groundless self esteem, empty pride,
a vain opinion; - it occurs only once in the New Testament. Supremacists (black
and white) and Japanese leaders are the worst people who harbor selfish
ambition or conceit and they are most arrogant because they esteem themselves
better than others. In fact, Japanese leaders are among the worst of mankind
because they have no integrity and they have perverse lips in speaking lies;
however, they do not claim to be Christians. Many supremacists claim to be
Christians which make their sins more sinful, their selfish ambition more
selfish, and their conceit more conceited. Esteem in Greek is hēgeomai which means to consider,
treat, deem, account, think; - it occurs 28 times in the New
Testament. It is much easier to know who is more able or richer or more
handsome. It is not easy to know who is a better person, more holy, more
humble, and more virtuous. Those who proudly declare “America First” are
dangerous to America
and the world. American imperialists, hegemonists, supremacists and militarists
are the most dangerous people because they believe they are anointed or have
divine right to rule the world. The rich and powerful always think they are
better than others. White people generally think they are superior to the
colored people. Have you ever met a leader who has lowliness of mind and
humility? The infamous preacher of prosperity gospel used to declare to common
people, “Do you know who I am?” Yes, a false teacher.
59. We are confident of better things concerning you.
Hbr 6:9, “But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner.”
No one can be confident of lie, fraud, greed, corruption, abuse of power, aggression,
exploitation, injustice and immorality. Not only they are not better things,
they are very bad things. What are better things that accompany salvation? The
heavenly gift, the goodness of the Word of God, the fruit of the Holy Spirit
(see Gal 5:22), the
fruit of righteousness , the powers of the world to
come, serving the saints, the full assurance of hope, the promises of God and
many more leading to the eternal life in the Paradise of God.
60. The lesser is blessed by the greater.
Hbr 7:7,“Now beyond all contradiction the lesser is blessed by the greater.”
Note: This is an important truth. The greater can bless the lesser, the lesser cannot bless the greater. No one is greater than God, so from God the Father all blessings flow. Human beings have no power to bless, human beings can only wish someone well. Once I met a blind man at a church. Whenever anyone did the blind man a favor, he would strongly pronounce: God bless you! I believe the blind man was well-meaning but ignorant of this Scripture that the lesser is blessed by the greater.
61. There is the bringing in of a better hope.
Hbr 7:19,“For the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.”
Note: When Jesus was born, hope was born. The hopeless mankind may be saved by the blood of Jesus and be brought near to God by a better hope which is the hope of glory. Many hope to get rich. Some hope to get fame. A few hope to obtain power and glory. The hope in Jesus Christ is far better than anyone can hope and dream in this world. What God has prepared and given to His children are infinitely better than anything the world may offer.
1Cr 2:9, “But, as it is written: What God has prepared for those who love Him, no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no heart of man has conceived.”
Although I am not rich and do not
possess a mansion, I have seen some fabulous royal palaces, and the most
expensive jewelries and antiques in the world, etc. Although I do not own many
things, I have heard of unbelievable luxuries and treasures. My heart can
conceive of the most beautiful, wonderful, majestic, precious and priceless
things. What God has prepared for those who love Him, no eye has seen, no ear
has heard, and no heart of man has imagined.
62. Jesus has become the guaranty of a better covenant.
Hbr 7:22,“By so much more Jesus has become the guaranty of a better covenant.”
Guarantee in Greek is eggyos
which means a surety, a sponsor or guarantor; - it occurs only once in
the New Testament. Jesus has become a surety or guarantee of a
better covenant. Jesus is the guarantor of a better covenant, the new covenant
which was made by the blood of Jesus. The covenant made by the precious blood
of Jesus can never be abolished because our Redeemer lives forever and saves
believers to the end. For that reason the new covenant is better than the old
covenant. Grace is better than law; faith is better than work.
63. Established on better promises.
Hbr 8:6,“But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was enacted on better promises.”
Note: Enact in Greek is nomotheteō which means to enact laws, sanction by law, make law, ordain, furnish legally, decree; - it occurs only twice in the New Testament. Why the New Testament is more excellent than the Old Testament? Why grace is better than law? The law requires that you do and live. Grace requires you believe and live. What man cannot do under the law, grace makes possible for sinners to repent and believe in Jesus and be saved. For that reason, the new covenant was enacted on better promises. The law is holy, but man is sinful. The Gospel brings good news that by grace one can be saved through faith in Jesus the Savior.
64. The heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices.
Hbr 9:23, “Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.”
It was necessary for Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins in order to
redeem us and save us from eternal damnation. Necessary in Greek is anagkē which means
needful, of necessity, imposed by circumstances or requirements, imposed by law
or the Word of God, compelled by need; - it occurs 18 times in the New
Testament. Food is necessary but even if you are full you still will die. The
Bread of Life is more necessary because you will live forever. Water is
necessary but you will thirst again. The Water of Life is more necessary
because you will never thirst again. The Word of God is necessary so that you
may know the Way of Salvation. It was necessary for every high priest to have
something to offer to God. Jesus Christ the High Priest had something better to
offer, the Lamb of God offered Himself to die for sinners in order to atone for
our sins. The sacrifice of the Son of God is better because it was done once
and for all, finished and accomplished. Salvation is available for whoever
repents of his sins and believes in Jesus Christ.
65. You have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.
Hbr 10:34,“For you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.”
Enduring in Greek is menō
which means lasting, not perishing, permanent, durable; - it occurs 120
times in the New Testament. Nothing is enduring in this world. Possession in Greek is hyparxis which means goods,
wealth, property, substance, riches; - it occurs only twice in the New
Testament. Property or possession in this world is the criteria people look at
you. People who live in mansion, drive luxurious car, wear fashionable clothes
are generally more respected than the poor. You would be surprised to find out
how expensive woman bags can be, not mentioning fur coats. I always think it is
sinful for a preacher to wear a $10,000 suit or a preacher’s wife to have
$30,000 mink coat. It is obscene to have $1,000 dinner. I have heard of an official in China who owns 80 houses. The greedy people are never satisfied: they own several fancy cars,
many grand mansions, diamonds and jewelries, countless precious collections,
big bank accounts, etc. – but all these goods and possessions are not enduring.
Christians have a better and an enduring possession in heaven – the Kingdom of God,
the Paradise and eternal life.
66. They desire a better, that is, a heavenly country.
Hbr 11:16,“But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”
Note: When I was young I used to think America was the best country in the world. Indeed, during the Nixon presidency, the United States was in golden era. Later I was disillusioned by corruption, greed, fraud, inequality, injustice, crime, uncivilized behavior, violence, profanity, lust, lewdness, etc. prevalent in America. I went to Scandinavia looking for a better country where I developed a theory of good society. Please read The Theory of Good Society. I discovered Norway was the best country in the world. However, recently I am disappointed in Norway, not only the paradise was lost by a terrorist act, also by the way the Norwegian government has conducted itself. Please read · A Response to the Norwegian Nobel Committee. I must conclude by saying: My kingdom is not of this world. There is no better country than the heavenly country which the Lord has prepared for his followers.
21:10-27, “And he carried me away in the Spirit
to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from
God, having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a
stone of crystal-clear jasper. It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates,
and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are the names
of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. There were three gates on the east and three gates
on the north and three gates on the south and three gates on the west. And the
wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles
of the Lamb. The one who spoke with me had a gold measuring rod to measure the
city, and its gates and its wall. The city is laid out as a square, and its
length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod, fifteen
hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal. And he measured its
wall, seventy-two yards, according to human measurements, which
The material of the wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear
glass. The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of
precious stone. The first foundation stone was jasper; the second, sapphire;
the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth,
sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the
tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst. And the
twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And
the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. I saw no temple
in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city
has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has
illumined it, and its lamp is
the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth
will bring their glory into it. In the daytime (for there will be no night
there) its gates will never be closed; and they will bring the glory and the
honor of the nations into it; and nothing unclean, and no one who practices
abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are
written in the Lamb's book of life.”
67. They might obtain a better resurrection.
Hbr 11:35,“Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.”
There are two resurrections. The first resurrection is for those who have died
in Christ. When Jesus Christ returns to the earth, all believers will rise and
receive a spiritual, immortal and glorious body fit for the Kingdom of Heaven.
All who perished without Christ will rise also known as the second resurrection
but to be judged and sent to Hell with body and soul to be tortured forever. If
you were born once and rejected Jesus Christ, you will die twice. The first
death is the physical death because all have sinned and the wages of sin is
death. The second death will take place after the second resurrection when the
wicked and unbelievers will die forever but not dead and suffer in Hell without
end. If you were born twice, you will only die once. The first was physical
birth and the second was spiritual birth. To be born again is to be saved by
faith in Jesus Christ and with the Holy Spirit living you. If a Christian dies
(physical death), he will be with the Lord immediately. When Jesus Christ
returns, he will have the first resurrection with a spiritual and glorious body
to meet the Lord in the space. Christians will reign with the Lord on earth for
1,000 years. After that the dawn of the eternal Kingdom of God, God will live
with His children in the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, the new heaven and the
new earth forever and ever.
68. God has provided something better for us.
Hbr 11:40, “God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.”
Better here in Greek is kreittōn which means more
useful, more serviceable, more advantageous, more excellent; - it occurs 18
times in the New Testament. Compared to what is the best in the world,
everything God has provided for His children is better. The enduring is better
than the fading and fleeting; and the heavenly is better than the earthly. What
the Law of Moses could not do, the grace of Jesus makes better. What the
righteousness of man is imperfect, the righteousness of God is perfect.
Believers are made perfect by the Word of God, the blood of Jesus Christ and
the sanctification of the Holy Spirit.
69. The blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
Hbr 12:24,“To Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.”
Note: Mediator in Greek is mesitēs which means one who intervenes between two, either in order to make or restore peace and friendship, or form a compact, or for ratifying a covenant; - it occurs 6 times in the New Testament. Jesus the Mediator also the Savior, interposed by His death and restored harmony between God and man which human sin had broken. Eph 2:16,“And He might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.” When Jesus Christ died on the cross for sinners, He put to death the enmity between God and man.
precious blood of Jesus speaks better things that that of the blood of Abel.
The dispensation of grace is better than the dispensation of law. The
dispensation of faith is better than the dispensation of work. Jesus the Son of
God is the Mediator between God and man. The blood of Jesus the Lamb of God
which sprinkles on our conscience is better than the blood of the sacrifice
sprinkled on the altar and the sacrifice. By His substitutionary death Jesus
the Redeemer brings us near to God.
70. It is better to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
1Pe 3:17,“For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”
Note: Most people do not realize believers may suffer for doing good. Most people think you suffer because you do evil. No, you can suffer for doing good. You can suffer for doing what is right. If it is the will of God, children of God may suffer for doing good. There are people who do evil and yet they do not seem to suffer at all. Why the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer is the perennial intellectual and emotional problem of believers of all ages and times. It is normal to suffer for your unfaithfulness or for you sin. Men suffer many things in this world. To suffer death is the fate of all men for all have sinned. If you do not sin, you will never die. Suffer in Greek is paschō which means to be affected or have been affected badly, to feel pain, have a painful experience, to undergo evils, to be in a bad plight, to be afflicted; - it occurs 42 times in the New Testament.
1Pe 2:20,“For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.”
The worldly could not understand this: If when you do what is right and suffer
for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. You find favor with
God in suffering for doing what is good and right. To find favor with God means
God is pleased with you. When you suffer for doing good, God regards you with
71. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness.
2Pe 2:21,“For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.”
Note: Righteousness in Greek is dikaiosynē which means the condition acceptable to God, the way in which man may attain a state approved of God, integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking, feeling, and acting; - it occurs 92 times in the New Testament. The way of righteousness is the way of salvation. This is a comparative statement. It does not mean it would have been better for people not to know the way of righteousness; it simply means it is very bad for those who know the way of righteousness and reject the salvation of God. What is the advantage of knowing the truth but not accepting it? What is the use of claiming to be a Christian nation but obsessed with money, power and sex and engaging in unrighteous war of aggression?
You have known what is better, it is hoped you choose the better.
June 16, 2016
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