New Living Translation
The heartfelt counsel of a friend
is as sweet as perfume and incense.
Thine own friend, and thy father’s friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother’s house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off. Let not a libation of tears be the only offering at the shrine of Jesus; let us also rejoice with joy unspeakable.Oct 28, 2020
Oils and incense have joy that fills the heart and soul bringing joy to the ones who allow the essence to fill them with joy
What Does Proverbs 27:9 Mean? ►
Oil and incense bring joy to the heart, and the sweetness of a friend is better than self-counsel.
The oil with which Mary anointed the head and feet of the Lord Jesus not only filled the house with the lingering fragrance of sweet perfume but it flooded His heart with joy, for she had become a beloved friend that sat at His feet and bathed in His wonderful words of wisdom.
What a beautiful picture this presents of the joy and gladness that fills the heart of a man or woman, when a beloved Christian friend or dear brother in Christ combines gracious acts of kindness, wise advice, words of encouragement and genial counsel with the glorious gospel of Christ in order to edify and encourage or even to correct.
In the scripture the oil of gladness and incense of joy, are so often seen as the adornment of the man or woman that loves righteousness and hates wickedness, while the perfumer’s ointment and sacred anointing incense is frequently seen in Scripture, ascending up to the Lord as a good and acceptable, freewill offering; a love offering – a burnt sacrifice and sweet-smelling savour that is so pleasing in the sight of the Lord.
How true that the genuine counsel, caring words or gentle correction of a good an honest friend becomes the oil of gladness, and a sweet-smelling perfume of costly spikenard.
All too often the counsel that we receive from others, even Christian brethren can come with a barbed delivery, causing pain and often leaving a bitter taste. This ought not to be – but let us seek never to return evil for evil but to seek to bring the joy that comes from the Lord, to the heart of all our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Let us become that friend that is kind one to another and that sticks closer than a brother. Let
Proverbs 27:9 Meaning of Perfume and Incense Bring Joy to the Heart
“Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.”
Explanation and Commentary of Proverbs 27:9
It is remarkable how a pleasant smell, especially one attached to a good memory, can affect the mood of a person. Aromatherapy is based on this principle, and some people find it helpful. Conversely, unpleasant smells can cause the opposite reaction. What should be pleasant conversation can turn unpleasant when one of the participants has bad breath! Or a beautiful landscape can be difficult to enjoy when there is a rotting animal corpse nearby or even a live skunk. God created us to be drawn to and cheered by good smells.
There is an analogy here with friendship. A friend who gives less than earnest advice, who doesn’t show true concern, can make a bad situation even worse than it was. However, when the counsel is “heartfelt,” that is, there seems to be genuine care behind the words, it can make all the difference for us. It brings a feeling of solidarity knowing that we are not alone when those we associate with take the time to empathize and give good advice.
What kind of friend are you? What would it take for your advice to be more heartfelt? Jesus calls us to love one another as we love ourselves. This is the essence of the Christian community.
Breaking Down the Key Parts of Proverbs 27:9
#1 “Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart,”
The Jews were given instructions for making perfume and incense for the temple worship and sacrifices with strict prohibitions against using certain formulas for personal use. Perfumes and incense were a common part of Hebrew life, and today many people rely on them for various uses.
#2 “and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.”
Meant to be analogous with the joy of pleasant aromas, earnest and heartfelt advice from a true friend should bring about the same positive feeling. It is so encouraging to have friends, especially Christian friends. The best way to get more of them is to be one.