"Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel."
“Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart.”
Isn’t it amazing how just the slight whiff of a smell sends the mind racing through memories, either beautiful or not so great? Why is it when company is coming over mom wants the house to look beautiful, and even more to smell good?!
One evening after a long exhausting day of work, when I came through the door at home, the most wonderful fragrance aroused my nostrils—cinnamon rolls! Warm, gooey, the aroma made my mouth water, and my heart skip. The cares of that hectic day just began to melt away! My sweet wife had been baking, or so it seemed. Drawn into the kitchen by that heavenly scent, I scanned the room, but cinnamon rolls were nowhere to be seen. In their place, on the stove sat a sad, lonely candle, a “cinnamon roll” candle!! No flavorful sweetness—just wax! My euphoria instantly crashed to the floor, what a letdown! There ought to be a law…!
Yes, fragrances can certainly “rejoice the heart.” But even better than that, a friend can cheer up a sad heart.
“So doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.”
More helpful to the heart than a sweet fragrance is a good friend who knows us well and knows what to say to help us. “By hearty counsel” means, “wise counsel is also pleasing.” It is “counsel of the soul.” Solomon understood well how a friend with the right words at the right time might cheer up the heart.
“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver” (Proverbs 25:11).
As much as we need a friend to speak truth into us from time to time, so we need to be that friend who encourages hearts with the Word of truth.
What’s better than a fresh cinnamon roll after a hard day’s work? A good, godly friend.
 “…mean ability to give counsel as a quality of the soul…, i.e., its ability to advise.” Keil & Delitzsch, Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament, the electronic version in eSword.
 Jamison, Fausset, and Brown. Jamison-Fausset-Brown’s Commentary, the electronic version in eSword.
 E.W. Bullinger, The Companion Bible, the electronic version in eSword.