GOD’S WORD IS SWEETER THAN HONEY
Gary Giddings, Sand Lake, MI
I would like to encourage you to read your Bible on a regular basis if you aren’t doing so already. It is vitally important that we take in a portion of God’s Word every day so that we can grow and mature in the Lord. It isn’t just head knowledge because the Living Word of God feeds the New Creation Life within us.
The prayer, “Give us our daily bread” can apply to BOTH our natural AND spiritual food. God provides and so our part is to partake of the provision that He gives to us. Not only is God’s Word “good for you” but it is also sweet and invigorating. Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). If we went a week without natural food, we would lose weight, energy and focus. So to go a whole week without the Word of God would make us spiritually weak and out of focus.
Proverbs 24:13-14 13 My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste: 14 So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off.
First of all, what is so special about honey? It is the sweetest natural food and it is the only food in nature that doesn’t spoil. God’s Word is the sweetest because it tells us the GOOD NEWS of God’s love to us. God’s Word is relevant and is never out of date. “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times” (Psalm 12:6). Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matt. 24:35).
God made nature to reflect spiritual things, so it is no surprise then that honey is a symbol of God’s Word to us: honey is GOOD and the honeycomb is SWEET. The Honeycomb is more than just the wax structure; according to the Strong’s Concordance, the honeycomb is “a dripping, i.e., of honey (from the comb).” The Gesenius’ Lexicon: “honey dripping from the combs.”
Why is honey sweet to our taste? We have taste buds on our tongue that tells our brain that something is sweet. If you want to taste something, it has to stay in your mouth long enough for your taste buds to process it.
Growing up in America, we may not remember the first time that we had something sweet because we were so young. But we know sweet when we taste it! But there are many people that don’t know the sweetness of God’s Word because they haven’t had a good “taste” of it when they were young. What others say about the Word of God can keep them from tasting the sweetness of the Word. So when people make up their mind about something they’ve never tasted or tested, they will not know or understand the sweetness of God’s Word.
Think of this: the Word of God CAN BE offensive to the sinner at first because the Word tells the truth of our fallen, sinful condition without God. The Word brings conviction! But with a FULL TASTE of God’s Word, sinners can realize the GOOD NEWS, the SWEET NEWS that Jesus paid the price for their sins. How wonderful it is to learn that our sins are forgiven and the oppressive power of sin is broken!
The Bible is a treasure of God’s WISDOM that is GOOD and SWEET to our soul. There is also a promise of reward. Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” That there is a reward means that there is something worth doing. Reading and studying the Word of God is worth doing and is NEVER a waste of time! It is when we open our heart and our mind to the Lord that He ministers to us.
God gives us a HOPE that will come to pass. JESUS is the Word of God and He is “the joy of man’s desire.” God is not tantalizing us with something that we can never have, but He is drawing us to Him with His love and kindness. One day we will be in His immediate presence to know the ultimate “fullness of joy” and “pleasures forevermore.”
We are learning to appreciate the Word of God and so we develop a taste for what is good and right. The prophet Jeremiah said, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts” (Jer. 15:16). How sweet it is to know and experience God’s love. There is nothing in this world that can measure up to it.
Psalm 19:7-11 7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
God’s Word is more valuable than gold and is sweeter than any natural sweetness. When we receive God’s Word with an open heart, it goes down into the very depths of our being and meets our every need. Do you need guidance, comfort and encouragement? God’s Word is alive and powerful (Heb. 4:12) for these things. God also warns us through His Word. We have good examples and bad examples in the Bible and we read how God dealt with them. We may think that we are the exception to the rule but the Bible tells us that we will ALL answer to God.
When we have tasted the best, why do we want anything else? Yet our flesh is still drawn to the things of the world. That is why we need to be PROACTIVE and feed the New Creation as early and as often as we can.
Psalm 119:103-104 103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
Because we love the SWEETNESS of God’s Word and the understanding that He gives us, we hate that which is false. When we know how misleading and dangerous false ways are, we should HATE it as much as any stinky, putrid, rotten thing. Not all ways lead to heaven, despite what the religious world has to say about this. We don’t hate people but we hate deceptive customs and traditions that lead people astray.
Proverbs 16:20-24 20 He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he. 21 The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning. 22 Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly. 23 The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips. 24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
Happiness is elusive to those who pursue it at any cost. But for those who put their trust in God DO find happiness. This “sweetness of the lips” is God’s Word that gives us true learning. God’s words are the most “pleasant words” that are sweet to the soul.
Proverbs 16:25 “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” How can we turn away from the bitter and poisonous things of the world? We need God’s Word to direct our steps in the right way. We have to be careful and guard ourselves against that which would entice us to do wrong. There is a spiritual battle going on for the hearts and souls of men, women and children everywhere. We can’t expect to live in freedom if we are not guarding ourselves against self-tyranny.
Proverbs 5:1-5 1 My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding: 2 That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge. 3 For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: 4 But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.
SWEET is a subjective word, just as the word BEAUTIFUL is. It is said that “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” but wrongdoing is proved to be UGLY by the fruit that it yields. There is a fascination with evil that troubles human existence. We can read books about it, watch movies about it and even call it “entertainment.” We don’t want it to happen to us or our loved ones, but evil can be very subtle and lead us astray. It is a curious thing that evil can be so seductive, but that is why it is so evil: not showing itself for what it really is, it has to mask itself in order to draw people away from God.
Acts 20:32 “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”
How SWEET it is that we have God’s Word available to us. Let us take advantage of this wonderful treasure: DIG IN and learn more about our Creator who loves us and wants us to be with Him. It is His Word that builds us up and gives us an inheritance.
I encourage you to develop a regular reading of the Bible so that you can FEED your soul with SWEET and GOOD things. Don’t let your feelings or a busy schedule get in the way. God’s Word is too important to leave out of our daily life!