Hope Is Like Honey

Sometimes I reach for the remote and change the channel. I don’t want to ignore the news; I probably watch more than I should. But sometimes I need to turn off the television and turn to God. The past two weeks have been hard to comprehend. I needed a word of hope and found that in Proverbs 24.

Proverbs 24 is part of a series of random wise sayings on a number of topics. I like to think about what these wise sayings meant to the people of that biblical time before considering what the words mean now. Often that is when the words make better sense. King Solomon was gifted with the wisdom of God. If Solomon said these words were wise, then I know to do the same!

I think Proverbs 24:24 caught my eye because I have always loved honey. If I eat breakfast out, and they are going to bring me a biscuit, I am going to ask if they can bring some honey too. (Unless I am at Cracker Barrel—then I’m asking for the apple butter!)

I’ve always loved honey, but lately there has been a renewed appreciation for its use. I googled the benefits of honey and found articles that called it liquid gold and a powerfood. One article said that honey prevented cancer, healed wounds, helped with hangovers and sore throats, and could even be a great facial ingredient. Who knew? I just like the way it tastes.

Honey has been used by cultures for as long as we have recorded history, and probably before then. The ancient Egyptian culture considered it a medicine, and the bee was highly esteemed. King Solomon certainly used honey and he spoke about it in Proverbs 24:13–14. He compared the health-giving properties of honey to the value of wisdom and hope for our future.

Proverbs 24:13–14 says: “Eat honey, my son, for it is good; and the drippings from the honeycomb are sweet to your taste. Know that wisdom is such to your soul: if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off.” Why did King Solomon consider this a wise saying?

— Eating honey is good. Science shows that is true. It has all kinds of health benefits, but most of us use honey because it is “sweet to the taste.” It is nice to know that God wanted us to enjoy his creation. Even when the news is bad or things don’t seem to be right in the world, God’s blessings are available to lift our spirits. Mary Poppins should have sung, “Just a spoonful of honey makes the medicine go down!”

— Wisdom is like honey. My translation: Wisdom does for your life what honey does for your biscuit. “Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight” (Proverbs 4:7). When the news reported there was a shortage of honeybees, I bought some extra honey. I didn’t want to be without it. I should feel the same way about God’s wisdom. God’s word is God’s wisdom and will make our lives sweeter.

— If you find wisdom, there is future hope for you, and it will not end. Each honeybee produces around half of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime. (That fact gives me a greater respect for that bottle on my shelf.) A hive will usually have about 50,000 bees. Most bees stay close to home and only leave for short periods of time. That is why finding honey is a promise of future hope. If the hive remains protected, a person can return on a regular basis and should find honey each time. So it is with God’s wisdom. We can return to God’s word, remember God’s wisdom and continue to find the same hope in God that King Solomon found.

I like to picture King Solomon being served bread, with a container of honey sitting on the tray. I imagine the honey he ate tastes a lot like the honey we eat today. He was probably grateful for the servants that made sure to find the hives and gather the honey for his family. And I feel that way about the servants of God who gathered God’s wisdom, wrote it down, and preserved it for God’s family today.

The wisdom that blessed Solomon blesses us. I went to God’s word with a sad heart, and I found sweet hope for the future. I always did like honey! I hope the news is better tomorrow morning. But regardless, I think I will make some biscuits for breakfast!

How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Psalm 119:103


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