“Honey” and “Wisdom”

13My son, eat honey, for it is good, and the drippings of 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. (Prov. 24.13, 14)

Long before modern science discovered its extraordinary beneficial properties, the ancients knew that honey is good, and good for you: “soundness to the soul and health to the body,” as Solomon said in another place (Prov. 16.24).  And likewise here: “My son, eat honey, for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste” (Prov. 24.13).  It sounds almost like an infomercial from the National Honey Board.

In fact, this is an ad of sorts-not for “honey,” however, which brings pleasure and health to the body, but for “wisdom,” which brings vitality to the soul.   Here in these two words-“honeyand “wisdom“-Solomon paints a picture of biblical wellness.  God made us a unity of material and immaterial, body and soul (Gen. 2.7; Jas. 2.26).  Because we belong to Him, we should certainly care for both the body and the soul. But we should certainly care more for the soul. By all means, “eat honey,” Solomon says-join the Y, watch what you eat, jog-but “Know that wisdom is such to your soul” (v. 14).  What shall it profit to gain the body of Adonis, and never know God?

Honey” and “wisdom” highlight the most critical distinction in human life-one that God presses on our minds and hearts in a hundred different ways.  The “body” and the “soul;the “temporal” and the eternal;” the “flesh” and the “spirit;” the “present evil age” and the “age to come;” “earth” and “heaven;” the “now” and the “not yet;” the “kingdom of this world” and the “kingdom of God;” “time” and “eternity.”  We could go on.  And perhaps we should, because as sinners in a fallen world, we need constant reminders that “the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Cor. 4.18).  Those are the words of Paul, but Solomon spoke them a thousand years before.  If “you find it [wisdom], there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off.” Honey, like a workout at the gym, “is of some value,” but “godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (1 Tim.  4.8).

But only “if you find it,” Solomon says.  Today if you want honey, you can “find it” in Safeway or Family Thrift (near the jelly and peanut butter, I think).  But “finding” honey in Solomon’s day required a real search.  The Psalmist spoke of honey from a rock (Ps.  81.16), Jonathan found it in a tree (1 Sam. 14.27), and Samson in the carcass of a lion (Jdg. 14.8)!  The benefits of finding honey, however, far outweigh the diligence (and maybe danger) required to get it.  Godly wisdom won’t come without effort either-but, oh, the pleasures of knowing God!

You are loved.

Your Pastor,

Richard Wells

Explore posts in the same categories: Lighthouse Letter, Proverbs

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