Hebrew Highlights 40 - HONEY
Shalom. This is Yuval Shomron, coming to you from Jerusalem.
EXO 3:8 "So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey…”
The phrase “milk and honey” is used 23 times in the Old Testament. Does Israel really flow with milk and honey? Well, consider this. Israel is, as you know, a very small country. Yet, in 2001, Israel produced 21,000,000 liters of sheep and goats’ milk, and 1,152,903,000 liters of Cows milk. It has 85,000 beehives, which produce 5,440,000 kilograms of honey per year. Israel exports 150 tons of this honey per year.
Let’s concentrate today on “honey”, and it’s use in the word. To do a complete study on the subject would take a book, not a short radio broadcast, but we’ll take a cursory look at the subject.
Let me read first from PSA 19:7-10. “The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether. They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.”
Sometimes, we seem to live in fear of the judgments of the Lord, yet here they are compared to the sweetness of honey. There is nothing naturally sweeter. God used the abundant honey in Israel to bring home a well-understood point to His people.
Another Psalm uses a similar comparison: PSA 119:103 How sweet are Thy words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
When we get to the Book of Proverbs, we encounter a slightly humorous collection of wisdom about honey. First in PRO 24:13, we read, “My son, eat honey, for it is good, Yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste..” That’s right, honey is good for you. Raw honey is a treasure chest of nutritional value and medicinal remedies. It contains many vitamins and minerals, including traces of pollen and propolis. It is a natural and powerful medicine both, internally and externally. Refined sugar, on the other hand, offers empty calories, is man-made and has no nutritional value.
Of course, as men tend to do, we often grab too much of a good thing. Therefore, the next bit of advice found in PRO 25:16 is amended. “Have you found honey? Eat only what you need, Lest you have it in excess and vomit it.”
And just in case we skipped that chapter, PRO 25:27 offers the following: “It is not good to eat much honey, Nor is it glory to search out one's own glory.”
So then, what are we to do? Well, first of all, most of us are probably guilty of eating too much sugar, which again, has no nutritional value. Our honey intake is most likely still well under the safe line, and we could enjoy much more.
Similarly, we probably enjoy too much man-made, supposedly “sweet” wisdom from the world, which has no spiritual value. We still have a lot of room under our spiritual waistline for more scripture.
I have a suggestion for you. Next time you read the word of God, try this recipe:
Put a small bowl of honey on the table, along with a few wedges from an apple. Open your bible on the table, just far enough to the side so you won’t drip honey on it. As you read God’s word, dip the apple pieces into the honey and munch on them.
Believe me. You WILL get the point!
Shalom, Shalom, from Jerusalem.