How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth. Psalm 119:103
I grew up in a large extended family. Some of my distant cousins had a bee operation and made their honey available throughout the valley where I lived as a child. It is still in operation today. ‘Hewitt Honey’ is available in glass jars and it is sold in an old fashioned market in upstate New York, a rare old store with oiled wood floors. When I visit my home town, I make sure I leave room in my suitcase to bring home enough jars to last us for a year.
Honey is golden, literally and figuratively. A local honey is beneficial for those with allergies. It also provides a moist healing environment for wounds. It has antibiotic properties, making a form of hydrogen peroxide when left on a wound. It also keeps the dressing from sticking. An archeologist, T. M. Davies, found a 3,300 jar of honey in an ancient Egyptian tomb and it was still in remarkably good condition. We all know that bears will sustain many bee stings just to get their paws around it.
How desperate am I to consume God’s words? Will I rearrange heaven and earth to make sure I get my time with God? Do I understand that God’s Word heals, that it preserves my spirit, that it provides a healing environment for my soul when arrows from others have caused a wound to fester?
Some would say, and I used to be among them, that God’s words taste bitter, not sweet. Only for a season, I would answer. If taken to the heart, it leads one to repentance, then to joy. There is absolutely nothing more intoxicating than to hear God’s voice wooing you to a certain passage, only to discover that the ‘Word’ was customized to my need that day. Upon meditating, it only got more valuable with time. The prophet Amos also spoke of eating the Word. His hunger caused him to consume it.
I’m finally hungry. All of the time. I know only the edges of the Word’s value and its infinite possibilities when eaten. But having indulged for 13 years now, I will add my testimony to David and tell you that it is indeed sweet to the taste.
You are awesome. You made the bees – which made the honey – which gave me a context for what your Word tastes like. You want to make sure I understand what I’m eating and anticipate the experience. It’s already sweet but how much sweeter will it be as the years pass. I’m going to find out, Lord. Amen
Originally published Thursday, 13 September 2018.