When people are asked to mention some of the things that God calls us to do, people will often mention having a prayer life, reading the bible and loving our neighbor. These are some of the most well known commands God gives to His people. In the book of Proverbs we find another call, but it’s not as well known; it’s a call to eat honey. In chapter 24:13 it says: Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste (NIV). It is somewhat of a puzzling proverb, but there are two aspects to it.
The first aspect is nutritional. Honey is good for us to eat. It boosts energy, builds up the immune system and can lower cholesterol. It also aids in restoring the body. Honey can prevent infection from things like cuts and burns in addition to soothing pain. In the Old Testament, the Promised Land was often referred to as the land flowing with milk and honey, which meant that it was a fertile land, and what it produced would be good for the people. On the one hand, God is calling us to eat things that are healthy for us. It’s a helpful reminder that we need to be good stewards of our bodies.
The second aspect of the proverb is about enjoyment. Notice that it says that we should eat honey because it is sweet to your taste. Never mind the nutritional and medicinal value of honey, we should eat it simply because it tastes good! Honey is enjoyable and pleasant and being able to experience that in our lives is also important. The second thing that God is saying here is that He wants us to enjoy our walk with Him. Often we work so hard and take things so seriously that we lose our sense of enjoyment of being in a relationship with our Maker. Sometimes Christians don’t smile enough. Yes, there is a sense of urgency attached to spreading the Gospel. Sometimes when we think about what goes on this world, we can’t help but cry; but we need to smile, too. There is a place for a Christian to bowl, dance, and even color their hair a wild color from time to time.
God wants us to take our relationship with Him seriously and to live according to the guidelines He has set forth in His Word. But don’t forget to have fun and enjoy your walk with Him, too!
Pastor Jim Alblas
Pioneer Christian Reformed Church
3110 17 Mile Road, Cedar Springs