Proverbs 27:7 (New King James)
A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb,
But to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.
Mishlei 27:7 (Proverbs, Hebrew Bible)
A sated soul tramples honeycomb, but to a hungry soul all bitter is sweet.
As I write this right now, I am sitting next to a big bag of chocolate chip cookies. I simply LOVE chocolate chip cookies. As sweet and yummy as those cookies are, I just ate a good breakfast and I have no desire right now to eat cookies. We have all been in such a position, our stomachs so full we don’t even want the sweets set before us at a party, at Thanksgiving dinner, at a church potluck. I don’t think I would EVER “trample” on cookies, but I can certainly skip a cookie or two right now while my stomach is satisfied.
But the writer here is talking about a SOUL that is sated or full. What is that? A soul that is full is satisfied that it has all it needs or wants. Such a soul has some love and is sure that is enough. Such a soul feels it has enough knowledge to see itself through. Such a soul believes that it understands God’s will. Such a soul is sure that it is righteous before God. But can we ever be so loved, so intelligent, so wise or so righteous?
It is possible that we reach a material place in our lives where even such a sweet thing as the blessed Word of God no longer seems attractive. We could be so caught up in our success – or even in just getting by – that we don’t have room in our full lives for a sweet word from the Lord God.
Ah, but what about the lonely and downtrodden, the oppressed and the spiritually hungry? To such a one even the most bitter words of the Bible are like a tasty chocolate chip cookie. Too often, we equate material satisfaction with spiritual satisfaction, and we treat God’s Word as a dessert rather than our daily bread. Scripture becomes something we ADD to our spiritual diet rather than letting it be the STAPLE of our spiritual diet.
In our everyday lives, regardless of how satisfied we may feel with our homes and our careers, let us never forget to be hungry for God and His Word. The Lord’s law, His testimony, His statutes, His commandment, and even our fear of the Lord – the Psalmist reminds us:
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
11 Moreover by them Your servant is warned,
And in keeping them there is great reward.
Let us not trample the honeycomb of God’s Word. Rather, let us drink of its sweetness AND its bitterness, that we may know and love God more.
Heavenly Father, Your Word is more than a lamp unto my feet. Your Holy Bible is my bread and my honey. Teach me, O Lord, to never be satisfied with life, to ever desire Your Word, and to be hungry for You always. Amen.
– written July 2, 2009