My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste:
Sweets can be rejuvenating and delightful. Solomon used honey for his comparison. It is good for reviving a hungry man (I Sam 14:27). Honey also tastes sweet for pleasure in eating it (Ps 19:10). Honey illustrates two blessings of wisdom – it revives the soul and provides much pleasure. Wisdom also rewards with certain success (Pr 24:14).
The proverb before you is the first half of a metaphorical comparison with wisdom. Here is the second half: “So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off” (Pr 24:14). Gaining wisdom is energizing and delightful, and then it leads to rewarding prosperity.
Honey was a common food in Israel during Solomon’s reign (Lev 20:24; Is 7:15; Matt 3:4). Eaten in right amounts, it was invigorating and very pleasant. Too much of it could make you sick, but that is not considered here (Pr 25:16,27). Its properties to rejuvenate and delight the soul are what he used to illustrate and exalt the value of wisdom.
Have you experienced the sweet exhilaration and pleasure of honey? Or much rather, do you know the reviving delight of wisdom? Once you have tasted honey, other sweeteners or substitutes are easily detected. Once you learn God’s wisdom, even the world’s best ideas are bland or bitter to your heart and mind, for they are far inferior by comparison.
David used a similar comparison. The creation, especially the sun, reveals God’s glory, so that men are without excuse for ignoring Him (Ps 19:1-6; Rom 1:18-21). But far better than what nature shows is the wisdom of the Bible (Ps 19:7-9), which is more valuable than gold and sweeter than honey (Ps 19:10). Like the wisdom lesson here, the scriptures also save men from trouble by their warnings, and they bring great reward (Ps 19:11).
If you know honey rejuvenates and delights, would you want cabbage when famished and desiring a lift? Once you taste the good word of God, why would you consider anything the world has to offer? This latter contrast is far worse, for the world and its wisdom are opposed to God, and He is fully committed to destroying both (I Cor 1:19-21; 3:18-20).
Do you pursue and approach the preaching of God’s word with the desire and joy a famished man would show toward honey? Or do you despise prophesying as the Bible warns (I Thess 5:20)? Do you resent sound doctrinal preaching like modern so-called Christians (II Tim 4:3-4)? Confess your foolishness and humble yourself before the great God, thank Him for His inspired word and its wisdom, and find yourself a Bible preacher.
Free Daily Proverbs Commentary Email