Wisdom Like Honey

“Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste. Know also that wisdom is like honey for you: If you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.” (Proverbs 24:13-14)

Both wisdom and honey come from what seems ordinary. Bees gather nectar from flowers, digest it, then produced honey. We accumulate life experiences, digest them, and hopefully develop wisdom as a result.

 “Both are gathered slowly, carefully, knowingly, arduously, and sometimes painfully.” (Phillips Commentary)

Both honey and wisdom are beneficial and sweet. They also both have medicinal value as well.

Knowing all this, consider the following verses and use them to assess the value you place on wisdom.

“The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.” (Psalm 19:7-11)

The following questions can help guide your meditation of these verses.

  1. What are the different ways the Psalm describes God’s word?
  2. What are the benefits of God’s word to us?
  3. How can the Bible’s connection of honey and wisdom shape your understanding of God’s word?

Sunday Reflections – But for the Warning in My Heart

The following conversation between Boromir & Frodo in The Fellowship of the Ring in which Boromir tries desperately to persuade Frodo to go to Minas Tirith instead of the way that Frodo has chosen reflects well the battle we all have between choosing God’s wisdom over the world’s wisdom.

Boromir: “I know why you seek solitude. You suffer. I see it day by day. You sure you do not suffer needlessly? There are other ways, Frodo, other paths that we might take.”

Frodo: “I know what you would say. And it would seem like wisdom but for the warning in my heart.

Boromir: “Warning? Against what? We’re all afraid, Frodo. But to let that fear drive us to destroy what hope we have… don’t you see, that is madness?”

Frodo: “There is no other way!”

Frodo’s way presents more obvious struggle, difficulty and even impossibility, and Boromir’s way does seem easier at least in the short term. But key in on the reason Frodo gives Boromir for his decision. Frodo tells him that a warning in his heart indicates that Boromir’s way exists as the wrong choice.

Earthly wisdom doesn’t ask for an invitation, and it requires little effort to understand. It pursues, much like Boromir pursued Frodo to persuade him. Worldly wisdom is relative, unique and different depending on an individual’s tastes, preferences and moods. Applying worldly wisdom lacks any complexity too. Just follow feelings, and the world’s wisdom easily takes over. In other words, do nothing to stop the world’s wisdom from impacting you, and impact you it will.

Godly wisdom, while infinitely more abundant, comes by asking God for it and gaining an understanding of His Word. Deliberately choosing Godly wisdom protects your heart against the world’s selfish and increasingly evil ways. When we learn to Develop Wisdom that comes from God and then apply it, we find that His wisdom creates a “pathway through the wilderness” and “rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:18-19).

So why does the world’s wisdom sometimes seem so much easier to obtain and apply that God’s wisdom?

In our instant-gratification culture, easier often seems better and even feels better at least for a little while. Experience tells me, however, that easier often leads to more complications in the long run. God’s ways get at the root of our beliefs, attitudes, actions and words, something many people want to avoid for fear of what they’ll find.

The world’s wisdom provides a short-sighted solution to meeting a craving we all have inside of us. More stuff to have and do seems to be the solution for satisfying this craving. Yet, scripture tells of a very different way to fulfill that craving, which seems insatiable when filled with the wrong things. Because no matter how much sand you eat, it will not fulfill your craving for water!

“As the deer pants for the water, so my soul pants for thee, O God, for the living God.” (Psalm 42:1-2)

“My soul thirsts for Thee, my flesh yearns for Thee, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” (Psalm 63:1)

“Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture said, streams of living water will flow from him.’” (John 7:37)

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty, I will give drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.” (Revelation 21:6)

Worldly wisdom never satisfies because, as Romans 2:15 says, God’s wisdom (His law) is written on our hearts. The world’s wisdom can never erase or write over that which God imprinted on our hearts – the warning in our hearts to live according to His will and His ways.

Only when we realize that and then pursue the only wisdom that can truly satisfy us to the core will we discover a burden that truly is easier and lighter than anything the world has to offer (Matthew 11:30).

DISCUSSION: How do you fight the lure of worldly wisdom and pursue the complete refreshment of God’s wisdom?

For more discussion on this topic, please read Piper: The Devil Says All Truth Is God’s Truth by Loren Pinilis at Life of a Steward.

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