I sit here this morning enjoying my cup of coffee and my usual piece of toast with honey on top. Honey, so sweet and delicious and God’s gift to us without the guilt of eating something processed. Have you ever thought about honey? My name Melissa, means “honey bee”, so you can see I am quite fond of honey.
I will remember the words of my father in law, Johnnie and how he would swear by honey and its healing treatments. He started using honey on a diabetic ulcer that would not go away with regular topical ointments. He would try anything, and honey was no exception. He watched his infection clear up faster with honey. If you ever went to visit, you would know how honey was his miracle cure for any sore or burn. We all know the cure for a sore throat or coughs, the old remedy of a hot tottie with honey, a little lemon juice mixed with other liquids. If you really want to study folk remedies, honey is used for insomnia, impotence, hangovers, allergies, energy and arthritis. I find honey used quite often in grandmothers old tales too.
Honey has a history. In Egypt people used honey for embalming the dead or offered up to the gods. In the Roman Empire, honey was used instead of gold to pay taxes. The Bible refers to honey several times also. It was referred to as a wholesome food, a helpful medicine, an ingredient of delicious drinks, an appropriate gift and a valued possession. From Samson, to John the Baptist, to the Promise Land flowing with milk and honey. The heaven-born manna, on which the Israelites subsisted in the desert for forty years, contained honey; “And the House of Israel called the name thereof manna; and it resembled coriander seed, white, and tasted like wafers made with honey.” Jacob, the Patriarch, when he sent his son to Egypt, gave him honey, spices, myrrh and almonds to deliver as a present to the Governor. When Jeroboam’s queen visited the blind Prophet Ahijah at Shiloh, she brought with her a cruse of honey in order to obtain a favorable report about her dying son. Possibly honey was also intended to cure the Prophet’s blindness. King David’s army, 3,000 years ago, was provided with honey, . . . “they brought beds and basins and earthen vessels and wheat and barley . . . beans and lentils . . . and honey and butter for David and for the people with him, to eat; for they said, the people are hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness.” That the Hebrews highly valued honey as a food substance is conclusively proven by the words of the son of Sirach, who recognized honey as “one of the principal things for use in man’s life.” Mixing honey with wine is repeatedly mentioned. Assyria was called the land of honey and olive trees. In Jewish tradition, honey is a symbol for the new year and is eaten with apple slices to bring in a sweet new year.
One particular thing that the Bible compares honey to is wisdom and righteousness. When we have wisdom, we can profit from it. People can relish things that are sweet to the palate but may have no relish for the things that are sweet to purify the soul that make us wise to salvation. So, the next time you use a little honey for whatever reason, remember not to think only of it’s value and the sweetness of taste but hunger for the wisdom and righteousness of God.
Prayer: Lord help me to search for your wisdom and righteousness. Never let me forget the sweetness of salvation and where you have brought me from. In Jesus name. Amen.
Proverbs 24:13-14 Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste. Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. (NIV)
Psalms 19:9-11 The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.