Scripture Studies: Proverbs 27:7

"A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet." - Proverbs 27:7

I've probably read this verse a million times, and vaguely understood it. Then one day I stopped to read it and amazingly it took on a whole new meaning.

There are so many verses in the Bible that state honey being a good thing, something rightly to be desired, and that reflects what is righteous.

More to be desired [are they] than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. - Psalm 19:10

How sweet are thy words unto my taste! [yea, sweeter] than honey to my mouth! - Psalm 119:103

Pleasant words [are as] an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. - Proverbs 16:24

My son, eat thou honey, because [it is] good; and the honeycomb, [which is] sweet to thy taste. - Proverbs 24:13

So this verse seemed a mystery. "A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb"... this would mean that the soul was not hungry. We all know that no matter how full we get, there is always room for desert. Yet this soul loathes the honeycomb.

The thing that finally clicked for me in this verse, is us. When we are so full of the Holy Spirit, so on fire for God, and empowered by His Word, our souls are satisfied. We no longer yearn for the things of the world. However; this verse does not say that the "honeycomb" is a bad thing. In fact, most verses in the Bible (as posted above) point to honeycomb being a good and desirable thing! However when we are so full of God's love, we do not desire the good of the earth in the slightest. The closer we get to God, the less good we see in the "good" things, and we slowly lose our desire for them. 

Of course, this doesn't mean we should take advantage of the good things. It is said, you shouldn't have too much of a good thing.

[It is] not good to eat much honey: so [for men] to search their own glory [is not] glory. - Proverbs 25:27

As it is not good to eat too much sweet, neither is it good to have too much good things or glory. God has blessed us with so many enjoyable activities and possessions, and at times people glorify God in us. (i.e. praising our talents, abilities, etc.) Too much of either works oppositely to what a strong walk with God does for us. Just as reading God's Word, prayer, and practise causes our walk with the Lord to grow richer, indulging in too much "good" drags us away from Him, and towards earthly things. Thus, the honeycomb becomes "loathsome".

On to the other half: "But to a hungry soul, every bitter thing is sweet". This is sad. To those who do not have a relationship with God, their souls are constantly hungering after something. In the words of Herb Larsen, "every person has a God-shaped hole in their heart that [unless filled by God] they are constantly trying to fill." To the unsaved, every new thing that is bitter (i.e. sinful) is sweet to them, but only for a while. The phrase "every bitter thing" implies that most people try everything that is bitter in an effort to fill the hole in their hearts. 

It caused me sadness to fully understand this verse. How much joy and peace is shown in the first half, yet such pain and sorrow in the last part. To know everyone who has accepted Jesus as their saviour and strive towards Him lose their desires for the world and fix their eyes on heavenly things is a joy. However knowing that so many people spend their whole lives filling their souls with bitter tasting experiences to fill the hungering space in their hearts is devastating. 

How fortunate, how undeservingly blessed I am that Jesus found me. I only hope and pray that someday I can share His love with someone so that their soul may be satisfied too.

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