“My son, eat honey, for it is good, yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste; “
Proverbs 24:13 NASB
What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘honey’? Beekeepers love explaining the steps of how bees produce the sweet sticky substance from the nectar of flowers. Many spouses affectionately refer to their loved one as ‘Honey.’ The Old Testament speaks of Israel as the land flowing with milk and honey. For many of us, we just like to eat it!
According to today’s verse, honey is, in fact, good and sweet to the taste. It also instructs one to eat it because of its goodness. However, we find further specific instructions about it in Proverbs 25:16 NASB (emphasis mine):
Have you found honey? Eat only what you need, that you not have it in excess and vomit it.
Back in my early twenties and for many years after that, I was somewhat allergic to honey. If I ate more than a tablespoon or so, I would end up with a bad stomachache for several hours – not fun! Therefore, for me personally, just a little taste was all I needed to suffice.
Let’s move on to the next mention of honey and notice the warning it gives.
It is not good to eat much honey, Prov. 25:27a (emphasis mine)
Being the curious one that I am, I looked up honey in my Zondervan’s Compact Bible Dictionary. Among its definitions were the following two sentences (emphasis mine). I think they ring true with the verses we’ve already read:
Honey as food is recognized and recommended, but in moderation.
Honey is a standard of comparison for pleasant things, good or bad.
Obesity, dieting, healthy eating, diet fads, and losing weight are common topics talked about and plastered everywhere in our society. In pondering the verses above, it occurred to me how advantageous and powerful these three simple truths are if applied to our eating habits.
1) Food is good, and you need to eat it to remain healthy.
2) Eat only what you need – moderation is the key word here!
3) It is not good to eat too much.
It makes sense that if honey is a standard for pleasant things, then it would be wise to follow the advice in the Scriptures. Enjoy the good food God has given, but eat to live, not live to eat. [Digging Deeper – Prov. 27:7]