One of my goals when I began my study of Proverbs in January was to give “common sense” applications to the great truths authored by Solomon over 3,000 years ago. My day-to-day study has reminded me that the Word of God is timeless–from generation to generation its truths are applicable if we are willing to aspire to the wisdom of God and live according to His will.
Typical of our study in Proverbs, today’s proverbs are simple, but profound in their application.
Proverbs 27:7 – “The full [satisfied] soul [heart; appetite] loatheth [treads underfoot; tramples] an honeycomb [i.e. flowing with honey]; but to the hungry [famished] soul every bitter thing [discontent; angry; heavy] is sweet.”
It is no secret that Americans are not only known for their appetite, but also for their waistlines. Our taste buds are tantalized by an endless variety of foods that run from fast foods and “All-You-Can-Eat” buffets, to 5-Star restaurants that are posh and insanely expensive. We have become what Solomon suggests—a people so-filled that we have little appreciation for the simpler things in life [i.e. a honeycomb flowing with honey].
I invite you to consider a broader application of Proverbs 27:7. It is not only the stomach, but also the heart of man that is in danger of loathing and trampling underfoot the things that were once sweet to the soul.
The psalmist writes in Psalm 119:103, “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” King David wrote concerning the worship, Word and Law of God:
Psalm 19:9-10 – “The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.”
As a pastor, one of my great fears is that members in a spiritually “well-fed” church will come to loathe the teaching of God’s Word. The church of Laodicea had that problem. They had become so comfortable that the Lord condemned them with these words:
Revelation 3:17 – “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:”
The Laodiceans had become spiritually insensitive, satisfied. What about you? Have you lost your appetite for reading God’s Word? Do you still hunger for God’s truths? Is it possible that, like the man who never goes hungry and tramples underfoot a honeycomb laden with honey, you have begun to treat the opportunities of worship and meditating on God’s Word with disdain? The majority of the world’s population cannot satisfy their souls with what you take for granted. What a tragedy!
Proverbs 27:8 addresses an entirely different challenge—a man who wanders from his home and place.
Proverbs 27:8 – “As a bird that wandereth [flees; departs; wanders abroad] from her nest, so is a man [male; i.e. husband or mate] that wandereth [flees; departs; wanders abroad] from his place[home; place; space; or even his place of worship].”
The immediate application of Proverbs 27:8 is that, as a bird that strays too far from its nest endangering itself and its chicks, so is the man who strays in his heart and thoughts from his marriage and family—putting at risk everything he should cherish.
Proverbs 27:8 has a broader application than a man’s home; its truth is applicable to every facet of his life. It is heartbreaking for me to reflect on how many Christians I have known who strayed spiritually from their church fellowship to what they believed were greener pastures. I sorrow to think how many marriages ended in divorce; how many children went spiritually astray; how many grandchildren will grow up with little to no knowledge of the Gospel and the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith.
The spiritual meandering of a wandering soul begins subtly for various reasons, often unnoticed by others. Little hints of something spiritually amiss—missing a service here and another there; neglecting ministry opportunities that were once a passion; even something as innocuous as where you sit when you go to church. A little straying here; a little wandering there—and before you know it you are far from home.
Copyright 2014 – Travis D. Smith