Where is joy truly found?

Proverbs 27:7 says,

“A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb,

But to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.”

I found this verse while leafing aimlessly through the Proverbs. It really struck me; I think there’s a lot of information in this little two-line verse, and so I wanted to do a little bit of a study on it.

The verse addresses the subject of why so very many people live purely for sin and their own pleasure.

Why, since sin has so many consequences, do people base their lives on it despite their awareness that it isn’t right?

First, I want to cover the first line, “A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb.” God will often (or perhaps not so often) fill our hearts with a kind of deep satisfaction and happiness found nowhere else.

It takes time, devotion, and willingness to really find God — but once we’ve found Him, we realize that sin’s got nothing on God’s everlasting love.

God can fill us so deeply that we don’t want anything more. We don’t want sin. Sin is useless and in the long run profits nothing. We don’t want anything but God, because there is nothing and no one, anywhere, as great as Him. “A honeycomb?” we say, “Bah, I don’t need a honeycomb. I’ve got God. God is way better than any honeycomb.”

The term “honeycomb” can probably be interpreted many ways. Maybe it means more of God’s love — maybe it’s referring to when are filled so fully with God’s grace and love that we couldn’t possibly ask for anything more. We say His name, and we think, “This is so amazing. This is all I can take.

God, I’ll be happy with this much alone — if You give me any more, I think my heart will explode.”

Maybe “honeycomb” means sin. When we see God, sin becomes so small and tiny. We loathe any sin anywhere. We think of what we’ve done in the past, and think, “Why in the heck did I ever do that? Why didn’t I take this joy instead? How incredibly stupid of me.”

My youth pastor, in a Sunday morning teaching, once drew a little circle in the middle of a very large white board, and labeled it “sin.” Then, he drew a square around the little sin circle, so that the circle took up almost all of the square around it.

He said, “When you fail to see God, this square is what your soul looks like. Sin takes up the whole thing, because you know of nothing better to do than to sin.”

Then, he erased the soul square, and replaced it with a huge square taking up the entire whiteboard.

He labeled the space between the sin circle and the square “God.”

He said, “When you see God, your soul looks like this instead. God fills and stretches your soul to the point where sin is tiny and unimportant. And as you continue to grow in God, and He fills your soul, this happens to sin…” and he erased the sin circle.

All of the above are what happens to us when we find God.

Now, moving on to the second line, “To a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.”

When we don’t know God, who is everything truly good in life, happiness is narrowed down to one option: “Just sin. Do whatever you feel like doing, because that’s all that’ll ever make you happy.”

That’s what Satan whispers into our gullible human ears. “What else is there?” he taunts us.

What a lie. But as sinners without God, how could we know that? We always feel guilty when we sin, but those few moments of pleasure make up for it. To put off it off, we smother guilt in more and more sin. But there is no happiness in sin.

But to those who refuse God, sin is the ultimate happiness. “Every bitter thing is sweet.”

Sin is bitter. Guilt is bitter. But they are so hungry, they take whatever they can because they think it’s all the hope they’ve got.

I once heard someone say, “If the consequences were immediate, sin would have less takers.”

Sin is hopeless. God is hopeful.

Why would anyone choose to be hopeless?

Go ahead, have some happiness.

Choose hope.


PS: Honeycomb picture courtesy cartoondollemporium.com.


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