Perhaps, one the greatest ironies growing up as a dentist’s son was the fact that I had an incredible sweet tooth and I was surrounded by a vast supply of sugar. I craved untold amounts of sugar. I knew where the hard candy bowl was, and where the Pop Tarts and donuts were. Oreos, soda and Frosted Flakes were the order of the day. We made home-made ice cream with my mom’s home-made chocolate sauce which was unbelievable with its chunks of delectable goo (I am sure it was off the charts health wise, but hey what did we know? It was the 60’s). The good news is that in the end I ended up with only two cavities. The sad part is that I still have an insatiable sweet tooth.
Any of us who have a sweet tooth understand that wherever sugar is in the house or town or county, it calls to us. If there are cookies in the jar – we know it, and we will not be remotely satisfied until we have some, maybe many. If there is a remnant of bar left in the wrapper, we cannot rest until it is vanquished. But, alas, society and the medical industry do not look kindly upon my compulsion.
Still, with all negative image cast upon sugar consumption nowadays, I find it comforting (in a weird sort of way) that there is something I have in common with the Psalmist. I think he had a sweet tooth as well!
After extolling the wonders and benefit of the Word of God throughout Psalm 119, he declares in verse 103, “How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Interesting comparison, don’t you think? And this is not the first time he has alluded to God’s Word this way.
Back in Psalm 19, again after praising the benefit of God’s Word, He proclaims in verse 10, “They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.” Interesting how the comparison to gold and honey describes his affection for the Scriptures.
Gold is one of the most desired of all external prizes. Honey, one of the most pleasurable internal aspirations, and yet the Word, says the Psalmist surpasses them both even the purest drippings of the honeycomb. The Words of the Lord are always on his mind, calling to him, ministering to him. He understands that the Word is to be craved, sought after, yearned for, and coveted more than any external prize, or internal pleasure; it is the breathed Word of God expressing the will of God.
When it gets right down to it, the effects of honey are temporary – the sugar high doesn’t last. More is needed. Quite a different story with God’s Word. The Law restores the soul. The Testimony makes wise. The Precepts rejoice the heart. The Commandment enlightens the eyes. The Judgments are true and righteous altogether. What the instruction of the Lord has to offer is God’s wisdom. God’s redemption. God’s joy.
Don’t get me wrong. The Psalmist and I still love and endorse honey, after all God made the bees, and had them make it for mankind, but its benefits don’t even come close to the satisfaction we obtain from a steady ingestion of God’s Word.
Instead of opening the jar or the wrapper, open the Word!
The reward is amazing!