Sweeter Than Honey
In the 1964 Disney film, “Mary Poppins,” Julie Andrews sang, “A Spoonful of Sugar,” to coax the children to take their medicine. Did the sugar have medicinal affects? Certainly—it helped get the real stuff into the children. Before awful tasting medicines, natural remedies brought comfort and healing to the sick. Honey was and is such a remedy. It soothes a sore throat and eases coughing.* In the scripture passage for today, the psalmist tells us—
“How sweet are thy words unto my taste!
Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.”
Psalm 119: 103, KJV
As honey soothes a sore throat and calms a cough allowing us to rest, God’s word does much more. Before anxiety’s trickle becomes a rushing flood in our minds, we need to eat God’s honey.
Through the writings of the Apostle Paul, we hear God saying,
- “Rejoice in the Lord always: again I will say, rejoice!
- Be anxious for nothing,
- but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7, NASB
How do we rejoice in the face of tragedy? The verse doesn’t say rejoice in life’s tragedies. It says, Rejoice in the Lord. We can because he is with us. He is sweeter than honey and soothes the ache in our heart. He understands our pain.
“for he hath said,
I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
So that we may boldly say,
THE LORD IS MY HELPER,
AND I WILL NOT FEAR WHAT MAN SHALL DO UNTO ME …
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace,
that we may obtain mercy,
and find grace to help in time of need.”
Be anxious for nothing
Because the Lord is with us, because he is our helper, he invites us to bring our anxiety— the things that cause us to look away from him and toward our circumstances—to his throne and receive his mercy and grace to help us in our troubles. Worry only breeds greater worry.
One greater than our troubles, greater than the enemy of our soul, waits for us to come to him as King Jehoshaphat did in 2 Chronicles 20,with—
everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
- When Jehoshaphat feared the great army coming against him, his first response was to seek the Lord(verse 3).
Many times after our strength has failed, then we seek the Lord.
- Not only did Jehoshaphat seek the Lord, he called all of Judah to join him in prayer and fasting.
We don’t have to handle our heartaches, tragedies, or fear alone. The Lord has given us likeminded people to join us. We need only ask. There is no shame in asking for help. We all stand in the same need.
- Jehoshaphat proceeded in prayer by rehearsing who God is, what he had done for his people, and his word. Basically, he said,
“Art not thou our God …
If, when evil cometh upon us,
as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine,
we stand before this house,
and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,)
and cry unto thee in our affliction,
then thou wilt hear and help.”
Jehoshaphat drew strength from knowing the Lord and his word. As the name of the Lord was in his temple, so is the name of the Lord in us who belong to him. We are his temple. He will hear and help.
- Then comes Jehoshaphat’s supplication—his request offered in humility. First he states they didn’t have strength or power to fight the enemy. Their only hope was to look to God who has all power and might—and wait.
In the waiting, our persistence and faith to wait test our trust in the God we have petitioned.
- Jehoshaphat didn’t have long to wait. The enemy was at his door. The Lord answered in their need through a prophet’s word.
“Be not afraid nor dismayed
by reason of this great multitude;
for the battle is not your’s, but God’s.”
- God laid out the battle plan. Don’t fight. Stand still. See the Lord’s salvation. Don’t fear. Don’t lose heart. Go out against the enemy. The Lord promised to be with them.
with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God
- Jehoshaphat did as the Lord commanded but not before worshipping him, singing, and praising the Lord.
- Jehoshaphat rejoiced before seeing the word come true, while danger drew nearer to him and all Judah.
- After singing and giving thanks, the Lord caused the armies to turn against one another, not leaving one alive.
Not only did Jehoshaphat not have to raise a sword, but the Lord also gave them the spoil of the other armies. It took three days for them to gather it all.
Jehoshaphat’s God is our God. He has not changed. He still seeks a people who trust him to be strong on their behalf. For he is faithful.
“Now unto him that is able to do
exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that worketh in us,
Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus
throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”
Ephesians 3:20-21, KJV
When we don’t know what to do—
- Eat the sweeter than honey of God’s word and,
- Rejoice—Our Lord is with us. He is able.
- Don’t worry, but pray— Speak his word to him and listen for him to speak.
- Don’t worry, but ask— He waits for us to call on him.
- Don’t worry, but be thankful—He has heard our prayer. Thanksgiving shows we trust him to do exceedingly abundantly more than we ask or even think.
What strikes fear and worry in your heart and mind? What do you need to do to have peace? Try a bite of honey.
*10 Health Benefits of Honey, facty.com.