Honey was the sweetest thing that the people of the Bible knew because it was the only natural sweetener. Psalm 119 says about the word of God, “How sweet are you words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth.” Honey was also scarce, so to come across it was a special treat.
There is also an image in the words of the Bible that describes the journey of life as a path that we walk. Sometimes the path is easy, seemly paved just for you. Other times we encounter big rocks that we must surmount. These rocks are the trials of life, the moments where you want to cry out, “God, I can’t go another step!” When life is good it’s easy to be faithful and feel thankful towards God. But when life’s hard, when you feel like God has abandoned you, you may want to abandon God too. You wish that God were one who would come along and wipe out the rocks from the path, or straighten it into a sidewalk.
Psalm 81 says, “If my people would listen, if they would walk on my path, I would satisfy them with honey from the rock.” If we let the Spirit dwell in our lives, listen for the words God speaks to us, we will be faithful and God will satisfy our needs with honey from the rock. Which means the sweetness we need comes from the hardships of life.
There was a rabbi who lived just after Jesus’ earthly life named Akiva who said, “Be careful when you pray for honey, God may put it in the rocks.”
God of life, accompany me in my life’s journey. When life is good, remind me that it is because of Your goodness that I walk this part of the path. When I hit a rock, give me the mind to be faithful so that I may be satisfied with just enough honey to climb over that rock. Amen.