28 October 2021

Proverbs 24:13-14

Eat honey, my son, for it is good;
    honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.
14 Know also that wisdom is like honey for you:
    If you find it, there is a future hope for you,
    and your hope will not be cut off.

We tend to contrast wisdom with pleasure. The wise man avoids pleasures so that he might pursue righteousness or keep his head to make good decisions. But wisdom lies really in choosing true pleasure. Wisdom itself is pleasure, and the wise man will not part from it, not so much out of self-discipline and denial, but because he has tasted the honey and likes it.

He reads the “classics” and writings that typically take effort to comprehend fully, not so much to improve his mind but because they engage his mind. What we regard as an effort to be “above the rest” is simply his ability to delight in what we will not make the effort to understand. Our tendency is to go with whatever immediately catches our attention. That is why the mass media uses constantly changing images. It knows that we will press the remote quickly to another channel the moment we are bored. And we are bored when we have to use mental energy to grasp what we are seeing or hearing or reading.

Like the child who develops a fuller taste for foods as he grows up, so we could do the same if we would develop our minds. What may seem to be tedious at the beginning becomes a pleasure that tastes like honey.


Psalm 94

The Lord is a God who avenges.
    O God who avenges, shine forth.
Rise up, Judge of the earth;
    pay back to the proud what they deserve.
How long, Lord, will the wicked,
    how long will the wicked be jubilant?

They pour out arrogant words;
    all the evildoers are full of boasting.
They crush your people, Lord;
    they oppress your inheritance.
They slay the widow and the foreigner;
    they murder the fatherless.
They say, “The Lord does not see;
    the God of Jacob takes no notice.”

Take notice, you senseless ones among the people;
    you fools, when will you become wise?
Does he who fashioned the ear not hear?
    Does he who formed the eye not see?
10 Does he who disciplines nations not punish?
    Does he who teaches mankind lack knowledge?
11 The Lord knows all human plans;
    he knows that they are futile.

12 Blessed is the one you discipline, Lord,
    the one you teach from your law;
13 you grant them relief from days of trouble,
    till a pit is dug for the wicked.
14 For the Lord will not reject his people;
    he will never forsake his inheritance.
15 Judgment will again be founded on righteousness,
    and all the upright in heart will follow it.

16 Who will rise up for me against the wicked?
    Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?
17 Unless the Lord had given me help,
    I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.
18 When I said, “My foot is slipping,”
    your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.
19 When anxiety was great within me,
    your consolation brought me joy.

20 Can a corrupt throne be allied with you—
    a throne that brings on misery by its decrees?
21 The wicked band together against the righteous
    and condemn the innocent to death.
22 But the Lord has become my fortress,
    and my God the rock in whom I take refuge.
23 He will repay them for their sins
    and destroy them for their wickedness;
    the Lord our God will destroy them.