A year or two ago, I cut sugar from my diet in an effort to decrease arthritis inflammation. Eager to experiment and find a sugar substitute, I delighted in finding I could consume honey to my heart’s content! This sweet, edible substance is not only used by humans across the globe; it is a taste as old as time. The Bible mentions honey in a literal and figurative example over sixty times.
I find it helpful to look into the greater meaning behind “the finest of the wheat” and “honey from the rock.” Of the latter, the land of Canaan abounds with honey, where bees make their home in the clefts and holes of rocks. A delicacy then just as it is now, honey is one of the only sweeteners available to the Israelites; but even more so, its sweetness serves a metaphorical purpose, as a sign of abundance and prosperity.
Now when I open the honey jar for my morning coffee or substitute it in a batch of cookies, I see honey in a new way. I see the promises of God—not only the promises that should have been but the promises that very well will be—as I trust and hope in the enough of the Holy One.
Dear God, as I trust in your abundance, feed me with the sweetest of substances, with hidden honey from the rocks. I will forever relish the sweetness of your love. Amen.
Jeremiah (the “weeping prophet”) is not very popular in his time. In this passage he relates a message from God that the people have forsaken God (living water) and put their trust in things that can never satisfy (leaky cisterns). The psalmist expresses similar frustration from God. Israel will not listen to God’s voice or receive God’s provision, so God allows them to experience the unfortunate consequences of their choices. The author of Hebrews provides practical advice for living the Christian life: showing hospitality, caring for those in prison, honoring marriage, and avoiding materialism. This ethical living is an offering to God. Jesus reinforces this in his parable of the banquet. We should be generous to those who need it most, not just to those who can provide us some benefit in return.
Read Jeremiah 2:4-13. When have you missed the fountain of living water springing up before you?
Read Psalm 81:1, 10-16. How is God seeking to provide for you? Are you willing to accept God’s satisfying provision?
Read Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16. How do you or your faith community share hospitality? Do you distinguish between friends and strangers?
Read Luke 14:1, 7-14. Whom do you invite to your home and to your church? Do you invite those who cannot repay you or only those who can?
Respond by posting a prayer.
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