A number of months ago, I began using honey in my morning coffee instead of refined sugar. In fact, because we have bees, my wife began substituting honey in a number of places in our family’s diet.
Then it hit me, ‘this used to be the sweetest stuff on the planet!’ In fact, for thousands of years honey was the sweetest readily available ‘sugar’ on the planet. Only in the last century has man begun to use the laboratory and myriad chemicals to develop alternative sweeteners, aspartame being just one, as well as a plethora of intense flavors derived from all manner of bizarre stuff.
Not long ago I saw a ‘hell’evision program detailing the constant quest in the food industry for new and intense flavors to make whatever food substitute item more desirable, thus selling more product. And, ruining consumer’s health in the process.
My brain, taking those diverse pieces of information, as I licked up the spilled honey, suddenly made some interesting connections.
Honey is the real thing, and it is indeed intensely sweet. When we get away from it for artificial sweeteners, our taste buds become warped, we are left unsatisfied, and there are often unhealthy repercussions. Some long term.
Spiritually speaking, the dynamic is almost identical! Consider.
The Word of Yahweh tells us,
How sweet are Your words to my taste!
Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
That verse is number 103 out of 176 extolling the wonder, glory and benefits of Yahweh’s Torah. In fact, Psalm 119 begins,
How blessed are those whose way is blameless,
Who walk in the TORAH of the Lord.
2 How blessed are those who observe His testimonies,
Who seek Him with all their heart.
Lest we think that the author of Psalm 119 was off his rocker using 176 couplets and 180 or so synonyms for ‘torah’ to share the significance of the Law, hear what King David, the “man after God’s own heart,” had to say,
The Torah of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
10 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.
The Torah! Sweeter than honey!
There are many in the food industry that will tell you that there is nothing wrong with aspartame, or that it will not hurt you. No cancer, no Alzheimer’s, no tumors, etc… Perfectly fine. And, I would beg to differ. It is a substitute that is a man-made chemical. I avoid it at all costs!
Theology is much the same way… The Word of Yahweh gets filtered through whatever man-made doctrinal statement they come up with and then they feed the ‘chemically’ altered version to the religious masses leaving them hungry. They take out the foundational Words, the Torah, that are described as sweeter than honey and replace with other, aspartame-like, spiritual substitutes that leave the hearer malnourished and generally susceptible to eternal consequences.
How many people are concerned about their physical health these days? Many.
How many people are MORE concerned about their eternal spiritual health than their temporal physical health, these days? Not enough!
Seriously, aspartame vs. honey. Man-made doctrines vs. The Pure Word! The parallel is fascinating!
Just as I would encourage you to avoid man-made sweeteners, I would also encourage you to step away from the man-made doctrines and drink the sweet honey of the pure Word. As your ‘tastebuds’ adjust you will begin to recognize and reject the false sweeteners of man-made doctrines in favor of the simple rich truths in the Word.