Honey Hunters

The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, and adds persuasiveness to his lips. Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:23-24 (The New American Standard Bible)

Some people venture into perilous country at great risk to retrieve honeycomb from wild bees. They wade through muck and mire, expose themselves to man-eating tigers and vipers with deadly venom and subject themselves to the wrath of the bees from which they take their prize. They do this to obtain precious honeycomb to be sold in the market places of India. The risks are great and the reward is considered greater because honeycomb is highly prized among those who are neither able nor desirous of finding it themselves. It is said that in some places the pleasure of eating this sweet delight is worth more than a week’s wages, which may mean a great expense in that region.

As one who used to “keep” bees, I can attest to the pleasures of honey, especially on a slice of whole wheat bread smeared with peanut butter, or one of my daughter’s hot biscuits at supper, or just a cup of hot tea on a cold winter day. Obviously the “honey hunters” enjoy the comb also because they all consume some of the profits before leaving the scene of the robbery.

The delights of eating honey are compared with words of encouragement in scripture and I thought the passage in Proverbs speaks well to this analogy. It almost seems that pleasant words are as hard to find as the task that faces the honey hunters of India. Stinging comments, venomous remarks and the muck and mire of some conversations these days, not to mention those who roam about roaring like lions, make finding pleasant words a true adventure and a great pleasure. So maybe it’s time to “comb” the marketplaces for opportunities to spread the sweet pleasure of God’s Word. “Wax” eloquently with comments that are sweet to the soul and healing to the bones and spread a little encouragement on those whom God brings to your attention.

Father, help us to be true honey hunters, sharing your words that are sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Amen.