In Proverbs, gracious words are compared to a honeycomb. But what makes honey so sweet? It turns out, we actually have a couple lessons that we can learn from the bees and how they make a sweet, delicious honey as author and speaker, Karen Ehman, talks about in this video.
The entire video is above, and the complete transcript is below.
Have your words ever gotten you in a tangled up mess? I know mine have more times than I care to admit.
Well, thankfully God’s Word has so much to say about how we use our words both for good and for evil. And it can really help us to learn what to say, how best to say it, and when we should just say nothing at all.
And one of my favorite verses that talks about our words is in Proverbs 16:24. It says, “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” And I’m such a Bible nerd. I love to drill down deep and learn the original Hebrew or Greek meaning of the words that are in the verses. But I also sometimes like to just step back and go, “Hmm, why did God use honey to talk about our words being sweet? I wonder what makes honey sweet.”
Well, I didn’t have to look far for my answer. Down the street from me lived a sixteen year-old, novice bee keeper named Jake. And so one day I interviewed him all about the honey-making business and he told me that there are two things that are so crucial that will make honey sweet and light with a delicate and delicious taste rather than dark and bitter with a lingering aftertaste that’s quite unpleasant.
The first thing is, he said, that you need to be careful what the bees drink in. You want them to drink in the nectar from clover rather than other flowers because clover makes the sweetest and lightest honey. So you need make sure you put that beehive near a patch of clover.
The second thing he said is that you want to make that you place the beehive in a location where the sun will hit it first thing in the morning, warming the bees up so they get to work, go out and find that clover, and they make that sweet, delicious honey.
So I said to him, “Okay Jake. So are you telling me that the sweetness or bitterness of honey is directly determined by what the bee drinks in and the amount of time it spends early in the sun?” And he said, “That’s exactly it, Ms. Karen.” And I thought, “Well, I think I’ve got my answer.”
Perhaps it’s also true that the sweetness or bitterness of our words will be directly determined by what we drink in and the amount of time that we spend each day early in the Son. And I don’t mean S-U-N. I mean S-O-N.
May we all make it our aim to use our words in a way that is sweet, in a way that they bless and not badger, that they encourage, not embitter, that they are used in a way to praise rather than as a method to pounce.
So drink in what is good, spend time early in the Son, so that you too can have speech that is gracious and sweet.