What is stronger than a lion?”
I just started an exciting fall-semester after a great and relaxing vacation by marrying a young couple here at SOS' mother church in Stockholm. When I was praying early one morning in my kitchen and then sat down to write a speech to the newly weds I was lead to study "honey" from a Biblical view. It became such an exciting Bible Study that I wanted to share some of the most important discoveries here. I hope you will be both edified and blessed!
1. Honey seems to symbolize the intimate relationship between God and man.
When God rescued the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt to freedom in their own Israel, He provided for them by sending daily "manna" from heaven. The "angel bread" tasted like "wafers with honey" (Ex 16:31). God speaks about "His people" with a lot of warmth, the apple of His eye, and He "carried them by His feathers" on the journey to the promised land. And then it says:
He nourished him with honey from the rock,
and with oil from the flinty crag...
In Judges chapter 14 we read that Samson ate wild honey from the carcass of the lion. The dead lion is a picture of the death of Jesus, in the book of Revelation Jesus is called "The Lion of Judah" (Rev 5:5). In the same way we eat honey through the death and resurrection of Jesus in our most holy covenant-fellowship with God in communion and prayer. Prince Jonathan's eyes cleared, in the midst of battle, when he ate the wild honey of the forest (1 Sam 14:25-29). Honey is a lovely picture of the Spirit of God's anointing and presence, it tastes good and makes us strong as lions. The honey we receive in the close fellowship with God is our food, our energy, our fuel and it also makes us see clearly, we are alert and vitalized.
2. Honey also seems to symbolize the center of God's calling and strength for the task.
The people of Israel was called to conquer their promised land by the sword. The land God had promised was a fantastic place. Everything they needed was overflowing there. It says that they were called to conquer:
... a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey...
It is exactly the same for us, when we after battle and frustration enter into the center of God's calling for our life and seize our God-given place on the earth. Then we are in a place where blessings seems to come by itself and everything good is flowing down on us. God's will is our home. The perfect will of God is rest and harmony for us. In our holy "calling of God" we lack nothing and we are satisfied. It is lovely to be in the promised land and we are enjoying the honey from God.
3. Honey also seems to symbolize the love between man and woman in marriage.
The groom says to the bride in Song of Solomon:
Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride;
milk and honey are under your tongue.
The fragrance of your garments
is like the fragrance of Lebanon.
Song of Songs 4:11
In the same love poem the groom continues to praise love and says it is like a "garden of Eden" where he enjoys "honey cookies" and pure "honey". He describes love as honey and joy and says:
Eat, friends, and drink;
drink your fill of love.
Song of Songs 5:1