At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
“My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste: So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: When thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off” (Prov. 24:13–14).
The pleasures of the physical world—and there are myriads of them; they are countless—are given to us as training wheels so that we might learn how to enjoy the pleasures of the spiritual world.
In this passage a father is teaching his son to pursue pleasure. Who, we might wonder, needs to be taught that? The answer to that question includes, unfortunately, many Christians who have come to believe that there is something suspicious about physical pleasure. The taste of honey is decidedly not a spiritual thing, right? Well, yes and no.
It is not spiritual in the sense that it is a material pleasure. But there is another sense of the word spiritual found in Scripture. A spiritual man is not an ethereal man, but rather an obedient man. A spiritual man is one who is walking in step with the Spirit, who is doing what the Spirit wants him to do because the Spirit wants him to do it. And so, if the Spirit is leading you to mix honey with butter in order to put it on your dinner roll, then a spiritual man will do exactly that. It is a spiritual activity.
And so rightly understood physical pleasures are the kindergarten of the soul. We are to begin there, thanking God for every upward step. Now if we get stuck in kindergarten, then something is seriously wrong. We have ceased to regard the myriad pleasures around us as a discipleship course, and have been distracted by them. We are looking at them, instead of looking through them. When we look through them, we see the higher pleasures, and when we look through them, we come to God Himself. He is the God of all pleasure; He is the God of infinite delight.
We start this process with the honey and the honeycomb. The God who made the honey made sure to make it good. The God who made the honeycomb made sure to make it sweet. And this same God is the one who summons us to the “knowledge of wisdom.” When we find the knowledge of wisdom, we discover that God always buries a reward in the finding. The knowledge of wisdom, just a drop of it, is sweet just like the honey is. But then, as you investigate further, you discover a honeycomb of knowledge and wisdom, and whatever your expectation is, it will not be cut off.
So set your expectation high. The honey of God’s knowledge and wisdom comes from a planet the size of Jupiter, covered entirely over with clover, and with bees the size of Volkswagens. The honeycombs are a quarter of an acre, and while we sometimes feel a shortage in this world, this is not because there is any real shortage. Wisdom comes to those who pursue it, and the process begins with your honey toast tomorrow morning.