AS SWEET AS HONEY...
13 Eat honey, my son, for it is good;
honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.
14 Know also that wisdom is like honey for you: If you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.
There is a lot of work that goes into producing honey I have found out, but the spoils are all worth the wait. I am going to drop a few fun facts in the first part of today's lesson. First, honey is the only food that will not rot. A jar of honey may remain edible for over 3,000 years. It takes a lot of bees to get all the work done—from 20,000 to 60,000 in a hive. Here are some of their chores: Nurse bees care for the young. The queen's attendant workers bathe and feed her. Guard bees stand watch at the entrance of the hive. Construction workers build the beeswax foundation in which the queen lays eggs and the workers store honey.
Undertakers remove the dead. Foragers bring back enough pollen and nectar to feed the entire community. For honey bees, there's power in numbers. From spring to fall, worker bees must produce about 60 pounds of honey to sustain the entire colony over the winter. At a rate of .083 (or 1/12th)of a teaspoon per bee, it takes tens of thousands of workers to get the job done. As temperatures fall, the bees form a tight group within their hive to keep warm. Workers cluster around the queen, insulating her from the cold outside. In summer, workers fan the air inside the hive with their wings, keeping the queen and brood from overheating. You can actually hear the hum of all those wings beating inside the hive from several feet away. A worker bee can't carry pollen from that many flowers at once, so she visits between 50 to 100 flowers before heading home. She repeats these round-trip foraging forays throughout the day, which puts a lot of wear and tear on her body. A hardworking forager may live just three weeks and cover 500 miles. Bees that maintain the hive work diligently to keep it clean. The only bee that defecates inside the hive is the queen, and there are designated bees that clean up after her when duty calls. In general, honey bees are so conscientious, in fact, that they'll do whatever it takes to die outside of the hive if at all possible so their corpses won't contaminate food or pose a threat to nursing young.
I know that was a lot of information and maybe overkill information about the honey bee, but I wanted us to realize that they have a system and follow it completely in order for the results to be attained. These bees are set from the first day that they start life, into their place and job for the hive. Every bee knows their job and is willing to give their life for their queen. Crazy how that all works. We have insects in this world that have a full understanding of what they are to do without ever questioning the process. Yes, I know that we could begin debating the rights of the bees and the inability for them to have freedom to choose, but I have to say that God created them this way and for a specific function. And they are willing
to spend their entire lives to fulfill that function. When Solomon used this as a part of his teaching on wisdom today, I wanted to do some research and wonder what it really took to make a hive work in the way that it did to produce a natural product that can last for so long. Then I began to wonder what it would look like if we were able to do the same as it comes to the ability to reproduce the Gospel and multiply God's Kingdom. There has to be a correlation somewhere between the willingness of honey bees to fulfill their calling and the ability of Christians to do the same.
As we look at Solomon's words today, I am always reminded that they have a double meaning. The one that seems so obvious and the other that really gets to the heart of understanding his life lesson on wisdom. So today, I honestly believe that the same is true. The obvious is the fact that Solomon and his kingdom had tasted and probably had a regular amount of honey on hand. Solomon realized that this was a gift from God that was produced naturally from God's creation. He also realized the medicinal possibilities of honey. For example, if you move into a new community, one of the first things that is suggested is to find a local honey bee farmer and get some local honey. The reason... the honey bees use the pollen that is in the area that may cause people a lot of congestions issues to make their honey and if you are able to acclimate your body to the local pollen then you could be ok. So there is always a method to the suggestions that were given by Solomon because they had very practical applications that were able to be used in every day life. So Solomon is comparing finding this treasure of honey that is nourishing for our physical bodies to the knowledge that we must seek and apply in our lives to nourish our spiritual bodies and prepare us of the daily battles that we may face through the wisdom that we gain. He states, "Know also that wisdom is like honey for you: If you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off." In other words, we are to continue to gain knowledge about the Word of God and apply it as wisdom in our decisions and discernments. He verifies that if we find this wisdom in God, that we will continue to have hope for the future and we will not be cast aside as ones who have no relationship in Christ.
So, I say all of this today as a word of encouragement and challenge. We, like the honey bees, have been given a job that we are called to do and that is really not an option in the eyes of God. We have been given different gifts and abilities and God has called us to GO, and make disciples. We know that from Matthew 28. In reality that is not a choice. So when we accept this calling, regardless of our other professions in this world, we are to work each day to make the hive stronger. We are called to lay down our lives for our friends and neighbors. We are asked to give to those who are in need and realize that this world is really not about our success, but about our ability to use the gift of success from God to go and use it as a tool to change the world. We are not just meant to wake up on Monday and say, naw I don't want to really do my job for Jesus today. Not an option, but for so many of us
that is the lie that satan has planted in our hearts and minds and allowed us to think that we really have this choice. We have all been given our different abilities for such a time as this and for the opportunities to reach into the world and make a difference. The Honey that we produce is called followers and we are not asking that they are able to survive for a limited amount of time like 3,000 years. NO, we are working so that the harvest that is made in the end is for eternity and that means we have a lot more work that needs to be done in the short amount of time that we may have left. The honey bee is willing to do everything they can for the queen to help reproduce the hive and continue its legacy. What a challenge for us as Christians to do the same and lay down our lives for the King of kings who gives us grace, love and mercy and who has gone to prepare a place for us to live with Him for eternity. There are no limits with God... we just have to take the time we have and help others open their eyes to that reality.