One who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.
– Proverbs 27:7 ESV
The simplest way to lower your grocery bill? Never go shopping when hungry. Inevitably, no matter how disciplined you are, you’ll be drawn to buy things you don’t need if you try to buy groceries on a grumbling stomach.
Our bodies know when they need something to fill them, and the most rational of minds can be driven to terrible action by the cries of a starving stomach. The writer of Proverbs taps into a principle that is amazingly applicable in our day when he writes, “One who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.” The point is clear – if someone is hungry enough even things that would normally be disgusting will seem appealing.
When we see our culture turning towards homosexuality, promiscuity, gluttony, and blatant sin, our first thought shouldn’t be “What wicked people! God’s going to judge them.” Instead, we need to use the wisdom that Proverbs talks so frequently about to discern the motive is behind such sins. More often than not it’s a hunger that has gone so long unfulfilled that the bitter has begun to taste sweet. The lesbian woman has a history of sexual abuse by her father as a child and a string of abusive relationships with men that have left her so starving for love and affection that the bitter, skewed love of homosexuality tastes sweet. The transgender man becomes a woman in search of an affirmation of his own identity because of his grandmother’s distortion of love, his own fear, and an uncle’s teasing and abuse. True story. The Christian man turns to alcohol because he feels he never lives up to God’s or his own standards and doesn’t have anyone else to support him.
To the starving person even what is bitter and poisonous will taste sweet. But, beauty of beauties, the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ offers in itself and in it’s people the sweet fulfillment of God and his people’s love, if only we will receive it. If only we will give it. Jesus himself does this with the samaritan woman at the well. Rather than beginning with rebukes for the woman and her long line of husbands, he offers her a well that will never run dry and a drink that will keep her from thirsting for the comfort of yet another husband. We may need to take a cue from Jesus here and change what we lead with in our Gospel presentations.
The Apostle Paul makes the amazing statement that “The God of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers.” How can Christians get angry at blind people for stumbling around and breaking things? How can we who have an abundance of food stand by and curse those who are starving and destroying themselves and those around them? Rather than spending time railing on social media about political parties or government policies, God’s people should be on the front lines distributing the only food that will satisfy those starving souls. Instead of standing by and telling the starving man to stop eating rotten meat we ought to be in the streets preparing a meal whose fragrance will fill cities and draw men and women to the meal that Jesus offers in himself.
Christian, come to Christ and receive him as your satisfaction. Learn the way of drawing and drinking from the wells of his delights. Then, as you have received so give. Go abroad and offer the gospel news that God himself will fill every void in the human soul; that the Holy Spirit will bring peace where there was anxiety and love where there was loneliness; that the Father invites them into a family that is whole and free from abuse and need to perform.
We live in a starving generation. They’re eating anything that is sold to them by the world, by Satan, or by the lusts of their flesh. We’ve got something that is so much better! Let’s offer it.