Gold and Honey

They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey than honey from the honeycomb.
By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

Psalm 19.10-11

I take the ‘they’ in v.10 top refer to all the aspects of God’s law we have been considering over the past couple of weeks, rather than simply the last one on which we focussed on Wednesday. Viewed like that the words before us this morning are a wonderful doxology on God’s word and his commands, laws, precepts ordinances, statutes and what it means to fear him.

In summing up the wonder of God’s Law, David draws on two of the most precious things available to his generation, Gold and Honey. At first sight they are possibly a strange combination but as we read the Bible we find that gold is frequently mentioned. In particular relating to the construction of the holy things in the Tabernacle but with many other mentions (441 in the NIV of which 90 in the Book of Exodus) all speaking of richness, glory and beauty see Revelation 1.12-13 and  21. 18;21.

Honey (62 in the NIV) often in references to the Promised Land – as the Land flowing with milk and honey – and elsewhere as a delightful sweetener e.g. the taste of the Manna that God supplied to his people in the wilderness (Exodus 16.31).

As we reflect on these two metaphors for God’s Laws which we have for our blessing in the pages of Scripture we should be prompted to ask ourselves the question ‘How valuable is God’s Word to me?’

In the Coronation Service the Bible, is described as ‘the most valuable thing this world affords’ but for many, if not most, these are just words in a service which is something from another era (it will be interesting to see what the next Coronation Service will contain and whether this particular description of God’s Word will be retained).

For David however, God’s laws were central and although he did not always heed the warnings they contained he found in them great reward.

In an age where absolute truth is denied by vast numbers, let us make sure that we understand the supreme value of the Word, praying for ourselves and one another that we may heed its warnings, experience its reward and with God’s help ‘stand firm’ when so many are so easily led astray by the inferior calls of the world.

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 15.58

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