8th July 2020

Eucalyptus Honey

Honey is sweet to the taste and it is good for your health.  Kind words are like that.”
Proverbs 16:24 (Easy English)

A distinctly sweet honey with subtle notes of eucalyptus … perfect for stirring into tea!” said the label, and I was sold!!!!  Have you ever been convinced to buy something based on a sales pitch?  I certainly have, and eucalyptus honey is but one light-hearted example. Today we take it as read that honey refers to that sweet, sticky food made from flower nectar and bee saliva enzymes which appear to magically transform its chemical composition; seemingly to store forever. Honey is useful for a variety of functions, from healing wounds to eating … and of course to sweeten one’s cuppa!

Whilst the Qur’ān mentions the word honey but once, Bible authors use it reasonably regularly.  Deuteronomy 32:13 and Psalm 81:16 mention God giving his people honey. However, like most Biblical Hebrew and Greek words, translation of the word ‘honey’ needs to be contextually determined.  In fact, the Hebrew word refers more frequently to sweet fruit syrup from grapes, figs and carob, as well as the familiar viscous liquid formed by bees, which at that time was wild-collected. In Biblical times throughout the Mesopotamian and Oriental regions, honey was one of the most valuable, therapeutic foods available and considered the entitlement of ‘gods’ and high officials – safe to say it was expensive.  Such was the high esteem of honey, that its properties were frequently used metaphorically in the wisdom literature of this time, the above scripture being just one example.

King Solomon wrote many proverbs (1 Kings 4:32), only some of which were recorded.  Perhaps you’ve heard, a more modern proverb which says, ‘honey attracts more flies than vinegar,’ inferring that talking to someone kindly rather than in a cross manner, is more likely to promote relationship.  This is an old Italian proverb recorded by Giovanni Torriano in 1666, possibly with its roots in Solomon’s writing.

I’m sure many of you are not like me, often putting my foot in my mouth by saying something before I’ve thought it through; or saying something in haste, and unintentionally causing offence though never meaning to!  (Proverbs 29:20) But there is hope for me and there is help, as well as a reminder every time I make a cup of tea.

If we go to verse 1 (again in the Easy English Translation of Proverbs 16), we read “We may have good ideas.  But only the Lord can help you to say the right thing.”

Holy Spirit, help me to say the right thing, so that my words encourage others to want to seek and know God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Study by Irene Tibbenham


About the Author:
Irene Tibbenham is a Deaconess and serves on the Pastoral Council in the Norwich Congregation of Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
GCI Norwich
New Hope Christian Centre
Martineau Lane

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Tony Goudie
Phone: 01508 498165
Mobile: 07931 580409
Email:  tony_goudie@wcg.org.uk



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One Response to “8th July 2020”

  1. Stewart Raeburn on July 10th, 2020 12:39 pm

    Thank you for the helpful Day by Day, I can identify with what you said.
    I hope that you are keeping well.

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