"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

As Honey Is Sweet to Taste, So Wisdom to the Soul

Edward's Manuscript on Prov. 24:13
Throughout the Proverbs, King Solomon continually seeks to prepare his son, heir to the throne of Israel, for the moment when power, pleasure, and prestige would be his without measure.

Thus, Solomon continually writes, "My son" or "My son, forget not..." or "My son, eat honey because it is good and sweet to your taste, just as wisdom is sweet to your soul" (Proverbs 24:13).

Solomon is a good father to his son Rehoboam, but he is also a good father to all of us who believe in the God of Israel.

Wisdom is good for the soul.

Jonathan Edwards wrote a book entitled The Pleasantness of Religion based on a message he preached from Proverbs 24:13, where he argues that followers of Jesus (e.g., true religion), above all other men and women, understand what it means to enjoy the pleasures of this life.

Wisdom is good for the soul, and He (Jesus Christ) is our wisdom (I Corinthians 1:30).

Jonathan Edwards argues in his book that following Jesus is the most pleasurable way to live one's life. He basis this philosophy on five principles:
1.  Following Jesus does not remove any pleasures in this life, but rather helps assists a person to understand that pleasures are to be taken in moderation, with discipline, and by the right manner. 
2. Following Jesus actually sweetens all earthly and temporary delights and pleasures.
3.  Jesus sweetens our pleasures because any pleasures without the centrality of Jesus brings more sorrow than pleasure, but all pleasures with Jesus' as our wisdom brings pure and lasting enjoyment. 
4. Following Jesus brings no new internal troubles upon a person, but rather, always brings more of pleasure than of trouble.
5. The follower of Jesus enjoys spiritual pleasures that are much better and sweeter than any temporal pleasure. 
Edwards concludes that the person who follows Jesus has the life that is most suited to experience true delight and pleasantness. 

Indeed, following Jesus is as sweet to the soul as honey is to one's taste. 

13 comments:

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

How about this title, ‘As Honey is Sweet to Taste, So is Wisdom to the Soul’ ?

I couldn’t find what translation you quoted for Proverbs 13. The nearest was the NLT: “My child, eat honey, for it is good, and the honeycomb is sweet to the taste.” Verse 14: “In the same way, wisdom is sweet to your soul. If you find it, you will have a bright future, and your hopes will not be cut short.”

It’s obvious Solomon’s one son, Rehoboam, didn’t find wisdom as he caused Ten Tribes to revolt, set up golden calves to worship etc.

Did Solomon ‘spare the rod; spoil the child or what? Makes you wonder if Solomon was a good father. Maybe Rehoboam went the way of Ecclesiastes instead of Proverbs.

Wade Burleson said...

I'd never thought about Rehoboam in that manner! Maybe so!

Victorious said...

Ahh...wisdom...

I find it interesting that when Solomon asked God for an understanding heart, God was pleased with this request and said "... behold, I have done according to your words. Lo, I have given you a wise and an understanding heart" 1 Kings 3:10

And we learn And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore. 1 Kings 4:29

And we are encouraged to get wisdom and understanding. Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding! Proverbs 4:5

And yet when Eve wanted to be wise: Gen 3:6  When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate... she has been criticized for that desire. The very same desire Solomon had and that pleased God has been interpreted as a negative desire for Eve. How is that?

Hongbi said...

Victorious, there are a couple of major contrasts between Solomon and Eve in their pursuit of wisdom that help me understand why the two desires aren't viewed the same way.

In the case of Solomon, he recognized God as his source of wisdom. He asked God to supply him with wisdom, and God granted his request with great pleasure.

Eve's circumstances were completely different. It was the serpent, not God, that told her she could obtain wisdom. Rather than wisdom originating with God as the source, it was to come through the tree that "was desirable to make one wise". Eve did not ask her Creator for wisdom since she was told she could get it without Him. And, finally, instead of being granted wisdom as a gift from God's hand, Eve attempted to grab it for herself in violation of God's command.

Though sometimes it may be presented with this sort of a spin, sexism isn't the true reason why Eve's desire for wisdom is seen as unrighteous while King Solomon's was honorable.

Victorious said...

Hello Hongbi,

I appreciate your view although I want to say that I was not looking at Eve's desire for prudence or wisdom as a sexist issue necessarily. However, it cannot be denied that Genesis 3, including Eve's partaking of the tree, is very much an issue in many churches today.

First, we know that God's command was made to Adam before Eve was built/fashioned. It's logical to assume that the command was passed to her from Adam incorrectly or that she misunderstood since she added the words about touching the tree. The bottom line is that she was deceived. Scripture is clear about that. When the serpent convinced her that she would surely not die, it made sense because the Tree of Life was in the midst of the garden. So the tree of knowledge, in her mind, could safely be partaken of without fear of death.

When God questions Satan, He continues with, "...because you have done this...."

And when God questioned Adam, He continued with, "...because you have..."

But no such statement, i.e. " because you have done this...." is directed to Eve. The reason imo is that Eve did not intentionally become deceived. Numbers 15 differentiates between intentional and unintentional sins. There are offerings and forgiveness for those that are committed unintentionally, but none for sins committed defiantly no atonement shall be made.

Adam's disobedience and his refusal to confess is noted in these scriptures:

1Co 15:22  For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 

Hos 6:7  But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant; There they have dealt treacherously against Me. 

Job 31:33  "Have I covered my transgressions like Adam, By hiding my iniquity in my bosom

Rom 5:19 For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

Unless you believe Eve willfully, intentionally became deceived, her desire for prudence or wisdom is never the focus of God's words in Genesis 3. The deceiver, on the other hand, is reproved cursed. The ground is cursed on account of Adam's disobedience and he will continue to till the ground only it will entail sorrow now. Eve's childbirth will also entail sorrow; both as the result of life outside the garden. We are not told, however, that God sent her from the garden although since we find her in the following chapter, we can safely assume she left willingly with Adam when he was banished.

In summary, we are not told that Eve intentionally, willfully wanted anything other than to be wise and when the serpent said she would not die, it made perfect sense since both trees stood in the middle of the garden and the Tree of Life was available for food.

Eve's source for wisdom was the tree of knowledge that God had provided and was available along with the Tree of Life. The desire for wisdom is always a good thing and Proverbs 24 says "if" we can find it....

Pro 24:14  Know that wisdom is thus for your soul; If you find it, then there will be a future...

Rex Ray said...

What death did Adam and Eve die; physical or spiritual?

The King James, New King James, Holman, and New American Standard say: “But the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for IN THE DAY THAT EATEST THEREOF THOU SHALT SURELY DIE.” (Genesis 2:17)

Adam and Eve died spiritual is revealed by: “…Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord…” (Genesis 3:8 KJ)

And so it is to this day that all are born spiritual dead until they accept Jesus as Lord.

Rex Ray said...

BTW,

If God intended for Adam and Eve to live forever, the “Tree of Life” had no significance.

So, God intended them to die and someday be raised as Jesus to be higher than the angels. When we become Christians, we’re born into the family of God.

Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” (John 3:3 NLT)

Victorious said...

If God intended for Adam and Eve to live forever, the “Tree of Life” had no significance.

Rex Ray, God didn't create robots. He gave them freedom and choices within the garden. The two trees in the midst of the garden were polar opposites with one causing death and the other bringing life. The choice was theirs but God graciously provided a prophetic warning about choosing the one that would bring death.

We are not told that either Adam nor Eve partook of the Tree of Life, but as I mentioned earlier, it's not unrealistic to believe Eve saw it as a contradiction to the idea of death.

Every tree was available to them with the exception of the one that carried with it the consequence of death. Genesis 1 tells us that it was God's intention that they be fruitful and multiply and God would have a people to call His own. But because of a choice to ignore His prophetic warning, the fruitfulness and multiplying would occur outside of the garden where they would experience great sorrow as a result of having to leave the place specifically designed for them as well as the absence of the continual, available presence of God.

The significance of the Tree of Life, therefore, was that it provided life. Since we are not told they partook of it, I see a gradual decline in their circumstances and behavior.

Then follows the prophetic discourse of Genesis 3 including God's warning that Adam would want to rule over Eve if she "turned" or "stretched out toward" him (for her happiness rather than God?) A prophecy, like the others in the passage, proved to be true throughout scripture.

Rex Ray said...

Victorious,

I agree, we’re not robots. You said, “We are not told that either Adam nor Eve partook of the Tree of Life…”

But God said, “…What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever!” (Genesis 3:22 NLT)

His words reveal that neither had eaten from the tree of life.

“…God…placed a flaming sword…to guard the way to the tree of life.” (Genesis 3:24 NLT)

This question may be like asking, ‘how many angels could dance on the head of a pin’, but what if they had eaten of the tree of life before the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Would they have lived forever? Would everyone live forever? Yes, a dumb question.

Victorious said...

..., but what if they had eaten of the tree of life before the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Would they have lived forever? Would everyone live forever?

Rex Ray, I've been busy with time-consuming obligations, but I now have a bit of time to reply to your comment.

First, I do not think it's a dumb question. In fact, no question about scripture should be labeled dumb as we search for truth and understanding.

I think your question, however, contains speculation about the two trees in the garden and the result of partaking in a particular order and speculation rarely leads to solid, factual evidence of truth.

Yet, scripture clearly shows it was God's desire to have a people. Genesis 1 shows He wanted all living creatures, including mankind, to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. He would dwell among them forever.

When that desire was temporarily foiled (for lack of a better word), His desire for a people to call His own will ultimately be accomplished albeit through a longer process. It will still involve the cooperation of mankind. Long story short...we find the implementation of the path to everlasting life with God once again dwelling among His people forever throughout the Bible. The culmination of His desire is found in the book of Revelation.

Paul recognized that Jesus abolished death (that Adam's disobedience caused):

... who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel..2 Tim.:9-10

and Revelation 21 shows the completion of His original plan to have a people and dwell among them and they will no longer experience sorrow, pain or death.

... And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them...and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." Rev. 21:3-4 

That's how I see it....

Rex Ray said...

Victorious,

Thanks for the reply. I agree with everything you wrote, but I’ll raise the question: Whose sin was worse; Eve being deceived or Adam who was not deceived? Did he even blame God in this verse? “The man replied, “It was the woman YOU GAVE ME who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.”

Paul seemed to think it was not Adam’s disobedience that caused death (I believe it was only spiritual death) as he wrote: “And it was not Adam who was deceived, and sin was the result.” (1 Timothy 2:14 NLT)

Victorious said...

Rex Ray,

Whose sin was worse?

If you agree that Eve was deceived and that Adam disobeyed, then logically and scripturally, we must look at the following references.

Adam:
Job 31:33; Hos. 6:7; 1 Cor.15:22; and Romans 5:17-19

From these scriptures, we learn that Adam's sin was disobedience to the command that was given him and that he tried to cover it.

When God questioned Adam, Adam doesn't admit/confess to disobedience. He deflects and mentions "the woman" and God Himself. Again, he doesn't admit to his disobedience.

Eve:
Genesis 3:13; 2 Cor. 11:3; 1 Tim. 2:13-14

From these scriptures, we learn that Eve's sin was deception. She admits/confesses to being deceived and rightly cites Satan as the deceiver. Again, she names her sin and exposes Satan as the deceiver and scripture further defines him as the Father of Lies, a roaring lion, the adversary and the accuser.

God differentiates between intentional and unintentional sin in Numbers 15:30. Paul's grievous sins were committed out of ignorance; i.e he thought he was doing the right thing by persecuting the new Jesus movement. 1 Tim. 1:13 Jesus, Himself, asked God to forgive those who didn't know what they were doing. Luke 23:34 God understood times of ignorance or sin/mistakes made as the result of lack of or incorrect knowledge.

Summary: Adam's sin was intentional, deliberate disobedience. Eve's was being deceived/seduced which was unintentional.

Regardless of the intent, there are consequences. 1 Kings 13 relates a story of such an unfortunate consequence.

Rex Ray said...

Victorious,

I’ve never read 1 Kings capture 13 before. You’re right; “There’s consequences.” The “man of God” was deceived by the lying prophet just as Eve was deceived by the lying serpent. The man of God died a physical death and Eve died a spiritual death. I believe the lying prophet had true repentance and we’ll probably recognize both of them in heaven someday.

After God has wiped all our tears away, I believe the man of God will remember the lying prophet of God, but neither will remember the lie that caused God to have a bear kill the man of God. (And we won’t remember anything bad either.)