The Bible is like honey for the human heart. I will always remember how my dad read the Bible to me every night before bedtime. He did not pick and choose random quotes that he thought suitable for a child, but simply read Scripture as a narrative, picking up each day where we left off. It was the sweetest time of my day. The way he read the words, asked me questions and connected it to our lives showed me that Scripture was credible and alive to him. It also showed me that he cared for me. The Bible was not just an old book to take to church once a week, but an infallible source of truth, wisdom and comfort for all of life. Those treasured moments of shared reading were a nutritious treat, sweeter than honey.

In Psalm 19, David meditates on the limited parts of God’s Word which he had in his possession—the Torah. He delights in God’s infallible Word, not as a set of rules or shackles to keep us from having fun, but as God’s gracious self-revelation to us. This is the beautiful poetry David wrote after contemplating how God reveals Himself to us through the skies:

“The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.

12 Who can discern his errors?
Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.

The God who speaks.

When I consider that the Bible was written by over forty human authors over a timespan of fifteen hundred years, it crosses my mind that God was not obliged to speak to us. He could have chosen to remain silent, leaving us in our ignorance and confusion. But instead, God went to great lengths to speak to us through words that show us who He is, what He’s like, and how we can know Him.

God’s Word is tangible proof that the Creator of the universe loves us and wants a personal relationship with us. He befriends us through this extraordinary collection of inspired books that we call the Bible, which David called the Law. It’s as if He welcomes us into his mansion of delights through the front door of his Word. He beckons us to come in and taste his words of truth.

But familiarity breeds contempt. We risk losing awe when we become too used to seeing the Bible collecting dust on our bookshelves, or when we’re in the habit of consuming only what pastors, Bible apps and podcasters have mediated for us. Sometimes we need to take a step back and remind ourselves of what God’s Word is and does, so that we will be excited to read the raw text for ourselves.

What Scripture does and is.

David says that Scripture revives the soul and makes the simple wise (Ps 19:7). It gives joy to the heart and enlightens the eyes (Ps 19:8). When we take time to read, digest and obey it, the Bible is more valuable than any treasure money can buy. It’s more wonderful than any pleasure invented by man (Ps 19:10). Scripture is perfect, trustworthy, right, pure, true and righteous. Best of all, it teaches us to rightly fear the God who made us (Ps 19:9).

Moreover, because the Bible is God’s standard of right and wrong, it warns and convicts us of sin (Ps 19:11-13). Every word of Scripture is flawless (Ps 12:6; 119:60; Prov 30:5-6; John 10:35). It speaks to all areas of life and knows no cultural or age barrier. It is eternal and always relevant (Ps 119:89; Isa 40:8; Matt 24:35).  Jesus himself affirmed that God’s Word is truth (John 17:17), so when properly interpreted, the Bible will never lead us astray.

We can trust Scripture as reliable because it is breathed out by God, and God is altogether trustworthy (2 Peter 1:20-21). These are extraordinary claims to make about any book, especially one that has been read and loved for millennia. But like honey, the Bible needs to be savoured and digested. It is not a medication to administer or a snack to wolf down.

What a gift!  As receptive readers, if our thinking is daily corrected, renewed, warned and trained to see as God sees, we will be transformed through Scripture. It will thoroughly equip us for every good work that God has in mind for us (2 Tim 3:16-17). It doesn’t get more comprehensive that that.

Sources of wisdom.

God has not left us to flounder in our foolishness but has come to us offering wisdom. As Solomon wrote, “Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice” (Prov 1:20). When Jesus became flesh, “He became to us the wisdom from God” (1 Cor 1:30). And because the Bible is all about Christ from beginning to end, it is the only reliable source of wisdom. It is a firm foundation on which to build our lives.

Biblical wisdom is in stark contrast to cultural ideologies, the internet, AI and social media, even Church tradition. As Paul warned the Colossian Christians, he warns us too: “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ” (Col 2:8). If we build on the foundation of human wisdom, rather than on Christ and his Word, we will be as precarious as a house built on sand (Matthew 7:24-26).

If the last ten years have shown us anything, it’s that overuse of digital media produces a sickly tree with dry leaves and shrivelled fruit. This is because the internet creates endless content which is shallow, alluring and ever-changing. Like a giant Nutri-bullet blitzing a smoothie of Fanta and sweets, it leaves consumers with a stomach ache, feeling empty, anxious and addicted. Our brains crave more and more, but mere content cannot satiate our appetite for what is real and true.

We live in an age of information gluttony but wisdom malnutrition. Information is constantly changing, while our brains are overstimulated and distracted. Research shows that our smartphones are making us increasingly unhappy, lonely and mentally ill. Even our physical health is suffering. Souls are more weary and desperate for revival than ever.

In contrast, David likens the Bible to a stream of water that nourishes a fruitful tree (Psalm 1:2-3). It contains the eternal wisdom of God, the Logos, who became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ ,“in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col 2:3), “a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory (Col 2:7).  Without the Jesus of the Bible, we will have no salvation, no truth to anchor us, no wisdom for life.

Unlike a stock response on Chat-GPT or a Tik-Tok video, God’s wisdom is not something that we can download in seconds. Wisdom is accumulated over time and experienced by those who have found the hidden treasure of the gospel and diligently apply God’s Word to their lives, day-after-day, year after year (Matt 13:44-46). Wisdom comes to those who “receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). Wisdom will grow in you only if you  are humble enough to let the Bible instruct you, contradict you, and show you where you’re wrong.

Honey for the heart.

Having read the Bible from childhood and seen how powerfully the Holy Spirit ministers to people’s hearts through its words, I am convinced that whatever is written in Scripture is wiser and better and truer and lovelier and more powerful than anything we can invent by our own wisdom. I have been amazed by stories of unbelievers who felt drawn to read the Bible and were born again as the truth dawned on them. Because it is God’s breaking news of the gospel, it is honey for the heart.

For those with a deep longing for God and his eternal wisdom, there is a way to flourish in an increasingly unstable and malnourished culture. We need to become hungry Bible readers again, convinced that “Christ is the meat, the bread, the food provided by God for [our] soul” (John Owen). We need to become confident doers of the Word, because we love God and long for our lives to be shaped by His wisdom.

Like honey, which makes everything else taste better (think tea, porridge and toast), we need a steady stream of God’s Word to transform how we see everything else. Let’s treasure the nourishing honey that God has given us, by delighting in His Word, meditating on it and memorising it, because that is how we will taste and see that the Lord is good (Ps 34:8). Let’s diligently teach it to our children, because God tells us this is good (Deut 6:6-7).

Wisdom that saves.

Of this we can be confident: When God’s Word goes out in the power of the Holy Spirit, it is a sword that pierces (Heb 4:12-13); a mirror that reveals (James 1:23); a seed that reproduces (1 Peter 1:23); a fire that consumes and a hammer that shatters (Jer 23:29). It is milk that nourishes (1 Peter 2:2); a lamp that illuminates (Ps 119:105), and a living stream that supports human flourishing and fruitfulness (Psalm 1:2-3). Because it contains the message of the cross, it’s the only wisdom that saves and transforms (1 Cor 1:18-21). No internet feed, ideology or human wisdom can accomplish any of these things.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate” (1 Cor 1:18).

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