LUKE 24. 4I-43
The word “meat” here means, as it so often does in the New Testament, any kind of food or provision for the nourishment of the body. Being perfect Man as well as perfect God, our Lord knew what it was to be hungry, tired and weary. Even in resurrection He asked the question: “Have ye here any meat?”, or “Have ye here any food?”. Happily, these disciples were able to satisfy Him, and it is striking to notice that in this meal there was something sweet to His taste; there was not only broiled fish, there was honey. Honey in Bible times was well-known as a natural, wholesome food, and this was one of the attractions of the land of Canaan to the Israelites: it was a land flowing “with milk and honey”, Josh. 5. 6. How sweet our Lord must have found it on the occasion mentioned in these verses! In this meditation we shall consider some of the spiritual and practical applications of this to our souls.
These disciples provided our Lord with something sweet to His taste, and how much sweetness are we giving to our Lord? Are we giving Him any sweetness at all? Is it being said of us what God said to Israel: your sacrifices are not “sweet unto me”? Jer. 6. 20. All too often this is our condemnation; our spiritual sacrifices and exercises lack sweetness. Should it not rather be said of us what the Bridegroom said of the Bride: “Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb; honey and milk are under thy tongue”, Song of Songs 4.11. Like the bride we all have something our Lord can appreciate; there are sweet and precious things which when given to our Lord give Him joy and pleasure. In other words, there are honeycombs today. There is -
The Honeycomb of Prayer. We venture to say that many believers do not think of prayer as something of peculiar preciousness to our Lord. When we pray we can be so pre-occupied with our needs as to forget that our prayers are of great significance to Him. Our prayers not only comfort and sustain our spirits, they comfort and sustain His spirit; they are not only an advantage to us, they are an advantage to Him. When we invest our time and energy in the great business of prayer we not only bring revenues of joy and satisfaction to ourselves, we bring revenues of joy and satisfaction to our Lord. The explanation of this is not far to seek.
Speaking to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul reminds them that they had been idolaters, thieves, covetous, drunkards; such he said “were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God”, 1 Cor. 6. 9-11. Such were we all; we had grievously sinned against God, we had refused God’s way and turned every one of us to our own way. In the words of the apostle Peter: we were given to “all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings”, 1 Pet. 2. 1. But the Word of God came into our hearts and we have become “an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light”, 1 Pet. 2. 9. What a glorious transformation! Once we were darkness, but now we are light in the Lord. Can we marvel and wonder that our prayers are sweet and precious to Him? Because we were utterly godless we were utterly prayerless; but now it is not so, and our prayers come up before Him sweet as the honeycomb. What an encouragement to pray! The more we pray the more we grow in spiritual stature, and the more we deepen the gladness of our Lord. Again, there is -
The Honeycomb of Service. The greatest of all apostles boasted that he was “a servant of Jesus Christ”, Rom. 1.1, and to his fellow-believers he said: “ye serve the Lord Christ”, Col. 3. 24. Do we realize sufficiently the importance of this? Without our service our Lord would be without any visible witnesses here on earth, and without any exponents of His truth. In view of this what a position and privilege is ours! You will remember that among the many things that the Queen of Sheba saw in Solomon’s glorious house was “the sitting of his servants”, and she was so impressed that she exclaimed: “Happy are these thy servants, which stand continu-ally before thee, and hear thy wisdom”, 2 Chron. 9. 5-7. But happier far we who “serve the Lord Christ”; what dignity and responsibility is ours, who serve One far greater than Solomon!
The wisdom of Solomon was proverbial, but it was as a drop in the ocean compared with the wisdom of Him “in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”, Col. 2. 3; the immense riches of Solomon were exceptional, but they were as nothing in comparison with “the unsearchable riches of Christ”, Eph. 3, 8; the greatness of Solomon was undeniable, but compared with the greatness of the Lord Jesus Christ it was as the light of a candle to the full blaze of the noonday sun. Solomon was high above many, but the Lord Jesus is high above all; His name is above every name, His kingdom is above every kingdom, and His throne is above every throne. In dignity, wisdom, wealth and power He is and ever will be unequalled and unexcelled among men and angels. Such is our glorious Lord and Master; who can estimate the value and preciousness of our service to Him? To Him it is as sweet as the honeycomb, and it comes up before Him as an odour of a sweet smell. What an impetus this should give to our service! Our service is a spiritual sacrifice well-pleasing and acceptable to Him. Further, there is -
The Honeycomb of Praise. The psalmist says: “All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee”, Psalm 145.10, and in the vast temple of nature all God’s works do praise Him. Who can gaze on mountains, valleys and plains; seas, lakes and rivers; trees, plants and flowers, without thinking of the great God who made them! The whole universe proclaims His “eternal power and Godhead”, and if this is true of the work of creation, how much more is it true of the work of redemption. Here nature is in perfect harmony with grace; the one is a beautiful illustration and confirmation of the other. God called our world into being and adorned it with beauty and glory that it might become a magnificent platform for the display of the greatest and grandest of all His works, the work of redemption.
Thus, in the book of the Revelation the redeemed in heaven are represented as singing “the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints (nations)”, Rev. 15. 3. The song they sing in heaven is “the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb”; Moses speaks to us of the work of creation, and the Lamb speaks to us of the work of redemption, and the wonders connected with each are blended together in this Hallelujah Chorus of heaven. It is a chorus of praise and we should learn to sing it now, for we shall sing it hereafter; we must praise our glorious Lord in the church on earth thereby to praise Him in the glorified Church in heaven. Praise, therefore, is by no means the least of our spiritual sacrifices; it is the alabaster box of precious ointment whereby the fragrance and savour of our Lord’s name come up before God as sweet incense. Here, as in other things, it is intended that we should be “unto God a sweet saviour of Christ”, 2 Cor. 2. 15, and what is precious to God is precious to our Lord. Our praise and worship is sweet to Him, sweet and satisfying as the honeycomb. Such are some of the sweet and precious things which, when given to our Lord, give Him joy and pleasure.