More precious than gold and sweeter than honey

Why is Gold so valuable?

Ancient Kings amassed and hoarded it. Governments today hold gold reserves to support the value of their national currency. As at Nov 2018 the USA holds the largest amount, some 8,133 metric tons! The UK is a lowly 15th! Gold is a sign of wealth, prosperity, abundance, even the colour is considered a thing of beauty. Silver tarnishes, discolours, whereas gold is stable, it maintains its gloss and sheen. Chemically, it is uninteresting for it barely reacts with any other element. It's non-toxic and fairly rare. Yet, of all the 118 elements in the periodic table, gold is the one we have always tended to use as currency and jewellery or in electronics. Gold jewellery is a gift no-one would turn down. We are reminded at Christmas that it was given and presented to Jesus at his birth by the Magi. A worthy gift to the King of Kings. We exchange rings as a signs of the covenant of marriage. Gold has founded cities such as San Francisco and Johannesburg. Gold has been the cause of many wars due to man's greed.

What can be more desirable in this world than gold? What is of more value, or more important?

The Psalmist, who was himself a king of great wealth, could say the decrees of the LORD are more desirable than gold. The word "desirable" is also translated as precious, something a person takes great delight in and will not easily give up for anything else. David held Gods word in such a high regard - far more than all his accumulated treasures and wealth. David was in effect saying God's word was priceless! There are some things money can't buy. Nothing was more valuable to him than knowing and keeping God's word.

Nothing is as precious as God's word

How do you value God's word? Is it precious to you? When we use the term precious, it normally means of great worth or value. It's something we hold very dear to our hearts. It's Someone or something very important, irreplaceable! We would be lost without it! Some people are willing to do anything to get their hands on gold. Many have given up their lives for God's word, for example, William Tyndale was burned at the stake for translating the Bible into English, so ordinary people could treasure it for themselves.

There are other verses that have a similar meaning, Another Psalmist could say "The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces." (Psalm 119:72) Could you truthfully say God's word means more to me than my car, my house? How much is a single gold sovereign coin worth today? For example, would you turn down God's word, never to read or recall ever again all its glorious precious promises, for say a million pounds? No true Christian would swap their bible for the whole world.

Why is honey sweet?

The human tongue can detect four basic flavours — salt, sour, bitter and sweet, but humans are naturally drawn to sweet things. This could be because fruit when ripe tastes sweeter. Unripe fruit does not taste nice!

Before refined sugar, honey was the only natural substance available to use to sweeten food. Honey not only is sweet and tasty but has many other benefits that help to maintain good health. But why do we have a sweet tooth? Why do we crave, or are drawn to sugary items, like chocolate, and doughnuts to satisfy our cravings? It can be because sugar is high in calories. We don't need much sugar in our diet to sustain our daily intake of much-needed calories. Therefore when we don’t eat enough calories, our body may start looking for a fast way to refuel! We can also be drawn because of reward sensors that sugar trigger in our brain, making us feel good.

What is sweeter than honey?

By comparing God's word to honey, David is saying they are a delightful and satisfying food for his soul, and ours. It does him good. It is pleasurable, enjoyable. He is nourished by it, he feels refreshed, satisfied and satiated. To the Christian, there is nothing that the world can offer that compares to the sweetness of God's Word.

Another Pslamist could say "How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth" (Psalm 119:103)

The prophet Jeremiah could say "Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts." (Jeremiah 15:16)

The book of Hebrews speaks of those who have "tasted the goodness of the word of God" (Hebrews 6:5)

God's Word guards the soul

Gods word preserves your life. The first part of verse 11 Psalm 19 says "by them is your servant warned " here the Hebrew means admonished, to give a warning. It warns us of the consequence of sin and the danger we face. There is a judgement we must all face one day, and we are totally bankrupt in God's sight. There is nothing we can offer him, no costly bribe to escape his righteous anger, with only eternal punishment being our final outcome. It warns us that our only escape is through believing in Jesus Christ. He has taken our place. He has cleared the debt we owe by paying the price we deserve through his shed blood. Have you been warned? Are you heeding the warnings contained in the bible? Are you a willing servant of Jesus Christ?

God's word is rewarding

"in keeping them there is great reward." (Psalm 19:11)

Today, everyone looks for the best investment for their money and time. However, the best investment in anyone's life is to keep God's word. That means to trust and believe it is true. To keep his word, to walk in it and to live our lives by it. By keeping it we receive joy, rest, refreshment and comfort. By keeping it the ways of God are precious and glorious to the eyes of every Christian. This is not all, we also gain eternal life! What a great reward awaits every Christian, an inheritance in Heaven!

Jesus said "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. " (Matthew 6:19-20).

As we think back on David's words, he is not saying we receive any reward because of what we do, that we somehow deserve them. God saves us by his grace, No one deserves God's rewards for we are all sinners, deserving nothing but judgement. It's only by God's grace we receive the faith to keep and abide in his word. Only by his grace do we receive a great reward. Our reward doesn't come just by knowing God's word. It is not by intellectual study, but by trusting, believing, keeping hold of God's word by faith. And faith itself is a gift of God.

"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. " (Ephesians 2:8)

How about You?

Gold, money can buy you many things, but all things are in the end perishable, and death itself robs us of the enjoyment of them. They have no lasting value. There is nothing more valuable than knowing God, and eternal salvation through his Son Jesus Christ. What can be sweeter to taste than honey? Do you have a sugar craving? What do you most desire in life? What can completely satiate that empty feeling deep inside? There are many pleasures that we can taste and partake of, to feel good and sweet for a short while. But in the end, they leave only bitterness, no lasting happiness or contentment. They leave the soul, body and mind empty of any true nourishment and enjoyment.

God wishes to spare, to save your life, not destroy it. So turn to him, trust in the precious promises of his Word. Take heed of the warnings, and you will feel revived, refreshed and restored! Happiness and peace will flood your senses, making alive what was before spiritually dead! Contentment, fulfilment, love, peace - which can never be found anywhere else - can be yours in Christ Jesus! In summary, we can truly say God’s Word is precious, pleasurable, protective, and profitable to all men.

How about you?

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