And the house of Israel called its name Manna. And it was like white coriander seed, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. (Exodus 16:31)
For the Bible to record what the manna tasted like suggests a reason more than what meets the eye. Perhaps this was to hint at something beyond what we might imagine at first. At the very least, the taste of honey in their daily bread would have prompted them to consider that the land they were going to was a land of “milk and honey.” But let us also consider that because the manna was a picture of the Word of God, the mention of honey also as a connection to that as well.
Within the same Psalm that says, “Your word is a lamp unto my feet,” the writer also declared, “How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! (Psalm 119:103). On occasion, prophets received a word from God that was to be delivered to the people that, when described, left the taste of honey in their mouth. Ezekiel records such an incident:
Moreover He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that scroll. And He said to me, “Son of man, feed your belly, and fill your stomach with this scroll that I give you.” So I ate, and it was in my mouth like honey in sweetness. (Ezekiel 3:3)
There is another instance in the Book of Revelation that is very similar to the one described by Ezekiel but with a twist. Seeing an angel holding a mysterious book, John approached and asked for the book. The angel responded:
“Take and eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth.” Then I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter. And he said to me, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.” (Revelation 10:9-11).
There are many times when we hear the Word it is like honey in our mouths — it blesses us with peace and understanding. But there are those times when the Word, though sweet to our soul can leave us with a burden. It might be a burden that convicts us; it might be one that troubles us where others are concerned. It might be the realization of the responsibility that is given to us. I like to put this way: we all appreciate the Word for the “Wow” — the reaction we have when we hear or learn something that is exciting. But we must also appreciate the Scripture for the things that leave us with the feeling of “Oooh” or even “Ouch!”
The Word of God truly is a lamp unto our feet and is our daily bread. We need to hear from God every day so that we can better navigate this journey called life. Let us then appreciate the days when His Word is sweetness to us. Let us also embrace the days when His Word sits heavy in our belly so that it will perform His Will in our lives.
Blessings and Shalom,