The 1st Parallel
When I was a new Christian back in high school (back in the “ancient” days, as a former student just
posted on my Facebook page!), I remember a time when the Lord spoke so very clearly to me out of His Word. I would take my Bible to school daily and read before school started because the bus dumped me off there about 45 minutes before classes started. I remember reading in Exodus, where God spoke to me so many times,
Exodus 3:8, “I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out
of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey….”
God said, “Rick that is a parallel of the new Christian life!” I thought to myself, “Brilliant! As God delivered Israel, God’s beloved people, out of the bondage of Egypt, so has He delivered all new Christians out of the bondage of the world and of Satan – who runs this world.” But if you extend that parallel, what does it say about our new life? “Flowing with milk and honey…” Sustenance fills the Christian life. Richness. Water is one thing – it keeps us alive. But milk has nutrition to help us grow.
God says our new Christian life flows with nutrition to help us grow. Now if God were angry with us, why would He do that? The answer is: He NOT angry with us. He loves us to the point that our daily existence is marked with daily nutrition to grow and mature. He loves us to bless us!
Honey. Did you know that honey is a food that is hard to spoil? Most all bacteria cannot grow in honey for its lack of water. But, you do not give honey to babies because the one type of bacterial spores that can grow in honey – rare – can be unhealthy for a baby. So, milk is for new Christians, but not Honey.
1 Peter 2:2, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation…”
But like the old saying goes, “A baby is safe in a cradle, but that’s not where it is meant to stay” If we just feed on milk, we will not progress far enough…Honey provides energy. Energy is for doing – it is ACTION oriented.
Hebrews 5:12-14, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”
So, we all need to grow up at some point. Some people are on different trajectories than others. Kinda like school. Some kids are early bloomers, while there are some who get to high school without puberty hitting them yet. Life is tough for those kids! Spiritually, we have a choice to grow or not to grow!
Honey is for the more mature Christians. Did you know honey does not freeze? It remains an amorphous type of substance way down to minus 60 degrees F at which point it will shatter if you drop it. Pretty durable! My grandfather used to harvest honey from bees. I was always amazed at how they would never sting him! Honey is formed from a honey bee that was drawn to a flower, experienced nectar from that flower, brought it back to the hive, and regurgitated it to the others. Refreshing, eh? I know you want to just rush right out and get some! BUT WAIT! Fear not! It’s not that bad. Bees have an extra stomach just for honey! It does not mix with the “other stuff.” So, the honey has been transported in a sort of honey tanker with wings…it finds the nectar, gathers it up, brings it back to the hive, and pours it into the honeycomb. I think that is how we grow as Christians. A Christian will experience things, and bring it “back to the hive” to share with others in the body in the light of God’s Word. This is the “Doing” part of the Christian life that the Hebrews passage talks about above. We do life, we do God’s Word, and we share the results of those things with others to help them grow. But we have to have the Word of God in us first so that our experiences are interpreted in light of His Word, or all we have achieved is existential confusion.
Are you growing IN CHRIST? Sure, we all experience things, but are they being regurgitated in the light of God’s Word? Are your powers of discernment increasing as a result of this? Remember, the Land God is leading you into is a life…and it really is flowing with Milk AND with Honey!
Be blessed this day!