Thursday, November 1, 2012

Too Much of a Good Thing

"Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, 
lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it."
Proverbs 25:16

We know that a Christian should hate what God hates and love what He loves.  We know that a Christian should love God with all of his heart, and hate evil.  We know that a Christian should delight himself in the Lord, and should abstain from all appearance of evil.  Regarding the path of wickedness, God says to:

"Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away" (Proverbs 4:15).

We also know that God has graciously given us good things to enjoy in our lives.  He has given us family, food, friendships, and things!

There are no Biblical prohibitions or warnings against things like: having a picnic with your family, going to a sporting event, or playing a board game with some friends.

And like honey, these things are good things.

"My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste" (Proverbs 24:13).

I'm personally grateful for the "good" things of life.

Let's remember, however, that God never intended the good things of life to give us the deep, lasting satisfaction that our souls crave.  God is the only "good thing" that brings true contentment.

Idolatry is when a person attributes more value to something--anything--than to God.  So often, we think that if we can accumulate lots of "good things" we'll be happy.  Or, if we can somehow manage to move from one good circumstance to another good circumstance, avoiding all bitter situations and trials, then we'll be content.  And so, we find ourselves pursuing the good things of life--even to the point of idolatry.

Good things are good...but only to a point.  Too much of a good thing causes sickness.

Let's be careful not to fill our lives with good things to the point of spiritual sickness.  We must remember that family and friends, hobbies and sports, education and careers, rest and recreation, and so on...though they are blessings from the Lord, these things must never take God's place as our heart's greatest love and pursuit.

A person who has every good thing the heart could desire, but who lacks a thriving, intimate relationship with God, will be no more content than King Solomon, who, at the end of his life, made his lament:

"Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: 
for all is vanity and vexation of spirit." 
(Ecclesiastes 2:17)

But if a person will walk with the Lord, abiding in Him, he will be fruitful, stable, and furthermore...content!

"For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." 
(Philippians 4:11)

Give thanks to God for the "honey" He gives.  Enjoy it.

But don't depend on it.  Don't worship it.  Don't pursue the neglect of the Living Water, by whom the longings of the soul are satisfied.

All my life long I had panted

For a drink from some clear spring,
That I hoped would quench the burning
Of the thirst I felt within.

Feeding on the husks around me,
Till my strength was almost gone,
Longed my soul for something better,
Only still to hunger on.

Poor I was, and sought for riches,
Something that would satisfy,
But the dust I gathered round me
Only mocked my soul’s sad cry.

Well of water, ever springing,
Bread of life so rich and free,
Untold wealth that never faileth,
My Redeemer is to me.

Hallelujah! I have found Him

Whom my soul so long has craved!
Jesus satisfies my longings,
Through His blood I now am saved.

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