Thursday, September 15, 2022

Satisfying Spiritual Hunger (Proverbs 27:7)


One who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet. [Proverbs 27:7, ESV]

This proverb can be interpreted in several different ways (although, the interpretations that I have come across are similar to one another). Rather than explaining every interpretation that I have been able to find, I would like to share how I interpret this proverb:

One who is full loathes honey

I like ice cream, but if I am full, I am not interested in ice cream anymore. I like pizza, but if I am full, pizza no longer excites me. When we are “full”, we no longer have an interest in things that we would otherwise desire.

but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.

Food tastes much better when we are hungry, and when we are hungry, everything seems to be appetizing. We lack discretion in what we eat, we gorge ourselves on whatever is available, and we are left with the consequences of whatever we have eaten.

When one connects the meaning of the two parts of this proverb, the meaning of the proverb changes. In my understanding, when we seek the Lord and the things that are righteous, our sinful desires are weakened. When we are full of righteousness, we have no appetite for sin. When we are starved of righteousness, we are appetized by whatever is presented to us. No morsel is off the table for one who is starving. When we make a habit of feeding our soul with the righteousness of Christ, we are able to overcome the sinful desires of the heart. When we deprive ourselves of Christ and His righteousness, our hunger increases to the point where we will consume whatever we can, just to sate our appetite.

Just as you eat several meals per day, so should you be feeding your spirit with the Word of God. Just as you seek to satisfy the hunger of your body, so should you seek to satisfy the hunger of your spirit. Just as one perishes without food, so will his spirit perish without the Word of God.

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