It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory.
It’s not good to eat too much honey, and it’s not good to seek honors for yourself. (NLT)
There are fifty-six references to honey in the King James Bible, the first in Genesis 43 when Jacob (aka Israel) was sending ten of his sons to Egypt for grain. Honey was included as part of a gift to the Egyptian ruler, who was holding another son in prison, and just happened to be Jacob’s long lost other son, Joseph.
Before Joseph went missing he had a habit of blowing his own trumpet, described in this proverb as searching his own glory. Dad Jacob was partly to blame for having a favorite, and for not having a quiet word in young Joseph’s ear about keeping a low profile in an attempt to increase his rating in the popularity stakes with his brothers. Jacob must have known that his favorite son was not making many friends, but putting him on a pedestal was a big mistake, and one that led to the brothers taking action to bring dear old Joe down a peg or two. In fact, most of them would have been happy to leave Joseph to die. Ouch. Why such drastic measures? Because folk who spend all their time telling other people how good they are at everything become extremely difficult to tolerate.
Joseph came down many pegs very quickly when he was sold as a slave and carted off to Egypt. He had to start at the bottom and work (possibly a new concept for Joseph) his way up. But it seems that Joseph learned quickly. Despite the ups and downs of life in Egypt, including time in prison for something he didn’t do, Joseph eventually became second in command of the entire country. And that just shows what God can do when we let go and let God have His way in us. Learning from mistakes is not always easy, but when we are fully surrendered to God then stuff we might previously have thought to be impossible happens. Look at Joseph – the mouthy big-headed kid who became a slave in a foreign land and ended up in charge of that country. God’s plans for you might not be so grand, but you can be sure that there is stuff He wants to do through you, lives He wants to touch, people He wants to reach. Are you ready, willing? Then let go and let God take control.