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May 13, 2012 in Chapters

Sweets

Isn’t it sweet to know that God created food not only to be functional but also to be pleasurable?  God uses a figure to show the sweetness of his Word in comparison to this taste sensation.

Psalm 119:103:
How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Honey specifically was also used figuratively to represent the health and abundance of the land that God promised to give the children of Israel when He delivered them from the slavery of Egypt.

Numbers 14:8:
If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey.

Natural sweets are a special blessing from God.  Sweets were something eaten during celebrations on God’s holy days.

Nehemiah 8:10:
Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.

The sweetener spoken of most frequently in the Bible is honey.  It is used 54 times throughout the Scripture.

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

The Proverbs say to eat honey “because it is good.”  Local raw honey is proven to be beneficial in preventing allergies by acclimating people to their natural environment.  It has to be in its raw or unheated form to retain the health promoting properties of its naturally occurring bee pollen and enzymes that digest carbohydrates.  Within the honeycomb, honey bees also produce a substance called royal jelly for the queen bee which allows her to live up to six years instead of the standard six weeks of the other bees.  It is highly concentrated in nutrients and often called a “super food” which promotes energy and longevity.  This amazing substance contains a broad range of B vitamins, 17 amino acids (including all of the essential ones), and proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates that cannot be recreated synthetically by man.  In addition, it also contains aspartic acid and gelatin that help the body rejuvenate itself.  Gelatin is one of the predecessors of collagen, a powerful anti-aging element that helps preserve the youth of the body, particularly the skin.  Raw honey and royal jelly can usually be found in local farmer’s markets and health food stores.  Organic honey comes from hives which are positioned to expose bees to mostly pesticide free organic crops and uncultivated areas, so there is less chance of pesticide or GM pollen contamination.  Then the honey is collected from the hives without the use of chemicals.

Of the natural sugars, honey is the most healthful.  Except for the sweet herb stevia, honey causes the least blood sugar fluctuations of all the sweeteners, including fruit.  However, it should not be given to babies under the age of one, because their digestive systems are not yet equipped to handle certain bacterial spores that may be present in the honey.  Other natural sweeteners include date sugar, pure maple or sorghum syrup, stevia, molasses, malted grain syrups, coconut palm sugar and unrefined sugar cane (also known as Rapadura or dehydrated cane juice).  As an alternative to refined sweeteners, dried fruit, such as dates, figs, apples, apricots and raisins can be soaked and pureed to use as a sweetener on oatmeal, yoghurt, toast, in baked goods or in smoothies.  Try to look for unsulphered varieties.  Dried fruit was another commonly used sweetener in the lands and times of the Bible.

This is just an excerpt from "Food in the Bible."  For the full chapter, you may download the book here.