Summary: There is sweetness and strength in serving God.
From the Desk of Pastor Toby Powers
Truth Baptist Church
Honey For The Journey
Genesis 43:11, “And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds:”
Intro: This passage of Scripture deals with the second trip of the sons of Jacob into Israel to buy corn. They had sold their brother Joseph into slavery in chapter 37, and he was taken to Egypt. In Egypt he suffered as a slave and later a prisoner for a crime that he did not commit. In prison, however, he met two men and interpreted dreams for them. One of them was the king’s butler, and he was brought out of prison and restored as the butler to the Pharaoh of Egypt. When Pharaoh had a dream, the butler remembered Joseph, and the king called for him. Joseph interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh to tell of seven fat and seven lean years upcoming, and he advised the king to set aside 20% of the crops each year in a store house to feed the people during the seven lean years. Pharaoh was so impressed by Joseph that he put him in charge of this task. When the seven lean years came, Joseph’s family in Canaan were very hungry and ten of his brothers came to Egypt to buy corn. They did not recognize Joseph in Egypt, and probably believed him to have been dead by then. Furthermore, Joseph did not reveal his identity to them, but he demanded that they leave Simeon there as a prisoner until they brought their youngest Brother Benjamin to meet him.
This would supposedly mean that they were not spies. When the corn they had bought in Egypt was gone and they set out on a return journey to Egypt, Jacob said to them to be very careful, for he feared for Benjamin’s life. Still, he sent them on their way with the supplies that are mentioned in our text verse. I am particularly interested in the “little honey” he sent. I want to preach today on, “There’s Honey For The Journey.” This way is sometimes hard, and the road we travel is often discouraging, but I am glad that there is honey for the journey!
The word honey is in your King James Bibles some 56 times. Honey is a natural substance made by bees, and it is naturally sweet, strengthening, and sustaining. It contains medicinal qualities and an abundance of vitamins and minerals. Honey represents abundance, delight, and joy. The believer, as did the Israelites, has access to honey for the journey! Canaan was the promised land of Israel and represents the spirit-filled victorious Christian life. 20 times the Bible says that Canaan is a land that “floweth or is flowing with milk and honey.” There is honey for the journey. There is:
I. Honey In The Bread: Exodus 16:31, “And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.” God sent bread to the Israelkites in the wilderness, and it was called manna. When we are hungry, God will send us sustenance, and he will make it sweet to us as well. He does not always send T-bone steak, but he can make biscuits and cornbread really sweet! God can set a table in the wilderness. He will make a way!
II. Honey In The Beast: Judges 14:8, “And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcase of the lion: and, behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcase of the lion.” Samson had been attacked by a young lion on his way down to Timnath, and he killed it with his bare hands. When he returned from Timnath, bees had built a hive in the carcass of the animal, and it was filled with honey. He did eat and took to his parents, and they ate of it also. God can take the things that attack you and fill them with honey to sweeten and strengthen you! If it is a physical ailment, a personal adversary, or particular temptation, God can give victory and sweetness can come from it.
Illustrate: I lost my job at the bank right after we started this church, and it was greatly due to my testimony, but God gave me a better job, and used it to get me a better one still! Don’t run from the thing that attacks you, God may use it to sustain you! The very thing you fear may kill you God can use to keep you alive, strong, and sweet!