During the Patriarchal
Age, there was a terrible famine in the land of Caanan. But in Egypt, in the
providence of God, Joseph had forewarned Pharaoh of a seven year famine that
would affect the area. Thus there was large underground storage bins built in
which wheat was stored in preparation for the forth coming famine. At the time
of the famine, Jacob called his sons together and instructed them to go down
into Egypt to buy grain. He told them to take some gifts, including:
myrrh, nuts, spices, balm, along with some money
to buy grain, and then he added: ".and take a little honey with you" (Gen.
43:11). Jacob may have had a twinkle in his eye when he said, "Take a
little hone with you!" Egypt was not famous for honey, but Canaan was known
as a land that "flowed with milk and honey."
So honey was used as a
medium of exchange. Honey has been called a perfect food. It has been
likened to milk in this way. Take the two together and you have quite a
potent combination. Honey not only has food value, but some believe that it
has certain medicinal qualities as well.
Now, we have been
discussing about literal honey to illustrate a honey that is even more
important. It is the honey of KINDNESS. Just as honey taken out of a
jar is sweet, healing, soothing, strengthening and pleasant to the taste; even
so, kindness has such qualities in human relations.
Kindness is an
essential ingredient in people being able to get along with one another. We
see so much rudeness and ill manners in the world today, that the "milk of
kindness" is a welcome relief.
A little girl had just
slapped her sister. "Why did you do that?" Her mother asks. "Because
she was bothering me, while I was trying to learn a verse in the Bible,"
the little girl answered. "And what was the verse?" inquired the
mother. "Be ye kind to one another," was the reply. How much easier
it is to memorize these lovely words than to apply them!
Kindness is one of the
Christian virtues listed as 2 Pet. 1:5-7. It may not appeal to those
who have little or no interest in following Jesus, nor any consideration of
the rights or feelings of others. And it is not always the easy way for those
of us who are striving to follow in the steps of Jesus, the Christ.
Eph. 4:31-32, "Let
all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put
away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, even as God
for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
THE HONEY OF KINDNESS IS NEEDED IN ALL AREAS OF OUR LIFE!
First of all, we need to possess the honey of kindness for our own
In applying what is commonly called: "The Golden Rule," we think about
how we would want to be treated.
Matt. 7:12, "Therefore
all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to
them: for this is the law and the prophets.
This has been paraphrased as: "DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM
TO DO UNTO YOU."
Others will shun us if we lack the sweetness of kindness.
It will keep us from becoming bitter and to hold animosity toward
Prov. 23:7, "For
as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:."
The friendship of others will be extended unto us when we share the
honey of kindness with them.
Prov. 18:24, "A
man that hath friends must show himself friendly."
The honey of kindness is certainly needed in our home.
Many fathers do not take time to be with their children.
A father could help a small child make and fly a kite, etc.
He could go hunting and fishing with his teenage son.
Eph. 6:4, "And
ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the
nurture and admonition of the Lord."
Some mothers are too busy with their social life to devotion much
needed time with their own children.
In reference of the virtuous woman revealed in the book of Proverbs, it
is said: ".in her tongue is the law of kindness" (Prov. 31:26).
The honey of kindness is essential in the relationship of a husband
and his wife.
Eph. 5:25-28, "Husbands,
love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for
it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the
word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot,
or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without
blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that
loveth his wife loveth himself."
Titus 2:4-5, "That
they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love
their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to
their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed."
Brethren in the church must endeavor to extend the honey of
kindness toward one another.
In relation to our context, Joseph did not exercise hostility toward
his own brothers in the flesh who had sold him into slavery.
Gen. 50:21, ".And
he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them."
Like manner, we need to be kind and forgiving to our brethren in the
We have so much in common, these include the following basic truths:
Eph. 4:3-6, "Endeavoring
to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and
one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one
faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through
all, and in you all."
Psalm 133:1, "Behold,
how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity."
Rom. 12:10, "Be
kindly affection one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one
The Apostle Paul admonishes us to restore in the right spirit brethren
who have become unfaithful.
Gal. 6:1-2, "Brethren,
if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one
in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."
We need to learn the value of bearing one another's burdens.
Gal. 6:2, Bear
ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."
Rom. 12:15, "Rejoice
with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep."
1 Cor. 12:26, "And
whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be
honored, all the members rejoice with it."
In our everyday life there is always the need to show
consideration of those in whom we come in contact with.
In striving to win others to Christ.
Matt. 5:16, "Let
your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify
your Father which is in heaven."
In our daily contact in society.
We should put our self in the other person's shoes and treat them as we
would want to be treated.
1 Cor. 9:19-23
(elaborate upon the principle found in this passage).
Gal. 6:10, "As
we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto
them who are of the household of faith."
Prov. 25:11, "A
word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver."
In our business dealings with others, we should conduct such
affairs in a kind and courteous manner.
Rom. 12:17, "Recompense
to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men."
In going out of our way
to show kindness toward others, we should never compromise our convictions.
And in doing so, we should speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15).
Our attitude of heart should be depicted in our manner of studying with other
of the inspired Word of God.
1 Pet. 3:15, "But
sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer
to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness
Col. 4:6, "Let
your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye
ought to answer every man."
[Usually, when I present
this sermon, I have a small jar of "store bought" honey to gain attention
during its introduction.]