A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet. (Proverbs 27:7—NKJV)

It is delicious to rise with the sun after a satisfying sleep following an exhausting day. Simply to have the senses awakened by a warming breeze bearing the sounds of spring floating in the open windows, to be drawn to the kitchen pursing the aroma of fresh brewed coffee and the sounds of sizzling bacon, and to be filled with the anticipation of a hearty breakfast is all the luxury that one could desire!

When I was a kid, I asked my parents why the first meal of the day was called “breakfast.” The parental answer was quite simple: “break” and “fast” means to break the fast from sleeping. Work and sleep inevitably lead to hunger and thirst for an appealing meal. I am sure I would not be quite so excited about a hearty breakfast if I had just been consuming “junk” food during an all-night youth group activity.

Our text teaches the truth of this. When there is a surfeit of food, then even the natural goodness of the honeycomb is abhorrent, but the hungry soul will find satisfaction in that which is not otherwise considered a delicacy. The spiritual principle is also the same. When the believer fills his hungry “junk food” appetite with everything but God, then the good things of God lose their luster and wonder. Has this been your experience?

During His sermon on the mount Jesus Christ teaches, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6) Later He states, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33) The thirsty and hungry soul will find great satisfaction with all that the Lord serves to him. Not only will he have the stomach for it, but he will also anticipate the fellowship with God while at His table. The Lord always dishes up what is needed and good (Romans 8:28), and especially prepared by His caring hand.

This line of thought applies to the biblical teaching about the filling of the Holy Spirit. Paul states, “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18) The practical work of the Holy Spirit concerning the saints is one of enabling the believer to fill his day with Spirit-led decisions. If the believer is satisfied with the “husks” of the world, then there will be no hunger and thirst for dining at the table of God’s Word with delightful anticipation. There will be no energizing to go forth in obedient service.

Peter instructs us about hunger and thirst for the things of God in 1 Peter 2:1–3, “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” He is distinctly teaching that there must first be a complete break with sin and its distractions before a sincere hunger for God’s Word will churn in your soul. As with an infant, you may find you can distract the first few whimpers of hunger, but only for so long and then the full burst of intense desire will beat on your eardrums. The wailing cries of the thirsty saint will only be peacefully satisfied by the pure milk of the Word. Then stand back and watch him grow! Incidentally, little hunger for the things of God is a symptom that something else has filled the God-inspired void with the result that your soul is malnourished and languishing.

David says, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him.” (Psalm 34:8–9)

After what does your soul thirst? What brings you the greatest satisfaction in life? If the Lord, His Word and His work is not in the very heart of your soul’s desire, then you are spiritually malnourished and need to prepare your heart to have a hearty breakfast at His table. Prepare to watch your spiritual appetite grow! Trust and obey.