24 Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.
25 There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.
Before we think about verse 25, which many of us have heard throughout our lives as something to avoid, notice first the contrast between the end of 24 and the end of 25. It is no coincidence that Solomon put these two together to cause us to pay attention. Notice then the contrast: “Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones” against “But the end is the way of death.” What we see is life and death in the balance. Life, meaning a soul at peace and a body that is strong verses the way, the path, the road, the jalan, that leads to death.
People today seem to talk about mistakes they made, about a failed relationship or something that cost them more than they anticipated. People don’t talk in the absolute terms of life and death. It seems that Solomon, directed by God’s Holy Spirit, wants us to think more seriously about our words and about our choices. Do we even know how to define, “sweetness to the soul?” When was the last time you talked about something that was sweet to your soul? If we think about this for a moment, we might think about something or someone who makes us feel good, who when they leave we are glad they stopped to see us; or, we might think of a really good time with someone.
On the contrary, when someone is making right choices, using pleasant words, and overall are careful with their life and with ours, we enjoy that person and just like to be with them. We say that those people are good for us. On the other hand are those who do what seems right to them, that is, they don’t care much about the consequences to themselves or those with them. They make decisions quickly without advice. They might even pride themselves in being a quick thinker. But they are not enjoyable, we don’t look forward to being with them. The path they are on is leading to their pain and maybe to ours. No, we don’t leave them with sweetness in our soul and with health in our bones but with a pit in our stomach and an ache in our life.
So, yes, these are life and death issues. We don’t just make mistakes; we hold our very lives in our hands and the paths we chose take us places whether we like them or not. Choose wisely.
There are times in life when everything is crystal clear. I remember watching families who were standing on the ruins of their home and town saying, “We are thankful we still have each other.” This week was one of those weeks for our family. As events unfolded, we had each other. When we had a need, Christian brothers and sisters stepped up. Never forget that people are people and that stuff is stuff. Stuff can be replaced, people we love cannot. No, there were no health emergencies, don’t worry, just God working on us to draw us closer to Himself in greater humility and reliance.
Have a great day in the Lord,