The Hungry Soul


Brother David Green

Proverbs 27:7 "The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet."

In looking forward to well anticipated holiday feasts, I was made to reflect on this passage. Indeed, when we are bloated with food of natural desire, the tastiest morsel has no interest or appeal. In fact, we "loath" it. The thought and smell may even be disgusting to us. However, when we are truly hungry and feel the pangs of the need for replenishment of sustenance, most any morsel of substance is welcomed no matter it's appearance or taste.

The soul that does have spiritual life likewise has the same requirement as that of its body. Sustenance. Holy, spiritual food. And when it has left of that provision if feels the pangs of hunger and need for godly sustenance. Of this later condition, there can be at least two considerations. The "hungry soul" stays hungry because it is exercised as it should in a constant appetite of God's word: things that are pure, of good report and profitable, and thereby, the soul is made more eager and desiring of more of that good soul food which makes it to grow in grace and gain more capacity for more grace and so becomes "hungry" for that which has been its source of strength and spiritual vitality. Without a regular feeding of the scriptures which make us wise, or more vitally aware, of salvation through faith, and without a regular feasting of the gospel message which stirs up our inward man just as the husbandman tills the earth to stir in the nutrients, the soul will begin to feel starved and wanton from lack of provision. Or, secondly, this "hungry soul" can also be that vitiated spiritual condition of an individual who has wandered from the Saviour's flock, or, like the bird in verse 8 who has wandered from her nest, and is no longer residing in the safety of the sheepfold, or in the revealed providence and will of God. This is the soul that has strayed and gone its own way and fallen into the pit and entangled itself with the affairs of this world which have ensnared its life and soul and darkened its counsel guiding it down paths of destruction. Nevertheless, the Lord knoweth those that are His. The Good Shepherd leaves the flock and finds the lost and wandering soul. And though He might find that lost soul in a desert land and in a waste howling wilderness, He gently leads him about, he instructs him, he keeps him as the apple of His eye (Zech. 2:8). And that wayward matter which was being eaten as meat is now in that wandering soul's belly turned into the gall of asps within him (Job 2:14). Yes, this is the soul that is made to lift up his head from the dry corn husks and begin to "hunger" and thirst a new for the banqueting table of his father's house. This soul would feast upon the most bitter morsels as long as he could return and be received back into his father's gracious company.

In either of these cases, the "hungry soul" receives the fullness of the gospel and its ordinances; the nourishment of the scriptures and welcomes both the bitter and sweet words of instruction because he is longing, yearning and in need of these things. The bitter herbs of the Passover were to be tasted and consumed before the savory meat of the paschal lamb was eaten and so it is with every child of grace from time to time. Oh, how preciously delicious is each crumb of Grace to the truly hungry soul, no matter sweet or sour! May our feast at all seasons be the righteousness of Christ our Lord.  "They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Matthew 9:12, 13.

God bless both the hearers and ministers of this wonderful gospel food and spiritual diet of truth.