“The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet” (Prov. 27:7). When you are full you don’t want anything else to eat. Even a delicious dessert has no appeal. If you are really hungry, however, you will eat what you can even if it is something you normally dislike. The need for food is stronger than the desire to please the taste buds. There are people in other countries who would gladly feast on foods we think are beneath us. We are hard to please because we have so much.
This proverb is a good illustration of the attitude people have toward the Word of God. Some have the mindset of a full soul. They think they are full of the Word. They think they know all they need to know about God and the Bible. The truth is that they are often more full of the world than they realize and that is curbing their appetite for spiritual things. As a result, they don’t enjoy studying the Bible like they once did. They don’t delight in praying, singing, and hearing gospel preaching like they did when they were baptized. Going to hear a preacher who really knows the Bible and has great ability to communicate it has no more appeal to them than offering them a gourmet cake when they are stuffed.
There are Christians that have little appetite for spiritual things. The church at Laodicea had this attitude: “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing” (Rev. 3:17). The writer of Hebrews had many wonderful spiritual feasts to offer, but his readers were “dull of hearing” (Heb. 5:11). This was the mindset of Israel of old: “I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing” (Hos. 8:12).
On the other hand, there are people who are glad to get any bit of spiritual nourishment regardless of how small it might seem. They don’t care about how fancy the church building is or how much entertainment is offered. They don’t demand a dynamic preacher and state-of-the-art audio and visual equipment. They don’t complain because someone fails to speak to them after a service. They are just thankful to hear the Truth. They truly hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matt. 5:6).
When Christians have this appetite for the Truth, they don’t have to be lured blindfolded to a Bible study. They will be eager for it. The elders won’t have to beat them over the head or figure out some way to get them involved. You don’t have to beg a starving man to eat a plate of food.