Eating Locusts and Wild Honey In The Wilderness
Matthew 3:4 – And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
Hello readers, on a hot!!! day here in Adelaide, we will be looking at the life of John the Baptist. It seems like the weather is getting more and more extreme, but it’s always been changing. Jesus actually said that one of the signs of the end times would be climatic related events. Luke 21:25,26 – And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. Matthew 24:7 – For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. People’s hearts are failing them for fear, the hysteria over climate change is at an all time high. Sure, humans do impact the environment, and God did put us over creation as custodians of it and we should be responsible… but we have to remember God is God also of the climate, we tend to look at the climate, but not at the God. Maybe these climatic events are a call to repent towards the God of heaven and earth, that is the real problem, not carbon emissions. Psalm 29 says the Lord sitteth upon the flood. The climate is not greater than God. And God promised that while earth remained that we’d still have our seasons, hot and cold and so on.
God has always used the climate, the environment to judge nations. The nation I live in has forsaken God more and more. But look at Israel through history as an example, look at the times of Elijah, there was no rain for over three years… it is impossible for a land to forsake God’s word, to murder it’s babies, to endorse same sex marriage and on and on and think it will still be blessed by God. These climatic events point to a world that lies in wickedness, groaning under the curse of sin (that’s the real problem) and events around the world do point to the Lord’s coming. But nevertheless God does send rain on the just and the unjust. He is very longsuffering, he has been all through history. It is fitting we are talking about John the Baptist today. For into such times, just like through the whole Bible, God has raised people who have been salt and light to nations and to the whole world. God does bless nations for the faithfulness of a few. Look at Joseph, Potiphar’s house was blessed because he was there, and then all of Egypt and in fact the world at that time was blessed because of Joseph’s faithfulness to God. Look at Lot in Sodom and Gomorrah… God would not destroy it until Lot was out. So in today, consider the importance of salt and light… as Jesus said true believers are salt and light in this dark world. What this world needs is salt and light. Without salt, this earth has no flavor, and no salt to flavor it. John the Baptist was salt and light in Israel, so much so he prepared the way of the Lord. What prepares the way of the Lord? A John the Baptist. Why did God get a John the Baptist to prepare the way, he was a rough man, a straight talker, he rubbed people the wrong way, but he spoke the truth unflinchingly, he was a man committed, dedicated, separated, he didn’t just talk it, but he walked it and exhorted others to as well. People came to be baptized but he was like, where is the fruit? People coming to be baptized yet their lives showed no repentance of sin.
We read in the verse quoted at the start that John the Baptist ate locusts and wild honey. Often I’ve wondered the significance of that. Does it mean that’s all we should physically eat? Maybe, but his diet teaches us important spiritual truths today. Why did John the Baptist eat locusts and wild honey? It’s interesting huh. The Bible doesn’t record things just for the sake of it. John the Baptist was an unusual man, Jesus said he was a burning and a shining light. What does it take to stand apart for God like he did? Our diet is a big part of it. If your diet isn’t God’s word, if it isn’t “clean” things like locusts and honey were in Israel (under their dietary laws), you won’t rise higher than the things you are ingesting. What are you ingesting? Dr Phil? Joel Osteen? The View? Media? Hollywood movies? Actors? Sports stars? What is going into your heart and soul and from where, what and who is it coming from. Many people are not like John the Baptist because they have a diet consisting of all kinds of things. They feed on the things of the world, not of God. Jesus said his meat was to do the will of his Father. Many people consume things which hinder and harm spiritual growth, or even getting saved at all. They have great fleshly appetites, remember how the Bible talks of their god being their belly. It’s not referring to physical eating appetite, but rather the appetite for the things of the world, appetite for sin, appetite for pleasure, appetite for unclean things like drugs, alcohol, gossip, envy, ungodly entertainment. Whatever it is, wherever you are plugged in, if you are drinking water from a poisoned river, everything you’re getting is contaminated. Many people do not have a diet like John the Baptist did, and therefore they are not strong Christians like he was. You will rise no higher than what you are feeding from. Without God’s word, a Christian cannot grow, nor stand for Jesus in the evil day. Jesus said of John that he wasn’t a reed shaken with the wind, that is, he didn’t just go whatever the way the wind was going like many do, he knew God’s word, and he stood on the truth. And so well he could declare the Saviour when he arrived. He was able to point others to Jesus Christ, when nobody else recognized the Son of God.
So John’s diet was unusual. It was unique. It was different. It was SPECIFIC. And that’s what a life of reading God’s word, believing it, and obeying it is. He wouldn’t eat anything else, he was committed to that diet. We’ve gotta be like this with God’s word. With truth. It will stand out from everyone else’s. It may have seen an ugh! diet, and people are like that with God’s word, their flesh says ugh! The things of God without the Spirit of God are foolishness, are death, are vain to that person. But what else can we learn from the locusts and wild honey? Another thing we can learn from this diet is that both these things represent bad and good. That is, locusts in the Bible have a “bad” connotation, they are connected with judgement, they would come in in plague proportions and destroy everything wiping out crops and harvests… just read Joel. Comparatively, honey in the Bible has a “good” connotation, honey is sweet to the taste, honey is good for you (but not too much!), the Bible compares the word of God to a honeycomb. But this teaches us something massive we have to learn today. It’s in fact a crucial truth. Because so many churches today are “honey only” churches, they are good, good, good but they can’t be like a John the Baptist, nor pave the way for Christ in the lives of their attendees, because they only preach half the truth. There is no good without getting the bad first. What does this even mean? Well there’s “bad” we need to know, bad we need to realize, bad we need to accept. The bad is we are sinners. The bad is we are going to hell. The bad is we are fallen creatures. The bad is the wrath of God abides on us. The bad is we are separated from God by our sins. The bad is the law of God condemns us and shows us how guilty and unworthy we are. These are all “bad” things which people don’t want to hear. People don’t want the “bad” of the rebuke of sin, look at how John the Baptist rebuked Herod for marrying his brother’s wife. But without bad, you won’t see the good. The good is that God sent his only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die for our sins on the cross. The good is that Jesus rose from the dead victorious over sin, death, and hell. The good is that you can be forgiven and given eternal life.
What did this diet John had result in? He preached repentance of sins and pointed to Jesus Christ as the Saviour. You see, that’s what the full truth teaches. It’s what the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, will do in a man’s heart who is truly seeking God. There are so many prophets and preachers and teachers out there today who say nothing about repentance, about judgement, about righteousness. They do not declare the full truth, because their diet was never the locusts and wild honey. The “bad” doesn’t pay well, the “bad” doesn’t sell books, the “bad” doesn’t get the turnstiles clicking, the “bad” doesn’t earn them acceptance or adoration. But without the bad, there is no good. You can tell someone God loves them and that’s true, but that’s not the full story they need to know. They need to know Jesus came to die on the cross for them, because they are sinners, and the penalty of sin is death. They need to know Jesus Christ is the WAY, the TRUTH, the LIFE, the ONLY way to the Father. Understanding the bad and the good together results in truth. Remember, an unjust balance is an abomination to God. Truth is always balanced. And it balances in the person of Christ. Psalm 85:10 – Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Many people tell half truths, or take bits of the Bible such as the prosperity gospel which teases the greed and lust of man, the social gospel which self medicates but has no power to save. When you see the wrath of God against sin, the holiness of God, the law of God, and then the goodness, grace and mercy of God… that will make you want to repent. The sum of knowing the full truth is that we must repent and believe the gospel. That’s what Jesus said. Jesus also said many false Christs would arise in the last days, and they have today. There are many Jesus’ out there today, many false Christs… and they are drawing many away, as Jesus said they would.
John the Baptist is a picture of someone who draws upon all of God’s word, not just the bits that suit. He rebuked many for their sins, he preached to flee from the wrath to come. He didn’t make people feel good. Many people are like Ahab, they want a motivational speaker, they want someone who makes them feel good, but they chuck the one man with God’s word in prison because “he doesn’t say good things to me”. John the Baptist was salt and light in Israel. But there’s not much salt and light today. Those who should be salt have lost their saltness. And therefore they are worthless and useless. Have you ever heard the saying … worth it’s salt? Where do you think that comes from? Without Christ you will never be worth your salt. If you are saved, you will never be worth your salt when you depart from the living God. The reason we have lost our salt and our light, and therefore the world is not being salted, is because people have abandoned the diet of God’s pure, holy, preserved word. Locusts and honey. Preach the full truth. The Old Testament and the New Testament meet in the person of Jesus Christ. You cannot understand the New without the Old. Bringing them both forth together yields a full understanding. Matthew 13:52 – Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old. But because Christians go all this way, or all that way, they shipwreck themselves and lead others astray. Many Christians are good for nothing, but as Jesus said, to be cast out and trodden underfoot of men.
Another thing we see about John the Baptist is that he lived in the wilderness. Why was that? Does that mean we should live as hermits? No. But it does show he was separated unto God. He knew God’s word for his life. His life was one of self sacrifice. He missed out on many worldly pleasures, fun, acceptance in following and obeying God. And he stuck to it. But as a result many were saved because of his preaching, he pointed so many to Jesus Christ. That’s what any Christian should do, point others to the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world. He must increase and I must decrease John said. Yet we don’t see that with many preachers, teachers and prophets today. Ahab had hundreds of false prophets, sure they claimed to be prophets of God, but there was only one, a man called Micaiah who actually knew God’s word and told him the truth. The mass of false prophets told him what he wanted to hear, and made him feel good, they put on a song and dance, they showed him a sign… but they got him killed. The man who told him the truth that would have saved his life he chucked in prison. Isn’t that true today. You hate people who tell you the truth. You love those who lie to you. The Bible does say in Proverbs … faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
True believers are salt and light to a nation. John the Baptist was just that. Where is the convicting of sin, of righteousness, of judgement? That’s what Jesus said the Holy Spirit would do. That is the TRUE Holy Spirit’s ministry. You won’t get saved if you don’t eat the locusts first, but after that you get some honey. There is honey in the wilderness. There is no guarantee of popularity, acceptance, fame, or fortune in following Jesus Christ, in fact, look at his life and you’ll see quite the opposite. This world hates truth. It hates Jesus Christ. A gospel declaring only God’s love, grace, and liberty is a false gospel. Because you can’t understand those “good” things, without the bad things like his wrath, his law, his righteousness, his holiness. Truth is always balanced. John knew God’s word and declared it gunbarrel straight. Not a half truth, the full truth. The salt and light of his life stung the nation of Israel and brought many to Jesus Christ. But it did cost him his head. You see, he rebuked Herod for his wrong marriage and Herod’s wife despised him for it. Some light shined on her sin, some salt stung her life… and the darkness doesn’t like the light. You don’t need a false preacher or teacher or whatever you’ve got, whatever hired person you’ve got who tells you what you want to hear like Ahab wanted. You NEED a prophet of God who will tell you what God’s word says. No spin. No partial truth. It’s not ok to sin. It’s not ok to reject God’s word. It’s not ok, and it’s not ok to think you will be ok, because you won’t be ok. Why do people want to hear it’s all ok, when it’s not? It’s because they don’t got a locust and honey appetite, they got a different diet. Can’t imagine too many others ate what he ate in Israel… and there aren’t many who are basing their lives off God’s word today.
We have lived off the blessings of others for a long time. Egypt was blessed for Joseph’s sake, but years later they’d be devastated by plagues. You can only get by so long. When the salt and light goes, there’s nothing left. The effect of true believers today cannot be understated. John’s diet doesn’t teach us that we should go off into a desert today and eat locusts and wild honey but it does and has taught us important things. It is important what you are putting in your heart and soul. It’s important who sits on the throne of your heart. What appetite do you have? Is it for the more tempting delicacies of sin? You see the locusts and honey weren’t as normal, or fun, it was pretty restrictive right. God’s word is a locust and honey diet… it seems stupid, it’s not as much fun, it’s a lonely diet, it may even be offensive to you… but it’s what will underpin a life that shines for Jesus Christ. Moses esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt. He chose the people of God rather than the pleasures of sin for a season. The Bible is full of truth. Not just a partial truth, but the full truth. The bad and the good. It’s pretty violent in there, it’s confronting in there, but what we want and what we need are often two pretty separate things right. And once you know the truth, the Holy Spirit leads you to repentance, and that’s what paves the way for the arrival of Jesus Christ in your heart. John the Baptist was a forerunner, and God’s word is the forerunner, that incorruptible seed that is planted, the word of truth which can produce life everlasting in a believing heart. We all need the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Jesus said we would know the truth and the truth would set us free. Locusts and honey in the wilderness. You see, that’s where that diet will be, lonely, because not many people have an appetite for God’s word, especially for obeying it. But in the wilderness of men, going to Jesus Christ outside the camp, it will be well and truly worth it in the long run, and will be the backbone of a life that counts as John’s did.
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Joseph View All →
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 32 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)
Thank you so much for opening my eye to a deeper understanding of the word of God. I love this write up on the locust and honey(John the baptist food/diet) its refreshing. keep up the good work and may God bless you tremendiously for blessing others through his word, Amen.
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Thanks for your comment Rachael, glad this blog was a blessing to you!
I have shared On Facebook and will share this message from now on! God had me come to this at just the right time! God is so good! I’m so grateful to God and praise Him! God bless you! Much love my brother, in Christ Jesus!
Thanks for the comment Mekenzi, on the road to Emmaus they said one to another “Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?”. It’s so good to get in the Bible, the washing of the water of the word after a week out in this dark world. Thank you for reading and glad to hear it was relevant and a blessing to you
Amen Joseph , I got so much from this that I had to say Thank you ,God Bless and I will be looking for more
Thanks for the comment Carol and for reading, the Bible is an infinite resource, thank God for his word!
Great article and so true! Thank you for your ministry.
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Thanks for reading Melanie, and glad this blog was a blessing to you!