Proverbs 15:14 says, “But the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.” His appetite reaches out after foolishness.

Your body can develop a taste for something that will destroy you, and so can your soul. Why are appetites important? Because they determine the direction you’ll choose for yourself in life.

In Isaiah 7:14-15, we see that the Messiah would have an appetite for butter and honey. Why butter and honey? The immediate historical context of the passage is referring to the time after the Assyrian army would overrun Israel and take away almost everything, including most of the food. But grass would grow, and the cows left behind would produce milk, and then bees would produce honey. That would become Israel’s main staple diet to some extent. The prophetic truth is that Jesus would be raised by poor parents in a dangerous and economically troubled time, and He would learn to appreciate the diet of the poor. Jesus was a common, simple man. He ate simple meals of bread, fish, butter, and honey. And what is the message? That a wise child would feed on simple things, and those simple things of life would help him know to refuse evil and choose good.

If you’re too poor to be able to give your children everything they might want (or if you could afford it, but choose not to), congratulations! You qualify to raise wise, godly children. You don’t raise wise, godly children by feeding them on the complicated things of life, but on the simple things.

However, there’s more to this “butter and honey” diet than simply the fact that it was the common man’s food. To fully understand it, we need to look at another phrase from the Bible that is very similar to this one, and which occurs 20 times in the Old Testament. In Exodus 3:8 we read, “And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey.” Later, in Numbers 13, when the 12 Israeli spies came from checking out the land, they said,“We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey.” Now wait a minute. The verse in Isaiah said butter and honey, and this says milk and honey. What’s the difference?

The land of Canaan reminds me of our world today. It was a place of giants and battles, opposition and difficulties, satanic strongholds, walled cities, and evil in abundance. Canaan was full of drunkenness, immorality, and sexual perversion of all sorts. The land was full of filth—full of filthy actions, filthy speech, filthy thoughts, and filthy desires. But that same land would be a land flowing with milk and honey. God was saying that the children of Israel would find abundant good in the land. In other words, God’s people could find the best there.

I thought I understood the concept of milk and honey, but as we already noted, Isaiah 7:15 does not say “milk and honey,” it says “butter and honey.” We know God says what He means, so why the difference in this passage? We find the answer just seven verses later, in Isaiah 7:22. “And it shall come to pass, for the abundance of milk that they shall give he shall eat butter: for butter and honey shall every one eat that is left in the land.”