Milk and Honey evokes a picture of abundance, rich pastures for the flocks, and the honey being sweet and a luxury, the image of fullness and satisfaction that surpasses all our needs. This may be a picture of the two extremes, the Milk a symbol of the basic needs and simplicity of life. Then the honey, the extras that make life sweeter but not a necessity. The luxury things we think we can’t do without, that we get so accustomed to having. We have to be constantly reminding ourselves that everything is provided by the Lord.
The“land flowing with milk and honey” was meant to be a word-picture. When the Israelites heard the phrase to describe the Promised Land that God would give them, they envisioned abundant pastureland, water, grass, flowers, bees, and palm trees.” Refer to source.
What is your symbol or word picture, that you to place before you, to be a reminder of that which you believe the Lord has promised to fulfill in your life? Is your life flowing with milk and honey?
This is a very powerful image of abundance and success, there are a number references to this image of flowing with milk and honey! And the Deuteronomy reference gives a warning highlighting the danger of entering that place of affluence, being full and satisfied, forgetting to place our gaze back on the one who deserves our gratitude and worship. The Lord who is the one who sustains our life.
There are those times in life we feel like we are in lack, and question and voices whisper doubts of the promises made in the Psalms, talking of not being in want, Psalm 23:1; or looking for the promise that in all that we do, we prosper Psalm 1: 3. We crying out to the Lord, help, where are you? There other times we have so much, we may even feel guilty. We need to remember there is one thing we can do, on the peaks or in the valleys, it is have an attitude of gratitude and thanks. For it is the Lord who brought us to the place we are at right now. It is a season and for a reason, and we have to be mindful, pondering the lesson, and living in the why? Plus remembering that the steps of our lives are ordered of the Lord.
Deuteronomy 31:20 New International Version (NIV)
20 When I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, the land I promised on oath to their ancestors, and when they eat their fill and thrive, they will turn to other gods and worship them, rejecting me and breaking my covenant.
Exodus 3:17 New International Version (NIV)
17 And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.’
We do go through those times of misery, and feel like we are wandering around in the dessert alone, but we have to hold on in confidence and faith, trusting that the Lords will make the way forward known to us, even in our time of deepest need. We have to try and stay in the flow, and have confidence that the Lord, is going ahead of us searching for the very things we need, and has gone ahead of us, having prepared that which we need, individually and as a community.
Ezekiel 20:5-7 New International Version (NIV)
5 and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On the day I chose Israel, I swore with uplifted hand to the descendants of Jacob and revealed myself to them in Egypt. With uplifted hand I said to them, “I am the Lord your God.” 6 On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of Egypt into a land I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands. 7 And I said to them, “Each of you, get rid of the vile images you have set your eyes on, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”
Then there is the think we set our eyes on, does it consume our lives, that we are striving after that which we think we are due? We can loose our way, forgetting what it was that the Lord sought out for us to be about, and the land flowing with milk and honey is not what the Lord had envisioned, but has become own making? We can be so focused on the promised land that our eyes are on the promise (our dreams and longings) and forget the one who gave the promise, and can meet the promise.
Anything that does not allow you to give the focus on the Lord, can become and Idol, looking to something rather than the Lord as your source of supply and provision can become a substitute for the Lord. This is why it is necessary to look and see, and discover, asking is this from you Lord?
We are sent to scout out the land to look and see that which could be a hindrance, and also that which is a good prospect. We need to bring back a visual aid, as a reminder what are we doing this for! The scouts come back and many a tale to tell, giving the story of their travels, it was like a pilgrimage for 40 days, had their hearts been changed with the experience? The giant fruit or the giant occupants, what will we focus on the promise or the problem, will the focus be on the obstacle or the Lord who promised to be with them, and with Caleb clarion call, saying we can do this! Will we go and possess that which God has said is our to claim? How big is our God?
Numbers 13: 16-33 The Message (MSG)
16 These are the names of the men Moses sent to scout out the land. Moses gave Hoshea (Salvation) son of Nun a new name—Joshua (God-Saves).
17-20 When Moses sent them off to scout out Canaan, he said, “Go up through the Negev and then into the hill country. Look the land over, see what it is like. Assess the people: Are they strong or weak? Are there few or many? Observe the land: Is it pleasant or harsh? Describe the towns where they live: Are they open camps or fortified with walls? And the soil: Is it fertile or barren? Are there forests? And try to bring back a sample of the produce that grows there—this is the season for the first ripe grapes.”
21-25 With that they were on their way. They scouted out the land from the Wilderness of Zin as far as Rehob toward Lebo Hamath. Their route went through the Negev Desert to the town of Hebron. Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, descendants of the giant Anak, lived there. Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan in Egypt. When they arrived at the Eshcol Valley they cut off a branch with a single cluster of grapes—it took two men to carry it—slung on a pole. They also picked some pomegranates and figs. They named the place Eshcol Valley (Grape-Cluster-Valley) because of the huge cluster of grapes they had cut down there. After forty days of scouting out the land, they returned home.
26-27 They presented themselves before Moses and Aaron and the whole congregation of the People of Israel in the Wilderness of Paran at Kadesh. They reported to the whole congregation and showed them the fruit of the land. Then they told the story of their trip:
27-29 “We went to the land to which you sent us and, oh! It does flow with milk and honey! Just look at this fruit! The only thing is that the people who live there are fierce, their cities are huge and well fortified. Worse yet, we saw descendants of the giant Anak. Amalekites are spread out in the Negev; Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites hold the hill country; and the Canaanites are established on the Mediterranean Sea and along the Jordan.”
30 Caleb interrupted, called for silence before Moses and said, “Let’s go up and take the land—now. We can do it.”
31-33 But the others said, “We can’t attack those people; they’re way stronger than we are.” They spread scary rumors among the People of Israel. They said, “We scouted out the land from one end to the other—it’s a land that swallows people whole. Everybody we saw was huge. Why, we even saw the Nephilim giants (the Anak giants come from the Nephilim). Alongside them we felt like grasshoppers. And they looked down on us as if we were grasshoppers.”
Here is a site that does an insightful look at the topic which I have tried to address, for your further enjoyment.