A friend of mine who studied abroad in the Mediterranean world brought back a number of souvenirs, including “Turkish Delight,” a starchy, sugary dessert in bite-size pieces. I sampled some and was a bit underwhelmed, but much of the world regards it as a delicacy.
My first encounter with the mention of Turkish Delight was as a child the first time reading C. S. Lewis’s cornerstone story in the Narnia series - The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Children from England are transported to the land of Narnia through the back of a wardrobe, and what they find is a cold land where it is always winter and never Christmas. But it was not always so. The land is under a curse from a “White Witch.” One of the children, Edmund, is the first to encounter this witch…an episode eerily reminiscent of Eve’s conversation with the serpent about some fruit on a certain tree. In Lewis’s story, Edmund has both a fear and a fascination with this White Witch. And she attempts to win his affections by offering him some Turkish Delight…an appeal to the lust of his flesh. So Edmund gobbles it up. Its taste is delightful, but no matter how much of it he eats, he always craves more. Tasty…but never satisfying.
The Bible has many ways of expressing the pattern of "tasty but never satisfying" in our pursuits. Ecclesiastes calls it “vanity and striving after wind.” Jeremiah 2 describes it as broken cisterns - reservoirs of water that run dry. Proverbs 30:15-16 uses the image of a leech and its daughters - the consumers who never say “enough.” And Jesus even relates the parable of the farmer who filled his barns and was still not satisfied, vowing to tear them down and build bigger ones (Luke 12). U2 even expressed it in the 1987 song “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” So did The Rolling Stones in 1965 with the refrain “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.” This futile pursuit is the story of mankind, living under a winter curse.
But Aslan has returned to Narnia. He has reversed the curse. And he has brought with him gifts that not only taste good…but actually fill the hungry soul.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6)
To His Glory,
Preaching and Outreach Minister