"A sated man loathes honey, but to a famished man any bitter thing is sweet"
This is an extremely important proverb in that it gives insight as to the reason why we do all the things that we do. All people do the things that they do because they think that what they are doing will meet the needs that they have. Don't miss the significance of that statement. People do everything they do because they think it will meet the needs that they have. In many cases they are wrong. In many cases they are drinking salt water to cure thirst; it will only make them thirstier.
I am asked all the time why did that man commit adultery? Or why did that person cook the books in their company? Or why would he/she do that to their children? Or why would he/she marry that person? In every case the answer is the same: they thought that what they were doing would meet the deepest needs of their soul.
Realize this – everything we go after in some way promises to meet the needs of our soul, but it is only a few things that actually will do it. The reason why God has communicated so clearly with us in the Scriptures is so that the wise and discerning person could push past all the temptations that promise what they cannot deliver and embrace those things that really will meet the needs of our soul.
Young men get sucked into gambling, pornography, fornication, anger, and violence because these seem like shortcuts to get what they want: wealth, intimacy, and authority. But shortcuts don't pay off and they bring their own troubles.
Young ladies are also tempted to take shortcuts to the intimacy, wealth, and security they really want and end up in bitterness, disease, pregnancy, and abusive situations.
The path of righteousness is a path that keeps shining brighter and brighter until Jesus comes and takes us home. There is no sorrow in the blessings.
a sated man loathes honey
The word sated is the word sabea or satisfied, filled up, having sufficiency. The word translated man is actually the word for soul. It is your soul that you are trying to fill up and not your physical body. It is not a physical need that you are trying to meet but a soulish need. That is why the quality of the relationships is the key. If we were able to be satisfied in our soul by mere physical things, then base physical interactions would fill us up. But it is our soul that needs to be filled. When your soul is filled with a great relationship with your spouse, then you aren't tempted to have another relationship with someone else. When your soul is filled up with your labor, then you are not tempted to steal or cheat. When your life is full of good relationships with people, then you are not seduced by the cheap tricks of the world for a few moments of pleasure. You have the real thing – what life was meant to offer – deep and lasting relationships.
Where the proverb says loathes honey, it really says in the original: tramples on honey. In others words, what should tempt you has no pull on you and you can step on it and not in any way be tempted by it. Honey in that day was the sweetest taste. It was the only refined sugar at that time; refined by the bees. Solomon is using this as a metaphor of other temptations: money, sex, power, etc.
One of the goals of wisdom is to build a life full of strong, deep, and satisfying relationships so that you are filled up with life. If your marriage is what it can be, then you won't stray. This seems to be the primary relationship to which this proverb is directed because the next proverb is about a man who wanders from his home.