Bro. Caleb Taft
Loving Our Lord | Solomon 4:8-5:1
"Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards. Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck. How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices! Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon. A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard, Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices: A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon. Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits. I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.
This is the ninth poem of this Book and is an invitation and a proclamation of Solomon's admiration for his bride. In it we are reminded of Christs’ love and admiration for the Church. The theme of our studies in this book of Scripture has been "Loving our Lord" and I am convinced that there is no greater lesson or theme that would enflame our hearts with love for our Savior than the fact the He loves us so much. We love him because he first loved us and it is these sorts of passages that remind us that it is He who loves greater than we and loves in spite of more imperfection than we do, for He is perfect. Our loving him should be multiplied when we see how much he loves us, and that he loved us while we were yet sinners. We should love him more because all the beauties he finds in us are his beauties, all the attractive graces are his. No theme in the scripture causes us to love him more than the fact that he loves us.
Today we only want to deal with the first verse, which is an invitation from Solomon to the Shulamite.
Son 4:8 Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards.
This is the first time the Shulamite has been called by the title spouse. A reminder of who we are to Christ, he is ours and we are his. We are life long, nay, eternity long spouses. Bound by the covenant of grace and love, bought with a price higher than any man every paid for his bride. The relationship between man and women is illustrated here and in other portions of scripture, how we as the church are like a bride and a groom. "Husbands love your wives as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it."
He invites her to leave Lebanon for a place a bit higher. Lebanon, spoken of here, is either the foothills of Mount Lebanon where the "Cedars of Lebanon" were gathered for the construction of the temple by Solomon or is meant the temple itself. Either way, she is invited to higher ground, from either the city, most likely, or from the base of a mountain to the top. This is significant because it reminds us of who used to dwell in these mountains. If you have read the book of Joshua, then you remember all the giants and enemies that dwelled in the mountains surrounding the promise land. It was in a cave in these mountains that Joshua rolled a stone over the mouth of the cave and trapped, then put his foot on the neck of the Philistine Kings and then executed them. These mountains represent the victory and peace that Israel is experiencing during the reign of Solomon. Israel had been riddled with fights and battles but finally during this period they have peace. He invites her to the places that were once run over and inhabited by the enemy, places that used to be unsafe and a cruel reminder of Israel's past disobedience, but now he invites her to the top, and to the dens and caves. Come with me let us explore this newfound peace!
Christ invites us to the top of mount calvary where all our sins were dealt with. He invites us to view the mountain of death, that used to have fear and worry reigning on it. He invites us to the mountain of sorrow that was inhabited by giants of misery and dread but now, Christ has ridded these horrible mountains of their tyrants that casted a shadow over our promised land. I can ascend to the mountain of death and say like Paul, "Death where is thy sting" we can go down to the grave and say, "Grave where is thy victory." Mount Sorrow can be ascended, and we can live in the depths of it and say "I would rather glory in my oft infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." We can say "I have learned how to abound and to be abased." All the giants of this life were eradicated on the cross of Calvary. He invites us to the top of His mountain of death, were by death he put death to death. He invites us to the cave where they laid him, inspect now the Lion of the tribe of Judah’s den, you'll see he is not there for he is alive!
Dear reader, fellow believer, this day ascend to top of the mountain and take an account of all the enemies that have been defeated. Come from the lowlands, come from the base, sure the hike is sometimes tiring but the view from the top will be worth every stumble, every drop of sweat, every heartache you find along the way. Come from where you are this day and go with Him to the peak so that we "May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. " [Ephesians 3:18-19]