TEXT: Song of Solomon 4:12-16
READING: Isaiah 58
SUBJ: A Picture of the way the Lord views His people.
AIM: That we might enjoy the figure in which He presents us (A Communion Meditation)
INTR: The Lord often speaks of the view He has of His people:
1. Some times the view expresses the need for correction and refinement.
2. Some times He views them in the future with Him
3. But, He always views them as His possession, bought with a price and secured in fact and in practice.
THESIS: The relationship that the Lord has with His people is carefully defined and the experience of that relationship is one of mutual delight.
I. A garden is a work of beauty
1. Consider the similarities and distinctions here from our ordinary gardens
1) Both are put together with design and are source of joy for the gardener
2) But, this one is designed exclusively for the joy and delight of the Lord alone. Consider the special beauty of an oriental garden.
2. The construction and planting are of a special design and purpose
1) It is of the choosing of the designer to bring about the desired result.
2) It is of sweet scented spices and fruits pleasant to the taste. There are three functions pictured here: beauty, smell and taste.
3) At this point we are reminded of Paul’s words in: 2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.
II. A special picture of the Lord’s people is seen here
1. Consider Paul’s message to Corinth: 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. AND 1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
2. And note the special nature of a local church and this one in particular…
1) The thought of a collected assembly of the Lord’s plantings
2) The concern for the placement of each one and the contribution that each makes to the whole… “the building fitly framed together.”
3) That it is to be to joy to the Lord.
3. They are a secured people – a garden enclosed (barred) and a spring shut up (barred) and so they are separated from the world.
4. A fruitful people – See Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
5. A fountain sealed – See John 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. AND Isaiah 12:3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.
III. The response of the Bride (the Church) -- esp see v. 16
1. Who is she? Consider my sister (near kinsman and note our Lord as the man Christ Jesus) and my spouse (with whom there is a special and personal love like no other).
2. Her desire is to please Him (Many see verse 15 as part of her response as seeing herself as he sees her)
1) We are to be cautioned away from man-centered expectations as if the whole purpose of God centered on pleasing men. The joy of believers is to please God.
2) We are His purchased possession and everything begins and ends with Him.
3. A call for the winds to blow:
1) Not the east or west winds which were reported to be damaging
2) But, the proving north winds by which are brought forth the gracious things He has placed within us – prayer, meditation, devotions and all such things as pertain to our response to Him.
3) And, the south wind which warms and nourishes and grows us up to greater function which is to His delight.
4. The desire of the church and each of us as individuals is “let my beloved come into His garden, and eat His pleasant fruits.