The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 25 : The SONG OF SOLOMON

[25-6] (Song of Solomon 4:1-16) We Must Believe That God Loves Us

(Song of Solomon 4:1-16)
“Behold, you are fair, my love!
Behold, you are fair!
You have dove’s eyes behind your veil.
Your hair is like a flock of goats,
Going down from Mount Gilead.
Your teeth are like a flock of shorn sheep
Which have come up from the washing,
Every one of which bears twins,
And none is barren among them.
Your lips are like a strand of scarlet,
And your mouth is lovely.
Your temples behind your veil
Are like a piece of pomegranate.
Your neck is like the tower of David,
Built for an armory,
On which hang a thousand bucklers,
All shields of mighty men.
Your two breasts are like two fawns,
Twins of a gazelle,
Which feed among the lilies.
Until the day breaks
And the shadows flee away,
I will go my way to the mountain of myrrh
And to the hill of frankincense.
You are all fair, my love,
And there is no spot in you.
Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse,
With me from Lebanon.
Look from the top of Amana,
From the top of Senir and Hermon,
From the lions’ dens,
From the mountains of the leopards.
You have ravished my heart,
My sister, my spouse;
You have ravished my heart
With one look of your eyes,
With one link of your necklace.
How fair is your love,
My sister, my spouse!
How much better than wine is your love,
And the scent of your perfumes
Than all spices!
Your lips, O my spouse,
Drip as the honeycomb;
Honey and milk are under your tongue;
And the fragrance of your garments
Is like the fragrance of Lebanon.
A garden enclosed
Is my sister, my spouse,
A spring shut up,
A fountain sealed.
Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates
With pleasant fruits,
Fragrant henna 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, O south!
Blow upon my garden,
That its spices may flow out.
Let my beloved come to his garden
And eat its pleasant fruits.”
 
 
We just read the most beautiful poem in this world. This poem describes just how much Jesus Christ loves all of us who have become God’s righteous workers.
The passage of Scripture we just read comes from Song of Solomon chapter 4. At first glance, it may seem as though the Song of Solomon expresses romantic love between a man and a woman. But when we take a closer look at the Song of Solomon, we can see that it actually helps us realize just how much God loves His people and workers. The Song of Solomon is written so wonderfully that it makes us wonder if there is any poet in this world who could ever describe his beloved woman as beautifully as it does. I don’t think there is anyone who could do this. Yet we see such a beautiful poem here in today’s Scripture reading only because it was written under God’s inspiration, for God is the Almighty, good, and merciful Lord of love.
Song of Solomon 4:1 says, “Behold, you are fair, my love! Behold, you are fair! You have dove’s eyes behind your veil. Your hair is like a flock of goats, Going down from Mount Gilead.” Here, Solomon is praising the beauty of his beloved Shulamite woman, saying that her hair is like a flock of goats going down from Mount Gilead. This is such a wonderful expression describing Solomon’s lover. He also said that the Shulamite woman had dove’s eyes. No poet in this world could express it so beautifully. Could any man seeing a woman say, “You have dove’s eyes behind your veil, your hair is like a flock of goats going down from Mount Gilead”? I doubt any man could say such beautiful things. Yet, writing under the inspiration of God, Solomon wrote such a beautiful prose to praise his lover’s serene beauty, like a wonderful flock of goats grazing in the meadows.
There would be no end if I were to interpret each and every expression of love that’s found here. It’s written in verses 2-4: “Your teeth are like a flock of shorn sheep Which have come up from the washing, Every one of which bears twins, And none is barren among them. Your lips are like a strand of scarlet, And your mouth is lovely. Your temples behind your veil Are like a piece of pomegranate. Your neck is like the tower of David, Built for an armory, On which hang a thousand bucklers, All shields of mighty men.”
This is one of the greatest and most beautiful expressions of love, unequalled by anything that man has ever written about love. Elsewhere in the Book of Genesis, God expressed such love through Adam, who said the following after God made Eve out of one of his ribs: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh.”
This is how God sees His Church. While reading today’s Scripture passage, I can appreciate just how much God loves us all, and I hope you can appreciate it also. Your loved ones are beautiful to you no matter what. Likewise, that is how lovely we are in God’s eyes. Do you know just how wholeheartedly God loves us? Do you really know just how much God loves all His redeemed people?
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” This is how the Bible expresses God’s love for us. God the Father loved us so much that He passed all our sins to His only begotten Son through His baptism, let this Son be crucified to death, and then God resurrected Him from the dead, all to save us. Thanks to this, we have become God’s own redeemed people, and as such people we should all appreciate just how much God loves us even now. All of us must realize God’s love through the gospel of the water and the Spirit and believe in it. This love of God manifested in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is no ordinary love as seen in this world. Today’s Scripture passage is an allegory, expressing God’s love for us by drawing an analogy to earthly romantic love. In other words, God is speaking about us the redeemed, as well as those who will come to receive the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We can now practice God’s love, for God loves each and every one of us so dearly.
Do you know just how much God loves you with all His heart? Only if we appreciate how much God loves us can we also practice such love. When we realize and believe in God’s love, our hearts are strengthened and blessed. The power of the love of the Lord is therefore absolutely necessary for us to follow Him. There can be no coercion when it comes to serving the Lord. It is done out of one’s willing heart, for if we truly know and follow the Lord’s love, then we can all serve the Lord as He served us. While reading today’s Scripture passage, I can understand the Lord’s love. I can appreciate just how much God loves us. It’s because we know just how much God loves us that our hearts are quenched and we can find true rest. What is everyone really thirsting for? The Lord said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). The “word that proceeds from the mouth of God” here refers to God’s love. In other words, what enables us to carry on with our lives is the wholehearted and unending love God has for us.
Everyone lives on two things: one is the physical bread that sustains our bodies, and the other is God’s love that sustains our souls. The righteous ought to realize that it is by God’s love that they are living. We ought to therefore live by our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. That’s what makes us look so beautiful and lovely in God’s eyes.
 
 
The Lord Comes to His Praying People
 
Let’s turn to Song of Solomon 4:6 here: “Until the day breaks And the shadows flee away, I will go my way to the mountain of myrrh And to the hill of frankincense.” This passage means that when we the redeemed pray to God in our times of trial, the Lord comes to us His beloved people. God comes to us His cherished people when we pray to Him. God listens to our prayers and comes to us to answer them. Whenever we face any hardships, we should all realize and believe that we are not alone, but that God is with us.
How weary and lonely would it be if we were living in this world all by ourselves? That’s why God is always with us His saints, carrying us through all our trials and tribulations. He listens to our every prayer, and He helps us in every situation. Whenever we suffer, the Lord is with us even through that suffering. Throughout all our hardships and sufferings, our Lord is with us always. And as we should all know, God comforts us in innumerable ways and bestows His grace on us.
It’s written in Song of Solomon 4:7-9: “You are all fair, my love, And there is no spot in you. Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, With me from Lebanon. Look from the top of Amana, From the top of Senir and Hermon, From the lions’ dens, From the mountains of the leopards. You have ravished my heart, My sister, my spouse; You have ravished my heart With one look of your eyes, With one link of your necklace.”
 
 
God Wants Us to Live with Our Hearts United with His Heart
 
Once you receive the remission of sins, you should not try to plan your life all by yourself. Rather, you ought to plan your life with the Lord and embark on the path that the Lord wants you to go on. When you plan your life according to the Lord’s wishes and abide with Him, God will surely bless you and bestow His grace on you.
It’s written here in today’s Scripture passage: “Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, With me from Lebanon. Look from the top of Amana, From the top of Senir and Hermon, From the lions’ dens, From the mountains of the leopards” (Song of Solomon 4:8).
We have put on God’s love and become His. We are God’s own people. You belong to God now as one of His people. We are all God’s brides, loved and cherished by Him. Just as a groom loves and cherishes his bride with all his heart on the wedding day, so does God love and cherish us all.
It’s written: “You have ravished my heart, My sister, my spouse” (Song of Solomon 4:9). This means that God’s heart is captivated by us. Indeed, it’s precisely because we the righteous are God’s own children that His heart has been captivated by us. Can you believe this? When you look at yourself, do you find it hard to believe that God’s heart has been captivated by someone like you, or do you believe that you have indeed captivated God’s heart? If you can answer affirmatively to this question, you are truly a man of faith, but if you have lingering doubts, then this can only mean that you still don’t realize just how much God loves you. Even though you may have been saved from your sins, you still do not fully grasp God’s love. Of course, it’s by faith that everyone is saved from all his sins.
However, there is a difference of faith between getting saved from all our sins and knowing full well just how much God loves us. Although whoever is saved from all his sins will go to Heaven, it’s still very important for all of us to realize while living on this earth how much God loves us. Only then can we overcome all the hardships of this world and make sure that our hearts and minds are not drawn to the world. If we otherwise don’t realize just how much God loves us, we are bound to be drawn to this world’s temptations.
As long as you and I know full well just how much God loves us, we will never give into the world no matter how tempting and attractive it looks. Those who know that God loves them live with their hearts filled with God’s love. So, even amid all kinds of hardships, they can smile and find satisfaction thanks to their faith, rather than following this world. It may seem as though no one on this planet is completely satisfied, but those who know that God loves them are in fact satisfied in their hearts. Just as a bride is satisfied by her groom’s love, because we know God’s love for us, we obey our Groom and unconditionally trust in His Word and follow it completely no matter what.
It’s also written in today’s Scripture passage: “You have ravished my heart, My sister, my spouse; You have ravished my heart With one look of your eyes, With one link of your necklace” (Song of Solomon 4:9). What is meant by “one look of your eyes” here? It’s about uniting our hearts with the Lord. That God’s heart has been ravished by us means that God is completely captivated by all of us who believe in His salvation and live a righteous life. This passage speaks of two reasons why God is captivated by us. One is that we believe in God’s Word and have united our hearts with Him by faith. The other is that we obey the guidance of God’s Church. God’s heart is captivated by such people who have united their hearts with God.
 
 
God Is Pleased by the Faith of Those Who Have United with Him
 
While we are all loved by God as His brides, we will be loved even more if we realize and believe just how much the Groom loves us. No matter how beautiful a bride may be, God’s heart is not captivated by any bride who has not united with Him. On the contrary, such a bride is deeply concerning to the Groom. Even though He loves her, He wonders when she would mature. Once we are married to our Lord, we ought to unite our hearts with Him and walk in the same direction, but the problem is that some people still insist on walking on their own way rather arrogantly.
Like Queen Vashti in the Book of Esther, some people want to hold their own feast when the King Himself is holding a feast. Queen Vashti’s mistake wasn’t just holding a feast for the women in the court. Her mistake was that she did not obey King Ahasuerus when he summoned her. The king had wanted to show the queen’s beauty to the whole court, but what did Queen Vashti do when summoned? She told the king’s eunuchs that she was too busy with her own feast to come to the king.
If Queen Vashti knew her place, then she would not have disobeyed the king. The problem here was that her heart was not united with her king. This account illustrates that unless you know God’s love for you, you cannot unite with Him. God loves each and every one of us who believes in His righteousness. It’s absolutely important for all of us to realize and believe this. Yet, how are many people on this planet actually living? They are living oblivious to God’s love. In fact, not only are so many people ignorant of God’s love, but they even hate His will. These people cannot grasp that Jesus Christ’s love is for them. God’s love is incomprehensible to them. But it is only when a bride unites her heart with the Groom that the Groom’s heart is completely captivated by the bride.
The Groom already loves his bride, but He loves her even more if she unites her heart with Him. Since God already loves us and His heart is captivated by us, He can’t help but bless us when we unite ourselves with Him. Moreover, when we preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the work we do is exceedingly pleasing to God, as Song of Solomon 4:9 says: “You have ravished my heart With one look of your eyes, With one link of your necklace.”
The Groom’s heart is ravished by His bride’s good works. The Groom already loves his bride, but when the bride does what He wants her to do, He is completely smitten by her. He wants to give her everything she wants no matter what. And that’s why we must all realize just how much God loves us, and with this realization unite our hearts with Him and preach His gospel.
 
 
God’s Righteous Workers Are Lovely In His Eyes
 
It’s written here in verse 10: “How fair is your love, My sister, my spouse! How much better than wine is your love, And the scent of your perfumes Than all spices!” It says here that our love for God is better than wine even though wine brings great joy to people’s hearts and comforts the sad in this world. In God’s eyes, we are lovelier than anything in this world. When God our Groom looks at us His brides, we are lovelier than anything in this world—no honor, no riches, no desire, and no pleasure in this world can rival us.
Just by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we have become God’s own saved people and brides. As if this is not blessed enough, because we have united our hearts with the Lord our Groom and are serving and preaching His gospel to do what’s pleasing to Him, we have captivated His heart and we are loved by Him beyond words. I can’t stress enough just how important it is for all of you to realize this. If you really are a saved saint, then you should realize not only that you have been saved, but that God loves you. You ought to remember this always.
When we appreciate the Lord’s heart and realize just how much He loves us, this knowledge becomes our source of strength to follow the Lord. It’s then that we are willing to do anything for our beloved Lord, and it’s then that we can labor for Him day and night. The virtuous woman praised in Proverbs chapter 31 devoted herself to her husband and worked tirelessly for her family precisely because she knew that she was loved by her husband. Likewise, when we know that our Groom loves us, we can also dedicate our everything to Him, for His love is in our hearts.
It’s only because the Lord loves me that I have been able to love Him to this day and can follow Him until the day He returns. It’s for the same reason that I am asking you to also follow the Lord and unite your heart with Him, for the Lord loves you. It’s because of this love that we are doing what’s pleasing to the Lord and admonishing others to do so likewise. As you carry on with your life of faith, you need to realize just how much God loves you.
How, then, can you know whether God loves you or not? Is this something that you can feel? No, it’s not. It is from the Word that you can find out that God loves you. And it is in and through this Word that you find satisfaction and fullness. Even if we can’t feel anything emotionally, and even if we have neither any riches nor anything special, we still know and believe that God loves all of us His people. That’s why we love the Lord. And we can understand what the Bible is saying in today’s Scripture passage. The name Jesus is not mentioned at all here in the Song of Solomon. Nor does it mention the Lord. It just mentions two people, a couple in love. It doesn’t even specifically mention their names. Even so, the Song of Solomon is included in the Bible. It was canonized because it illustrates God’s love for us, showing by analogy just how much God loves us all.
 
 
Loving God Means Cherishing the Gospel of His Righteousness More Than Anything in This World
 
Let’s turn to verse 11 here: “Your lips, O my spouse, Drip as the honeycomb; Honey and milk are under your tongue; And the fragrance of your garments Is like the fragrance of Lebanon.” This passage is all about spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It’s describing our preaching of the gospel like the dripping of the honeycomb. When it says here, “the fragrance of your garments is the like the fragrance of Lebanon,” it means that when God sees us working hard for His gospel, our fragrance is more lovely than the fragrance of Lebanon. That’s just how lovely we are in God’s sight. That’s just how much God cherishes us. And that’s just how much God loves to see us preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit like this.
Living for the Lord with our hearts united with God and His Church is not something that we can gloss over easily, as if we were just going through the motions. Far from it, God looks at every detail, and it’s when He sees us preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit, spreading our faith, and proclaiming God’s salvation that He cherishes us. God loves and blesses all those who believe in and preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It’s such people whom God loves quietly. How about you then? Have you experienced such love of God?
I can see time after time from my own experience just how much God loves all of His saints and servants. I can appreciate just how much God loves His workers, how the saints all belong to Him, how they are so precious to Him, and how much God cherishes each and every one of them.
 
 
We Are Precious in God’s Sight
 
It’s written in Song of Solomon 4:12-13: “A garden enclosed Is my sister, my spouse, A spring shut up, A fountain sealed. Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates With pleasant fruits, Fragrant henna with spikenard, Spikenard and saffron, Calamus and cinnamon, With all trees of frankincense, Myrrh and aloes, With all the chief spices.” This passage says that those who have received the remission of sins and are bearing witness of the gospel with their hearts united with God are like a fountain sealed in His eyes. It also describes our hearts’ dedication to the Lord and His gospel as various kinds of wonderful trees and flowers, illustrating how much God cherishes us when we unite our hearts with the Lord, serve the gospel, and dedicate ourselves to Him. That’s how wonderful and lovely we are in God’s sight.
Verse 15 continues on to say: “A fountain of gardens, A well of living waters, And streams from Lebanon.” Again, this shows us just how much God cherishes and loves us. It’s precisely because God loves us that He blesses all of us who love the gospel in unity with God’s Church and follow it with one heart. Regardless of how any of us might look and how talented any of us might be, God loves, cherishes, and blesses all of us His brides who have united our hearts with the Groom and are carrying out the work that’s pleasing to Him. I can’t emphasize enough just how important it is for all of us to realize and believe this. God wants to save countless souls through us. He wants to eat the fruit of our labor. You and I have received the God-given salvation only by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Given this, do you think that we are loved by the Groom because of our own human merits, virtues, riches, or brilliance? No, this is not the case! After all, it is not the things of our flesh that our Groom loves.
Not only have we been saved by God, but we also cherish the love of the Groom who has delivered us through the righteousness of God, keep this love in our hearts, and remain wholly faithful to Him no matter what. God treasures those whose hearts are satisfied by His love and who have united themselves with God on account of this love; and God answers their hearts’ desires and loves them even more. God is fulfilling all His will. We must realize that God loves us all.
We need to realize that whenever we read the Bible, pray to God, worship Him, serve the Lord, or share fellowship with the saints, God loves us in all these things as we abide in His body, the Church. And we need to experience this for ourselves by faith. We need to see this with our eyes of faith and believe it with our hearts. God’s work is amazing. So, realizing that she is loved by her Groom, no bride should ever be drawn to anything else no matter what. Nothing else matters. A bride has no need as long as she has her Groom’s love.
I admonish you all to realize that those of us who believe in and serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit are the very brides of Jesus Christ. Every bride must grasp just how much the Groom loves her. As you carry on with your life on this earth, whenever you are struggling or sad, remember the fact that your Groom loves you beyond words. Cherish this love, hang on to it, find comfort and satisfaction in this love, and live by faith abiding in this love. You will then be fully satisfied with God’s love alone and have nothing to envy in this world. Because the love God has for us is an unchanging love that this world cannot give, by this one love alone all of us are more than able to live amid blessings and happiness. God will surely answer us whenever we pray to Him, for He knows all about us.
If you really want to prosper, strive to be loved by the Groom. Unite your heart with Him. Do the work that’s pleasing to God being united with the Church, serve the gospel, and pray in unity. You will then be loved by the Groom as a matter of course, and you will receive grace upon grace and blessings upon blessings. It will then become impossible for your hopes and dreams not to come true. They will all be fulfilled. You will be loved and blessed by God the Father no matter what.
God’s love is so great that I can never describe it fully. But one thing I can say for sure is that God loves us with all His heart and this love knows no end. Even now, God loves you. This Song of Solomon is all about this love that God has for us. It is speaking of the workers who cherish the gospel, abide in the Church, and labor in the vineyard. Just as King Solomon loved the Shulamite woman dearly, so does God love us beyond all words.
I, too, cherish all the saints and workers in our Church who are serving the gospel and laboring for its sake. Whenever I see them, I see nothing but their hard work. Whenever I see the saints uniting themselves with the gospel and the Church, the things of their flesh are not visible to me. No matter what shortcomings they might have, they don’t matter to me at all. God sees us in the same way.
Whenever you find yourself struggling with your life, remember that God loves you with all His heart. And believe in this love of God. Carry on with your life in this world by this faith. The Groom’s love for his bride is unchanging. You may wonder what man has such love, but your Groom is no ordinary man. He is Jesus Christ, and you are His bride. I can fully appreciate every passage in today’s Scripture reading. I can grasp what the Song of Solomon is saying. Indeed, it’s only after I came to know the Lord and fall in love with Him that I realized what love was. This reminds me of a love song that goes, “I learned about love only after knowing you.” Like this lyric, I came to know what love really was only after I received my salvation from the Lord by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the gospel of the remission of sins. And it is on account of this love that I am carrying on with my life in this world by faith.
Now that we have received the remission of sins, all of us can live like this precisely because we believe that the Groom loves us with all His heart. It’s all thanks to His love that we are carrying on with our lives. Remember this. It’s not on account of our own merits that we are living, but rather because the Groom’s love is found in our hearts, souls, and faith. You must believe this. You must believe that the Lord loves you with all His heart, and you must live every day of your remaining life with this knowledge. So, let us all remember that God loves us and cherishes us, let us give thanks to Him, and let us have faith.
Let’s turn to verse 10-11 here: “How fair is your love, My sister, my spouse! How much better than wine is your love, And the scent of your perfumes Than all spices! Your lips, O my spouse, Drip as the honeycomb; Honey and milk are under your tongue; And the fragrance of your garments Is like the fragrance of Lebanon.” In this passage, the Lord is so pleased that we are living for Him and preaching His gospel that He is comparing us to wine and perfumes. We are now preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit. While honey indeed drips from the righteous, the evildoers’ smooth talking is in reality nothing more than snake venom.
 
  
The Lord Is Delighted That We Are Preaching the Gospel
 
In God’s sight, we are more flagrant and wonderful than all the spices of this world. The Lord is completely satisfied by our work. As it’s written in Song of Solomon 4:12-16: “A garden enclosed Is my sister, my spouse, A spring shut up, A fountain sealed. Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates With pleasant fruits, Fragrant henna 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, O south! Blow upon my garden, That its spices may flow out. Let my beloved come to his garden And eat its pleasant fruits.” This passage describes the hearts of those who have put on God’s love.
We know that the Lord has made us the objects of His love and we have become His beloved. We know that we have put on such grace. Whoever knows the Lord’s love cherishes this love in his heart, and while the saints open the door of their hearts to God, they close it to this world like a fountain sealed. They open the door only when visited by the Master of their hearts; and at all other times, they keep it shut. Their heats are like a spring shut up and a fountain sealed. No one who really knows the Lord’s love can follow the people of this world, open their hearts to them, or try to appease them. Those who really know God’s love cannot do this, no matter how many shortcomings they might have.
We keep our hearts in the Church, we don’t open ourselves up to just anyone, and we guard the fountain that’s here. Like a spring shut up, we do not open our fountain to just anyone. Not just anyone can drink from this spring and fountain. We devote our hearts to the Lord alone, not the world. While we open up our hearts to God’s Church, the Lord, and our fellow saints, to this world, we keep them closed like a spring shut up tight and a fountain sealed. How about you then? Are you still like a fountain that’s open to everyone rather than like a spring shut up? Is your heart like a convenience store open 24 hours instead of a fountain sealed? Is your heart open even now?
Whether you admit this or not, the Lord knows all about the condition of your heart, so I ask you to live by faith. Don’t do anything that is displeasing to the Lord who loves you. If you really know His love, then you would be living clothed in His love. If you really understand just how much the Lord loves you, then you would live according to His desire. You would never yield to any temptation of the world no matter what. Even though we all still have the same human shortcomings and weaknesses that everyone else has, what sets us apart from nominal Christians as the redeemed saints is that in spite of our shortcomings, we still want to follow the will of the Lord. And we do indeed obey the Lord’s will in every way possible, even if it’s in small steps. As the time goes by, and as the Lord helps us, we are following our Lord by our faith according to the guidance of our Church leader.
We can see from today’s Scripture reading just how much the Lord loves us and how pleased He is with us, as it’s written: “A fountain of gardens, A well of living waters, And streams from Lebanon” (Song of Solomon 4:15). We are so beautiful in our God’s sight. God is commanding us to keep this beauty that He has given us, as it’s written in 2 Timothy 1:14: “That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.” What is this good thing the Lord has commanded us to keep? It is the gospel. It is about serving the gospel and the Lord, guarding our hearts from the temptations of the world, and living our lives in Christ to His pleasure. It’s all about cherishing the Lord’s love and following Him by faith.
Let’s turn to the last verse of today’s Scripture reading, verse 16: “Awake, O north wind, And come, O south! Blow upon my garden, That its spices may flow out. Let my beloved come to his garden And eat its pleasant fruits.” This is what our God is saying about us; the “beloved” here refers to none other than us. We know that God does not just let wonderful things happen to us. In fact, He allows us to face a great deal of persecution, trials, and tribulations, none of which we desire. However, the more suffering and hardship we face, the more we abide in the Church, the more we seek refuge in the Lord, the more we hang onto Him, the more we pray to Him and rely on Him, the more we trust in Him, the more we spread the gospel in this world, and the more we are blessed by the Lord. It’s by the blessings of the Lord and under His protection that we are carrying on with our lives in this world. He has enabled each and every one of us to live on His blessed fruit.
God has permitted hardships even to His Church. But you must realize that nothing that God has given us is ever a curse. It’s to bless us that God sometimes allows trials to come our way. The hardships that we the saints face don’t always result from our mistakes; rather, God permits us to face persecution and trials so that we would seek His refuge even more.
When the saints become too comfortable and their lives become too easy, they have a tendency not to rely on the Lord. That’s precisely why our Lord allows one hardship after another to come our way, so that we would rely on Him even more, spread the gospel even more diligently, and receive even more blessings from Him. This is what the Lord wants for us. He wants to give us His fruit. He wants us to receive and enjoy all He is offering us, to rejoice and revel in His love. And He wants us to praise Him for the blessings He has given us. He wants us to praise God. He wants us to thank Him. In today’s Scripture passage, our God is teaching us just how much love He has for us, how He is so pleased by us, and where and how He is guiding us. Do you believe in what today’s Scripture reading is showing you?
We are indeed the Lord’s brides. We are the objects of His love. That’s why the Lord loves us. This evening and forever, let us all realize that the Lord has made us the objects of His love, He loves us, He has entrusted us with His good work, He is pleased by the work we are doing for Him, He wants us to receive and enjoy all the spiritual blessings of Heaven and the fertility of this earth, and He wants us to live with Him. We must let this realization guide us for the rest of our lives.
Do you now understand God’s love for us? Do you now realize what God wants from us? He wants us to praise Him and thank Him. This world is so desolate. True to its nature, this worldly dominion is hopelessly barren. The dominion of God’s love, however, is not desolate. My fellow believers, it is not we who loved God first, but it is God who loved us first. He has made us the objects of His love. To the Lord who has blessed us to live immersed in His love, I give all my thanks.