Meditations on the Song of Solomon: T.O.C.
Richard Sibbes Sweet Drops:
1st Corinthians 15: 53-58
53 For this perishable body must become imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable body will have become imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then what is written will happen: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “Death, where is your sting?
Hades, where is your victory?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
As our Lord Jesus was raised from death, so we who are in Him will be raised and fully changed in the future. This is our steadfast hope. This is our better hope, a growing hope, a lively hope, an abounding hope. We have this hope within on which to believe, to think, to dwell, to live.
The hopes of the world apart from Him, are fading, diminishing, and at last dying. Life is constricting and receding for those who remain apart from Him. Clinging to and grasping for this present world and its things is their dismal hope and lot apart from finding mercy.
We have a new hope, a green-colored hope, if you will. This newness, this greenness within us has such a peaceful, joyful future. Though it may seem weak and difficult to see at times, its future is sure. Our own sin, the world, and our true enemy, may discourage and depress to a great degree our perceiving of this great hope within us. This hope, this new creation, this perfect life within, is a sure thing.
We can go again and again to the Word of life, trusting the gentle and gracious Spirit to feed this newness, this greenness within through His Word. We trust our Lord Jesus to keep this life within us, to be its Protector, its Deliverer, its Shepherd and its Refuge. Even if we have allowed ourselves to be found in a place of cares, anxieties, and turmoil, the perfect greenness within is sheltered in His perfect mercy and strength.
Focusing on the strong promises and truths of our sure Hope, we can allow the deceiving hopes and cares of this world and its god to fade, to diminish, to die away more. We can allow the final Victor to attain more victory for us now, today. Our Victor is so merciful and gracious. He gives us more and more of this victory as we do less and less. All that is required of us is to let Him work righteousness within us through faith, to love His mercy, and to walk humbly and lowly, expecting Him to do the heavy lifting. Ours is becoming more of a faith of believing, trusting, hoping, worshiping, and thanking rather than doing, straining, and trying in our own strength. (or rather our weakness) To God, To Jesus, be the glory, for His mercy and love that works such a merciful exchange for us. We can look forward to that day when the death and sin that remains with us is swallowed up by victory and life. This is our better and great hope.
It is the goodwill and gift of God, that we may come to Him thirsty and needy, and receive from Him the best of life. He wants to become to us the refreshment and sweetness we thirst and hunger for. Listen to the words spoken from the lips of Jesus.
“The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
Song of Solomon 5:1
I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride.
I have gathered my myrrh with my spice;
I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey;
I have drunk my wine with my milk.
Drink, yes, drink abundantly, beloved.
Jesus has done the great reconciling work needed to give us true abundant life. This life of abundance may not look the way many think a life of abundance would. The abundant life He gives has little to do with money, worldly success, worldly approval, or worldly esteem. The thief would have us believe the life of abundance is found in these unfulfilling and empty things. He is the great liar, killer, and destroyer.
Some have tasted a sweet kindness and love. This sweetness begins to make all else seem tasteless, undesirable, and mundane in comparison. This sweetness gives us new eyes and hearts, that we begin to desire more and more new and better things. The old desires, pleasures and worries begin to fade and lose their hold on us. As we spend time in His Word, praying, asking, thinking of Him, He gives us His peace, His joy, His love, His gentleness. The fruit of His perfect Spirit within us.
At other times, we drink little from this life-giving fountain, approaching it as if it was something ordinary and dull. The enemy convinces us that peace and joy can be found elsewhere, and other things and pursuits of happiness become idols to us. “If only I had…” “If only I could…” Then we find that God feels distant, and the things we things we thought would satisfy are dry, empty, and lifeless. We may even be embittered against God for our lack of intimacy with Him, all the while looking to find our happiness and security in other things. I hope we will become more and more thirsty, hungry, poor and needy for our only real need, real love, real peace, real comfort. It is my hope that you will taste, desire, and seek for more of this Lover of our souls.
Friends, drink deeply, drink often from Him, from Jesus. Drink and learn, drink and think often of Him. Drink and learn from His Spirit. Learning and tasting more and more of the sweetness of the sweetest thing. Drink in the sweetness of His mercy, His love, His Spirit, His Life, His Strength.