Mutually Owned

  • By Pastor Boffey
  • on Wednesday, August 5, 2015
(Song of Solomon 6:3) I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies. We had in a previous meditation (5-29-15, Little Foxes) noted that the intimate dialogue between Solomon and his bride have some parallels with the relationship between Jesus Christ, the “...greater than Solomon...” (MAT 12:42) and His bride, the church. Our featured text is another example of this. We first note that the bride had already made this observation in SON 2:16 but with the order reversed: “My beloved is mine, and I am his...” No matter which way it is said, saints belong to Jesus Christ and He belongs to them. From any direction, any facet, any angle, any height, any depth, the relationship is secure: nothing can “...separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (ROM 8:39). It is an unbreakable bond, a covenantal bond born out of a great love (EPH 2:4) by a great God and Saviour (TIT 2:13) for a great multitude, which no man could number (REV 7:9). Solomon's bride's repetition of their relationship reminds us that we do well to oft remember and reflect upon our relationship to Jesus Christ. We need “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine...,” as Fanny J. Crosby so beautifully expressed it in her hymn, for there are times when our hearts condemn us and our confidence accordingly wanes. But “...if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things” (1JO 3:20). His foundation stands sure, He knows them that are His (2TI 2:19). Our hearts may condemn us but if we are in Christ, we have the declaration that “...there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus...” (ROM 8:1). Though failures blemish the covenant, they do not throw us out of it. God is faithful to keep those for whom Christ died; the unbelief of man shall NOT make the faith of God without effect (ROM 3:3-4). David knew this comforting assurance: “Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow” (2SAM 23:5). Let us not be slack to read again and again of His love for us. Gospel truth needs to be regularly revisited. “I am my beloved's...” (our text). Mark here the ownership that Solomon's bride relished: she was the exclusive property of her beloved. The church is the purchased possession of Jesus Christ. It was given unto Him by covenant before the world began (EPH 1:4-14 c/w 2TI 1:9 c/w JOH 17:2). What was given Him in covenant to save, He did save by His redeeming blood. We are bought and paid for (1CO 6:20 c/w 1PE 1:18-19). Christ's bride can truly say, “I am my beloved's,...” for He loved the church and gave Himself for it (EPH 5:25) and for no other. He shall make all pretenders to the everlasting covenant, even the non-elect portion of His own nation, acknowledge His relationship to His church: “...I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee” (REV 3:9). Let not the church (Christ's elect) shrink from such an incredible expression of discriminating grace and favor: “I (and no other) am Christ's beloved. He could have chosen others but He did not. He chose me and loves me.” However, “...and my beloved is mine” (our text) is also true. Christ has so covenanted to love His church that she may truly claim Him as her possession. It was with a view to the New Covenant in Christ by which sinners are saved that Jeremiah said that God “...will be their God, and they shall be my people” (JER 31:33 c/w HEB 8:10). Thomas rightly worshipped Jesus, saying, “...My Lord and my God” (JOH 20:28). The church's Husband will faithfully render due benevolence unto the wife to whom alone He is united by His own oath, according to the divine theme (1CO 7:3). Christ's bride has a unique claim on Him. He is the lover and Savior of the sheep, not the goats (JOH 10:11 c/w JOH 10:26); of elect men, not angels (HEB 2:16); of Jacobs only, not Esaus (ROM 9:11-16). And, “...he feedeth among the lilies” (our text). Lilies are noted for their pure whiteness and their sweet aroma (SON 5:13). That his bride depicts Solomon as feeding among the lilies implies that he takes pleasure in being amongst what is pure and delightful. Similarly, Christ takes pleasure in His bride which He has purified unto Himself (TIT 2:14), and also in their assemblies where He walks in their midst (REV 2:1), delighting to converse with them and do them good. Of the significance of lilies, Solomon was “...the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys" (SON 2:1). Yet his bride was “As the lily among thorns...” (SON 2:2). He was a lily; she was a lily. They had a shared identity. This may also be said of Christ and His bride: “For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren” (HEB 2:11). Indeed, “...the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us...” (JOH 1:14), “...made like unto his brethren...” (HEB 2:17) to reconcile us to God. He is the Son of God; we are the sons of God (1JO 3:1-2). He was made like us that we might be conformed to Him (ROM 8:29) so that “...when he shall appear, we shall be like him...” (1JO 3:2). He sees us as Himself, lily-white and pure, “...a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing...holy and without blemish” (EPH 5:27). Jesus once said that the beauty of the lily was not owing to its toiling or spinning (LUK 12:27) and the same may be said of the church. She is beautiful in His eyes but not because of her works of righteousness (TIT 3:5) which are only filthy rags before our holy God (ISA 64:6). Christ's bride's beauty is owing to His righteousness freely given to cover her sins (1CO 1:30 c/w 2CO 5:21) and it is glorious apparel, fine linen, clean and white (ISA 63:1 c/w REV 19:8), whiter than a lily, whiter than snow (PSA 51:7), white as the light (MAT 17:2). As Solomon's bride was as the lily among thorns (SON 2:2) so Christ's bride must now dwell amongst thorns of wicked men (JOS 23:13), thorns of fleshly lusts (LUK 8:14), thorns of infirmity (2CO 12:7-10). But their saving Lily Whom they own as such, and Who owns them, and Who now “...feedeth among the lilies” (as Solomon in our text) some day in glory “...shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (REV 7:17). “...Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (REV 22:20).

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