Sermon #5 Series: Song of Solomon
Title: “I Am Sick Of Love”
Text: Song of Solomon 2:1-7
Readings: Office: Merle Hart Auditorium: Bob Poncer
Subject: Heavenly Love-Sickness
Date: Sunday Evening - June 7, 1998
Tape # U-71b
Have you ever experienced love-sickness? Love-sickness is that sickness you get when someone dear and precious to you, someone you love is absent. It is that sick feeling you get when the one you love is absent from you and worse, there is a wedge between you.
That is what I want to talk to you about tonight. Only, the love-sickness I want to describe is altogether spiritual. It is a love-sickness between the believer’s soul and Christ, our Well-Beloved, a sickness caused by our sin.
In this chapter we have another picture of that intimate love which exist between Christ and his church and the blessedness of our fellowship of love with our Redeemer.
(Song of Songs 2:1-7) "I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. (2) As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. (3) As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. (4) He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. (5) Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love. (6) His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me. (7) I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please."
Proposition: That which we most highly value and most greatly desire as the church of Christ is the constant fellowship of his manifest love.
When I can say, “My God is mine;”
When I can feel Thy glories shine;
I tread the world beneath my feet,
And all the world calls good or great.
1. I know and rejoice in the fact that Christ is the omnipresent God (Psa. 139:7-12).
2. I know that Christ is always present with his people (Isa. 43:1-2; Matt. 28:20; Rev. 1:13, 1 6, 20).
3. I know that Christ always meets with his people, as often as we gather in his name (Matt. 18:20; 1 Cor. 3:16, 17).
4. I know that Christ is always with each of his people (1 Cor. 6:19).
5. I know that Christ always loves his people (John 13:1).
6. I know that Christ always does what is best for his people (Eph. 1:22).
7. And I know that Christ will ultimately bring all of his people to be with him in heaven. He will present us faultless, blameless, unreproveable, and perfect in heavenly glory (Eph. 5:25-27).
This is what I am saying, our souls are secure in Christ. All that concerns the eternal welfare of God’s elect is safe. The Lord Jesus Christ will keep his own church, which he purchased with his own blood, in perfect safety. Truly, at all times, it is well with my soul.
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows, like sea billows roll,
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
All of these things are true. They are a source of comfort and joy for my heart at all times. But I also know that there are times when our Lord withdraws his manifest presence from us. There are times when we are unable to sense and perceive the reality of his presence with us (Song of Sol. 5:6).
(Song of Songs 5:6) "I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer."
This is the thing we greatly fear. I have no fear of Christ ever leaving us entirely. That he will not do. But I do fear losing the manifest presence of our beloved Lord, I do fear losing the blessedness of his fellowship.
1. Sometimes he withdraws himself from us, because of our sin, our unbelief, or our neglect.
2. Sometimes he withdraws himself in order to increase in us the awareness that we do truly need him.
3. Whenever he is pleased to withdraw his manifest presence from us, it is for our own good.
· He intends to awaken us.
· He intends to draw out our hearts love for him.
· He intends to return unto us. “If I go away, I will come again...I will not leave you comfortless.”
4. But for us it is a sad, sad time when Christ withdraws the sweet manifestation of himself.
· Our worship is empty.
· Our usefulness is diminished.
· Our joy is gone.
How tedious and tasteless the hours,
When Jesus no longer I see;
Sweet prospects, sweet birds, and sweet flowers
Have all lost their sweetness to me.
The mid-summer sun shines but dim;
The fields strive in vain to look gay;
But when I am happy in Him,
December’s as pleasant as May.
His name yields the richest perfume,
And sweeter than music His voice;
His presence disperses my gloom
And makes all within me rejoice.
Now, the thing that I want, that which I am seeking, that which my soul desires, and for which I pray continually, is the manifest presence of Christ. I want the blessed fellowship of his love - “I Am Sick Of Love.”
Dear Lord, if indeed I am Thine,
If Thou art my Sun and my Song,
Say why do I languish and pine.
And why are my winters so long?
Oh, drive these dark clouds from my sky,
Thy soul-cheering presence restore;
Or take me unto Thee on high,
Where winter and clouds are no more.
“I am sick of love.” There is a heavenly love-sickness in my soul for Christ. I want him.
Divisions: I want to show you five things in this passage which will help to show you what I mean when I say - “I am sick of love.” This is one sickness which I hope you will catch.
1. A Loving Comparison (Vv. 1-3).
2. A Loving Remembrance (V. 4).
3. A Loving Sickness (V. 5).
4. A Loving Comforter (V. 6).
5. A Loving Admonition (V. 7).
I. The first thing we see in these verses is A LOVING COMPARISON (vv. 1-3).
It is common with lovers to use poetic comparisons to describe one another. And in these verses both Christ and his bride use poetic comparisons to describe their love and esteem for one another.
A. Christ, our Beloved Redeemer, speaks first (vv. 1-2).
(Song of Songs 2:1-2) "I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. (2) As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters."
He describes himself. Then, he describes those people whom he has loved, chosen, redeemed, and called unto himself.
1. Our beloved Savior is to all of his people “The Rose of Sharon and The Lily of the valleys.”
· “The Rose of Sharon” - This speaks of his redeeming blood. Though in the eyes of the world it is obnoxious, to us it is precious. The Rose of Sharon gives off the sweet smelling nectar of redeeming love, pardoning grace, and complete atonement.
· “The Lily of the Valleys” - Through the righteousness of Christ, we have been made pure and white as a lily. The word translated “lily” is from a root word which means “whiteness”. The lily is in the shape of an umbrella, and Christ’s righteousness, like an umbrella covers us. In our many valleys, Christ is our Lily, both to cover and to cheer us.
2. Then Christ tells us that we who are united to him by faith and love are “as the lily among thorns.”
By the mighty operation of grace the righteousness of Christ has been imputed to us in justification and imparted to us in sanctification, so that we bear a likeness to our Lord, even here upon this earth. The church of God in this world is “A lily among thorns.”
· The Cares Of This World.
· The Unbelieving People Of The World.
· Our Own Sinful Nature.
B. Here is a tender comparison of Christ, our Beloved Savior, as a fruitful apple tree (v. 3). He is the Tree of Life in the Paradise of God.
(Song of Songs 2:3) "As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste."
· He is a fruitful Tree. - “From me is thy fruit found” (Hos. 14:8).
· He is a shade Tree. - “I sat down under his shadow with great delight!”
· His fruit is sweet, oh, how sweet and refreshing to us. - Life, Pardon, Peace, Communion, Promises
II. Secondly, here is A LOVING REMEMBRANCE (v. 4).
(Song of Songs 2:4) "He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love."
Here the Bride lovingly remembers and gratefully acknowledges that she has all the blessings of the King’s house only because of the King’s grace. She remembers the first time she came to know his love to her. Can you not recall those first revelations of the Savior’s love to your heart? “He brought me into the banqueting house.” “His house of wines,” or “His place of feasting.”
A. Christ’s banqueting house is the church of the living God.
B. The table of feasting is spread with the truths of the gospel.
· Covenant Mercy
· Unconditional Election
· Substitutionary Redemption
· Irresistible Grace. - He took me by the hand and led me to his house.
· Final Perseverance.
· Everlasting Glory.
C. The wine of that house is the fellowship and communion of Christ himself.
D. “His banner over me was love.”
· Eternal love
· Special love
· Redeeming love
· Persevering love
· Irresistible love
III. The third thing that I want to talk to you about is A LOVING SICKNESS (v. 5).
Remembering that which I have experienced and known of my Savior and his grace, realizing that which is lost when our Lord withdraws himself, knowing something of the bliss and joy of his presence, when he hides his face my soul faints with a heavenly love-sickness.
(Song of Songs 2:5) "Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love."
A. “I am sick of love” - More than anything in this world, I want him.
1. I long for His presence - I want to know him!
(Philippians 3:10) "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;"
· The fullness of his love.
· The fellowship of his suffering.
· The power of his resurrection. (Eph. 3:19; Phil. 3:10).
2. I long for His return.
3. I long to be with Him (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23).
(2 Corinthians 5:8) "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."
(Philippians 1:23) "For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:"
B. But if I must remain here, let me have the refreshing comfort of his grace - “Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples.”
1. The flagons of wine represent the love of Christ.
2. The apples represent the promises of the gospel. The promises of the gospel are as apples of gold in pictures of silver (Prov. 25:11).
(Proverbs 25:11) "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver."
IV. In the fourth place, we see a picture of Christ as A LOVING COMFORTER (V. 6).
(Song of Songs 2:6) "His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me."
Our beloved Lord knows how to comfort our troubled and distressed hearts. Dr. Gill says, “The church, having desired to be stayed, supported, strengthened, and comforted, presently found her beloved with her, who with both hands sustained her.”
These words are expressive of many things -
A. His tender love and care for us.
B. Our intimate union and communion with Christ.
C. Our safety and security in the arms of Christ.
Is it true? Has our beloved Lord and Redeemer come to us once again? Does he again hold and embrace us?
V. If truly we are made to enjoy the fellowship of Christ in this place, I have, in the last place, A LOVING ADMONITION (v. 7).
(Song of Songs 2:7) "I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please."
A. Having experienced the sweetness of Christ’s communion and the manifestation of his love, we greatly desire that they continue so long as we are upon the earth (Matt. 17:4).
B. I know that Christ will come to us and withdraw himself from us according to his own wisdom and pleasure. “Till he please.”
C. But we must be careful that we do nothing to provoke him to leave us (Eph. 4:30).
(Ephesians 4:30) "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."
1. Do not neglect him.
2. Do not grieve him.
(Ephesians 4:23-32) "And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; (24) And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (25) Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. (26) Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: (27) Neither give place to the devil. (28) Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. (29) Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (30) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (31) Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: (32) And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
1. Do you know our Beloved?
2. Children of God, cherish the fellowship of Christ.