Sermon #24 The Song Of Solomon
Title: “COME, MY BELOVED”
Text: Song of Solomon 7:10-13
Readings: Rex Bartley & James Jordan
Subject: A Call For Revival
Date: Sunday Evening - December 6, 1998
Tape # U-97a
The church had been without the fellowship of Christ for some time now. He had not neglected her; but she had neglected him. His heart had not been cold toward her; but her heart had been cold toward him. He had done her no evil; but she had done him much evil. He had not forsaken her; but she had, for a while, forsaken him. He came to reveal himself, to show his love and grace. He knocked at her door, called to her, and tugged at her heart. But, through her coldness of heart, slothfulness, sin, and desire for ease, she refused him. She withdrew her heart from him, so he withdrew from her the sense of his presence. Though he was always with her, and would never forsake her, she was not aware of his presence. The sweet manifestation of his love and grace and power were gone (5:2-3).
Even when the Lord hid his face from her and caused her to pass through so much trouble, he acted in love. Her best interest was upon his heart.
1. He would prove her love.
2. He was proving her faith.
3. He was making himself more and more precious to her.
4. He was showing her herself, her emptiness, her barrenness, her need of him.
No sooner had the Lord withdrawn his manifest presence from her, than she realized her shameful neglect and sin. She arose and sought him. Her soul was grieved. Her heart ached with longing for him. She passed through many painful afflictions and trials, that were hard to bear. But she continued to love him and to trust him. Her soul was like two armies warring against one another, the one in league with sin, the other in love with Christ. But she continued to seek her Beloved (5:4-8). Is this the condition you are in?
At last, the Lord graciously revealed himself to her again. He assured her of his love and grace. He assured her that his heart had not changed. And he promised her that he would come to her again. He said, “I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples” (7:8-9). He said, I will come to you again and make myself known unto you. Then, you shall be fruitful. Your soul shall be refreshed.
This promise filled her soul with hope. And this is how she responded to him - “Come, my Beloved.” I hope that many of you here tonight, whose hearts have long been heavy, having lost the sense of your Savior’s manifest presence, have already begun to cry to Christ, “Come, my Beloved.”
Tonight, I am making a call for revival. It is a call which arises from my own heart. It is a call which I hope will arise from the hearts of many of you individually, and spread throughout our congregation. Does your heart not cry with mine to our beloved Redeemer - “Come, my Beloved”?
Enter our hearts, Redeemer blest,
Enter, thou ever-honored Guest;
Enter, and make our hearts thine own,
Thy house, thy temple, and thy throne.
And stay, not only for a night,
To bless us with a transient sight;
But with us dwell, through time - and then
In heaven for evermore - Amen.
Let’s look together at verses 10-13. “These are the words of the spouse, the church, the believing soul, in answer to the kind expressions of Christ’s love in the preceding verses” (Matthew Henry).
Proposition: There is nothing which we so greatly need and should so greatly desire as the manifest presence of Christ in our midst.
When our Lord hides his face and does not manifest his presence, our assemblies for worship are dreary exercises in futility, our songs are mournful tunes, our preaching is but a sounding brass and tinkling cymbal, and our service for him is barren and fruitless. But when the Lord is in our midst all is well. If the Lord meets with us, we will worship him. If the Lord meets with us, our songs shall have the melody of joyful hearts. If the Lord speaks through his servant, your pastor shall preach with power and your souls shall be profited by what you hear. If the Lord meets with us and grants us his presence, then our service for him shall be fruitful.
1. A Blessed Assurance Of Love (v. 10).
2. An Earnest Desire For Christ (vv. 11-12).
3. A Willing Submission To Examination (v. 12).
4. A Sincere Promise Of Love (v. 13).
I. In verse 10 we see A BLESSED ASSURANCE OF LOVE - “I am my Beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.”
Here we see faith taking Christ at his Word. He told her of his love for and his interest in her. He told her that she belonged to him and only to him. And she believed him. Her heart was made to rejoice in her relation to Christ and her interest in him. In his name she will boast all the day long (Jer. 9:23-24).
Does your heart enjoy such an assurance of Christ’s love? If you are a sinner trusting Christ alone, you may be sure of this - You are his, and his desire is toward you! If you love Christ, and your desire is toward him, you may be sure of this - He loves you, and his desire is toward you!
A. “I am my Beloved’s.”
In those words, the believing soul acknowledges that all she is and all she has belongs to Christ and comes from Christ. And she here makes a voluntary surrender of all to him again. As she received all from him, she devotes all to him.
1. “I am my Beloved’s,” not my own.
Children of God, “Ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price.”
2. Jesus Christ is my Lord, I belong to him. I am his property.
a. I am his by his own eternal choice.
b. I am his by legal purchase.
c. I am his by divine gift.
d. I am his by voluntary surrender.
NOTE: Faith in Christ is nothing less than a voluntary surrender of myself to his dominion.
NOTE: Real revival is a renewed commitment and devotion of my entire self to the Lord Jesus Christ. May the Lord graciously give us, individually and as a church, a continual, constant devotion to him. We want more than occasional spasms of devotion. We want continued, unbroken devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ.
B. “His desire is toward me.”
As a faithful husband’s desire is toward his wife, so that in all things he seeks her happiness, comfort, and welfare, so Christ’s desire is toward his church.
1. His desire is toward me only - All that the Lord does, he does for his elect.
2. His desire was toward me from eternity.
3. His desire is toward me at all times. This is why he came into the world - “His desire is toward me.”
· Before Conversion
· After Conversion
1. Christ’s desire toward his own elect will never be fully satisfied until he has them all with him in glory.
NOTE: As a tender husband, the desire of the Lord’s heart is toward his people. He sympathizes with us in all our distresses. He protects us in all our dangers. And he provides for us all that we need for time and eternity.
II. In verses 11-12, we have the expressions of AN EARNEST DESIRE FOR CHRIST.
His desire is toward me; and my desire is toward him. “Come, my Beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages. Let us get up early to the vineyards.”
Do you long for Christ? Tell him so. “Come, my Beloved.” Let us walk together, that I may receive counsel and instruction from you. Come, comfort my heart, refresh my soul, and revive my spirit. Our Lord walked with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus; and as he talked with them, their hearts burned within them. Oh, may he so come to us now!
A. She wanted to know more of her Beloved.
Having received fresh tokens of his love and fresh assurances of her interest in him, she wanted a better acquaintance with him. She pressed towards “the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus.” Oh, that I may know him!
B. She wanted to enjoy personal, private communion with Christ.
She wanted to get alone with him. “Come, my Beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages.”
1. If we would enjoy the fellowship of Christ, we must lay aside the cares and amusements of this world, avoiding everything that would take our hearts away from him (1 Cor. 7:35; Col. 3:1-3).
2. If we would enjoy fellowship with Christ, if we would know him, we must get alone with him.
Did our Lord not say, “When we pray, enter into thy closet, and shut the door”?
“A believer is never less alone than when he is alone with Christ.” (Matthew Henry).
3. If we would enjoy the fellowship of Christ, must not go anywhere, where you cannot in faith ask him to go along with you.
C. She was willing to rise early to be with her Lord - “Let us get up early to the vineyards.”
Spurgeon said, “This is put here as the very type and symbol of an earnest and vigorous service for Christ.” It intimates this - If we would enjoy the fellowship and company of Christ, we must be diligent; we must take advantage of our opportunities to hear from, commune with, and worship him.
There is nothing particularly pious about rising before dawn. But, if you would spend your days with Christ, you must begin your days with Christ. Seek him early; and seek him diligently.
D. She would be content in any place, under any circumstances, if she could enjoy the presence of Christ with her.
What does it take to make you happy and content? Here we see one who was content to take her lodging in the villages, in the huts of common farmers, if only Christ would be with her.
Prisons would palaces prove,
If Jesus would dwell with me there!
NOTE: Knowing how that earthly comfort and luxury had once nearly stolen her heart, she was willing to make any sacrifice to have her Beloved Savior’s presence.
NOTE: Nothing can satisfy a believing soul but Christ. And nothing can disturb the peace, contentment, and satisfaction of a believer who enjoys the presence and fellowship of Christ.
All that my soul has tried
Left but a dismal void;
Jesus has satisfied,
Jesus is mine!
I rather suspect that when we so desire Christ that we desire nothing but Christ, we shall have Christ (Psa. 73:25).
III. In verse 12, we see in this believing soul A WILLING SUBMISSION TO EXAMINATION. She says, “Let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth.”
One reason she desires the presence of Christ is that she may know the state and condition of her own soul (Psa. 139:23-24).
Our own souls are our vineyards. It is our responsibility to keep our vineyards, not our neighbors, but our own, to look after them and examine them.
· The vine is faith.
· The tender grape is hope.
· The pomegranates are love and joy.
A. In this examination of our souls, it is wise to take Christ along.
His presence will make the vine to flourish, the tender grape to appear, and the pomegranates to bud forth! As the returning of the sun revives our gardens, the returning of Christ’s manifest presence revives our souls.
B. We must appeal to Christ himself for our comfort and assurance.
“Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.”
If he sees the vine of faith flourishing, the tender grape of hope appearing, and the pomegranates of love and joy budding - If we can appeal to him, like Peter, “Thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee” - If his Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the sons of God, that is enough.
IV. In verses 12-13, we hear the believer, whose heart has been revived by Christ, making A SINCERE PROMISE OF LOVE.
“There,” from the depths of my heart and my innermost soul, “will I give thee my loves.” The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my Beloved.”
Will you give the Lord Jesus Christ all the love of your heart, so that there is no room left, and nothing left, to give to any rival? This is the sure result of our Lord’s reviving presence. When Christ comes and makes himself known to his people, they renew their love and devotion to him.
Love for Christ must be our motive and our governing principle in all things. He looks beyond our words, and our actions, to the attitude of our hearts.
“All through these verses the spouse acts with reference to her Beloved. It is for him that she goes forth into the field, for the sake of his company, and the quiet enjoyment of his love, she would lodge in the villages; and all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which are stored within her gates she declares to be laid up for her Beloved. Love, then, is the fittest and most powerful motive to holy service.” (C. H. Spurgeon)
“The love of Christ constraineth us.”
This love has about it certain evident peculiarities…
A. It is a love which realizes the person of the Beloved.
The church will always be strong when the Lord Jesus Christ is real to her. Jesus Christ is not a mere historical person to us, who once lived and died. He is a real Person, living today in our midst. He walketh among the golden candlesticks, and is in our midst now.
B. Our love for Christ arises from an assurance of his love for us (1 John 4:19).
It is not possible for us to love Christ unless we are made to know that he loves us. When I know that his desire is toward me, then my desire shall be toward him.
C. Love for Christ leads us to hold all things in joint possession with him.
Love is the mother of devotion, sacrifice, and self-denial. Love for Christ causes the believer to give himself and all that he has to Christ. Love will not stand to have divided properties. Such was the love of Christ that he gave all that he had to us. He could not bear to have anything, not even his throne, that should be altogether for himself. He stripped himself to his naked to clothe us. Then, he gave us his breath to be our life, and his blood to be our health. Now today, if we love him, we are saying…
If I might make some reserve,
And duty did not call;
I love my Lord with zeal so great,
That I would give Him all.
Let us more and more have all things in common with our Lord. Beloved, we are joint-heirs with Christ. All that we have is his; and all that he has is ours.
1. My talents belong to him.
2. My abilities belong to him.
3. My substance belongs to him.
NOTE: The Lord has greatly blessed us as a congregation far beyond that which most churches could ever hope to enjoy. Surely, above all people, we have reason to serve him and minister to others with open heart and open hand. Love is open-hearted and open-handed.
D. Love for Christ leads us to go afield in serving him.
Love for Christ says, “What more can I do for him?” It is never satisfied with old fruits, it must always bring forth new service for him.
Brethren, let us bring forth all our stores for Christ. It is ever on my heart that we should be undertaking larger and greater things for our Beloved Redeemer.
E. This love grows and flourishes in the fellowship and communion of Christ.
I am afraid that we are cold in our love, because we live at a distance from him. Oh, may God enable us, individually and as a congregation, to live in constant, habitual fellowship and communion with our Savior! This one things is needful to promote and sustain revival in our midst. If we have abounding love for Christ, we shall prosper under terrible disadvantages; but if we do not have this love, we have lost the great secret of success.
Application: “Come, My Beloved.”
1. Come, my Beloved - To awaken and save sinners. Come in the power of thy grace.
2. Come, my Beloved - To revive thy people. Come and enflame our hearts with love for thee.
3. Come, my Beloved - To establish thy glory and kingdom on earth.