the unsearchable riches of Christ...

EPHESIANS 3:8




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Mar 12, 2017
Preacher: Jack Shanks
Passage: Song of Songs 5:9-16

A Question Answered!

…what is thy beloved more than another beloved, 
that thou dost so charge us?

(Song of Songs 5:9-16)

A question is asked in verse 9 that deserves an answer. It is answered in the following verses. This question seems to be a question of scorn and ridicule. Some see our loving attachment to Christ as fanaticism and say we make much ado about nothing. I trust that none of you are so foolish. Perhaps there is someone here who sees our love and zeal and concern for Christ and you desire to know Him. I hope you never get tired of hearing about Him, for I love to tell you about Him. His Name is Jesus Christ, the Lord. He is my Savior, my Redeemer, my Prophet, my Priest, and my King. He is my Lord and my God. And more, He is my Beloved and the Friend of my soul. He is the chiefest among ten thousand and altogether lovely. I hope that God the Spirit has created in your heart a desire to know HIM. This is why I preach, and the one thing that I desire of God for you. I want you to know Christ. My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you (GALATIANS 4:19). It is not enough that you know the doctrine of Christ, but you must know HIM. There is hope for men when they begin to inquire about the perfection and excellence of Christ our Lord.

Nothing pleases me more than the opportunity of describing Him to you.

“What the hand is to the lute,
What breath is to the flute,
What fragrance is to the smell,
What the spring is to the well,

What the flower is to the bee,
That is Jesus Christ to me. 
What the mother is to the child,
What the compass is in pathless wild,

What oil is to the troubled wave,
What ransom is to the slave,
What water is to the sea,
That is Jesus Christ to me.”

N.A. Garland

What is thy beloved more than another beloved? Here is the answer:

He is white and ruddy (v.10). These words refer to the excellence of His Divine glory as God, and the excellence of His mediatory character as man. In Him I see all the perfection of the eternal God. And in Him I see all that my soul needs or desires. He is the holy, immaculate, eternal Son of God, and He is made unto me wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption (1 CORINTHIANS 1:30). He is white in the spotless innocence of His life, and ruddy in the bloody suffering of His death. He is white in His glory as God, and ruddy in His incarnation as man. (Ruddy means a healthy reddish color, and the name for man, Adam, means red earth.) He is white in His tenderness toward His people, and ruddy in His terrible vengeance upon His enemies. My beloved is so infinitely above all others that there is none to compare with HIM. In His church Christ is the chief cornerstone. Among the brethren Christ is the firstborn. Among the resurrected Christ is the first-begotten. He is the Alpha and Omega, and the first-born of every creature. God has made him to be pre-eminent in all things. So, I want you to see the excellence of His beauty, the fullness of His power, and the accomplishment of His grace. He is worthy of your love, your trust, and your highest admiration and esteem.
Let me tell you about His HEAD (v.11a). His head speaks of our Lords sovereign dominion over all things. “God hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church” (EPHESIANS 1:22). Like gold, the sovereignty of Christ is both great and gracious, strong and precious.

Let me tell you about His HAIR (v.11b). Whiteness speaks of His eternality and wisdom. Blackness denotes His perpetual strength and power. He has everlasting youth. He never changes. (What about my hair or your hair?).

Now I will tell you about His EYES (v.12). His eyes are pure. His eyes toward us are peaceable. His eyes are penetratingly powerful “His eyes behold, His eyelids try the children of men” PSALM 11:4. His eyes are gentle. There is nothing as gentle as a DOVE. There is no deceit, no lies, no hypocrisy in His eyes. They are washed with milk, the most wholesome of beverages. They are fitly set, unchanging. When we see His eyes, we will see the great love He has for us. His love is as His eyes, fitly set.

His CHEEKS (v.13a). The very sight of His face, like a rich fragrant garden, is reviving, refreshing and pleasant.

His LIPS (v.13b). The words of His lips are sweeter than honey and the honeycomb. The kisses of His lips are better than wine. Grace is poured into His lips, and grace proceeds out of His lips. Grace poured out of His lips as my Substitute at Calvary as He said, Father, forgive them. And then He said, It is finished, meaning that the work of redemption was complete for this poor sinner.

His HANDS (v.14a). His hands like golden rings fitted for the finger, are fitted to accomplish His purpose, to save His people. His hands, like the kings signet, seal the covenant of Gods grace. The piercing of His hands in death was the ratification of Gods covenant. His hands are generous, just keep giving and giving.

His BELLY (v.14b). His bowels of compassion, His heart. The love of Christ’s heart for His people is as strong and firm as ivory. The many instances of His love, by which He reveals His love, are as sapphires and precious jewels. He truly, genuinely loves me. Love does, or its a lie. The proof of His love is my election, redemption, and regeneration.

His LEGS (v.15a). This speaks of His stability and faithfulness and also His strength and power. He is able. “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” 2 TIMOTHY 1:12.

His COUNTENANCE (v.15a). In strength, in power, in grace, in beauty, and in love He excels all others. There is none to rival Him. As the long-lived cedar, He never dies. “He ever liveth to make intercession for them” HEBREWS 7:25.

His MOUTH (v.16a). The words of His mouth are gentle, comforting words to His people. All His words have a sweetness. The kisses of His mouth, the many tokens of His love and goodness, have a wonderful sweetness in them (Ss. 1:2).

What more can I say? He is altogether lovely. There is nothing in Him but that which is lovely; and there is nothing truly lovely but that which is in Him. All that I need and all that I desire is in HIM. In His divinity He is lovely. In His humanity He is lovely. In His redemption He is lovely. In His providence He is lovely. He is even lovely in His justice and judgement. And if I have left anything out, everything about Him and of Him and from Him is ALTOGETHER LOVELY.

This is my beloved, and this is my friend. When I think of my Lord Jesus Christ, my friend, I know I need Him. A friend in need is a friend indeed, and He is my friend in need, my need. I’m the neediest creature on earth. There's nothing I can add to Him. I'm a sinner and there's no need like that of a sinner. I'm naked, sick, diseased, bankrupt, and not only that, I am in deep debt. I'm cut off and cast out, and yet He loves me. “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” ROMANS 5:8. I'm not only a sinner and under the judgement of God, but I am a poor dying creature. We’ve got the river of death to cross and we ought not play games. But though I walk through the valley, my FRIEND is with me. My Friend proved His love for me by doing and dying. He took my place in the wrath of God. He suffered the just for the unjust that he might bring me to God. He died on a cross for me. He bore my shame and guilt and sin and is now exalted on the throne of God, and His presence represents me.

What is thy beloved more than another beloved? If you knew the whole story, you wouldn’t have to ask such a silly question. Indeed He is all beauty and excellence and perfection. Do you know my Friend, my Beloved? If not, He will be known. Bow to Him and find all your souls need in Him.


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