“How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices! Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb; honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon.” Solomon’s Song 4:10,11
Suggested Further Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12
When he comes and begins to praise you, and tells you, “That your lips drop as the honeycomb, that all your actions smell of myrrh, and that your love is better than wine, and that the thoughts under your tongue are better to him than wine and milk,” what will you say? “Oh, Lord, I cannot say thou art mistaken, for thou art infallible; but if I dared so think thou art mistaken, I should say, “Thou art mistaken in me;” but Lord I cannot think thou art mistaken, it must be true. Still, Lord, I do not deserve it; I am conscious I do not and I never can deserve it; still if thou wilt help me, I will strive to be worthy of thy praise in some feeble measure. I will seek to live up to those high praises which thou hast passed upon me. If thou sayest, “My love is better than wine;” Lord, I will seek to love thee better, that the wine may be richer and stronger. If thou sayest, “My graces are like the smell of ointment,” Lord, I will try to increase them, so as to have many great pots filled with them; and if my words drop as the honeycomb, Lord, there shall be more of them, and I will try to make them better, so that thou mayest think more of such honey; and if thou declarest that the thoughts under my tongue are to thee like honey and milk, then, Lord, I will seek to have more of those divine thoughts; and if my daily actions are to thee as the smell of Lebanon, Lord, I will seek to be more holy, to live nearer to thee; I will ask for grace, that my actions may be really what thou sayest they are.”
For meditation: Do you serve God because you feel you ought to, out of a sense of duty? Or because you want to, out of a sense of his love and acceptance of you in Christ? God’s grace should motivate us to obey him even more than God’s law does (Romans 6:15).
Sermon no. 282
20 October (Preached 23 January 1859)