The Exceeding Delightfulness of Our Lord

I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. – Song of Songs 2:1

What is the use of roses and lilies? I know what the use of corn is; I must eat it, it is necessary to me for food. I know why barley and rye and all sorts of roots and fruits are created; they are the necessary food of man or beast. But what do we want with roses? What do we want with lilies? They are of no use at all except for joy and delight. With their sweet form, their charming color, and their delicious fragrance, we are comforted and pleased and delighted; but they are not necessaries of life. A man can live without roses; there are millions of people, I have no doubt, who live without possessing lilies of the valley. There are all too few roses and lilies in this smoky Babylon of ours; but, when we do get them, what are their uses? Why, they are things of beauty, if not “a joy for ever.” Jesus is all that and more; He is far more than “a thing of beauty,” and to all who trust Him He will be “a joy for ever.” To you who are Christ’s people, He is your bread, for you feed on Him, and He makes you live; you could not do without Him as the sustenance of your soul. He is the living water, and your soul would pine and perish of a burning thirst if you did not drink of Him. But that is not all that Jesus is to you; God has never intended to save His people on the scale of the workhouse, to give you just as much as you absolutely need, and nothing more. No, no, no; He means you to have joy as well as to have life, to look upon beauty as well as to be in safety, and to have not only a healthy atmosphere, but an atmosphere that is laden with the odour of sweet flowers. You are to find in Christ roses and lilies, as well as bread and water; you have not yet seen all His beauties, and you do not yet know all His excellence.

The exceeding delightfulness of Christ is suggested to our mind by His declaration, “I am the rose, and I am the lily.” And He is in Himself the delight of men. He speaks not of offices, gifts, works, possessions; but of Himself: “I am.” Our Lord Jesus is the best of all beings; the dearest, sweetest, fairest, and most charming of all beings that we can think of is the Son of God, our Savior. Come hither, ye poets who dream of beauty, and then try to sing its praises; but your imagination could never reach up to the matchless perfection of His person, neither could your sweetest music ever attain to the full measure of His praise. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

He Wants Us to Partake of Him!

The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. – John 7:46

I think that it is so sweet of Christ to praise Himself in order to show that He longs for us to come to Him. He declares Himself to be a fountain of living water; yet why is He a fountain but that we may come unto Him, and drink? He tells us, “I am the bread which came down from heaven;” but why does He speak of Himself as bread, whereof if a man eat, He shall never hunger? Why, because He wants us to partake of Him! You need not, therefore, be afraid that He will refuse you when you come to Him. If a man praises his wares, it is that he may sell them. If a doctor advertises his cures, it is that other sick folk may be induced to try his medicine; and when our Lord Jesus Christ praises Himself, it is a kind of holy advertisement by which He would tempt us to “come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” If He praises Himself, it is that we may fall in love with Him; and we need not be afraid to come and lay our poor hearts at His feet, and ask Him to accept us, for He would not have wooed us by unveiling His beauties if He had meant, after all, to trample on our hearts, and say, “I care nothing for such poor love as yours.”

I feel most grateful, then, that I have not at this time so much to praise my Master as to let Him speak His own praises, for “never man spake like this Man.” When He commends Himself, what would have been folly in others is wisdom in Him; and whereas we say to our fellow-man, “Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth,” I would say to Christ, “My Master, praise Thyself, for Thou alone canst do it as it ought to be done.” As for Thy poor servant, he would try to be the echo of Thy voice, and that will be infinitely better than anything he can say of himself. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

We May Take Him for Our Own

I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys”…”My beloved is mine, and I am his…” – Song of Songs 1,16

Love at first sight has been begotten by the vision of a lovely countenance. Men and women, too, are struck with affection through the eye when they perceive some beauty which charms and pleases them; so, the Savior lifts the corner of the veil that conceals His glories, and lets us see some glimpse of His beauty, in order that He may win our hearts. There are some who seem to think that they can bully men to Christ; but that is a great mistake. It is very seldom that sinners can be driven to the Savior; His way is to draw them. He Himself said, “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me. This He said, signifying what death He should die.” And the drawings of Christ are not, as it were, with a cart rope, but with silken bonds, ay, with invisible chains, for His beauty is of such a character that it creates love, His beauty is so attractive that it draws the heart. So, in infinite wisdom, our Lord Jesus Christ sets forth His own beauties that thereby He may win our hearts…Note, then, the condescension and also the wisdom which are perceptible in this self-commendation on the part of Christ: “I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.”

Does Christ commend Himself to us? Does He say to us, for instance, “I am meek and lowly in heart”? What is His object in speaking thus but that we may take His yoke upon us, and may learn of Him, and that we may find rest unto our souls? And if He says, “I am the rose of Sharon,” what does He mean but that we may pluck Him, and take Him for our own? If He says, “I am the lily of the valleys,” why does He take the trouble to tell us that but because He wants us to take Him, and to have Him for our very own? I think that it is so sweet of Christ to praise Himself in order to show that He longs for us to come to Him. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

This is Stupendous Condescension

I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. – Song of Songs

Be it always remembered that human self-praise is evil because of the motive which underlies it. We praise ourselves, and, alas! that we should be so foolish as to do so, we do it out of pride; but when Christ praises Himself, He does it out of humility. “Oh!” say you, “how can you prove that to be true?” Why, thus; He praises Himself that He may win our love; but what condescension it is on His part that He should care about the love of such insignificant and undeserving persons as we are! It is a wonderful stoop that the Christ of God should speak about having a bride, and that He should come to seek His bride among the sons of men. If princes were to look for consorts among beggars, that would be after all but a small stoop, for God hath made of one blood all nations of men that dwell upon the face of the earth; but for Christ to forsake the thrones and glories of heaven, and the splendours of His Father’s courts above, to come down to win a well-beloved one here, and for her sake to take upon Himself her nature, and in her nature to bear the shame of death, even the death of the cross, this is stupendous condescension of which only God Himself is capable; and this praising of Himself is a part of that condescension, a necessary means of winning the love of the heart that He has chosen. So that this is a matchless instance, not of pride, but of humility, that those dear lips of the heavenly Bridegroom should have to speak to His own commendation, and that He should say, “I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.” O human lips, why are ye silent, so that Christ must speak about Himself? O human hearts, why are ye so hard that ye will never feel until Christ Himself shall address you? O human eyes, why are ye so blind that ye shall never see till Christ shows Himself in His own superlative light and loveliness? I think I need not defend my Master, though He used these sweet emblems to set forth Himself; for this is an instance, not of His pride, but of His humility. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

The Savior Praising Himself

“I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.”-Song of Solomon 2:1.

The time of flowers has come, and as they are in some faint degree emblems of our Lord, it is well, when God thus calls, that we should seek to learn what He desires to teach us by them. If nature now spreads out her roses and her lilies, or prepares to do so, let us try, not only to see them, but to see Christ as He is shadowed forth in them.

“I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.” If these are the words of the Well-beloved -and I have no doubt that they are- then it may be suggested by some that here we have the Savior praising Himself; and it is true; but in no unworthy sense, for well may He praise Himself since no one else can do it as it should be done. There is no human language that can ever set forth His beauties as they deserve to be told. As good John Berridge says:

“Living tongues are dumb at best,
We must die to speak of Christ”

as He should be spoken of. He will never fully be described unless He shall describe Himself. For certain, we should never have known God if He had not revealed Himself; and every good thing that you or I know of Him, He Himself has told us. We make no discoveries of God except as God uncovers Himself to us. If, then, any cavillers were to find fault with the Christ of God because He did commend Himself, I would answer, Does not God commend Himself, and must not His well-beloved Son do the same? Who else is there that can possibly reveal Him to us unless He unveils His own face to our admiring gaze? ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Our Adorable Lord

“Yea, he is altogether lovely.”- Songs 5:16

No words can ever express the gratitude we owe to Him who loved us even when we were dead in trespasses and sins: the love of Jesus is unutterably precious and worthy of daily praise. No songs can ever fitly celebrate the triumphs of that salvation which He wrought singlehandedly on our behalf: the work of Jesus is glorious beyond compare, and all the harps of angels fall short of its worthy honour. Yet I do believe, and my heart prompts me to say so, that the highest praise of every ransomed soul and of the entire Christian church should be offered to the blessed person of Jesus Christ, our adorable Lord. The love of His heart is excelled by the heart which gave forth that love, and the wonders of His hand are outdone by the hand itself, which wrought those godlike miracles of grace. We ought to bless Him for what He has done for us as Mediator in the place of humble service under the law, and for what He suffered for us as Substitute on the altar of sacrifice from before the foundation of the world; and for what He is doing for us as Advocate in the place of highest honour at the right hand of the Majesty on high: but still the best thing about Christ is Christ Himself. We prize His gifts, but we worship Him. His gifts are valued, but He Himself is adored. While we contemplate, with mingled feelings of awe, admiration, and thankfulness, His atonement, His resurrection, His glory in heaven, and His second coming, still it is Christ Himself, stupendous in His dignity as the Son of God, and superbly beautiful as the Son of man, who sheds an incomparable charm on all those wonderful achievements, wherein His might and His merit, His goodness and His grace appear so conspicuous. For Him let our choicest spices be reserved, and to Him let our sweetest anthems be raised. Our choicest ointment must be poured upon His head, and for His own self alone our most costly alabaster boxes must be broken. ~ C.H. Spurgeon