Communion with God (14)

Scripture describes Christ (the only mediator-JK) as exceeding excellent, comely, and desirable,— far above comparison with the chiefest, choicest created good, or any endearment imaginable. Ps. xlv. 2, “Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips” He is, beyond comparison, more beautiful and gracious than any here below. “Thy fairness, O king Messiah, is more excellent than the sons of men.” Inward beauty and glory is here expressed. Isa. iv. 2, the prophet affirms that he shall be “beautiful and glorious, excellent and comely;” “for in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily,” Col. ii. 9. Cant. v. 9, the spouse is inquired of as to this very thing, even concerning the personal excellencies of the Lord Christ, her beloved: “What is thy Beloved” (say the daughters of Jerusalem) “more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women? what is thy Beloved more than another beloved?” and she returns this answer, verse 10, “My Beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand;” and so proceedeth to a particular description of him by his excellencies to the end of the chapter, and there concludeth that “he is altogether lovely,” verse 16; whereof at large afterward. Particularly, he is here affirmed to be “white and ruddy;” a due mixture of which colours composes the most beautiful complexion (TBC).

John Owen

Communion with God (13)

Fellowship with Christ pre-eminently that of grace (John 1:14-17, I Cor.16:23).

Meaning:

  •  His beauty and character (Psalm 45:2, 27:4, 90:17)-Christ full of grace.
  •  Free favour and acceptance (Eph.2:8-9)-the grace that saves.
  •  Power of grace- the fruit of the Spirit, renewing our natures, enabling unto good, and preventing from evil (Col. 3:16, Acts 4:33)-the grace that sanctifies.

These two latter, as relating unto Christ in respect of us who receive them, I call purchased grace (Owen).

 Graceful beauty.

 

The Land (6)

Sung Psalm 47:1-8 (note v4)

Read Joshua 16

The principles of the Israelite tribal allotments

  • Apportioned by lot (9 ½ tribes to east of Jordan) (cf. 14:2 and Numb.34:13). The lot acknowledges God’s sovereignty (Prov.16:33).
  • Apportioned secondarily by size of tribe (v9, Deut. 26:54-56, Numb. 33:54)
  • Apportioned thirdly according to landuse required viz. pasture or arable.

By whom? High priest, Joshua and tribal leaders (14:1)

Where? Shiloh-holy place at that time where tabernacle was.

cf. Psalm 47:4 where Christ, the ascended king gives eternal inheritance to all his people (Ps.16:5-6).

 

Order of allotments: Reuben first (oldest), the Judah (ch. 15, messianic ruling tribe, birthright given, led tribes marching), then Ephraim/1/2 Manasseh (Joseph tribes, ch. 16-17, cf.Gen.49), then Benjamin (18:11), then Simeon (19:1, subsumed within Judah) up to the last Dan.

 

Sin, a despising of God and folly.

Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.” (II Samuel 12:10)

All sin is a despising of God!

Nathan confronts King David.

Despise means feel contempt or a deep repugnance for.
NATHAN PROPHESIED FAMILY TROUBLE AND IT STARTS…….
“And she answered him (Amnon), Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly.” (II Samuel 13:12)

Communion with God (12)

 

Safety: “His banner over me was love,” (Song of Solomon 2:4). The banner is the emblem of a regiment or army— a sign of the presence of an host led by the commander in chief. “Christ has a banner for his saints; and that is love. All their protection is from his love; and they shall have all the protection his love can give them. This safeguards them from hell, death, — all their enemies. Whatever presses on them, it must pass through the banner of the love of the Lord Jesus. They have, then, great spiritual safety; which is another ornament or excellency of their communion with him.” (John Owen)

Support and comfort:   “His left hand is under my head, and his right hand does embrace me.” (Song of Solomon 2:6), Christ here has the posture of a husband full of sustaining grace, in pressures and difficulties; and “the hand that does embrace”  (reminds us that) to lie in the arms of Christ’s love, under a perpetual influence of support and refreshment, is certainly to hold communion with him. Of course we usually attribute comfort and consolation to the Comforter, the Spirit of Christ….but can we separate them? I think not. Christ the Good Shepherd carries the lambs and weak sheep and makes them lie down in green pastures-JK

 

 

 

Communion with God (11)

Fellowship with Christ-Delight.

“The spouse is quite ravished with the sweetness of this entertainment, finding love, and care, and kindness, bestowed by Christ in the assemblies of the saints. Oh! support and sustain my spirit with his presence in his ordinances, — those ‘flagons and apples of his banqueting-house,’ — or I shall quite sink and faint! Let me have something from thee to support me, or I die.” When a person is fainting on any occasion, these two things are to be done:— strength is to be used to support him, that he sink not to the ground; and comfortable things are to be applied, to refresh his spirits. These two the soul prayeth for. It would have strengthening grace to support it in that condition, that it may be able to attend its duty; and consolations of the Holy Ghost, to content, revive, and satiate it, until it come to a full enjoyment of Christ.” (Song of Solomon 2:4-5)

My own “take” on this is that our delight in Christ is the JOY of the Lord, a joy Christ said, ” no man taketh from you” and the joy of the Lord is our strength! (Neh.8:10)

 

A high and holy purpose

In Acts 24 as Paul defends himself before governor Felix he expresses one of his life aims, a high and holy one that every Christian should aspire to:

16 “And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void to offence toward God, and toward men.”

Communion with God (10)

The characteristics of our fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ:

  •  Sweetness.
  •  Delight.
  •  Safety.
  •  Comfort.

” Sweetness: “He brought me to the banqueting-house,” or “house of wine.” It is all set forth under expressions of the greatest sweetness and most delicious refreshment, — flagons, apples, wine, etc. “He entertains me,” saith the spouse, “as some great personage.” Great personages, at great entertainments, are had into the banqueting-house, — the house of wine and dainties — love, kindness, supplies revealed in the gospel, declared in the assemblies of the saints, exhibited by the Spirit. This “love is better than wine,” Cant. i. 2;  it is “not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Gospel dainties are sweet refreshments; whether these houses of wine be the Scriptures, the gospel, or the ordinances dispensed in the assemblies of the saints, or any eminent and signal manifestations of special love (as banqueting is not every day’s work, nor used at ordinary entertainments), it is all one. Wine, that cheereth the heart of man, that makes him forget his misery, Prov. xxxi. 6, 7, that gives him a cheerful look and countenance, Gen. xlix. 12, is it at which is promised. The grace exhibited by Christ in his ordinances is refreshing, strengthening, comforting, and full of sweetness to the souls of the saints. Woe be to such full souls as loathe these honey-combs! But thus Christ makes all his assemblies to love banqueting-houses; and there he gives his saints entertainment.”

John Owen

 

Communion with God (9)

Communion with Christ, as mediator, one who sympathises, who acts as priest and advocate, who desires sweet fruits and rejoices in them. I Cor.1:9,  Song of Solomon 4:12-15 and 5:1.

He provides a spiritual feast for us (Prov.9:2). Song of Solomon is the Scripture par excellence describing this communion. To the  bride he is like a lily and a fruit tree providing fruit for food and shade for refreshment. Thus she eats and she rests; both with great delight.

“Christ is that tree of life, which has brought forth all things that are needful unto life eternal. In him is that righteousness which we hunger after; — in him is that water of life, which whoso drinketh of shall thirst no more.

There is also refreshment in a shade from God’s wrath and earthly weariness. He is “as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land,” Isa. xxxii.  and from the power of corruptions, trouble of temptations, distress of persecutions, there is in him quiet, rest, and repose, Matt. xi. 27, 28.

Communion with God (8)

 

How few of the saints are experimentally acquainted with this privilege of holding immediate communion with the Father in love! He is tenderly loving and kind. His love is eternal, free, unchangeable, distinguishing. Believe what Scripture says about his bountiful attitude towards you. He spared not his own son, how shall he not with him freely give us all things (that we need) Rom.8:32, Phil 4:19. He sees you IN his son, he loves YOU as he loves the son. (John 17:23-26)