Chapter 12 Feasting With The Lord

I am come into My garden, My sister, My spouse: I have gathered My myrrh with My spice; I have eaten My honeycomb with My honey, I have drunk My wine with My milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved (Song of Solomon 5:1).

This verse is the Bridegroom-Lover’s answer to an invitation from His elect bride, the Church, for in the previous chapter she had said, “Let my beloved come into His garden, and eat His pleasant fruits.”

The Lord’s Presence

“I am come into My garden, My sister, My spouse.” This is a most endearing title the Bridegroom gives His elect bride. “My sister” points to our Lord’s incarnation and a closeness through His birth into our humanity, in that He assumed the same flesh and blood as we. All believers are adopted, too, into the family of God, so that in some Scriptures our Lord is not ashamed to call Himself Brother to the company of the redeemed.

Since therefore they are the children of God, He addresses the Church as “sister.” “Spouse” is a nearer relation and much more intimate, and thus the relation between Christ and the Church is set in the union of husband and wife, by which they become one—the great mystery spoken by Paul in Ephesians 5.25.

The Lord tells us He is come. But many, I fear, are not sensible to His presence, as with Mary Magdalene in the garden. He was standing by her in the power of resurrection life, yet she knew Him not, but thought Him a common person as the gardener (John 20:15).

But to those who, as the bride-elect, have deep longings for a manifestation of His sensible presence, He answers their desires and assures them of His presence—“I am come.” He does not send a mighty angel but comes Himself, and His spiritual presence is all that believers can ask for in the way of their joy and delight. His personal presence is all she could desire and His real presence is no delusion, no figment of the imagination, no dream or fancy. The Lord’s presence can be very real to us.

The Lord’s Satisfaction

“I have gathered My myrrh with My spice.” Myrrh and spice are sweet perfumes and express in figure the worship and praise of His people which rise like incense before His throne of glory. This is the fruit of His own toil and suffering. It is the harvest of His travail on our behalf. What we offer through redemption is a feast for Him, and He finds His delight and satisfaction as His people give Him His due praise.

“I have eaten My honeycomb with My honey.” That He should eat His honey in the comb seems to me to suggest order. The honey in the hive is deposited in a systematic way. It speaks of the orderly way believers meet and the preference they give to worship. The honeycomb may also speak to us of the body of true doctrine in which the love of His people is enclosed. The graces and virtues which He develops in them are sweet as honey, but they appear best when offered in the pure doctrines of revealed truth.

“I have drunk My wine with My milk.” Having eaten, He now drinks to make a complete feast. This is His joy fulfilled. He is filled with exultation when He has His worshiping people before Him in all His righteousness. The milk points to the nourishing life by which they have grown strong in Him, and the wine to the joyous life of the Spirit which bubbles up within them. He is exceedingly well-pleased with all He finds in the midst of His people.

The Lord’s Invitation

“Eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.” This is an invitation to His friends. The feast is not for those who love Him not, nor is it for aliens or enemies. His friends are His beloved. These are they whom He loves and who now love Him, and to whom He has given the clearest demonstration of His love.

It is these whom He invites to feast with Him. He Himself is the Bread and Wine of life. The more we eat and drink of Him, the better we will feel, the more holy we shall be, and the more strength we shall have. And please note the word, “abundantly.” It speaks of plenteousness. Of Him we can never partake too richly. The more we eat and drink the more we enjoy Him, and the more our life and love increase toward Him.

Shall we then be content with spare provisions and small pickings when He invites us to partake abundantly? Christ is no niggardly feast. A figure of Him is seen in the rich provision of Solomon’s table in 1 Kings 4:22-23. What a privilege it is to be His and to sit at such a table of bountiful love. May the Lord give us relish and appetite for such a holy and satisfying feast.

How sweet and holy is the place
With Christ within the doors,
Where everlasting love displays
The choicest of her stores!

While all our hearts and all our songs
Join to admire the feast
Each of us cries with thankful tongue,
“Lord! why am I a guest?”

Twas the same love that spread the feast,
That sweetly forced us in:
Else we had still refused to taste,
And perished in our sin.

Isaac Watts