How fun we get to go down into the beds of spices today, as this is the bet verse of the sixth chapter, or the second verse of the sixth chapter of the Song of Solomon, which is the case that letter bet has to do with understanding, but also with very much with our identity. And so it's really cool that in this particular verse, as you recall, to go back in the story, what had happened was, you know, the daughters of Jerusalem had just asked, you know, where are we going to find your beloved? And in spite of the fact that she went about the city and all these different places looking for him, she now recalls where he said he would be.
As you remember, the very beginning of the fifth chapter, which the sixth chapter is very much an extension of the fifth chapter, he told her where he was going to be, right? I've come into my garden, right? And so here, and I've gathered my myrrh with my spice and all that. It's all right back here. So she goes and realizes, oh, my goodness, he's been in my heart the whole time.
In his own way. It's absolutely beautiful. So I'll read it in English. It says, My beloved has gone down into his garden to the beds of spices to feed in the gardens and to gather lilies. And so here you have a beautiful, amazing understanding of the church. Okay, because this is not only your heart, but it is also the church to a great extent. And so we're getting three different aspects of what our heart should be, what the church should be. And so you can't help but put this together that that's this is what the garden was originally supposed to be on what God had in mind, right? Was communion.
That's all. It's exactly what the church is supposed to be communion and is exactly what the garden is supposed to be and is exactly what our heart is supposed to be in all three cases. And so when we get that we get it in three beautiful different places. The first one is in the beds.
And don't miss that in the beds. Because remember, behold his bed, you know, bed is brought out throughout this entire book, and it is so much a place of communion of deep intimacy of a place where fruit can become about right. And so here we have beds of spices.
And and that idea of spices I really dealt dug deep into that this morning, as I never have before I've thought about, you know, what are the spices and the first spice that's used in almost anything that you would make is salt. And certainly it was used in all the offerings and it's very, very much a big part of the culture. And it's a huge insight I feel into what Jesus is doing and what he's looking for in his church. And which, by the way, that's both Matthew, Henry and Rashi both agreed. Of course, Rashi said this is this this is the temple. But, you know, and obviously Matthew Henry referred to it as a church.
And I think it's all the above, clearly. And it's also our heart. But when it comes to spices, the first one is salt. And when you think about salt, obviously Jesus talked about it a lot.
But it really is a picture in so many different ways of hospitality. People would share salt and neighbors would eat salt together. And it was certainly part of all the offerings right there. They were salted with salt. And, you know, when you think about that, it's fascinating to know when you look at the word salt, it is very much a kingdom word. In fact, it starts with a mem and a lamed, which I don't mean to confuse anybody by the Hebrew.
But what those two letters when you hear the word Malik, which means king. So when you when you put a mem and a lamed together, you get this idea of a royal thing. And salt is certainly a royal thing. So why was Lot's wife turned into a pillar of it? What's up with the Dead Sea?
Why is it, you know, because it seems like, you know, there's something going on there. So I studied this a lot this morning and like what is behind that and saw that there is in the Midrash. And again, this is not, you know, scripture, so to speak, but I think it's good information and something to ponder that Sodom was known for its in hospitality, where Abraham was known for his hospitality.
And when you think about the story of Lot and the angels that they came in and obviously the people of Sodom were very inhospitable to them. But Lot was trying to be hospitable to him like he'd learned from his uncle. Abraham was known to be the most hospitable person.
And what a what a picture of the father that he would be. But he would always open his tent to others. And interestingly, you know, one of the spices that were that was mentioned here is the root of the word tent. OK, but anyway, getting back to the story of Lot's wife. So as Sodom was known as a place of great in hospitality, you can't help but note that it's interesting that in the Midrash, Lot's wife was a Sodomite, according to what they said, the legend, you know, or whatever you want to put that, and that she despised her husband's hospitality. Well, one of the big ideas here is that obviously salt is a picture of hospitality. So he took what little salt she had in her and made her into a pillar like an image of here's the problem with Sodom.
Here's the problem with Lot's wife is when she looked back on Sodom on how they treated others horribly. You know, this is a picture of they needed to be salted. OK, they were rotten. And so they're made they're made pure with hospitality. And what a neat thing to think of the church as having salt, as developing a taste, right, as making people want more of this taste of the word of God. And so, you know, what a neat thing when you think about the first spice being salt. But the other spices that are mentioned, you know, when they talk about.
In the fourth chapter, where he goes into Calamus and cinnamon and and and campfire. Well, if you listen to all three of those, they all start with a C. And the reason is, is that they they have that letter cuff in and and the original language. I find it fascinating that all three feature that letter cuff, which has to do with being close in proximity to one another, which has everything to do with the church and has everything to do with, by the way, we've been doing this to think about statutes, which is a hat and a cuff. And so when we take that cuff and this idea of proximity and closeness and it is the first letter in all three of those spices. I don't think that's a coincidence because the idea of the church is where two or more gathered.
Right. I mean, it is communion and where people come together. And in both cinnamon and Calamus, the second letter is a nun, which has to do with faith. And so, you know, you have this idea of communing in faith that is very much a bed of spices. I mean, how beautiful is that to think about?
Wow. Our churches need to be and our hearts need to be a bed of hospitality and spices in a place of communing with both God and others. And that's very much a statute.
I mean, you can't help but see it. So moving on to the second thing that's mentioned. So he came into the beds of spices and then to feed in the gardens. Well, that word feed is the exact same word as to shepherd in the gardens. And so when you think about him shepherding in the gardens, you can't help but think of the twenty third Psalm. Right. And where Jesus is there once again to lead his sheep and to, you know, all that's talked about in the first chapter, second chapter.
In other words, we know that he is all about being the good shepherd and feeding us and making us lay down in green pastures and all those. And then I love, love, love the last one when it says he gathers lilies. Well, to gather is to be chosen.
Right. And to be picked like, you know, being in the pick line and to be picked as a worshipper because that word lily is a shin and above and a shin. And those letters, when you put them together, that's worship. OK. And when you look at the lily, you can certainly see it's worshipping. And so here's this idea, of course, that Jews translate that word rose. But whether it's a rose or a lily, it still says the same thing. It's a flower that is saying, I want to be pollinated. Oh, a flower is meant there to produce fruit. I mean, that's what it's for. But it's also showing how much it is open to communion.
Right. It's what is wanting. It's wanting communion from the only one that can make us fruitful.
And apart from us, we can do apart from him, we can do nothing. But the way that we do that is through worship. And so you when you see this place of deep communing and shepherding and worship. And again, you get this picture of where Jesus where you can find him and you can find him in church and you can find him in community and you can find him in your heart. And this is where she tells, you know, the daughters of Jerusalem that we can find our beloved. So how about you?
You know, you know, what does that look like? Well, I am so delighted to have so many different wonderful communities. I mean, I have a band of brothers.
It's just off the hook. Wonderful. And as you may know, you know, I spent the week fishing with that band of brothers, but I came back. And then in our neighborhood, we also have a Bible study. And we watch this video this week, actually, on Sunday amongst a group of believers. And as I listen to them, you know, just talking about their love life with Jesus.
I mean, it was just amazing each of their prayer lives and all these different there. You know, four or five, six couples at times that we just share life together. And it's just it's a sense when you're there of deep communion, like they really care about my family. And I really care about their family. And we've lived life together for some time in the same neighborhood.
I mean, it's pretty neat to be in the same neighborhood. Obviously, we share salt. And by the way, we all brought desserts which featured salt and all sorts of spices.
Calamus and cinnamon and saffron anyway. You know, it's a very, very neat thing that when you, you know, sit down with your neighbors, you break bread with your neighbors, especially in a Bible study or something that comes under the heading of Jesus. And you pray together. Oh, my goodness.
I mean, it's like a picture of heaven. I hope you have that in your life many times this week. And I hope you spend time thinking about the garden where we know Jesus is right. He's in the beds of spices. He's shepherding. And we know that he's gathering lilies. You're his first pick when you worship. Thanks for listening.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-23 09:12:10 / 2022-12-23 09:17:01 / 5