The Song of Solomon is a love song: it describes in beautiful words and word pictures the mutual love between Christ and the believer. One of the most beautiful things about this love is its mutuality. It is always two-way. Christ loves the believer, and the believer loves Christ. This does not mean that this love is equally strong on both sides, because it never is, and cannot be. From its very beginning it was not evenly balanced. We are actually told what it was like in its very beginnings. In 1 John 4:19.we read, “We love Him, because He first loved us”. That is a wonderful source of assurance to us, because His love is enduring and not dependent on our love. In fact our love for Him is always a reaction to His love for us, and we are often overwhelmed by it.
This comes out, for example, in Song of Solomon chapter 2, verse 4: “He brought me to the banqueting house, and His banner over me was love”. As a sinner, this believer would have been eternally grateful for the forgiveness of all her sins, but she is now saying that Christ has gone away beyond this in His love for her. He has brought her to a banqueting house. Few of us have experienced a real banquet where the table is laden with the best of everything, no expense spared. This believer feels that Christ has brought her to a gospel banquet, where the table is laden with blessings. We are certainly not reading too much into this when we say that she is humbled by His generosity, and her heart is filled with love for Him. She could say with the Psalmist, “You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies. My cup is running over” (Psalm 23:5). Her love is in response to His great love, and that is the way it always is, and probably will be for all eternity. Let us look briefly at some of the blessings on this gospel table.
There is, above all the forgiveness of all our sins, past, present and future. This forgiveness is more than just a bare forgiveness. It is what we call a justifying salvation. God’s justice has been fully satisfied by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross to the extent that further charges would be unjust, even on the part of God Himself. “There is now therefore no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). It is as if you sat down at the banquet table at the place reserved for you, and on the name card it says your name with the words added, “NO CONDEMNATION”, declaring that you are as RightWithGod as it is possible for you to be. Truly, His banner over us is love.
Then there is adoption into the family of God. We become children of God by adoption the moment we are saved, “Heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8: 17). Paul tells us the wonderful final purpose of this. It is that Christ “might be the firstborn among many brethren”. Why all this for undeserving sinners? There is only one answer: His banner over us is love.
There are many more blessings on this table, but we shall take just one more: sanctification; that is, being made holy. We tend to look on sanctification as a great burden on us, but it is in fact a blessing. It is God working in us by His holy Spirit to make us more like Christ. God will progress and finish that work. Indeed it is already purchased for us by Christ. It will happen. It is guaranteed to everyone who is saved. God puts in us the desire to be holy. He creates in us a strong urge to be holy like Christ Himself: “Every man that has this hope in Him purifies himself, even as He (Christ) is pure” (1 John 3: 3). His great love for us makes us long to be like Him.
Let us feed at His table continually, enjoying the inexhaustible blessings of His word, remembering that His banner over us is love.