Thou art all fair, my love. — Song 4:7
The Lord’s admiration of His Church is very astonishing, and His description of her beauty is very glowing. She is not merely beautiful but “absolutely beautiful.” He views her in Himself, washed in His sin-atoning blood, and clothed in His meritorious righteousness, and He considers her to be full of loveliness and beauty. No wonder that such is the case—since it is but His own perfect excellency that He admires; for the holiness, glory, and perfection of His Church—are His own glorious garments on the back of His own well-beloved spouse!
She is not simply pure, or well-proportioned; she is positively lovely and absolutely beautiful! She has actual merit! Her deformities of sin are removed; but more, she has, through her Lord, obtained a meritorious righteousness by which an actual beauty is conferred upon her. Believers have a positive righteousness given to them when they become “accepted in the beloved” (Eph. 1:6).
Nor is the Church barely lovely, she is superlatively so. Her Lord styles her the “most beautiful of women.” She has a real worth and excellence which cannot be rivaled by all the nobility and royalty of the world. If Jesus could exchange His elect bride for all the queens and empresses of earth, or even for the angels in heaven—He would not, for He puts her first and foremost, “most beautiful of women.” She far outshines the stars!
Nor is this an opinion which He is ashamed of, for He invites all men to hear it. He sets a “behold” before it, a special note of exclamation, inviting and arresting attention. “Behold! How beautiful you are, my beloved, how beautiful!” (Song of Sol. 4:1). His opinion He publishes abroad even now, and one day from the throne of His glory He will avow the truth of it before the assembled universe. “Come, you who are blessed by My Father” (Matt. 25:34), will be His solemn affirmation of the loveliness of His elect!
Behold, all is vanity. — Eccl 1:14
Nothing can fully satisfy a person but the Lord’s love and the Lord’s own self. Saints have tried other pursuits but they have been driven out of such fatal refuges.
Solomon, the wisest of men, was permitted to make experiments for us all, and to do for us—what we must not dare to do for ourselves. Here is his testimony in his own words, “So I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind! Nothing was gained under the sun!” “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”
What! the whole of it meaningless? O favored monarch, is there nothing in all your wealth? Nothing in that wide dominion reaching from the river even to the sea? Nothing in your glorious palaces? In all your music and dancing, and wine and luxury—is there nothing? “Nothing!” he says, “but a chasing after the wind!” This was his final verdict—when he had trodden the whole round of pleasure.
To embrace our Lord Jesus, to dwell in His love, and be fully assured of union with Him—this is all in all. Dear reader, you need not try other forms of pleasure in order to see whether they are better than the Christian’s. If you roam the world around—you will see no sights like a sight of the Savior’s face! If you could have all the comforts of life and if you lost your Savior, you would be most wretched. But if you possess Christ—though should you rot in a dungeon—you would find it a paradise! Though should you live in obscurity, or die with famine—yet you would be satisfied with the favor and goodness of the Lord!
Morning and Evening - December 2
Public domain content taken from Morning and Evening by Charles H. Spurgeon.