It is easy today to take a negative view over the future of the church in Britain; it isn't exactly doing well at the moment. Inside the church then errors abound, reformed truths have been cast aside and the church seems to be trying to conform more to the world than to the likeness of Christ. We're exactly like the woman in Songs of Solomon: "I slept but my heart was awake. Listen! My beloved is knocking." We hear the knock of Christ, we hear the thud of our conscience but as we stir we say: "I have taken off my robe - must I put it on again? I have washed my feet - must I soil them again?" We care, but not enough to fully wake up, we want to change but we're too lazy to put good intentions into practice, we know we're not what we should be, we're also unwilling to be more than we are.
Looking outside of the church will hardly encourage us to hope either. Our government has taken the first steps to legalizing gay marriage, not that it is surprising, we lost the battle for marriage decades ago; the tide of secularism is rising and persecution of Christians is a reality closer than we want to think. Society is falling into a type of madness only found when departing from biblical truth, good is called evil and evil good.
Yet despite the darkness of the day then we still have any reason to hope. Sure, looking upon things with the eye of sight gives us every reason to despair but the eye of sight is an uncertain, narrow, short sighted thing that has no foundation. If we look upon things with the eye of faith then we find a new picture, a sure and certain picture, and that of a God in complete control of everything.
Part of me wanted to write as the title: ‘want to know Christ more? Read the Puritans.’ It’s equally sound advice and this entire post is courtesy of the two Puritans: Richard Sibbes and John Owen and their respective books: The Love of Christ and Communion with God. If you want a love feast, if you want a rich meal of teaching on Christ’s love, if you in any way want to grasp the height, width, length and breath of Christ’s love then please, read their books.
What struck me as I read them was that when dealing with Christ and his love for believers then they both instinctively turned to The Songs of Solomon. Many of you will know this Bible book as the one about marriage, and it is, but to understand it as being about a human marriage is only a tiny, insignificant part of its full richness. Primarily, as with all Scripture, Songs of Solomon is about the marriage between Christ and his bride: the church. Using language overflowing with romantic imagery it conveys a glimpse into the deep depths of the love of Jesus Christ. As such it is medicine for any soul, soul food of the best type, and if you are troubled, weary and sorrowful then you can do no better than feasting yourselves on this book.