This chapter opens with Christ speaking to His Bride, the Church; and His words are still replete with warm expressions of love as she returns to Him, for there is no change in Him! Having loved His own people which are in the world, He loves them to the end (John 13:1). Here is a new name by which the Savior is pleased to distinguish His Bride, for He calls her a “prince’s daughter!” Perhaps this is an allusion to the 45th Psalm, where the Church is called the “King’s daughter” (Ps. 45:10-16). The Church, and every individual within the Church, is made a child of God, both by adoption and by grace (John 1:12-13). She is the daughter of the King of kings, and the everlasting Father; and she is given to His Son as “the Bride, the Lamb’s wife.” She is both royal and beautiful. “The King’s daughter is all glorious within!” (Ps. 45:10-15) “Ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor. 6:18). How precious was that word which was spoken by the Lord Jesus, during His earthly ministry, to the poor woman who came behind Him trembling: “Daughter, be of good comfort!” (Luke 8:48) How wonderful to be acknowledged in such a relationship! How we ought to glory in such a relationship! For what does the charter of adoption into the Lord’s family not include? What are the sons and daughters of the Most High God not entitled to? “If children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ!” We shall “inherit all things.” “All are yours, and ye are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom,” “O prince’s daughter,” for He “hath called you unto his kingdom and glory!” (Luke 12:32; 1 Thess. 2:12)
It is somewhat remarkable that the Bride described the loveliness of Christ under ten different particular points, in chapter 5:10-16, and that the Lord Jesus thought it proper to celebrate the beauty of His Church by taking exactly the same number of points to dwell upon. Some of these features are very plain and expressive. By the feet of the Church, no doubt, He intended to refer to the faithful ministers of His Gospel; their feet upon the mountains are said to be beautiful, in their publishing of peace (Isa. 52:7). The Bride’s head being like Mount Carmel suggests the height of the Church’s union with Christ, for she is exalted indeed! He is the Head of His Body, and He fills all in all (Eph. 1:23). By the King being “held in the galleries,” (verse 5), we understand how closely Jesus is connected to His Church. When she lays hold of Christ in the galleries of His ordinances, His promises, or His Covenant-engagements, she will detain Him and not let Him go!
The comparison that Jesus makes between the palm tree and the Church is uncommonly beautiful and striking! In fruitfulness, the Church resembles the palm tree, as well as in height and verdure – for it is an evergreen. It is exceedingly prolific, and so is the Church. Most elegantly and truly does the Psalmist speak of God’s people in allusion to this tree, when he says, “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree, he shall grow like the cedar in Lebanon” (Ps. 92:12).
It is impossible to consider Jesus’ love, despite the undeserving merits of the Church, without being struck with astonishment at the contemplation of the unsearchable riches of His grace! After hearing these loving words from her Savior, the Bride rejoices again in light of the consciousness that she belongs to Him! And here she adds a delightful consideration to that consciousness – namely, that the desire of her Lord is toward her (verse 10). And indeed, of all subjects in redemption, this – which is one of the highest – is the plainest and most evident. If Christ had not desired the Church for His Bride, He would never have given Himself for her. If He had not desired her, He would never have bought her with such a vast price. He endured the cross because of His zeal to His Father’s honor in His Bride’s salvation!
The Bride follows up that sweet truth in verse 10 by putting forth an invitation to Christ (verse 11). He had previously invited her to arise and go with Him (chapter 2:10); and now, in return, she invites her Savior to come with her and “go forth into the field.” “The field” represents the Scriptures. The Bride invites Christ to go forth in the study of the Word with her; for without His gracious instruction by His Holy Spirit, she cannot read it profitably. She desires her Lord Jesus to “lodge in the villages” – that is, to dwell in private communion and fellowship with His people. “Let us get up early to the vineyards,” she says – meaning, “Let us go up early to the public assembly of the faithful ones.” In the Word, in sweet private communion, and in public worship, the Bride tells her Lord how much and how greatly she loves Him.
Let us pray for grace to imitate the Bride in this most lovely employment! Wherever we are, and however we are engaged – whether we are in the Church or in the house, in the field or in the city, at home or abroad – let us invite the Lord Jesus to be always with us! When He is in our midst, then surely we may promise as the Bride did, “I will give thee my love!”
Thank You, Lord, for Your amazing love toward us, by calling us Your own royal sons and beautiful daughters, who are heirs of Your grace! Amen.
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