"Eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved." (Song 5:1 KJV)
I'm not much on resolutions. I do want to steady into habits, grow in areas, and spend my time well with family and friends. While doing research for my doctorate, I read this section below from Spurgeon on the Song of Solomon and I thought, "That's a great aim for 2024." Enjoy Christ more! Every Christian can get in on this.
Here's how Spurgeon closed a short sermon/meditation on Song 5:1 while he was gathered with a few friends in Mentone, France. He interpreted the verse above as Jesus calling us into enjoyment of him:
If we have already enjoyed happy fellowship with him, the Lord Jesus calls upon us to be still more happy. Though we may say that we have eaten, he will again say, “Eat, O friends!” He presses you to renew, repeat, and increase your participation with him. It is true we have drunk out of the chalice of his love, but he again invites us, saying, “Drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved!” Of other wines, it would be ill to say, “Drink abundantly.” But of this wine, the Lord says, with an emphasis, “Drink abundantly, O beloved!” Oh, for grace to renew all former enjoyments with greater zest, and deeper intensity! It has been sweet even to taste and sip, what must it be to eat and drink abundantly?
Must it not mean that, though we know the Lord Jesus, we should try to know more of him, yea, to know all that can be known of that love which surpasses knowledge? Should we not labor to realize more of him, taking in the whole truth concerning his person and love by meditation, contemplation, understanding, and reverent simplicity? Let nothing lie by—let us eat and drink all the stores of the banquet of love.
As the mouth with which we eat is faith, does not the Savior seem to cry, “Believe on me. Trust me. Confide in me abundantly”? Eat and drink with a large appetite, by receiving into your heart’s belief all that can be received. Oh, for grace to appropriate a whole Christ, and all the love, the grace, the glory that is laid up in him!
Does it not also mean—have greater enjoyment of divine things? Partake of them without stint. Do not restrict yourself as though you could go too far in feeding upon the Lord Jesus. Do not be afraid of being too happy in the Lord, or of being too sure of his salvation, or of having too much assurance, or too much devout emotion. Dread not the excitements which come from fellowship with Christ. Do not believe that the love of Jesus can be too powerfully felt in the soul. Permit the full sweep and current of holy joy in the Lord to carry you away—it will be safe to yield to it. “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again, I say, Rejoice.”
Beloved, let us now take our fill of Christ. Since we believe, let us believe more unreservedly. If we enjoy, let us enjoy more thoroughly. If we have life, let us have it more abundantly. In this case, we may eat, and our soul shall live, we may drink, and not only forget our misery, but drink again, and enter into bliss. Our Lord beckons us from the shore to the sea. He calls us from the lower seat to come up higher. He would have us gladder, stronger, fuller, holier. He presses the provisions of his love upon us, like a host whose joy lies in seeing all his guests feasting. Do not hold back. Be not satisfied with little believing, and scant enjoying, and cool feeling, but let us enter fully into the joy of our Lord.
True, we are unworthy, but he invites us. We shall be wise to yield to his loving pressure. We may not have such another feast just yet, and possibly we may have to go for forty days into the wilderness, on the strength of this meal, so let us keep the feast heartily. Our Lord, in his invitation, challenges our friendship and our love. He says—“Eat, O friends!” Prove yourselves friends by being free at his table. “Drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved!” If this is his way of testing us, let us not be slow in accepting it. Let us show our love by joying in him as he joys in us.
- C. H. Spurgeon, “Love Joying in Love,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 33 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1887), 51–52.
So how will you drink deeply, eat your fill, and wear your spiritual stretchy pants and enjoy the goodness of Jesus?
- Commit to regular intake of the Scriptures. Reading, audio, etc. Check out reading plans.
- Meditate on the word. Connect what you are reading to the glory of Jesus. Think on him and you'll enjoy him. Contemplate Christ.
- Let your Bible intake become a launching point for prayer. Keep the conversation going. Talk with him and enjoy him.
- Sit in the four Gospels. Check out The Life of Jesus in 30 days from Trevin Wax.
- Read books about Jesus:
- The Glory of Christ by John Owen
- Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ by John Piper
- Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund
- Jesus on Every Page by David Murray
- The Biblical Trinity by Brandon Smith
- Friendship with the Friend of Sinners by Jared Wilson
- The Lord of Psalm 23 by David Gibson
- The Person of Christ: An Introduction by Stephen Wellum
- Christ Crucified by Donald Macleod
- The Crucifixion by Fleming Rutledge
- Or my first book, Gospel Formed.
- Sing to Jesus. Sing in Church—don't mouth along, but belt out to him. Sing in the car, your home, and let your heart drink from a portable hymnal on your phone. Here's a new list of songs I enjoy:
Let's enjoy Jesus more and more. Eat and drink. Read and think. Sing and contemplate. And let's do it all as Song 5:1 says—abundantly!