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The path

But the LORD was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the LORD
will prosper in His hand.

Isaiah 53:10 NASB

Here we face a paradox.

It was said of Jesus

… who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. - Hebrews 12:2 NASB

Part of Christ’s motivation – one of the reasons for His willingness and ability to endure the torture we remember today – was the joy set before Him.

What joy?

This verse gives us a few keys:

- the joy of pleasing the Father – of doing His will – of completing the work He came to do

- the joy of seeing His offspring – of bearing fruit – of bringing many sons to glory – of setting the prisoners of sin free

- the joy of spending all eternity at the right hand of the Father

As Jesus walked the path set before Him – this road of horror and shame – He knew most certainly that this path to death was in reality the path of life.

You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Psalms 16:11 NASB

Many Waters - SoS header

I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride;
I have gathered my myrrh along with my balsam. 

I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey; 
I have drunk my wine and my milk. 
Eat, friends; Drink and imbibe deeply, O lovers.

Song of Songs 5:1 NASB

Jesus, the creator of all things comes into the midst of His creation.

The infinite God steps into the soul of this one who has an ugly history but has been called out and washed in His wonderful blood.

Anything good in me comes from Him. He is the one who has eliminated my sketchy past. He is the one who gave me this new heart. If my heart is a garden, He gave me the land, He put up the fence, He formed the gate, He gave me a desire to plant, He gave that which is beautiful in me the ability to grow and flourish.

What can this garden offer the Lord?

Myrrh and balsam

Myrrh and balsam point to Christ’s suffering and death on the cross. Having received the life that comes from His death, our lives, our gardens are always marked by our remembrance of Him.

As we take communion, we remember His words

While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. - Matthew 26:26-28 NASB

Paul said this about his life

But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. ... From now on let no one cause trouble for me, for I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus. - Galatians 6:14, 17 NASB

So it is with our garden. The death and resurrection of Jesus are easily remembered. “And He built a tower in the middle of it” (Isaiah 5:2)

Image Credit - graphicstock.com - licensed for use
Image Credit - graphicstock.com - licensed for use

Our maiden, this “all in” believer, not only remembers the cross of her Lover, but embraces it in her own life. She takes up her cross, whatever the Master puts before her, with joy.

Honey and Wine

Honey speaks of pleasure, wine of joy. Though she bears in her body the marks of suffering, her garden blossoms with deep joy and pleasure.

You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Psalms 16:11 NASB

As the Father opens our eyes to the path He has for us to walk, though it may be the road to the cross, He does not leave us or forsake us on that path.

Get this! It’s really important. When we walk the “path of life” in communion with the Lover of our Souls, He will not leave us or forsake us. If He is with us, simply put, we are in His presence. In His presence is fullness of joy. At His right hand there are pleasures forever.

This path of life David speaks of is not ‘show me how to live so when I die I get You Lord.

No No No. More like this:

Help me walk this life in You, so I can see what You are doing and do it with You, so that I can hear what You are saying and say it too.

Sounds just like Jesus, doesn’t it? And the writer to the Hebrew believers said this of Jesus.

"YOU HAVE LOVED RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HATED LAWLESSNESS; THEREFORE GOD, YOUR GOD, HAS ANOINTED YOU WITH THE OIL OF GLADNESS ABOVE YOUR COMPANIONS." - Hebrews 1:9 NASB

(I’m not shouting – that is how the NASB does quotes from the Old Testament)

Because Jesus walked in unity with the Father, His life was marked with joy and pleasure, in spite of the suffering.

This is what He finds in the garden of His beloved.

Ben NelsonThanks for checking in today.

Be aware of the Lord’s presence today.

Ben

There are times when I hear folks talk about suffering they are dealing with, and talk as though it was a gift from Jesus for them to struggle with in this life. I hear people talk about diseases this way, and financial problems, bad jobs, even bad marriages. As if Jesus tricked you into marrying the wrong man to help you mature. Hmmm. Is this what Jesus was talking about when He promised us trouble in this life?
Let’s just look at a couple verses. I won’t even comment much today, I just want to put some Scripture out there and let them do the talking. (ok I might just do a little highlighting along the way so you don’t miss the point.

Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matt 5:10-12

They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God. (John 16:2)

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “FOR THY SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31-39)

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

Are they servants of Christ? (I speak as if insane) I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have beenon frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have beenin labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure upon me of concern for all the churches. (2 Corinthians 11:23-28)

Boy – it did me good just to read though all that scripture – How about you?
Well – all that is to say, the suffering God promises is the stuff that will be done to us by men. God promise stands sure, He will not leave us or forsake us, but He is not trying to crush us either – that would be our enemy. God is our comfort and strength, a very present help in trouble, not a very present cause of trouble.
Tell me what you think. Comment on the post or on facebook if you get stirred up reading these scriptures.
Thanks for coming today.
I remain, Ben.
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