Tuesday, October 08, 2013

the beams of our house

Whilst away in one of our other congregations elsewhere in the Highlands I heard a precious sermon on a text that is not expounded as frequently as others. The following are not the words that were used but simply a paraphrase in recollecting the drift of some of the things that were expressed.

Song of Solomon 1:17  The beams of our house are cedar, and our rafters of fir

The minister emphasised that the text speaks of "our house"; something that is a shared possession. A house speaks of a mutual dwelling place for fellowship. Jacob found this at Bethel in Genesis 28. What is referred to is a spiritual house, a place for the habitation of God where He may dwell and meet with His people. Moses had to build a house for the purpose of worship and communion, it had to be built according to the pattern shown in the mount but this is a spiritual house. Hebrews 3:1-6 brings in a contrast between Christ and Moses, particularly that Christ excelled Moses in building a spiritual house.  "Whose house are we if we hold fast". This spiritual house was designed in eternity by God who built all things and built in the incarnation, life and atoning work of the Redeemer. Solomon also built a house, the house of holiness, this had beams of the cedar of Lebanon which is of course very durable. There would have been a fragrance of the wood there. Christ built a house with the beams of cedar that are the beauty and glory of Christ's work in righteousness and atonement. There is fair, carved work there that doesn't need to be gilded with paint. He is the foundation and chief corner stone. He built a house which is for the mutual communion of Himself and His people. It includes all of the means of grace in public and private, all of which are intended for the exercise of grace. We should be seeking that grace would be in exercise anytime that we engage in these means of grace. Those that sit down at the Lord's table are beholding the fabric of this house for the fellowship that they are able to enjoy at that ordinance. They can say "the beams of our house are cedar".

If you would like to read James Durham's comments on this beautiful portion of Scripture go here.