Your Love is Better Than Wine

“Your love is better than wine.” —Song of Solomon 1:2, Revised Standard Version

AMONG THE SYMBOLS of the Bible, wine seems to be used to represent doctrine, teachings. For instance, mystic Babylon is represented as making all nations intoxicated, befuddled, confused, with the wine from the cup she holds in her hand. (Rev. 17:2,4) This thought is corroborated by the Prophet Isaiah, who—speaking of a certain class in Israel under the symbol “the drunkards of Ephraim”—says, “They are swallowed up of wine, … they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.”—Isa. 28:1,7,9

False doctrine is misleading and confusing, causing us to err in our vision of heavenly things, and to misunderstand the kind of work the Lord requires Christians to do. In contrast, the true doctrines of the Word of God—also symbolized by wine—are enlightening and stabilizing, giving more and more of the spirit of a sound mind to those who receive them. Hence we speak of ‘the new wine’ of the kingdom—the doctrines relating to the coming kingdom of Messiah for the blessing of all the families of the earth.—Gen. 22:18

Those who have been blessed with the light of present truth, and who, prior to this probably appreciated only a few simple teachings relating to their own personal salvation, find set before them truly an abundance of doctrine. Not only do they find the fundamental truths of the divine plan, but, in addition, a very full understanding of the prophetic Word relating to world history. There is a special focus of prophecy upon the times in which we live, the transition period between the Christian dispensation and the Millennial Age. There is an understanding of the types of the Law, and other ceremonies performed by the nation of Israel. Finally there are many scriptures relating to the work of the “times of restitution.”—Acts 3:19-21

As we meet together for fellowship, how much there is to discuss relative to all these wonderful teachings of the divine plan, as well as almost daily happenings fulfilling the sure Word of prophecy! This being the case, there is a danger that the love which provided these wonderful things for the blessing, guidance, and uplifting of the Lord’s people may fail to have first place in our minds and hearts and conversation. We do well to consider our text: ‘Your love is better than wine’. Yes, it is far more important than mere head knowledge which may come to us. And so, while we can say with Paul, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” (Rom. 11:33), the love of God which provided and is carrying out every feature of the plan of salvation is more important still.

We often have been exhorted to love God more—with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. While the importance of such an attainment cannot be overemphasized, it is even more encouraging to realize God’s love for us. Jesus said, “The Father himself loveth you.” (John 16:27) And Paul reminds us that “Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.”—Eph. 5:25

When cast down or discouraged at our inability to do the things that we would, or at our failure to overcome as we feel we should have done, exhortations to seek to love God more may not be the most helpful at such a juncture. But the assurance that the Father himself loves us, and that ‘Christ loved the church’ to the extent of giving himself for her, how solacing such assurances may be! While seeking to enter into the deep philosophy contained in the divine plan of the ages, let us continually keep in mind the thought of our text: ‘Your love is better than wine’.

What joy comes to us through the love of the Father! He gave up the dearest treasure of his heart! Our Lord Jesus was not only willing to leave the glory he had with the Father, but was even willing to risk his eternal destiny by coming to earth to undertake the redemption of mankind.

This love has followed us like a continuing stream all our life long, providing us with many temporal and spiritual blessings. In due time, it drew us to seek joint-heirship with Christ, and has caused all things to work together for our good! Truly, “Thy love is better than wine. … Therefore do the virgins love thee.” (vss. 2,3) John echoes the same sentiment: “We love him [God], because he first loved us.”—I John 4:19

Dawn Bible Students Association
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