As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight…
I. THE WAY OF RELIEF FOR POOR SINNERS, UNDER ALL SCORCHINGS TO WHICH THEY ARE EXPOSED, IS TO SIT DOWN IN, AND BY FAITH TO REPOSE THEMSELVES UNDER CHRIST'S SHADOW.
1. Show what need sinners have of a shadow to cover them. The world is turned a hot country all over to the sons of fallen Adam, witness the spiritual blackness upon all faces (Amos 9:7). Adam's fall has changed the temperature of the air which we breathe. God Himself, the sun of the world, whose influences were enlightening, cheering, comforting and warming to innocent men, is become a consuming, fire to the workers of iniquity.
2. Show how Christ became a shadow for poor stoners in this ease.
(1) He was fitted to afford a shadow from that heat, by His assuming our nature, in that He being God was incarnate and became man. Good news to poor sinners in this weary land. There is a root sprung out of the dry ground, and it is become a tree of life; the name of it is the tree of life; and it casts a shadow, a defence, for guilty creatures under it, from the heat of wrath from Heaven.
(2) He actually affords a shadow for needy sinners by virtue of His complete satisfaction to law and justice.
(a) He received all the scorching beams of wrath on Himself, that so He might keep them from His people.
(b) He exhausted them. He drank the cup of wrath from the brim to the bottom.
(c) And now through Him, the comfortable influences of Heaven are bestowed and conveyed to those under His shadow, through Him as the channel of conveyance.
(3) He is by Divine appointment made a public shadow for all the inhabitants of the weary land; so that it is lawful for them and every one of them to come in by faith and take shelter under, it, whatever they are or have been.
3. Show what it is to sit down under Christ's shadow. It is the soul fleeing to Jesus Christ for a refuge, coming unto Him on the call of the Gospel, and receiving Him and uniting with Him by believing on His name. And this notion of faith bears,
(1) The soul being sensibly scorched and uneasy in itself. Though all may, yet none will come under Christ's shadow but sensible sinners.
(2) That the soul finds no shadow anywhere else.
(3) A discovery of Christ's shadow to the poor outcast that can get lodging nowhere else.
(4) It imports that the soul goes under Christ's shadow for shelter and rest. This is the renouncing of all other refuges, and betaking oneself to the covert of blood alone.
(5) It imports the soul abiding under Christ's shadow.
II. CHRIST'S FRUIT RELISHETH WELL WITH THOSE WHO, BY FAITH, SIT DOWN UNDER HIS SHADOW.
1. Show some things imported in this doctrine.
(1) It imports that there is in Christ Jesus a suitable fulness for the soul.
(2) They must put themselves under the covert of His blood and righteousness, who would partake of His fruits.
(3) Those to whom Christ is a shadow and defence from the wrath of God and curse of the law He also feeds. There is no separating of the justifying blood and sanctifying Spirit.
(4) When we sit down under Christ's shadow by faith, it corrects the vitiated taste, cools the distempered heat of the soul, and brings it to a holy temperature; so as spiritual things which before were tasteless as the white of an egg, become sweet to their taste.
(5) Faith, trust, and confidence, in the Lord Jesus Christ, produce sweet experiences at length of the Lord's goodness to the soul. This is the way the soul sucks the sweet and nourishment out of the precious promises, while unbelief as it expects nothing from Him, gets as little.
2. Show what are Christ's fruits which are so sweet to the taste of those that sit under His shadow. These are all the benefits, privileges, graces, comforts, and fulness of the covenant, making His people happy here and hereafter.
(1) There is an inexhaustible fulness of them that will serve to feed all the saints, in time and through all the ages of eternity. Therefore they are called the unsearchable riches of Christ (Ephesians 3:8).
(2) There is a variety of them, suited to all the possible cases of those that are under Christ's shadow.
3. Show why Christ's fruit relisheth so well with those who by faith do partake of it.
(1) Because it is suitable to their case, which drove them under Christ's shadow.
(2) Because this fruit is proper food for their new nature.
(3) Because the real experience of Christ's fruits communicated to the soul, always leaves a sweet relish of them behind it.
(T. Boston, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.