The Gospel Flowers in Proverbs

WE HAVE always known, or at least, have been taught, that the Old Testament points to the New and that all books in the Old point to Jesus. 

I wonder how many busy Christians today spend serious time in the Old. And if we do, in which books. I know we do use the Book of Psalms for responsive reading in our worship, and (occasionally?) seek for comfort and assurance from it or from the Book of Proverbs. But do we actively look for Jesus there in the Old?

Erik Raymond, an American pastor wrote on 23 May in the Gospel Coalition a delightful article sharing his experience in his journey through the Book of Proverbs. He says he began to “see and smell the gospel flowers in full bloom” and he “heard the chirping birds and their songs of deliverance.” 

Let me share just a few of his experiences with you.

Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. (Pro 11:4)
Our chief need is not to accumulate wealth but to overcome our infinite debt of unrighteousness. Christ Jesus is our everlasting righteousness despite our sin-laden depravity.

One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth (Pro 13:7)
In our sin, we pretend and perform like we have or are something. The truth is, we are weak, helpless, and broken. Though He was rich, Christ the King left the throne of heaven to be a weak, poor, humble servant that He might make poor sinners like us rich in him.

Fools mock at the guilt offering, but the upright enjoy acceptance (Pro 14:9)
The word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. But it is by God’s sovereign grace that we can now see that Christ Jesus has become our guilt offering. In his body, He bore our guilt and shame so that we now enjoy acceptance.

I remember the song, Jesus, Rose of Sharon, written by Ida Guirey. Some of the words are: 

Jesus, Rose of Sharon, bloom within my heart / Beauties of Thy truth and holiness impart / That where’er I go my life may shed abroad / Fragrance of the knowledge of the love of God
And the first four lines of the refrain are:

Jesus, Rose of Sharon / Bloom in radiance and in love within my heart / Jesus, Rose of Sharon, sweeter far to see / Than the fairest flow’rs of earth could ever be.

Pastor Robert Chew