The only oasis amid barren deserts!
(J. C. Ryle, "The Lord's Garden")
"A garden enclosed is My sister, My bride."
(Song of Solomon 4:12)
Jesus calls His people a garden, because they
are altogether different from the men of the world.
The world is a wilderness--it brings forth little but
thorns and thistles--it is fruitful in nothing but sin.
The children of this world are an untilled wilderness
in God's sight. With all their . . .
arts and sciences,
intellect and skill,
eloquence and statesmanship,
poetry and refinement,
--with all this, they are a wilderness--barren of
repentance, faith, holiness, and obedience to God.
Jesus' believing people are the only green spot on
the earth--the only oasis amid barren deserts!
They are His garden.
He calls them His garden, because they are sweet
and beautiful to His mind! Believers are vile in their
own eyes, and feel themselves to be miserable sinners.
Yet Jesus says, "You are all beautiful! Sweet is your
voice! Your countenance is lovely!"
Oh, the depths! It sounds incomprehensible
and almost incredible--but it is true!
Be sure to read Ryle's very comforting sermon,
"The Lord's Garden"--simply outstanding!