“His mouth is most sweet….” Who may measure the sweetness which flows from the mouth of our dear Savior?! What a boundless metaphor of the beauty and distinguishing character of Him who is Altogether Lovely! He opens His mouth and endless rivers of salvation, comfort, and assurance pour forth in resplendent beauty. He but speaks and the winds and waves of this life’s trials obey His omnipotent voice. He whispers sweet words of peace and our troubled souls are afforded refuge in the midst of storms. Indeed, the words of his mouth are most sweet!
Consider the posit of ancient Job, who suffered such overwhelming sorrow as few in this life have known: “Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12). How often are we caught up in circumstances that press hard upon us and find ourselves exhausted by the seeming “necessities” of those circumstances? Isn’t it remarkable how easily we leave off the reading and meditation of our Lord’s Word in such trials? Notice that Job, though pressed upon to the extreme, is careful to avoid retreating from the commandment of Christ’s lips. He even considers the “words of His mouth” of more necessity to him than the daily food which sustains his physical body. How precious and comforting are His gracious words in the midst of the trials of life. His mouth is exceedingly sweet!
Consider the kind assurances of the Gospel as spoken from the lips of our Savior: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Mt. 11:28-30). Have sweeter words ever been spoken?
How burdensome and wearying life can be at times. Who of us have not labored under the weighty load of failing personal health or the suffering of those whom we love? What family has not been troubled in some way by strained relationships, or even been crushed by the sad effects of divorce and separation? Who has not, at times, faced financial difficulties that stretch us to the point of breaking? Who among us does not labor under the burden of loved ones who know not Christ in the free pardon and forgiveness of their sins? Hear the sweet words from the mouth of our dear Savior “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Rest, saith He? Does He somehow magically cause the trial and difficulty to disappear? No. But He gives us rest. Rest in the midst of trials. Rest under the load of burden. Rest in the midst of sorrow.
This idea of rest in the midst of turmoil seems a foreign concept in our “therapeutic” culture. To most, rest is the absence of labor, the absence of trial, the absence of difficulty. But this is not compatible with the concept of rest in Scripture. The rest which Christ here speaks of is a different kind of rest, a rest that is deep and abiding, and a rest that is possible even when we are sorely pressed upon by the trials of life.
It is a rest and a peace that, once we have laid hold upon it, can never be taken away from us, regardless of our circumstances. It is that rest which takes refuge in the fact that every circumstance of our lives comes to us by the hand of our good God. It is that rest that finds comfort in every Providence of our Lord, knowing that He is causing even the difficult things in life to work together for our ultimate good (Ro. 8:28). It is that rest which is content in every situation because we hold fast to the promise that Christ will never, never leave nor forsake us (He. 13:5).
It is that rest which by faith is convinced that God is for us, therefore there is nothing or no one who can be against us (Ro. 8:31). It is that rest which assures us that we cannot be condemned because God has justified us and Christ intercedes for us (Ro. 8:32-34). It is that rest which understands that neither tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or want, or danger, or even death can separate us from the love of God, for we are more than conquerors in all these things because we are loved by Jesus Christ (Ro. 8:35-39). “I will give you rest.” How sweet are the words from the mouth of our dear Bride-Groom.
How then do we find such rest? Again the sweet mouth of Jesus does not leave our question unanswered. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” The students of rabbis in Christ’s day were said to “take the yoke” of their teacher “upon them” when they came to sit and learn at his feet.
How may we find rest for our souls? This is a paradox, for Christ says we find rest when we take the “burden” of His “yoke” upon us. We find this rest as we sit and learn at Jesus feet. We listen to the sweetness of the words of His mouth and we meditate upon them until His commandments and promises become our meat and our drink. In doing so we find that, compared to the merciless yoke (burden) of sin, Jesus’ yoke is easy! In the end, it is by taking the yoke of Christ upon us and learning of Him that we find rest for our souls.
Sometimes I feel that all I ever needed to know to love Christ and live for Him I learned while I was yet a child. In a certain sense, it seems that the simplest spiritual lessons are the most profound. To demonstrate what I mean, I leave you with the simple (yet profound) verse of a song that I learned as a child on my father’s knee:
I’ve found my Lord and He is mine;
He won me by His love.
I’ll serve Him all my years of time,
And dwell with Him above.
His yoke is easy, His burden is light,
I’ve found it so, I’ve found it so.
His service is my sweetest delight,
His blessings ever flow.
“His mouth is most sweet…..”
A glad debtor to God’s grace,