Luke 5:8

“When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”

Sooner or later we come to a point where we see how weak or small we are. The evidences are myriad and can range from breathtaking natural vistas, such as the Grand Canyon in the US, the Outback of Australia, or the Alps of Europe to an immense invention of man, such as the Empire State Building, the Eifel Tower, or the Petronas Twin Towers.

As recorded by Luke, Peter was one day confronted with the awesome power of God. The touch of the LORD came to the place in Peter’s life where he felt he was strongest: his profession of fishing. He and his fellow fishermen, including James and John, had just spent the night working. The night proved to be fruitless. In the morning, they put away their tools and cleaned the nets. Perhaps the next night would be better.

Jesus selected Peter’s boat as the place from which He taught the crowd about the things of God. After teaching, He told Peter to let down his nets for a draught. Peter replied, perhaps reluctantly, that he would let down a net. Regardless of his half-hearted obedience, the LORD Jesus provided a catch of fish that was so large that the net broke, and two ships were filled almost to sinking.

This is where the above verse comes in. When he saw the size of the catch, Peter was astonished. And his response was to fall down at Jesus’ knees. And, he requested that Jesus depart from him. The reason for his reaction and request was Peter realized that he was a sinful man, and not worthy to be in the presence of Jesus. At that moment Peter realized how small, weak and sinful he was.

Isaiah, too, had an encounter with God. In Isaiah 6:1-5 we read, “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” His reaction was similar to Peter’s. He realized his sinfulness, and declared himself to be undone.

And John saw the LORD, as recorded in Revelation 1:12-17. “And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not…” John fell at His feet as dead. He, too, realized his smallness, weakness, and sinfulness before Almighty God. And, Jesus told him not to fear!

On these occasions John, Isaiah, and Peter were overwhelmed by the vision of God they were given. Thankfully for Peter, Jesus didn’t depart. He rather told Peter, “… Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.” (Luke 5:10). The rest of the New Testament speaks often of Peter and what he did for the Lord. He even wrote two of the books in the New Testament. In fact, in each case the Lord gave them something to do for Him. Isaiah brought a message to Israel, recorded in the book with his name. And John reported the details of the end of the age.

When we are confronted with our smallness, weakness, and sinfulness the LORD tells us to not fear. And in it we should look to Him for what He would have us to do for Him. Like Isaiah said after his vision, “Here am I; send me.”

Jesus! what a Friend for sinners!
Jesus! Lover of my soul;
Friends may fail me, foes assail me,
He, my Savior, makes me whole.


Hallelujah! what a Savior!
Hallelujah! what a friend!
Saving, helping, keeping, loving,
He is with me to the end.

Jesus! what a strength in weakness!
Let me hide myself in Him.
Tempted, tried, and sometimes failing,
He, my strength, my victory wins.


Jesus! what a help in sorrow!
While the billows over me roll,
Even when my heart is breaking,
He, my comfort, helps my soul.


Jesus! what a guide and keeper!
While the tempest still is high,
Storms about me, night overtakes me,
He, my pilot, hears my cry.


Jesus! I do now receive Him,
More than all in Him I find.
He hath granted me forgiveness,
I am His, and He is mine.

Refrain (J. Wilbur Chapman)

Song of Solomon 5:16

“His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.”

Song of Solomon is one of the more mysterious books in the Bible. Some wonder why it is even in the Bible. But God in His wisdom has included it, so there is surely much that can be learned from it. One theme is married love. Parts of the book relate conversation between the husband and wife, while other parts are things they said about each other. She called him her beloved. Every time the word “beloved” is used in this book, the woman is speaking of her husband.

The Bible teaches that the church is the bride of Christ. In his teaching about marriage in Ephesians 5:32, Paul said, “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” The marriage relationship is a picture of the relationship between Christ and the church. So, the verse above provides things that the church, the bride, should say about her husband, who is Christ.

First, she said that his mouth is most sweet. That is to say, the things that come out of His mouth are sweet. For His bride, the Husband has nothing but kind and sweet words. He is not against her in what He says, but for her. And, His mouth is full of praise for His bride. This is how the Lord Jesus Christ speaks about His bride. As the bride perceived that her husband’s mouth is sweet, so the church can say the same about Jesus. He has paid the price of His life to win her. His love for her is unending. Not only are His words sweet towards her, they are sweet, or good, for her. Quoting from Deuteronomy 8:3, Jesus said in Luke 4:4, “…It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” His mouth is sweet and kind, and what He says is good for us. It is life to us.

The bride said that her Husband is altogether lovely. It could also be translated that she saw him as all delights. What a wonderful view she had of her husband. How much she adored him and loved him. Song of Solomon reveals her devotion to him, even searching for him in the city in which they lived. So it should be with the church for her Husband. His unparalleled sacrifice for the church puts Him at the pinnacle of loveliness. His love and care in that one event is glorious. He also promises to never leave us nor forsake us. The great occupation of the church ought to be in seeking out her Husband, desiring to be with Him at all times. He never leaves us, but our hearts often stray to other attractions. He is the only thing that really is altogether lovely.

In the verse above, the bride said that her beloved is her friend. In John 15:14, 15 Jesus said, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” As Proverbs 18:24 says, “…there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Again, Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loveth at all times…” And, Jesus said in John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” As the song goes, Jesus is the friend of sinners. And what greater friend could anyone have?

Consider what it is Jesus has done for His people. Philippians 2:6-11 tells us, “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” God has and will again exalt the Lord Jesus Christ, above all.

Isn’t the LORD Jesus Christ altogether lovely? Is His mouth sweet to us? Are we His friend?

Altogether lovely,
He is altogether lovely,
And the fairest of ten thousand,
This wonderful Friend divine;
He gave Himself to save me,
Now He lives in heav’n to keep me,
He is altogether lovely,
Is this wonderful Savior of mine. (Wendell P. Loveless)