Introduction to the Song of Songs
Songs songs is a unique document it is one of the Megillot scrolls, found in the last section the old testament is of the Hebrew Bible and is it part of Proverbs Ecclesiastes and other wisdom books. The picture in this writing, is regarded as a romance a story between God and Israelite people; between God and those who truly believe in him; as well between the Lord Jesus and his church. It also shows the love between believers in their relationship with each other, and together as a church body in Christ, and also believers in the individual relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
It was read after the night of the Passover, and was a blessing of love to all who heard the words of this amazing book. It is romance. It is romance on the big scale between God and the people that he loves. It also is romance on the smaller scale between gods people and each other. It is also remains on a huge scale between the people Who love the Lord Jesus Christ and their individual relationship with him.
This book has much to offer us but unfortunately it’s often ignored. Is regarded just an informal worldly point of you as a book about romance, and the love between a man and a woman. But this is to ignore the deep meaning of the book, and the love God has for his people it surpasses romantic love and yet for fills up and validates its power and eternal bonds that is holds for those who love in this way.
The body of Holy Scripture is deep and eternal. We cannot reduce it to one aspect of life or narrowly interpret it according to culture, tradition or education. It is the unchanging and challenging word of God.
God is not afraid to use different genres to get his message across. He’s not afraid of love or sex, because he invented them in the first place. His message of salvation and love for the human race is portrayed for us here as a story of sexual love. It does not have a story pattern as such it does not seem to have I straightforward structure but is the conversations between the man and the woman- tween the two lovers we love each other with all of their hearts. Expressing the love in terms of passion; in terms of sexual desire; and in terms of lifelong devotion- eternal devotion to each other. We can find this in this life but we may not. But even so we find it, for all of us in Christ, adoring him i’m loving him all our lives long. He is the Lover, He is the lover of our souls and provides for us and rescues us from this present evil age.
The two lovers rejoice in each others company and rejoice to spend sexual time together and touch and enjoy the closeness of the bodies prepared for them. Their songs reflect this, songs above all love songs, is a series of songs that makes this God- authored Song above all.
This book is a turn on. It will awaken desire and cause us to want to enter in. We can access that in the physical, and also the spiritual, emotional and intellectual. It tends not to be read, or read openly, because of the sexual content. We become prudish very quickly and separate sex from life and become judges with filthy hearts.
In modern Judaism, the song is read at the end of Passover, and the beginning of the release from the slavery in Egypt. It is the ultimate love letter from God to His people, and they relish the love He pours out to them. The Israelites read it every year, it was so important to them. We do not appear quite so interested and we fail to see beyond the obvious and miss the deeper message that God would have us see.
There is a structure of sorts, but not like any other Bible book.
• Introduction (1:1–6)
• Conversation between the lovers: The woman and her Beloved1:7–2:7)
• Remembering her lover (2:8–17)
• The woman advises other women (3:1–5)
• The royal wedding procession for the Beloved (3:6–11)
• The Beloved is taken up with his lover’s beauty (4:1–5:1)
• The woman teaches the daughters of Jerusalem (5:2–6:4)
• The Beloved adores and his bride visits him (6:5–12)
• Other people recognise the woman’s beauty (6:13–8:4)
• Summary of this amazing book (8:5–14)
“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth— for your love is more delightful than wine.”
Straight in with romantic and sexual passion. True desires asks for the deep intimacy that brings lips together and is so pure and fulfilling. The woman desires the man to kiss her on the mouth. She is overcome with love and the devotion that comes from a heart given freely. She desires Him because He desires her. This is mutual love and desire to be together at all times. It is not normal to want intimacy and yet be happy apart.
The Woman appeals to the Lord. She asks the Lord that He will let her true love kiss her on the mouth. This is the sacred place, the place of fellowship and privilege. To know the Lord and be guided by Him, is the greatest of situations. He will guide His people continually.
The kisses she seeks are from His mouth. The reciprocation of true and heartfelt desire. This is the place of communion and the marriage of true love. Not every kiss is such a kiss but is reserved for truth and justice and fellowship.
These kisses are true and the sweetest of the wine of communion. The old testament echoes the instigation of the Love Feast of the broken bread and the wine that speak of the remembrance of the love of Christ. Communion with Him in His sufferings and the enjoyment of forgiveness and the peace of God. The kisses of love are sweeter than any wine, and the kisses of Christ are sweet to them taste of the believer.
To be in that close place with Christ is the desire of every Christian soul. To be in the closeness of that place and to feel the touch of his face upon ours, and to know the kiss of his lips on ours, is the closest place to be. This is where we grow. This is where we become strong in the Lord and we become like him and love and sacred passion. Oh that our kisses with Christ would be like sweet wine, that we would meet with Him in His true communion and experience that closeness every time we come into His presence.
“Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfume; your name is like perfume poured out. No wonder the young women love you!”
The aroma of the loved one is sweet to the scent and taste. Their beloved has a range of fragrances used for different purposes. Early in the morning the scent is sweet and springlike as it helps us to awaken and to enliven our souls for the work of the day. As we meet with the beloved in the garden we sense His smell, and we recognise the work of his hands all around us we see His fragrance throughout the day with the knowledge that He will be with us and that He will keep us and that He will be faithful to us in all the circumstances that we face.
In the noon time the heat of the day has risen and we have this deep sense of spices, which remind us of sacrifice and remind us that we need to stay close to Him if we are to be saved from the wickedness of the world around us. The heavy sense of this world is replaced by the spicy and overwhelming joyous aroma of the Lord Jesus Christ and when we read His word we take this aroma upon ourselves and this aroma becomes part of our very being.
In the evening you’re overtaken by the deep aroma in the garden to meet with Christ. His fragrance becomes heavy and becomes part of our being and we are brought into His presence once again to experience the fragrance of love.
We are reminded of the heaviness of the aroma of prayer which He experienced in the garden of Gethsemene, when He joined there with His father and asked his father recompense and a rescue from what was facing him. As we meet with Him at the end of the day we enjoy the sweet smell of His presence with us and we enjoy the deepness of a relationship with Him as we pray and as we ask him as we draw near to us and as we draw near to the Father through him. We know that He also has the aroma of prayer and He is praying for us in heaven and He will never let us go but, will never stop praying for us or the joy of our salvation, that He has bought with such a price.
The very name of the Lord Jesus is a sweet perfume to us all. His name, his many names – light of the world; the water of life; the light of life; is the pinnacle of the sweetness of His character. The name of Redeemer, Saviour and friend, lover, brother, husband- all these names are precious to us and the smell of these names must infiltrate and we must become like these names also.
The aroma of his name as a Redeemer is precious to his people but without the aroma of this name we cannot access any of the other names and the other names are meaningless without the sweet smell of the Redeemer lingering in the nostrils of the believer and drawing them closer and closer to that bleeding side.
The very name of Jesus is sweet to the believer and the fragrance of his name infiltrates every part of their life and those who around them see that they are full of Christ and that they love Christ and others can smell the aroma also from their lives and be cheered by it. The aroma is poured out for the Christian believer in the life of the Christian believer. They pour out the aroma of their love over the life of Christ and over their saviour are continually. As Mary poured out that expensive perfume and it filled the rooms in all the house, so also as we pour out our perfume of devotion it will pour over our Saviour and bless Him and the aroma of it will fill our house. It will fill the house of our soul and make us holy sacrifices for His sake. The pot of nard was broken to let the fragrance out and sometimes the part of our lives must be broken in order that the fragrance of the Lord Jesus Christ will be seen in you and it will be able to come out and be a blessing to other people.
The Scripture says here that the young women love this beloved because of the variety of what He offers. He is not boring he is not interest lacking, but He is a turn on because He is a lover of our souls and every woman is attracted, and every woman loves, because of who He is and because of what He is like. They like what they see and they like what they experience and they like the smell of the perfection of that life and seek it for themselves. He is the perfect lover so He is also the perfect husband and every woman seeks that in or Jesus Christ and not in another. We must remember there are weaknesses in the people around us and that they are not about Christ and we must live for him and we must desire him above all other things.
Through the fragrance of Christ, we have morning and then day and evening. Jesus, the Beloved One is the Redeemer and the Saviour and the friend and the fragrance of his name is for everyone. The woman who seek his face always, will be known by Him and they will have that sweet fragrance in their lives also.
She cannot wait any longer. She wants to fly to his home and be there forever. This is the longing of the world weary soul. She sees and she smells and she knows and she says “take me away with you quickly.”
“Take me away with you—let us hurry! Let the king bring me into his chambers.”
The woman knows where he is going and the woman knows what he is doing and she knows what he is like and she longs to be there because he is there. As she comes into His presence and feels His love for her, she feels it is impossible to wait any longer or for the right moment, But wishes to preempt that moment with the now.
She feels Panic. The idea of waiting another day, another week! it is too much for her. The days go by slowly and wants them to hurry. Today the mother’s house seems dull, and she wishes to be gone. The palace of her beloved, beckons her, And she longs to share His space and His place.
Her Beloved is no ordinary man, He is indeed the king, and she longs to share his promise- that is, riches and His life with peace forever.
“We rejoice and delight in you; we will praise your love more than wine.”
All the Maidens agree. They see the beauty of the beloved and they praise him because of who he is.
“How right they are to adore you!”
All the women agree that the Beloved is far out of the reach of ordinary women. The Beloved belongs to her who He loves, and she belongs to Him.
“Dark am I, yet lovely, daughters of Jerusalem, dark like the tents of Kedar, like the tent curtains of Solomon.”
The beautiful woman who’s waiting for her beloved is truly beautiful. She is dark skinned, like the curtain that adorn the tents of Kedar, or the robes that decorate the luscious tents of the the great king, Solomon himself. The tents of Kedar belonged to Abraham’s grandson. Kedar was the second Grandson of Abraham’s son Ishmael.
It is such a touching that this amazin love story involves people of different races, people of different skin skin colour, people from different generations. There’s no value judgment and is the glory of her believed because there is no issue about being dark. She is beautiful because she is dark, and she is beautiful because she’s one of the daughters of Jerusalem. She is marrying the chief of all the Beloveds, who loves her with all his heart, and this gives her such confidence.
The issues we face today to do with skin colour do not seem to matter in this love story. The issues we face today to do with skin colour do not even figure here in the inner sanctuary of true love. The tents of Kedar were the home of the people of God, and the curtains that separated them from the outside world, were the protection of the dark colours, that kept unclean things away.
Solomon was colour blind and had many wives from various places in the world. He loved them all and saw beauty for what it is, beauty of form and shape and line, and not based on a colour orientated falsie judgment.
She is beautiful, because she is dark and lovely.
“Do not stare at me because I am dark, because I am darkened by the sun. My mother’s sons were angry with me and made me take care of the vineyards; my own vineyard I had to neglect.”
The dark skin is as a result of hard and harsh labour. Instead of being sheltered from work and the beating rays of the midday sun, the Woman has had to labour hard for the sake of other family members.
The men have put her to work and she has no time to looks after herself or what is rightly hers. She makes sacrifices for the sake of others and it means she has little reward for herself. He skin is dark because of the long hours of toil under the hot sun. Her hair is short to make it easy to manage.
The Beloved sees and knows. He knows her situation and all her strength of character that drives her to serve the unworthy.
The Woman has endured anger not deserved and bitterness not asked for. She has fulfilled all her vows to the detriment of herself but she has gained the Prize…
The true love of the Beloved.
She will never loose out and will be adored forever.
“I will exalt you, LORD, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me. You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead; you spared me from going down to the pit. Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”
“Tell me, you whom I love, where you graze your flock and where you rest your sheep at midday. Why should I be like a veiled woman beside the flocks of your friends?”
Oh, to openly associate with the Beloved and to be accepted as His equal and partner. The woman seeks to share in his life and be familiar with his ways and deeds. We seek our Beloved and long to be like Him.
We want to know his ways and to be familiar with how he does things. We want to share in his work and find out how it is that he does what he does. So also the truly Beloved seeks her love, and wants to be with him and be familiar with him and not be a stranger to him. She wants to know where he rests in the middle of the day so she can visit him and she can spend time with him in the middle of the day as well as at the end of the day. She wishes to be involved in all parts of his life. She does not want to be a woman who a veil over her face and so, does not take part in what he does. She doesn’t want to be a stranger to his Life and the activities he takes sort in, and have to hide her self away from all those around him. She wants to belong. Belonging is driving her to be a seeker of her beloved. She seeks him morning, day and evening. She will never give up her search because he is a prize worth searching for.
We also search after Him who we love. We seek a Saviour and a friend and a lover. We seek someone he will keep us, someone who will be with us forever and never let us down. We seek him morning and in the day and in the evening, and we will never give up our search. We search in the place we know that we will find him, in the Holy Scriptures, for they reveal Him to us and give us a for taste of what is ahead, on that great wedding day, of the Lamb.
So let us not be put off by the things in this life, let us not be disappointed by the things that trouble us, and let us not let pain or disappointment, hamper our way to the heavenly kingdom where we will find our truly Beloved. He will walk with us every day and He will never leave us or for sake us. We will be truly blessed because we will find him because we search for him with all of our hearts.
“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
Jeremiah 29: 12-14
“If you do not know, most beautiful of women, follow the tracks of the sheep and graze your young goats by the tents of the shepherds.”
The woman now gets some advice from her friends. They tell her to be more bold and more forward about carrying out her daily duties and not worrying about how it will look to other people. They tell her she is beautiful, and she knows it. She must be confident in her beauty, not just the outward sign of dark skin, but the inner beauty of service and overcoming in the face of oppression. She is beautiful in all respects, and must know that her truly Beloved will see her and recognise that she is the one for him.
We also must know that the beauty we possess in Christ is the beauty He requires of us and the beauty that will draw Him to us and us to Him. We must not be apologetic about how we serve or how we worship of show our love for our one true love. The beauty we possess is complete, because it is complete in Him. We reflect the beauty of His person and His character, and no one can take this away from us. We see it. We recognise it and are confident in the work that the Beloved One is doing in our lives. We will not be intimidated to change or excuse ourselves or apologise for being too like Him.
The woman must graze her sheep and young goats, by the tents of the shepherds. She will be accepted by them, Even they are also about he business of the Beloved. They recognise her and will give her sustenance and support. She will not be left destitute, though many would make her so.
“At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light .” …
Matthew 11: 25-29
All things are provided for the bride of the Lord. He will ensure they have rest and the necessities of life. He will provide all things and make all things right for them.
The woman need not fear, because her Beloved has influences and effects far beyond her remit. The Beloved One provides all that the woman will need and she need never fear, or wonder how she will cope with her situation. The people around her will provide and God softened the hearts of people, to help His own. So we need never fear either, for the table is spread before us at all times.
“I liken you, my darling, to a mare among Pharaoh’s chariot horses.”
Pharaoh’s prize chariot horses were priceless. The backbone of the army and the power house of the speed and efficiency of the legions of soldiers. Great store was put in them, and we read when the Egyptians pursues the Israelites into the Red Sea. The power of the horses was no match for the towering waters healed up against the enemies of God and His people.
The power of the legs of a horse is no match for the power of God and God puts no strength against them. he overcomes them so easily they are a tower of strength to people but not to God.
So this amazing woman who was waiting for her beloved, is likened to being among Pharoah’s prize horses. She is a mare amongst mares, and does not mingle with ordinary horses on farms but it is mingling with these amazing beasts, who are so prized. Only she is worthy to be with them only she is worthy to be amongst such high society.
She is indeed the darling of horses.! She is so fair to look at and so powerful and all of her deeds that she is worthy of being with these top quality beasts. They are racehorses – they are warhorses. they are breeding stock and they are the backbone of Egypt. she will bear the kings of horses she will bear victorious animals who will conquer in the days of battle.
And so she will be for her beloved. Her family will be all above all other families and her children will worship her and honour their father her truly Beloved.
“… A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. …”
“Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings, your neck with strings of jewels.”
The woman wears a lot of ornamentation and jewellery. It compliments her skin, the dark skin with the gold, silver, bronze, copper. There are beads here too, colours that show up the glory of her skin tones.
The earrings are not subtle, but used to enhance the sculptural qualities of her face. She has been made beautiful and more beautiful by the choice of jewellery she wears. It resembles the decorations of the Masai tribe, who are still thriving today. People who know how to use decoration to enhance the skin, hair, face and body. Fabrics that show they human features at their best. We can all see this today as the characters are for world come together and we share the colours and the fabrics and all the things that we have to decorate. It’s called culture and it is so amazing.
Peoples from all over our world and sharing ideas, thoughts, cultural identity and melding products together to make new. People are being recognised that were not recognised before. Especially is our cities is this movement felt. It was called “multi- culturalism” but is now more deep seated and true to the roots of where we all come from.
The beloved woman also wears many strings of necklaces. These beautiful and carefully thought out jewels, bedeck her body and let her dark skin be the springboard for these jewels. There is confidence here and a glory in presenting herself in a certain way. No plainness or shyness about the bold decorations that enhances the body.
She is praised for these and for making every effort to present herself as a woman of substance. Why would her Beloved want nothing?
She dresses for herself, and for Him. She cares deeply about how she looks and presents herself. She has been abused and unable to care for herself, but she has been sustained in her faithfulness and obedience to God’s call. She will always be do, because her Beloved will always see it and know it.
beauty of this sort never passes. This woman is beautiful forever, but not all have eyes to see it. Her care for herself will always pay off, because she is kept by the power of God, and she will get her hearts desire.
1 Peter 1:4-9 NIV
“… This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. …”
1 Peter 1:4-9
“We will make you earrings of gold, studded with silver.”
Although the Beloved has adored her work on her appearance, he is going to make her gold and silver earrings, a sign of true love and regard. Precious metals for a precious woman. He will have a the best Artists to make the jewellery for his prize woman, that one he reveres above all others. No one will, have what she has.
The gold is a sign of eternal love which will last forever like the bride who is dressed in the gold of Ophir. She is the bride of the king – she is the Queen and she is dressed in the most precious of colours and the most precious of garments and the most precious of metals. These things reflect her eternal status as she has precious above any price the bridegroom has paid. He has paid the ultimate price for his bride and He has shed His blood so that she can be a redeemed person and she can stand beside Him equal in power and glory and all love.
The silver also is precious and stands in contrast to the design of the gold earrings. They provide a different relief they provide a variation in colour and the opportunity for creativity.
Psalm 45:9-17 NIV
“Daughters of kings are among your honored women; at your right hand is the royal bride in gold of Ophir. Listen, daughter, and pay careful attention: Forget your people and your father’s house. Let the king be enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord. The city of Tyre will come with a gift, people of wealth will seek your favour. All glorious is the princess within her chamber; her gown is interwoven with gold. In embroidered garments she is led to the king; her virgin companions follow her—those brought to be with her. Led in with joy and gladness, they enter the palace of the king. Your sons will take the place of your fathers; you will make them princes throughout the land. I will perpetuate your memory through all generations; therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever.”
“While the king was at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance.”
As the Beloved eats with the woman at his table, so he is aware of her presence because she has prepared herself for the event. She will not be forgotten as just another quest,
I am reminded of Mary with the alabaster jar, who broke it at the feet of Christ and poured it over Him. She did it out of devotion and love for Christ but was criticised by the other people in the room. Jesus told them to be quiet. He knew why she did it and she did it for a Love of him and no other reason. The perfume filled that whole dinner table just as the perfume of the woman is noticed by the beloved, who knows she is there because of the aroma that surrounds her.
Do you people know that we love Christ. Do they know it because of the way that we are because of our devotion to him. Or is it just some insipid idea that we have that we are following him and doing what he wants us to do, but there’s no real love and devotion there – no sacrifice, no laying down of our love for his sake.
This woman will never be forgotten because she has prepared herself to be with her beloved. He will not forget her because he sees her preparation and he loves her because of her devotion to him.
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task?Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.”
2 Corinthians 2:14-17
so we as Christians carry the aroma of Christ everywhere and tell others what he is like by showing and doing. Don’t let anyone put you off from doing what God wants you to do. You know your beloved and he knows you, and so we follow him and we please each other, as we walk together in this life and on into the life to come.
“My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh resting between my breasts.”
The breast has always been the place of comfort. The woman is willing that the Beloved should find rest and solace in her and rest his sweetness in her breasts. Christ finds solace in the love of His people. He loves them and the reciprocation of that love brings Him delight.
A sachet of sweet smelling fragrance is between the breasts, bringing comfort in the face of death. Myrrh was for the burial of the body after death and the significance of its place here is extreme.
Jesus died for love of His precious people and the memory and knowledge of them drive Him to Calvary and to suffer the dreadful consequences of their sin. Love kept the Lord on the cross and the knowledge of the comfort of having His own people, bought with precious blood, brought Him the comfort on that terrible day.
Christ rests between the breasts of His Beloved. The symbolism is huge and the implications for women is enormous. God loves women in a particular way, and lifts them up in ways like no others. He knows the comfort of women, and loves them for it. He has made them like himself and they love him back so easily and with such passion.
This is the romance of the truly Beloved. It is reciprocal and beyond the bounds of reason or ordinary righteousness. It is unreasonable love, love so extreme, it is stronger than death. The bands of death are broken forever because of this love of the Man and the Woman.
At the end of this book this love is summed up…
“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned.”
Song of Songs 8:6-7
This love is unquenchable and can only be understood by the two truly Beloveds. This is a love worth having. Too many are not worth anything at all…
“My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi.”
En Gedi is a place of ancient human habitation, a place of refreshment for human and animals. It is a spring of fresh water in a dry land and plants and animals can find growth and pasture there. It’s history stretches back to Old Testament times, and archeology has found pre-history artefacts there.
Kind David found refuge in En Gedi and it was a place where he could hide out and find asylum from foes. There are vineyards there, because the water is sweet. Grapes grow in the heat and sun and refreshment of the waters of the ancient springs. The waters will make other salt waters sweet also, as they encroach on the saline sea waters.
Henna grows there among many herbs and spices. Henna is for beauty and gives radiance to skin and hair and often used for decorative purposes on the skin. A bunch of henna is a valuable commodity and it blossoms only every few years so to have a bunch of it gives such a pleasing aroma and echoes the value of her Beloved.
The theme of smell is very strong in this first chapter of this amazing book and the aroma acts as an aphrodisiac to the woman who receives these flowers to remind her of her lover. Her beloved is the embodiment of this aroma from the heavenly scent of the Henna flowers.
The beauty of the beloved it is a refreshment to her like the springs of En Gedi. The whiff of the aroma from the Henna flowers, reminds her of who he is, and of his beauty and of her deep love for him, and she longs to be with him in the springs of refreshment for ever and ever. Perhaps she also remembers the heady smell of the flowers in the vineyard as the grapes develop and as they mature and become ready to make the wine, the heady wine of the everlasting kingdom.
“You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain. Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates with choice fruits, with henna and nard…”
Song of Songs 4:12-13
The fragrance of the love of these two is overwhelming. It is a locked garden waiting to spring open and bestow beauty on all around. Aroma is encased everywhere, waiting to be released, like the alabaster jar of the Beloved Mary, as she anointed her truly Beloved. She anointed he Lord, out of love for Him and what He had done for her. She was a forgiven woman and she knew it, and showed it to others that day in the house on Simon the Pharisee.
“Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace .” …
“How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves.”
The Beloved only has eyes for her who He loves. She is only beautiful to him. The failings and faults are out of sight!
She is His “Darling” such a sweet term of endearment.
Her eyes are gentle like the eyes of doves. Doves are the gentlest of birds and they don’t make loud noises or they don’t make rash movements since they are gentle and the holy spirit is portrayed as a dove. When Jesus was baptised the dove appeared and rested on him – the breath of the Blessed Holy Spirit. The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, and a more fitting symbol could not be found. He is not a hawk and he’s not an eagle, he is not a sparrow but he is as gentle as a dove.
Eyes are said to be the window of the soul and when we look into someone’s eyes we can see what they are really like. Some people have shifty eyes; some people have suspicious eyes; some people have angry eyes; but these eyes of the truly beloved- the woman who is deeply loved- are the eyes as gentle as a dove.
They are made gentle through the years of hard labour where she was not able to take care of herself but was given so many jobs to do. It has made her gentle in spirit and gentle to look at, and her eyes are gentle, as she has pity on others who suffer a similar fate. Her character was formed in those wilderness years and now they are reflected through the gentleness of the look in her eyes.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”
The Beloved recognises his love from the gentleness in her eyes. They are no push over and no foolish naivety thinking all is always well, but the peace of deep wisdom resides here. The woman sees properly and her outlook is as God would see and perceive, so her judgments rest in that peaceful place. She trusts in the wisdom that God has taught her over the years of hardship, and this will stand her in good stead for challenges ahead.
“How handsome you are, my beloved! Oh, how charming! And our bed is verdant.”
She in turn sees past all flaws and sees only beauty in her handsome man. These are the eyes of love.
This is an intensely personal and private conversation, yet God allows us to see into it, so we might know and recognise love when it happens. But we do not talk about it in the open culture or community. We keep it quiet and we do not talk about it, and so, when it happens, we do not recognise it. When we see it in another situation we don’t recognise it either. We should share experiences of love with each other, to teach each other the ways of love and what it really is. The young especially need to recognise true love when it comes to them, and how to manage themselves in romance situations.
We can also keep it away from our spiritual experience and we do not see Christ as our lover, or someone who is beloved to us, or someone that we care deeply and passionately about and can have a real living relationship with. Jesus is no longer seen as being The Beloved and he becomes a figure far away from us – a figure that is just a figure in our imaginations and not a real person. The passion of faith grows weak, and her eyes grow weak, and we see him less and less and I love fails. To relate to Him, we must draw up close to Him and know Him intimately.
But here that is not the case. The Beloved is full of passion for the woman and the woman is full of love for him. He is charming to her because she admires all that she sees and hears in him and the sweet aroma of his being has become part of her very person.
Their bed is verdant and green it is a place of refreshment it is a place that they share together and is a place that will bear fruit, rich fruit in the future. The fruitfulness of the green is really important because it speaks to us of spring time of refreshment time of renewal time off bearing rich fruit for the glory of God. It is a place of rest. It is a place of relaxation and a place of sharing and none can take them away from each other. They share together in all passion; in all pleasure; in all their pains. They will share together for all of their lives. Their bed will be a rich place where they will know each other and know each other better and better – a place for all healing to take place through all the troubles of life.
This is a secret behind the handsome. The handsome is not the look but the handsome is the love. Handsome is not the face but the fact that he loves her and he will never let her go and he will do everything in his power to make her happy and listen to her. This is the key behind a happy marriage – true love for each other acquiescing to each other and making each other happy doing things with each other like and growing together and in grace and in love.
“Those who walk righteously and speak what is right, who reject gain from extortion and keep their hands from accepting bribes, who stop their ears against plots of murder and shut their eyes against contemplating evil—they are the ones who will dwell on the heights, whose refuge will be the mountain fortress. Their bread will be supplied, and water will not fail them. Your eyes will see the king in his beauty and view a land that stretches afar.”
This is the secret of the doves eyes. Eyes that see but do not linger on what is evil but linger on what is good. If we keep our eyes fixed on Christ then we will see him every day and we will walk with him. Our love for him will grow and he will take delight in us more and more. Our lives will be that verdant bed that bears fruit and that builds a rich relationship with our lover – our Lord Jesus Christ who will lead us safely into that heavenly marriage and that heavenly supper of the lamb.
“Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers and sisters who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For it is the Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus.”
On that day, the lovers shall be resplendent and none shall hold them back or make them afraid. It will be total aquiescence and total abandonment to joy and love, and the fulfilment of all dreams. The Beloved and the Lover in the sweetest of communions, united in every way and bringing glory shared, to each other.
“The beams of our house are cedars; our rafters are firs.”
The Beloved has built the house to be their home forever. He has built it with his own hands or with master builders. It may not be a fancy house but it is a home that he has prepared for his dearly beloved. Every Christian has a home that has been prepared for them in the heavenly city and their dearly beloved will fashion that especially for them. It is a house not made with hands – it is a house eternal in the heavens. It is a house to be lived in; it as a house to be glorified in; it as a house to find refuge in; from all the wind and the storms of life.
The beloved has built a house out of wood and he is fashioned it with all the skill of the carpenters and he himself has learnt many skills to make this house. He says the rafters are made of Cedars. The Cedars where of Lebanon were legendary for their strength and for their stability and they were used in the house of God to build the holy tabernacle. They held the bits of the building together they held the roof up and they added a charm and grace to this hand built home.
Those mighty beams were going to hold up this house for as long as it was necessary. The Cedars also held up the roof they gave of an aromatic odour, they were strong and they were reliable.
The rafters are made of fir. Fir is a softer wood and yet strong. Wood from Fir trees is also aromatic and gives out a sap which helps to make it waterproof and keep out the rain and the wind out from the roof. There are other kinds of wood. There is a wood called Douglas fir which is expensive and which is much more densely packed in makeup, because it is a much slower growing tree, and so this would would be of great value. When we imagine that the Beloved would use the best possible kind of wood for this job, perhaps this roof is made from Douglas fir – a beautiful rich and warm colour with the aroma of the Fir tree and this sap that comes out of it making a beautiful job on the roof of that really special house of love.
He is proud of his work because it is for his true love. He has made it so special and he has not counted the cost. The house is for her that she will know she is wanted and needed and so she will have a work to do and purpose in her life and a shelter in her times of storms as well.
This house is for sharing; the bed is for sharing – that verdant bed so covered in green which is going to bring rich fruit into their lives. They will know each other on that bed and that they will resolve their problems and their difficulties and they will please each other and they were five true delight in that little home. Sex is at the centre of this home. Love and sex are the same things. Love cannot be expressed without sex and sex cannot be expressed without true love – the two are interchangeable. the two are totally bowing together and we must not be embarrassed about it. Sex is not a free for all. Sex is done with consent and true love and true regard for the other person. Anything else is molestation, abuse, sexual abuse and rape. Many do not understand this and there are too many abusive marriages. Love guards us from sin and wrong attitudes to each other. We must seek love.
Women must rise up they must decide what they want in their relationship and the respect that they need to have as people and not allow man to make all the decisions for them. Men do not often truly love and women must protect themselves from this state of affairs. Right from the start there must be respect and regard the one for the other. They man must love the wife and the wife will love of the husband and each must do what is necessary to keep each other happy and to keep each other interested and to keep their marriage alive. If they do not it will die very quickly.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
We are to love and submit and keep peace with each other. We are to keep marriage pure and keep each other happy. A wife should be happy and not stressed about issues in the home. This home was built for the Woman to have peace.
“I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.”
The woman identifies with these two flowers. The rose grows on sunshine, the lily in the cool shade. Jesus himself is also identified as the rose of Sharon and a lily of the valley. The woman identifies closely with her saviour and wishes to be like him in all circumstances. Perhaps he identifies as “rose years” as those years of labouring in the hot sun for other people. Now she wishes for the shelter of the coolness, of being with her dearly beloved and living the rest of his life, and her life, for his glory and for her good.
Sharon was where all the best roses came from. Roses are manufactured there and were bred there, for their beauty and for their scent and were greatly desired by everyone. This is why Jesus is referred to as the rose of Sharon. He is the Rose of Sharon, because He is the most beautiful one and has come from that wonderful place for our benefit. All who desire Him desire all good things.
He is also the coolness of the lily of the valley. The one who can calm every fear and the one who shelters us from the heat of the day. We endure the heat of the day and we endure the labour, but then we have the shelter for our souls and we have the calmness of knowing that Christ is our refuge. He is a beautiful one on whom we model ourselves. We can say this about ourselves that we are a rose, like Christ, and we are the lily of the valley also like Christ.
This is not presumption. When we see who we love and we admire what they do we wish to be like them. When we see the beauty of Christ, when we see what He is like and what His character is like, then the Christian will greatly desire to be like Him. No one else will do. We will not allow anyone to come between us and our truly Beloved.
“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
He is the rose of Sharon so we are a rose of Sharon also. He is the lily of the valley so we also are lily of the valley. As Jesus sacrificed for us so we sacrifice for other people too. As he lays down His life for other people so we also lay down our lives. As He extends warmth to other people so we also extend warmth. He blooms in the heat of the day and we also grow and develop even in the heat of oppression. He provides shelter in the time of heat and oppression. Christ provides coolness and He provides refuge for those in need. He will provide refuge for us also, even in the heat of the day.
May we be roses blooming, and may we be delicate and sensitive like the lily of the valley.
“Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the young women.”
In reply to her comment that she is like a lily, her beloved agrees with her. He goes further. He says she is a lily among thorns. This is not insulting the other women, but he is merely showing the beauty of the one that he has chosen. Compare to everyone else she is the lily of the valley. Everyone else appears to be like thorns and they have no attraction for him at all.
He refers to her again as “darling.” she is his darling and the one that he has set his heart upon. He will not let anyone come between them – he will not letting anyone have any kind of comparison towards his beloved one. There is no one like her and she is in surpassable because there is no beauty greater than her beauty.
Young women all have a certain appeal but this pales into insignificance when he contemplates the beauty of his beloved. The thorns are merely dried sticks with sharp points which will hurt you should you decide to touch them. But his beloved is a verdant Lilly full of beauty; full of purity; full of refuge in times of trouble; and he will find his refuge between her breasts like a sachet of Myrrh. No one can compete with her as she is far above all women that he has ever seen or known.
The Christian must have this view of Christ and Christ must have this view of the Christian. He must prize us above all other things and desire His refuge in us as we desire our refuge in Him. This is the relationship above all relationships and the one that every Christian pursues to the very end of their lives.
To be like Christ is our aim, our desire and our eternal state.
“Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my beloved among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste.”
This is so poinyent. The Woman likens her man to an apple tree, the tree of life as is thought, in the garden of Eden. He does not do her harm but does her good all the days of her life. She sits in the shade of his branches and is sheltered from the heat of the day and she enjoys the sweet fruit that grows there. His person give shelter and his person gives sustenance.
The other trees in the forest are not like this for they do provide some shelter, but they do not have the sweet fruit that she desires. The men that she sees are like trees, but they are all less – they are all undesirable to her except for her one and only truly beloved. Her eyes and her taste are only for him and he fully satisfies everything that she desires.
It is her delight to sit under the branches of him who she loves. It is her delight to adore him and to enjoy the cool shade of his branches as he over arches her need and her longing for closeness and intimacy. She can reach up and she can get herself some fruit and she can sustain herself and enjoy the fruits from her dearly beloved. His desire is to fulfil all her needs and that she should enjoy every part of his being. This is why he is the apple tree because he has such a rich fruit unlike all of the other trees who bear very little fruit at all.
This is also how she views him. She sees him as her provider and as the one who can satisfy every part of her being. Every desire that she has, whether it is intellectual or emotional or physical, is met in the person of her lover and her friend and her saviour and her guide and her true companion.
The scenario in the garden of Eden has now been turned on its head. The temptations have all gone and the fruit can be eaten. There is no pain in the sharing there is no tempting there either. There is no disobedience there is no being duped. This is the blessing of God in human relationships – that they can be made new again and can be made right right with each other and right with him. The price has been paid by Christ on the cross, so now there is only enjoyment. There is only satisfaction of Desire and there is only complete fulfilment. The people of God have come into their own. They have full satisfaction in their Saviour and no one else – He is the only one who can meet all of their needs in this way or in anyway. We sit under His shade and we enjoy. We eat the rich fruit that grows from His branches, and we enjoy and we are sustained in our inner being.
This is the destiny of all God’s people and this woman has found it in her truly beloved and we also find it in our truly Beloved.
“Let him lead me to the banquet hall, and let his banner over me be love.”
Yet she desires more. She desires a banquet of love spread out before her on her wedding day. Every child of God is looking for this day – that day at the end when we shall enter into our eternal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.
This wedding day will be the pinnacle of their expression of love for each other. It will be a day for vows and will be a day to remember that they will know how much they have meant to each other and how much they will mean to each other for the rest of their lives. The banquet is spread out purely for enjoyment…
“Taste and see that the Lord is good”
As we enjoy that feast in the days to come, so we can enjoy it even now as we share in the eternal Word. We read it as we draw close to Him, and it feeds us and it strengthens us and makes us like our dearly beloved. It is a banquet of love – it is a banquet for sharing. As we share so our desires are filled, not just our physical desires but our emotional desires also.
The banner over this banquet is love. It is love because of his love for his dearly beloved. He has provided these festive delights for her so that she will know his deep love for her and they can share it with friends and with those who also love them. The banner is a declaration of his love and everyone can see it and everyone will know it including the woman herself. As we walk the Christian life the banner over us every day is also love. The love of Christ will keep us and will help us in every situation and his love is continually over us and can never be taken away – the banner is permanent.
So we have the banner of love over the feast of love over the relationship of love and this is the only way there is no other way that a marriage will work out. If there is no love it will fail, it may take a long time to fail but it will eventually fall apart. No one can live without love and there is love for everyone in some way or other and we must seek it until we find it.
Even if there is no earthly lover or if there is no earthly love or family love, yet the banner over us at all times is the love of Christ and he will never fail us. We must never forget this even in the direst of situations. The banner over the Christians life, whatever they face, is love – not an academic love, but the intimate and close and most touching love of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the powerhouse against anger and disappointment and rage, and He will help us and bring us through the situation and His banner will yet remain over us – love. Love in all its glory and all its triumph and all its power.
“Strengthen me with raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am faint with love.”
Being in love is tiring.! The lovers need sustenance to help them with their courting and with their getting to know each other. Thinking and dreaming or caring what they think about takes effort, as they dream about each other all the time. They also imagine the time when they will be together and then they can spend all of their physical and emotional and intellectual times together sharing in their lives.
They indulge their passion as they spend time together longing for the day of that total and complete union. That woman is tired she asks for raisins and for apples to give her energy to keep going to stay in tune with her loved one.
The dry grapes are energy stores, which will enable her to replenish hers. The energy store in the raisins will replenish her energy and give her sustenance and strength. The fresh apples will give her a liquid which will replenish her thirst. The apples will refresh her appetite and refresh her mind and clarify her view, like a drink of water. The fruits are food and drink in total provision. The fruits are healthy and will not sate her appetite but they will give her the energy that she needs to carry on and to spend the time – the quality time with her lover.
Our strength is going to be in need of replenishment. It is good to look for it in the right place to find it. As Christians we often lack strength and stamina and we must look in the Word of God to help us to have strong food so that we are ready for the life set before us. The word of God is natural for the Christian and it will not make us overweight not will it make us unhealthy but will only give us satisfaction and food and teaching. It is like raisins and apples – all good food.
We must seek the good food of the word as we seek it every day and we must be thankful for it. If we sincerely seek satisfaction we will find it. To walk in the love of Christ requires strength, and great power, and we must seek the replenishment of it in the teaching of the word of God, and in the knowledge of God. We seek raisins and apples not strong meat and strong drink which will state the appetite, but seek food which gives true and sustainable energy.
“His left arm is under my head, and his right arm embraces me.”
The lovers are in a warm embrace. This is a very familiar and close relationship. They already long for each other and do all they can to be close in every possible way.
The Beloved supports her head, looking at that beautiful darkened face, and he is so careful for. There is no one else who enjoys this closeness and the exclusivity of it is what makes it so special. They both revere and honour each other with intimacy and exclusive love, keeping all others at bay.
“I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord.”
The promise is forever. No one can break this apart. This is a private moment that we are allowed to see so that we might know the impact of intimacy and exclusivity in our relationships. But if that is broken it is disastrous. A lifetime of building a marriage can end in the moment. A moment of selfishness and self regard and the whole edifice comes down. This is not going to happen to these two for they are careful and they are truly in love and we can see it as you look into this relationship.
As they take their promises before each other and before the Lord they know that these promises will stand true for the rest of their lives. They belong to each other already because they are truly in love. The woman notices everything. His hand behind her head and his other arm embracing her – she knows that she is truly loved because of this warm embrace. She in turn allows him to embrace her. This is acquiescence this is both agreeing to the same thing and mutual submission to each other.
“Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, I will go to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of incense.”
If one is lording it over the other, and keeping things from the other person, secretive and controlling, the marriage is not going to last, and one will suffer badly because of the other. This needs to be sorted out with frankness and talking, and each sorting out their difficulties and stresses. No one is always in the right, and there should not be factions and blame always on one side or the other. Love is frank and honest and looks into itself to examine motives and attitudes. Love never fails, so a good marriage never fails. True love never fails, and when we do, there is God’s love to do healing and helping and to mend all broken hearts.
“Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.”
The woman gives advice to the younger women waiting in the wings of the situation for their turn to find true love. She has feelings for them and calls them her daughters. She calls them the daughters of Jerusalem and she addresses them all so that no one is left out. It’s really important that our young ones understand the issues in these things and what is waiting for them and how they are going to know when true love comes their way.
Do not awaken the Desire in anyone that you can’t follow through to the very end. Every person has to be sure about what they’re doing and the choices that they are making and they must make wise choices and kind choices and not selfish choices. These two have found each other and enjoy sweet fellowship together and so they are the experts to help those coming along behind.
The woman tells them not to be like gazelles you’re always in a hurry – always in a race but to take their time and to think and to be wise. Do not go jumping for the first one or the last one but wait patiently until the right one comes along.
The does of the field, they wait and they watch as we must wait and we must watch, but we must also be active in understanding and knowing how love works and what it is like when it comes along for sure. We must know true love from fake love and be able to do something about it. We cannot take our relationships for granted but we must be careful to examine what they are like and what our motives are, and what the motives of the other person are towards us. We must understand love and we must understand treachery, to see warning signs in other people so that we can save ourselves from a lot of grief. Sincerity is the key. Being able to recognise when someone is speaking and acting sincerely is a very wise skill to possess.
Desire can be awakened wrongly, which causes so much hurt. It is possible to make someone fall in love with us for wrong motives and this leads only to disaster. People who have true regard for each other will wait until Desire comes along at the right time and that desire will happen for them both at the same time and the right time. They will be able to make good decisions about their futures together. Desire isn’t just based on how people look but on how they behave and how they express themselves, and what their attitudes are towards themselves and the other interested party, and other people around them. It is a great skill to be able to understand this and have the wisdom to recognise these things in other people.
We must recognise that God is in charge and wait for him to show us what is true desire and what is false both in ourselves and also in the other person. None of us are perfect and we all make mistakes in our relationships but the key is that we can sort it out together and we can forgive each other and move on. Anyone who is constantly justifying themselves or covering up what they say and do is not to be trusted. We must be honest and we must be honourable there is no other way to go forward in a relationship. Anything else is just kidding ourselves that we are in love when we are not in love we are just infatuated with the other person.
Sexual desire is such a powerful force and we must learn how to control it, and how to analyse it, and how to behave in a way that is right. It is all too easy to get carried away and make a terrible mistake and hurt yourself and hurt the other person and hurt all the people around you. You will find yourself forced to do things that you do not want to do. This is not the way of true love or of true desire. Forcing people to do things because of a mistake they have made is probably not the best long-term idea.
If there is no love at the beginning then there will be no love at the end and there will be no love all the way through. Everything will become a battle but love is not a battleground- love is a situation which grows and develops and become stronger and stronger and two people growing together and loving each other more and more as the years go by. If there is true love at the beginning then it will grow and it will become stronger. It requires great wisdom and great insight for both people involved. People have to realise their weaknesses in each other and both have to be willing to nurture each other and help each other to grow closer together and closer to the one that they both worship. If there is pride and selfishness then love will certainly die. It takes a selfish word in a selfish moment to turn love into a raging torrent of fury. We must recognise this and we must guard against it in all our relationships especially in this most intimate of love relationships. To blithly pretend that everything is okay is absolute folly.
So do not be in a rush but be slower rather than quicker and true love will surely come and Desire will awaken at just the right moment. God is true, and will work all things for the good of those who love Him. The Christian will not always have to struggle with doubt or fear, but we learn to bring it to God and leave it there. Having the faith to do that is difficult, and we continue to lay it down at is feet and rest in His promises. This is the lifetime lesson for the Christian.
“Listen! My beloved! Look! Here he comes, leaping across the mountains, bounding over the hills.”
This guy is fit.!
If you listen you can hear him coming. He’s not shy; he is not quiet; he’s open minded and gregarious and loves people and embraces his people. He’s a family man – a people person. This is one of the reasons why she loves him because he is so open in all he says and does. She is so proud of her beloved because of his personality and his character and she loves the way he behaves around other people and especially around her. Perhaps music is this thing and when he comes he is playing his music so everyone can hear him coming. Maybe he’s a kind of pied- piper type of character who people follow because of this character and the way he is so open and so lively and vivacious.
You can also see him coming. You can see him from miles away as he leaps over the mountains as he runs to be with his friends and with his family. He does not hesitate. He moves quickly and decisively especially when he sees his dearly beloved woman waiting for him. Mountains are no problem to him… he leaps over them. The hills are easy for him. He bounds across them like a rabbit; like a sheep; like a dog running for fun. No boundaries are a problem to him as he can cross anywhere and you can do anything to get where he wants to go. No barriers get in his way and he sees only answers not problems.
Nothing will stop him getting to his woman. He will allow nothing to come between them. No person will put him off or steal her away from his warm embrace. No circumstance will thwart his plans for what he wants for his dearly beloved and for his family. This guy is relentless in his pursuit of happiness and peace for the people that he knows and that he loves. Nothing stops him doing what he intends to do and nothing will put him off from getting where he wants to go. No mountain is too high for him to overcome and the hills are mere child’s play to him.
Jesus also is fighting for His people, and has come to rescue them. He was glad to come and spend a lifetime with sinful us, to be our saviour. He gave everything He had to buy them back from death and punishment. The shedding of His blood atones for the sin of all who repent and trust in Him. He is the Beloved Redeemer, and will protect and keep His people, always. Anyone who trusts in Him will not be disappointed.
“My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Look! There he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, peering through the lattice.”
Carrying on the theme of fitness The Beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag who is full of vigour and full of energy. He is ready for action and able to respond to every situation.
The woman is proud of him and again she says “look.” The beloved are standing behind the wall he is gazing through the windows and looking through the lattices in the windows. Why would he do that? He is watching for her. He is wondering if you can catch a glimpse of her through the window. Maybe it is her parents house and he should not be there. He knows that but still he sees if he can catch a glimpse of her through the open window.
Maybe he will see her beautiful form and her pretty face just one more time before he goes home for the night. He moves quickly so as not to be found and waits silently as he gazed through the open window.
Will he see her one last time for the day or will he have to wait until tomorrow? Perhaps tonight he will see her and persuade her to come with him to come and be his lady love forever and leave her family house for good. Is this the day where he persuades her to come with him and stay with him and be with him for the rest of their lives?
Still he waits behind the wall waiting expectantly and hopefully that he will catch a glimpse of her. Such is the look of love that only a glimpse will be enough. Such is the love of Christ for His people. He waits for that final day of deliverance when He will be with them forever and they will be it for ever set free from the things of this life. He waits for us what a precious thought.
“My beloved spoke and said to me, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me.”
He catches a glimpse. Maybe she comes out to meet him at the wall. They speak together. The Woman says “He spoke to me.” How precious to the child of God that the Lord speaks to them. He speaks personally and he speaks into our lives in a way that we will understand. He speaks words of comfort and encouragement and He is never discouraging. He does not try and bring us to heaven under a cloud but to bring us home in great glory. His words are true and his words sink deep into our minds and become part of our being so that we end up thinking and being like him.
His word is near to us. It is in our hearts and in our minds and we have it recorded for us in holy scripture it so that we can be sure about what he is saying to us. We are not confused and not lead astray by the Word of God.
The woman waits to hear what he’s got to say. His words are words of love so he tells her to arise and come away. She is his love his true love and he is tired of waiting for her. He says come now leave your fathers and mothers house and come away with me and let us be together. The years of waiting have been long and they have left their toll on both of them, and now it is time for them to be together.
One day this will happen for God’s people too. Jesus will return to take is waiting people home and he will not hesitate to take them out of this world and bring them safely into the heavenly kingdom. He will not have to argue with them. There will be the trumpet sound and the shout and we shall leave as one body. No one will be there who should not be there and there will be plenty who will be left out. There will be plenty who think they should be included and they will not be included for they did not repent and they did not believe and they do not love the Lord with all their heart and mind and soul.
But this woman is ready to leave. She hears the voice of her beloved and she wants to go with him. He will call her with words of endearment he calls her “my love my beautiful one” and he longs for her to come away with him. There is no threat here but only longing that he will have his true love with him for ever and ever be comforted in her embrace.
He says “come with me.” She will go with no other but only the one that she recognises as her beloved. “Come with me.” When we hear these words we must obey when Jesus calls to us now in this life to come to Him, we must come to Him. On that last day when He calls us to be with Him forever, we must go to Him – we must not hesitate but must be always ready. Our foot must always be on the threshold of the door so we are ready to leave with our truly beloved.
The bridegroom calls to his beloved and she comes to him for she will always obey His voice. Jesus, our Beloved will call us out and we will go and be with Him forever. We also will be forever with the Lord – forever in his warm embrace and he also in ours.
“See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.”
Oh how precious it would be to the Christian believer to hear these words one day. The winter of our discontent and the winter of this life will be over and we shall forever enter into the paradise of spring with Christ forever.
The Beloved draws the woman’s attention to the reality of the situation. Should she be feeling the hardness of the long wait, she needs to wait no longer for the winter is now over. The cold and loneliness of the long winter days has now given way to the freshness of the spring weather. The harshness of the winter chill has now given way to the warmth of the bright spring air and the sunshine that streams from the clouds down into the hills and valleys of the heavenly Jerusalem. All is well because the bitterness of the past has gone by.
The rain that once brought refreshment but also the damp and the drizzle of the miserable days has also gone. The monsoon has brought its refreshment and it has made everything grow. The land is prepared for the warmth of the spring in which everything will flourish never to die again. We long for the rain in the hot summer days but when they’re over they leave refreshment and in these days of the beloved and his Darling, they find refreshment after the rain and the prospect of beautiful days together forever, with never a chill of winter ever again.
Should the woman feel gloomy the beloved lifts her eyes to the reality of the situation, that all the deadness has gone and only life stretches ahead of them into eternity.
Look and see! We also live with this reality. The winter is almost over for us and we look ahead to the eternal spring where we will be with our dearly beloved and he will be with us; nothing will come between us; nothing will hurt us; nothing will take away our joy. We will be forever in the springtime of each other’s embrace.
“Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.”
The beloved now portrays a picture of sheer delight and sheer peace. The ice and snow are gone and they have given way to myriads of flowers that blossom everywhere in the grass, under the trees and along the pathways. They appear as if overnight and the sheer variety is overwhelming to look at. Flowers of every colour and in every shape, bloom and burst out of every crack and crevice as life takes over. Even the trees are in full blossom as they are pollinated by the myriad of insects that bring life to every plant on the face of this amazing garden. There are flowers never seen before – flowers that have never appeared on planet Earth, are now taking root and growing. There is verdant pleasure everywhere, for nothing is held back as the character of her life bursts out without effort.
The garden is the image of the beloved woman so full of life and so full of beauty as the Beloved will dwell with her and in her forever and ever. She is a personification of this amazing place where God is honoured and life is resplendent in all of its beauty in all its glory and all of its honour. This is a love story never to be repeated – a one off. This is a singular event and everyone whose heart is for the beloved can be a part of it. It is our event also.
The blossoming of the flowers and the hatching of the birds and the birth of the many animals is now abounding in this incredible garden, are matched only by the singing that comes from every one of them – songs of joy to the creator, songs of love for the beloved, and his dear woman his dear darling woman. Never was there one more loved or so loved as this woman. The singing ebbs and flows with the glory of the Lord. It sings and it reaches a crescendo and then it sinks back into a silent hum, in the background and again the singing takes off in another loop round and round as an endless fractal of songs of singing of music of sound a true “Ministry of Sound” for these two incredible lovers. No one else is there because no one else needs to be there. The ears that need to hear it are open and they are open to hear the sounds and the true delights that mimics their love for each other in the atmosphere of this garden.
Peace has descended in the form of the cooing of the doves. The symbol of peace has now become a reality and the work of the Holy Spirit is complete within this garden as he oversees all these things and his peace descends on everything. As everything blooms and blossoms and true life – everlasting life is for ever seen, the two lovers wonder in the beauty of this garden enjoying all of this manifestation of the full vigour of the grace of God.
“The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.”
Yet more signs of the coming day of release. The fig tree once cursed by Christ is now producing early fruit. Fruit that is nourishing and sweet and gives energy is now ready. Everything is ready. Even the vines have got their flowers in blossom as they wait for the early fruit to come on them also. Again it is a fragrance that has pinpointed in this section of the book: the smell of the figs with the early fruit; and the smell of the flowers from the young vines. The growing smell and the pollen from the flowers emits a huge fragrance all over the whole garden.
The woman says “let’s go my love; let’s get up and go; come with me..”
She calls him her darling and she calls him her beautiful one. It is time to go. They have lingered long and they have lingered patiently waiting for the right moment, and now the right moment has come and it is her that says it is time to go…
The people of God also wait patiently for the appointed day – the day when the Sun shall arise for them once again. It is there here are eager to go and be with the beloved.
The final Scriptures in the whole book of the canon of the scripture, say these words..
“He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon .” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen. …”
Gods people down to the centuries all echo the same message… come soon Lord Jesus come now – we are ready – we are waiting – we want you to come and make all this sorry winter to be now over. We say to our Lord Jesus “Come soon Lord Jesus. We wait for you, and belong in your presence. We wish to see you with our eyes and worship you at your feet.”
We are waiting for that great and wonderful day, when the shadows of this world will flee away ad the dawning of a new day of righteousness will arrive. The troubles of life will be over and we will see the Saviour of the world, our dearly Beloved, Jesus the lover of our souls. We will see the end of our salvation, the redemption of body, mind and soul, and we will be overcome with thankfulness to have made it home. The day of eternity will dawn, and the people of God will enter into the marriage of marriages, the wedding feast with their husband and friend. He will take away all the pain and disappointment and show us what it to like to be happily married to the one we love best and most. He will be ours forever, and we will live in His embrace. He will rejoice over us with a husband’s love and never leave us. His care will be constant and His love supreme.
So the lover in this book, is looking for the day when he will be with his bride, and they will never be parted, but rejoice in married bliss, forever. His love for her is constant and never wavers. He loves her with a true love, and appreciates her in every way, and always will, for her form in attached to her character, which has been forged by love and service. As he thinks of her, he will look to the “mountain of myrrh” the place of remembrance and he will think of her when she is not with him. He will think of the cost of having her as his own, the death of self, and the resurrection to life, with her forever. Myrrh is for burial, and to love means the death of self, and the putting first of the other. It relates to the death of Christ for their sins of the world, and was give to Him as a young child, for the wise men who visited Him. It was also given on the cross as a pain relief, but Jesus refused it, preferring to suffer loss for the sake of His people, than to convenience Himself. We can look for relief, at times, from wrong sources, and seek relief from troubles, from wrong things. We must seek Christ alone, the beginner and finisher fo our faith, and only He has the power to strengthen us and bring us through the darkness.
The “hill of incense” could refer to the prayers and praises of the people of God. Until the day that Christ returns for His church, He will be praying for them, and enjoying the prayers of His people as we pray to Him, and worship Him for afar, on this earth as we live. One day it will all change, and we will be bodily present with the Lord, and forever able to talk face to face with Him, and sisters and brothers in Christ. So the lover in this book, is thinking of his beloved woman, and the day when they will tie that eternal knot. That knot is so right and true and is meant to last our whole life.
There are situations where it does not, because of the failures of the parties to love each other properly, and make sacrifices and spend time with each other to please each other and build a deep relationship. Over time, this will result in loss, and the relationship cannot keep going. True love will last. Earthly love dies. The hurt is always there, and the failure acute. Marriage must be worked at and valued and the two persons must value each other, and respect what they do, sharing life and agreeing on decisions reached. They should work together, to be together and stay together. It is a tragedy when things do not work out. It gets very painful, until it becomes impossible to stay together, due to the hurt felt and known. Only God knows that outcome. The decisions we make are in God’s hands, and only He knows the long term purpose of the events of life.
“You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.”
How wonderful to be viewed without a flaw, even though you know you have many faults. How great to be forgiven even though you have done wrong. How amazing to be able to forgive, when you have suffered at the hands of another person. How God-like to forgive the unlovely, and the person who is not even sorry. Forgiveness is a holy state to be in, and to be humble and forgive others, even on a day to day basis. When we forgive the little things, we can forgive the big things.
This woman is such a woman. She has been able to set aside her own difficulties and forgive wrongs, and so is a good partner in a marriage situation. She is beautiful. Altogether beautiful. Beautiful in character and in demeanour and this is shown in her speech and behaviour. Her beloved looks at her and sees perfection. He sees beauty and holy love. To be like this woman would be the perfection in a wife, and a perfect companion in the daily living of the marriage bond.
We need to examine this woman and see her to be our role model as women, and learn how to be beautiful in the sight of God and in the view of our husbands. We can move a long way from this, and the circumstances of life, its hardships, temptations and trials, will damage our character. We must stay close to God and remain in His good-pleasure first of all.
Getting rid of bitterness and wrath, is a key skill, and we must not allow it to infiltrate our minds, for any reason. No sickness or suffering should deflect us from following the Lord our God and staying true to His Word and the pattern for living He has given to us.
To be called “Darling” is lovely. It is touching and heartfelt and personal. It is kept for the beloved one, and a name that is only used for her. Marriage is personal and heartfelt, and exclusive to each other. There is no room for outsiders and we must guard that place with great jealousy.
There are no perfect women, but to be regarded as “perfect” is a state of great blessing. To maintain it through many years of marriage, really is perfection. We cannot do that without the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit empowering us to forgive and forget the wrong-doings. We should help each other to maintain our relationships and be faithful to each other. We must guard our own hearts, to keep ourselves in the love of God.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. …”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
“Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, come with me from Lebanon. Descend from the crest of Amana, from the top of Senir, the summit of Hermon, from the lions’ dens and the mountain haunts of leopards.”
The Beloved calls his bride from every place she could be. He calls her to come with him from the mountain tops, to the haunts of the wild animals. He calls her from Lebanon, the land of plenty and the country where all good things are provided by God for His people. A land of good things. She must leave and trust in the judgment of her lover, who will take her with him.
She must leave the safety of the high mountains, Amanda, Senior and Hermon, and come away with her true love. He will take her to his home with his safe haven for her. She can leave the lion’s den and haunts of the leopards, and dwell in the safety of her beloved’s house. The wild animals can be left behind and the life of wandering in the hills, and she can live securely in the place her Beloved has prepared for her.
So, one day, Christ will come and call His people home to Himself. They will leave the four corners of the the globe, and go with Him, when He calls them. They will go gladly, away from the insecurity of this life, and the dangers that haunt the pathways of the people of God. They will go and be His bride at the wedding feast, being prepared for us. They will live in the home prepared for them, by Jesus Himself, and there live security and with great joy forever. The Holy Spirit will fill every life, and we will be as we should be.
Until then, let us seek peace and pursue it. May the Spirit fill us daily with his peace and love, and make us always ready to go when the call comes, to Come away, my love….
“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth ,” a for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new !” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true .”
“You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.”
It didn’t take much to attract the Beloved and set his heart on this beautiful woman. One glance and sparkle from a jewel in her necklace and he was smitten.
So also with Christ. He set His heart on His people, even before they existed. He loved them with an everlasting love. He always will, because He has died for them, and shed His blood to have them as His own. They were chosen by Him personally, to be in the eternal kingdom and part of His family and to be His bride. The love of Christ is wonderful to experience and know and we must seek to have Him as our own. He is the Beloved and he will glory in the salvation of is people. The glance of faith and the sparkle of repentance is what attracts Him to us. He longs for us to see our sin and repent of what has been holding us away from Him.
When the Lord Jesus sees our humility and confession of sin and exercise of faith in what He did on the cross, then He brings us into the kingdom and forgives us and makes us new again. Jesus loves His people, and calls us His sister and His bride. We are brought into His family, and are sisters to Him, and are betrothed to Him as His bride forever. We wait for the wedding and the life of marriage to Christ the king in that eternal kingdom forever.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
1 John 4:7-12
“How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume more than any spice!”
The Beloved delights in the fact that he is loved by his woman and it is so pleasant for him to enjoy her love. She showers it on him, because she loves him. He calls her his “sister and bride” and uses the possessive pronoun, to underline the fact that she belongs to him, and he delights in her.
The love of this woman is more pleasurable to her Beloved, than any wine he could have. Perhaps He has a wine store, because he has a vineyard, certainly the woman refers to her vineyard, which seems to be a possession of individual people at that time. The Beloved has everything, and has access to good things, but her prefers her love to any of it. No good wine is ever good enough to replace her love.
The aroma of her presence is sweeter than the fragrance of any spice. This could be her natural smell, or a scent that she wears, which he associates with her being around him. Yet still, the presence of her love is sweeter than may spice he could smell or taste, and the scent of her aroma is a strong association with her love for him.
How much the Lord Jesus loves the presence of His people as they meet with Him and pray to Him. Nothing gives Him more pleasure than the sweet company of those He loves. He is delighted by them, and longs for them to continue with Him and spend more time in His loving presence.
“Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride; milk and honey are under your tongue. The fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon.”
The lips that utter praise and prayer are sweet to the Lord. The greatest thing we can do is to praise Him who we love. It exalts the Lord and also lifts us up to heaven. It gives us wings that fly to the presence of God, and we stay there, as we glorify His name. We must be sincere in our love and praises, and ask Him to purify us for the sin that easily besets us and keeps us away for Him.
There are times when our lips do not drop sweetness and we can become loud and rough in our speech. This is not the way of Christ. We speak His words with sincerity and we speak to others with calmness and sincerity too. Our behaviour can be unhelpful and we justify ourselves and end up being two-faced. We cannot love God and not love the people around us. We cannot fall out with other people, and try to please God. God requires honesty and straight speaking and thinking. When we are not sincere, it stops the blessing of God. He knows how we feel and what our motivations are. We also have an enemy who will stop us doing what we should be doing, and will trick us into wrong thought patterns. We must examine our motives closely and make sure we are obeying God.
Canaan was the land of milk and honey, the land of promise. Promises of all good things lie under the tongue of the beloved woman, who has done good things for her Beloved and said good things to Him. He loves to be around her, because the fragrance of Lebanon is around her too. She brings sweetness where ever she goes, and people love her. She reflects the values and the desires of her loved one, and will Iive to please him every day.
This is the relationship of the Christian with the Lord Jesus and they love to be around Him and to serve Him in all they do. To be a bad witness is easy and we can loose our respect very quickly and easily too. Repentance is the key to renewal with the Lord, but it is harder to renew with other people, if we have hurt them. We must seek the Lord each day and persevere with our lives and pray to be a blessing. If we go wrong, we seek forgiveness from God, and from others. If they give it we are blessed by them. If they don’t, we must persevere and learn our lessons.
“You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.”
The bride is not yet belonging to the Beloved, but she waits for him. She has kept herself locked to love, until he comes into her life. She is like a walled garden that has been kept locked for the right moment and the right person. When the right person comes along, the garden will open at the right time, and be revealed how beautiful it is. She is his sister, and his bride, the two closest relationships next to a mother. His regard for her is so great, that he waits for her and respects her dignity.
She is a spring, not yet discovered, referring to her complete virginity, and chaste example to the young virgins in the community. She has kept her love for the right man and will be a source of refreshment to him, when they are together. She is a sealed fountain, waiting to open into wells of refreshing water, when the seal is removed.
It is right and good to keep ourselves pure of the right person. We must guard ourselves with jealousy and good judgment. Abuse is such an ugly thing that sometimes happens to our young people, and we need to guard against it in our lives and in the lives of you young ones. The rules around relationships are very important and need constant care and reinforcement. We might loose some liberty in our behaviours, but it is more important to keep each other safe.
To come to marriage with abuse in a young life, is very difficult. Abuse sets wrong expectations and wrong behaviour patterns and can cause so much pain and guilt. It is difficult to talk about, and the implications are so huge. Only God can help us to cope with this situation, and give us the strength to deal with it and move on. The garden should remain locked, and the spring should remain pure for the day of the wedding and the life of a true marriage.
“But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.”
“Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates with choice fruits, with henna and nard,”
The garden is full of plants, pomegranate, henna and nard. Pomegranate is a symbol of righteousness and has many seeds. It represents the law of God and the necessity of keeping it. The garden of this woman’s life is full of righteousness and she has done many deeds of kindness and help for others, including her family. Henna protected the vineyard from hungry animals and has a strong and distinct smell. Nard is the ointment used by Mary to anoint he feet of Jesus. It has a smell and is an oil. These beautiful plants and natural substances are in the garden of the woman and are there to remind us of the holiness of God, the protection of God and the preciousness of love for Christ.
We seek these plants in the garden of our lives, and ask the Lord to make them grow in us and around us. Our lives should be rich places of growth and service for God. We should bear rich fruit for His glory and to exhaust Him.
“nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with every kind of incense tree, with myrrh and aloes and all the finest spices.”
More spices in this list of spices in the garden of the beloved woman.
Saffron, an expensive and fragrant spice. Calamus is a medicine to cure a range of bodily problems. Cinnamon is a popular flavouring and is very aromatic.these space all reflect the flavour and attraction of this beautiful woman, along with every kind of incense tree. Myrrh and aloes is also included, so as to highlight the true delight of the lover in the beloved.
This woman is beyond the praise of her beloved. He cannot find enough delights to liken her to. She is beyond the price of any spice from any spice merchant, and her flavour and aroma are unmatchable.
“You are a garden fountain, a well of flowing water streaming down from Lebanon.”
The Beloved man knows his woman will bring him refreshment and blessing all his life. She is like a garden fountain. The garden of her life has a fountain of joy and love, and it springs from her soul. She has the spirit of God in her soul and is alive to all spiritual goodness and peace. She brings peace to whoever she meets or is involved with. The fountain maintains the refreshment in her garden and keeps the plants and flowers alive. So also the Spirit of God empowers the lives of God’s people to Iive for Him and obey Him.
Without the Spirt of God in our lives we cannot live and we cannot please Him. we must stay close to the truth of God and obey His word and listen and lean on Him. When we don’t do that, and look to other things, we go astray. We can loose our sense of who we are in Christ, and forget the things of God and find ourselves depending on the weak things of this world to support us, which they do not. We can fall into sin very quickly, and find ourselves overcome by a sin which will destroy our lives, except God intervenes, and rescues us.
A well of fresh, flowing water is coming our of the life of this woman. She is spreading good things wherever she goes. She is a stream of good things to the people around her, and God has given her rivers of water in the inner core of her life. She gives drink to those in need and sustains those who fall down. The streams are coming from the land of plenty, which is Lebanon.
We seek the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, so that we live rightly and choose rightly. Without His power we do not chose right and we fall into lazy ways and do not grown as Christian people. To know the power of the Spirit is life and peace, and we wait for Him to teach us and humble us, so we can learn rightly and serve rightly.
“On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. …”
We can know the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives through the teaching of the Word of God and the application of the truth through His presence and filling in our souls. We trust Him for the things we cannot understand and the things that happen, which we have no control over. We seek strength to overcome our sin and live our lives for His glory. We ask Him to over-rule in our mistakes and make His glory shine through regardless. We bring glory to Him, in whatever we do, as we humble ourselves, confess our guilt and trust Him and obey.
“Awake, north wind, and come, south wind! Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread everywhere. Let my beloved come into his garden and taste its choice fruits.”
The woman calls out to the inanimate air, to come to her help in spreading the love of the Beloved everywhere. She tells the two winds, from North and South, to awaken and blow. They are to bow on her garden so that the scent of the plants, trees and flowers is spread everywhere. She is so in love, she wants all to share in the delicacy that is the sweet smell of her devotion to her Beloved.
The Christian is also so in love with Christ, their Beloved, that they want everyone to know about it and share in the sweet salvation that is offered. The wind of the Spirit of God is what enlivens the soul to smell and taste that the Lord is good. The Spirit goes wherever it pleases, and does the work that God intends Him to do. As the Spirit blows on the garden of our lives, so the presence of Christ is dispersed and we bear a witness to the saving power of God. Our garden must be alive and tended and in full bloom at all times, if we are to be able to let other people savour the work and person of Jesus the Lord.
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.”
2 Corinthians 2:14-17
As we live our lives for God and spread the aroma of the truth of God we are pleasing to our Lord and God. The aroma of love that follows us everywhere, will bring souls to life in Christ, bringing life to dead souls. The aroma will also bring death to some, as they refuse to believe. To be a witness for Jesus is very difficult, and requires holiness and obedience. We follow the Lord Jesus, and project His scent in every place we go. The message will then be spread all around the world, as the aroma of love and knowledge of God.
As the aroma is unleashed in this garden, the woman wants the Beloved to come and enjoy the sweetest of fruits, in her choice garden. She calls to him to come in and be with her. Her garden is now His garden. She gives herself to him, and everything she is. What a picture for the Christian to give all of ourselves to Jesus Christ, so that His garden is our garden and our garden is His garden. The two separate beings are now one in place and desire.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”
Our sacrifice of praise is a constant pleasing aroma to the Father and a delight to our Saviour Jesus.
“I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice. I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey; I have drunk my wine and my milk.”
“Eat, O friends, and drink; drink your fill, O lovers.”
The Beloved has now come into his garden to enjoy the fruits of his labour. He calls the woman, his sister and his bride. She is part of his family, as his sister and is now part of himself, as his beloved bride. The newly-weds are gathering in their blessings from the garden myrrh and spices fill their senses as they enjoy each others company and fill their senses with delight.
The Beloved has eaten fresh honey, that is, honey from the homey comb. The honeycomb has been gathered from the bee hives and is served as it is in the natural state that it is found. No processing to get the honey, but the whole comb. It is natural to eat the two parts, the honey and the wax that holds it in the cells that the bees have made.
The wine has been drunk to the fill and also the milk. The wine is the wine of love, which the Beloved has enjoyed right to the last drop. And the milk of nourishment and sustainability, has kept him strong and healthy. In every way, these two have fulfilled each other’s dreams and they are satisfied with what they experience and know and feel.
One day, soon, Jesus our Beloved will enjoy the fruits of His labours, when He lived on earth and allowed Himself to die on a cross so that we could be forgiven and made free. We are His people, and when the final day comes, we will all go to be with Him, and to the great marriage supper of the Lamb. The Lamb that was once slain, will now be the conquering king, who brings His glorious bride, hoe to heaven forever. We shall be free and sin will no longer have any dominion or power over us. We shall be perfect and spend forever with our Saviour, who we so love.
We will enjoy all the blessings that were purchased for us on Calvary, and we shall be satisfied. The wine will be wine of love that never looses its potency again, because the Holy Spirit will fill our lives complete. No longer self, or sin, or enemy, will bother us, only God’s free grace will be our everlasting song.
No longer will we need the milk of the Word, for we shall be in the presence of that Word, daily. We will see His face and touch Him and adore Him forever. Everything we experienced in this life will fade away, and only heaven’s glory will remain.
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
The Friends of the married couple, are encouraging them to enjoy each other and drink their fill of the wine of love, the milk of sustenance, and the sweetness of the honey in the honey comb. These two are dear to other people and they are encouraged and supported by their friends and other loved ones. Marriage will not work if we are left out in the open to fend for ourselves. We need strong networks and ties that help us to be bound together. Love is everything, and it conquers all.
“I slept but my heart was awake. Listen! My beloved is knocking: “Open to me, my sister, my darling, my dove, my flawless one. My head is drenched with dew, my hair with the dampness of the night.”
It is a curious phenomenon that our bodies can rest, and our minds and hearts are still operating. As we sleep in a state of voluntary unconsciousness, our minds are sorting out the day and putting things in order.
In this verse, the heart is also awake- thinking and rehearsing a conversation with her Beloved. She longs for his perfections and is craving his presence. She recognised his knocking, perhaps at the door of her heart, waiting for entrance.
Christ waits for us to come to our senses and let Him into our lives. We should be longing for this just as this woman is longing for her Lover. We remain insensible without the work of God in our lives, and our desire stays dormant, until we catch a glimpse of our Saviour and what He has done for us.
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”
The woman knows how her Beloved calls her. “Sister, darling, my dove, my flawless one.”
She is flawless to him, because he loves her. So also we, as the bride of Christ, are also found flawless, because we are washed by Him and the price of our filthiness has been paid. We are justified by that sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross. Our Saviour and Lord views us as perfect, because we are covered by Him and the power of the shed blood on the cross.
Her head is wet with dew and her hair with the damp atmosphere of the night. She has been up in the night thinking and waiting for her Beloved to come. It suggests she has been outside, exposed to the weather and the wetness of early morning dew. She is covered with the damp dew, the dew of her longing for her lover.
We still wait, as Christian people for our Beloved. The skies will part, and He will return for those who are faithful and waiting for Him. Or we may go through the portal of death to meet Him in heaven- a place prepared for those who are forgiven. The bride is wet with the dew of waiting in the night. She is unconcerned for her personal comfort, such is the desire for the one she loves. We can get too focused on our own enjoyments and the things of this life, and our desire for God weakens and we loose our urgency for Christ.
The woman sleeps, but not the sleep of spiritual death. She is waiting and longing, as we also must do. We rehearse His Word and His blessings even on our bed at night. He remind ourselves daily, what He has done for us, big things and smaller things, all being the grace of God to us. Through the meditation on the Word of God, we throw off the sluggishness that often surrounds us, and put on humility and service, as we wait for the Beloved one, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
“I have taken off my robe— must I put it on again? I have washed my feet— must I soil them again?”
This question suggests that the woman has settled herself in her home for the night and has prepared herself for sleep. She has undressed and taken off her footwear, and is laying herself down for rest and the refreshment of slumber. Rest is crucial to our human psyche, because without sleep, we cannot function and our minds get over-tired and the sleeplessness becomes a cycle of wakefulness that is hard to break. The woman is going to sleep, and yet her mind is still functioning as she thinks about her true love.
Her lover has come to her door. He is waiting outside. She asks questions. Is she required to put for robe back on, and her shoes? She has already washed her feet, but if she goes outside again, they will get dirty, and she will have to wash all over again. It is strange that she should complain about getting dressed to see her love. Perhaps the sense of urgency has gone, and she has become settled in her home.
Her language directed toward her lover, has been deep and full of love, but here, we see a complacency and a lack of urgency about her response to the presence of her love.
As Christians, we can also loose urgency, when we take our eyes of Christ and put them on ourselves or something else. Even the ordinary things we do, can be tedious, and to step out for God, is too much trouble. We don’t have the desire we once had, and we loose love for Jesus, and the beauty of His presence.
These are the ups and downs of the Christians life, and yet the Beloved still waits for her. Our saviour, Jesus, will never thrown us off or cut us out of His presence, but He waits for us to come to our senses and make our sacrifice of praises to Him.
“My beloved thrust his hand through the latch-opening; my heart began to pound for him.”
The Beloved man stands at the door of the woman’s house and puts his hand through the catch on the door. He desires to enter in. He has found where his lover lives, and has come to find her and take her away. Chapter two verse nine, tells us that the Beloved man stands behind the lattice at her window, to invite her to come away with him. The winter has gone past and the season of singing has come.
“… There he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, peering through the lattice. My beloved spoke and said to me, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit..”
Song of Songs 2:9-13
This may not be the same event, but the lover comes to her door, to commune and take his bride for himself. She is settling down at home, and not ready to go with him. But her heart still races for his presence. Her desire is still there, even though she is not quite ready.
As Christians we can also find ourselves in this situation. We love our Beloved, but have become too comfortable in this world. Our spiritual life can atrophy, and we imagine we are doing all for good, or for Christ, but we are not. We have some feeling for the Lord, but not the outworking. We should become mature believers, but we are not. The Lord still comes to us, and waits for us at the door of our most inner heart, and waits for us to bow to His command and love him truly. The bride is not yet ready to go with the Beloved, so her waits for her to respond.
The Beloved puts is hand through the latch. He is telling his love that He is there. When we are troubled, we remember that Jesus is there, and He will always be our Beloved. We fail, and can find ourselves rejected by people, but our Saviour will never throw us off, or loose interest in us. When we are let down, we remember how Jesus was rejected and misunderstood as He lived on earth, so He knows how we feel and will help us and provide the right things for us to do, in our difficulties. we long for Him, and the closeness of knowing Him.