It is so easy to miss the broad message when it is broken up into small messages. So, I wanted to take some time out this morning to review what we are doing and show you how far we have come.
As I pointed out earlier, I am taking you through The Song of Solomon. Because, as I (and many others before me) read this Song, we find the very heartbeat of Jesus. He is demonstrating his desire to make Himself known to those who love Him and obey him, the ones He calls his friends.
The essential story within the Gospel is that Jesus is seeking those He can share His heart, His purpose, and His plans. His heart burns with desire for those He can bring into a mature relationship and those who will share His life, his power, and His throne. In other words, He is looking for a Bride — those who will become one in spirit with Him. He is not looking for someone who is concerned with their own life or the blessing He is able to bring into their lives, or even for someone who is determined to do great things for God.
No, He is searching for those who desire to enter intimate union with him. This was God‘s thought in originally creating Adam, giving him dominion over all the works of God‘s hands. However, through his sin, Adam lost this place of fellowship. Today, Jesus is seeking those who would desire to re-enter all that Adam had only just begun to experience.
We can break the story into several sections, if you will, that describe the development of this relationship. For instance, we began with what we can call, “a Premature Love.” This runs through Song 1:1, to Song 2:7.
This premature love marks the first expression of fervent, although, immature love for our King. There is no reason to look down on this love, because it forms the foundation for the rest of the Song. Think of the “first love” referred to in Revelations 2:4.
Some believers lose this first love of becoming a Christian and falling in love with Jesus. But fear not! Jesus will continue to draw us back to this fervent love as He shows us how much He loves us!
What is interesting is that in this stage, there is very little movement out of the believer‘s immediate dwellings. However, in the next stage (which we will examine in a moment), it becomes apparent that the Lord wants us to break out of our old securities.
What is important in this first, premature-stage, is that a correct foundation in intimacy is laid, and breaks us out of our false securities, which will free us into His purposes!
In the first four verses of this stage of spiritual growth, the maiden lays out the goal and theme of her life on earth. Her desire is an intimate relationship with him whose love is better to her than the best wine of the world. From verse five to the end of the song we can trace her unbroken journey in that progression of passion for her beloved. As I have always told you, this should be the goal of our walk of faith: Intimacy with Jesus!
Next, in Song 2:8, we begin, what we can call, Possessive Love, where we are able to declare, “Jesus Is Mine!.” This is the stage in our study we have just reached.
Here, the Beloved presents another aspect of His personality. He comes to draw the maiden out of her familiar, secure surroundings, into His dangerous but exciting purposes (over the mountains to the harvest fields!).
He initially came to her as the one who brought blessing, but now he comes as the One Who Draws her. Many Christians don‘t mind Jesus being the On who brings blessings, but the moment He starts to draw them into His risky, dangerous but exciting purposes, they draw back!
In this section we witness the maiden being possessive of her beloved, dictating to Him where He should be, rather than following Him (see Song 3:4). The point is that all of us will go through this stage, where we cry “My Beloved is Mine, and I am His”(Song 2:16). This should change to the cry in Song 6:3 and 7:10: But the fact is, Jesus still loves us even in this possessive stage, and will continue to draw us into His passionate presence and purposes!
Next, we reach the stage of “Painful Love.” After we have experience tremendous blessings and deeply loved, and have had our selfishness exposed, the Beloved comes to her as a Mighty Warrior to take her deeper into Covenant relationship with Him (this is where they have their Espousals (Marriage) and we see the Wedding Procession).
Although it is a joyful occasion, there is also a lot of pain as she has to leave many things that have been dear to her (childhood home etc.) and learn to open herself up, like a closed garden letting its beautiful fragrance go forth to bless many. This time she actually ventures further and receives painful blows from those who have helped her before. But she seems willing to endure pain just to break forth out of her comfort zones to follow the one she loves.
This section speaks of a time in our relationship with Jesus where we make the decision to step out with Him, following Him no matter what the cost. He will fight on our behalf and give us all the affirmation we need just to open us up to Him and to the World.
Also this section shows the need for ‗adjustment‘ for newly weds. The man must help the woman leave behind her childhood home and cleave to him (see Genesis 2:24). Also the man is seen to be a strong lead and an example (Warrior) for her to follow in the painful time of adjusting to a new life. Much affirmation of her physical beauty and personality is needed at this time (Song 4:1-11).
And finally, we reach the stage of “Perfecting Love.”
This final stage of love shows the Bride coming into full maturity in her love relationship with her Beloved. It reveals the true nature of agape (self-sacrificing) love, both in our relationship with Jesus and in a Godly marriage.
This is where the Shulamite maiden leans 100% on her Beloved and is totally His. The love they have is so strong that nothing can tear them apart. Here we see a beautiful picture of what quality of people God is looking for in His Church and what should constitute a mature, godly marriage. He looks for people who lean totally on Jesus and who long to bring others into this quality of relationship with Him – those who give their lives to do His will and who look towards His glorious second coming!
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)
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It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.