The Maiden’s Decision
The shadows have gotten darker instead of fleeing away. “All night long on my bed I looked for the one my heart loves . . . but did not find Him” (Song 3:1). One writer has called this the night of faith because that is the only thing she has left. The bed represents a place of spiritual rest, and in the spirit, this may be true, but for the maiden it is now the darkest time of night.
She is trying to find the Lord in all the old retreats but cannot find him. She trying to recapture all of her past feelings and experiences. Have you ever gone back to your old High School trying to recapture those old memories, or maybe seeing an old flame at a 10-year reunion? You can‘t do it, they’re gone for good. They have slipped away and you are much older, much more is required of you.
Many thoughts are clawing through her mind: “Well, maybe I should get that old tape series out.” “Maybe that book I read before will get me out of this rut.” “I know, a faith seminar or a ‘camp meeting’ is what I need.”
Like Job, she says; “I go forward, but I cannot perceive Him on the left hand . . . I cannot behold Him . . . He hides Himself on the right hand, so that I cannot see Him . . . God has made my heart faint . . . Yet I am not silenced by the darkness, nor by the thick darkness that covers my face” (Job 23:8,9,16,17).
She isn’t silent because of the darkness, no; instead, she will seek him with her whole heart (Song 3:2). She is so intent on finding him that all reservations are gone. The wall is falling away! She doesn’t care anymore who knows as long as she finds him. She will confess to others that he has withdrawn himself from her; she will go talk to the watchmen and ask them if they can help her (Song 3:3).
The suffering is too much to try to keep up appearances, or to try to keep up past experiences by more vigorous testimonies. She has to be honest. Who cares what people think of her! She has to find him! Any sense of pride and self-sufficiency has been cast aside.
He succeeded in his purpose. He called her to arise, but she did not obey. By hiding his face he woke her up from her lethargy; by his silence, he drew her to seek him diligently; by prolonging his apparent absence, he broke down the wall of reserve and drawn her out of herself.
He watched her looking for him in all the old places. He noted her desolation, but gave no sign of his presence. He saw she was rushing back and forth, up and down, to this place or that place, expecting to obtain blessings like the old days, but he didn’t use the old instruments, or even instruct the much loved watchmen with an answer that really met her need.
The watchmen‘s responsibility is to warn the people; to hear the message of the Lord and give it (Ezekiel 33:2-7), and so many times we run off to a conference or a meeting of some kind hoping that the superstar will have God‘s word for us. Although, the Lord did not use him this time.
The Lord was silent in his love. Because he wanted to lead her on to know him fully, he allowed her to think he was gone. “He doesn’t afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men” (Lamentations 3:33).
With great joy, he saw his purpose fulfilled. His maiden finally decided to rise up to seek Him. He saw her intensity of purpose and her determination to find him at the cost even of her reputation in the religious world. Who cares what people think of you now? You have to find the King!
While Jesus’ disciples were in the midst of a storm on the lake, scripture tells us that “he was about to pass by them” (Mark 6:48) in order to draw out their cry of need; On the road to Emmaus, he “acted as if he was going farther” (Luke 24:28), so that they would urge him to stay longer.
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