He is standing behind our wall,
He is looking through the windows,
He is peering through the lattice.
Song of Songs 2:9
Jesus is on the outside looking in.
Usually when you hear these words they are condemning, but not today. Today they are inviting.
The picture the Song paints today isn’t one of the Laodicean Church hearing the Lord of the Church saying:
Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me. ~ Revelation 3:20
Rather, the idea here is more like what I used to say on a beautiful Spring Saturday. I would trot my chubby 10-year-old self over to my best friends house, cup my hand over my eyes to cut the glare, and peer through the window, while I knocked on the door and called out “Can Shawn come out and play?” I may have had a bat and ball in my arms, or my case of matchbox cars, but it was just too nice to spend the day inside.
That is how I read this. Jesus is not requesting admittance. We will see in the next few verses He is inviting His favorite girl out and about. He has been climbing mountains and carrying on in the hills, and wants companionship for journey.
[A caveat before you read this next bit – times of praise and worship, intimate times of communion with the Lord, alone or with the body are wonderful and precious, a true foretaste of glory divine. Please don’t let what I am about to say minimize or undermine that sense of intimacy.]
What is commonly called worship these days, times of intimacy, times of praise and celebration, either corporate or personal, are not all there is to worship. I think we need another word. Just as we can easily get confused when we talk about love, we get confused about the nature of worship. In the movies when a man says to a woman, “I love you,” he often means “I want to defile your purity and rob you of your dignity by steeling prematurely that which ought to be freely given when I have earned it through demonstrations of self-denial and acts of selflessness and complete commitment witnessed by God and those closest to us.” [sorry about the rant – that rabbit is clearly dead now]
I was talking about worship – we need a word for that indoor intimate worship and another word for what Paul refers to in Romans 12:1 “your spiritual service of worship.” Here is the whole verse:
I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. ~ Romans 12:1
You see, true worship like Jesus said in John 4:23 involves Spirit and Truth – it is in our hearts in those intimate times, and it is in our lives, in those stress filled hills and terrifying mountains.
Remember our Maiden’s heart cry had two parts:
Draw me after you and let us run together! ~ Song 1:4
In last week's comments we got talking about the fact that these times of intimacy are actually preparation for the furnace of life. That may sound frightening, and as we will see, our maiden is still afraid, still put off by those hills, and terrified by the mountains.
But hear this friends, Jesus does not 'send her out' to face those hills and mountains, that furnace, rather He drew her out to face them TOGETHER! The picture here is of Him returning from the hills and mountains – He has already conquered them. He was in the furnace waiting for the three Hebrew men when Nebuchadnezzar threw them in. And the only thing affected by the fire was their restraints! They had more freedom in the fire than they did in the courtroom.
Jesus may be calling you to a season change today. Don’t be afraid. Know this, He will not take you places He has not already been. They may not be pleasant, or pretty, but we don’t go alone, and we don’t go without the wonderful promise:
I am with you always, even to the end of the age. ~ Matthew 28:20
That’s a good word brother Ben!
Hey - tune in tomorrow afternoon when I announce something completely new!
See you next week.