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The Test ~ SoS Saturday

Many Waters - SoS header

I said a few weeks ago that Song of Songs Chapter 5 was about the testing of the maiden’s faith and not her failure to answer to Master’s call.

Let’s look at the road she is now asked to walk.

I have taken off my dress,
How can I put it on again?
I have washed my feet,
How can I dirty them again?

My beloved extended his hand through the opening,
And my feelings were aroused for him.

I arose to open to my beloved;
And my hands dripped with myrrh,
And my fingers with liquid myrrh,
On the handles of the bolt.

I opened to my beloved,
But my beloved had turned away and had gone!
My heart went out to him as he spoke.
I searched for him but I did not find him;
I called him but he did not answer me.

The watchmen who make the rounds in the city found me,
They struck me and wounded me;
The guardsmen of the walls took away my shawl from me.

Song of Songs 5:3-7 NASB

Let’s break this down a bit:

I have taken off my dress,
How can I put it on again?

She has taken off the filthy rags He found her in – He dressed her in righteousness, but her clothes were what Jude calls ‘garments, polluted by the flesh.’ In her place of rest in Him, she has removed these remnants of her past, and is resting secure in His arms.

I have washed my feet,
How can I dirty them again?

She is washed head to toe by the blood of the Lamb, and the daily filth washed off her feet by the washing of the Word. She is reluctant to leave the wonderful place of intimacy.

Yet she hears His call and sees His hand at the door.

When she goes to the door and touches the place His hand had been, her hands begin to drip with myrrh. Myrrh is used as a symbol of death, specifically Christ death. This call to her is the call that comes to each of us as we rise up and follow Him. He calls us to come and die.

More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. - Philippians 3:8-11 NASB

We love the idea of the resurrection, but you can’t have resurrection with out death. We are called to reckon all that we have – even that which He has given us – our righteous robes – this new life  - all of it, as His to do with as He sees fit.

We count it all as loss, as refuse, so that we might have a righteousness that can only be gained  by faith – trusting Him with our honor – with our reputation.

This is where the Shepherd King asks the maiden to walk today. He leaves the myrrh to draw her out and face those who will hate her and use her despitefully. He leads her by His own death - to walk the road marked with suffering.

As Jesus was preparing to leave the disciples and walk to the cross, He told them in no uncertain terms that they would face the hatred of men because of Him. (See John 16) It was not a punishment for them. No – it was actually a form of fellowship with Him, what Paul calls the fellowship of His suffering.

I opened to my beloved,
But my beloved had turned away and had gone!
My heart went out to him as he spoke.
I searched for him but I did not find him;
I called him but he did not answer me.

She is tested in the same two areas where she first pursued Him.

Draw me after you and let us run together! - Song of Songs 1:4 NASB

She is called to leave the place of intimacy, and left alone in the place of ministry, in the place outside the chamber. Of course He never actually leaves us, but there are times when the sense – the feeling of His presence is not felt, and so we seek Him and He is not found.

So out she goes – into the streets – and the city guards abuse her.

The watchmen who make the rounds in the city found me,
They struck me and wounded me;
The guardsmen of the walls took away my shawl from me.

They beat her – they abuse her – they strip her shawl away – they ruin her reputation. She is insulted. She is wounded. She is broken and crushed.

But as we will see next week, in more detail – she is more in love with Him now than ever before. Somehow trials only increase faith. Persecutions separate the wheat from the chaff. It is the heat of the sun of trials that tests the roots of the good seed in your life. [Tweet This]

How have trials deepened your faith?

BN Writers Page 150Thanks for coming by today.

Come back next week and see how fellowship of His suffering impacts the maidens faith.

Ben

5 thoughts on “The Test ~ SoS Saturday

  1. ziggy317

    This passage and your thoughts brought me to tears today. Sometimes you don't have to walk "outside the chamber" to experience persecution and suffering. For seven years, my husband was a proclaimed atheist, vehemently arguing against the faith I clung to for life. And as you described, I look upon those years as the most transformational of all. I love Him more than I once imagined possible. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      Oh wow Debbie, thank you for sharing from your life. it's wonderful how He so brilliantly takes what our enemy means for our destruction and makes it our infrastructure.

      Reply
  2. Sue C.

    "It is the heat of the sun of trials that tests the roots of the good seed in your life." Ain't it the truth! My book, "Laying Down my Net-A Walk of Faith" is a testimony of testing and teaching me. He had His hands full, for sure. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Debbie

    Mr. Ben, thank you. I never would have gotten so much out of this book without you. Dying to self is something that He keeps instructing me on! God bless you!

    Reply

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