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Many Waters - SoS header

I thought I was done with Song of Songs chapter three, but then I ran into this beauty, and realized there is a ton of buried treasure here. So stick with me one more week, won’t you?

Go forth, O daughters of Zion,
And gaze on King Solomon with the crown
With which his mother has crowned him
On the day of his wedding,
And on the day of his gladness of heart.

Song of Songs 3:11

Our maiden is finally married to the man of her dreams. She has entered into a covenant relationship with this Shepherd King. No longer is she the invited dinner guest who comes for a visit and stays in the guest chambers, but now she is family.

No longer does she look at what her Husband is doing and wonder if she is worthy or up to the task. Now she is part of His life for keeps.

She has come through some trials and testing to get to this place, hasn’t she?

In chapter one she was faced with her own sin. She plugged into ministry and failed to keep her own house in order.

In chapter two, along with an increase in intimacy, she also faced the fear and timidity it took to step into the life she longed for.

Remember her two part desire, draw me and we will run.

He has drawn her to His side, and now they are ready to run.

We see her response to this vast outpouring of love and protection He has lavished on her on their wedding day, is to turn her eyes toward ministry. She is now the one doing the drawing, and this outward facing posture will continue and grow as her life with the Master endures and as her intimacy deepens.

She calls to the “daughters of Zion” and invites them to “gaze on King Solomon.”

We have seen this man depicted as first Shepherd and now King. This is an interesting contrast. Solomon as the third real king of Israel would understand the concept of a shepherd king since his earthly father was of course the classic shepherd king of all time, David.

David demonstrated as a boy, standing before then king, Saul, that when Israel thought they needed a king what they really needed was a shepherd. When they thought they needed a warrior with sword and spear, what they really needed as a boy with a sling and a stone. I digress.

Today we see a King, Solomon to be exact, standing here as a type of Christ at His own wedding, the wedding of the Lamb, to His beautiful bride the Church, and in particular, you, His beloved.

The maiden, now bride, calls to those in the Church, and in her circles of influence to come and gaze on the beauty of this King.

The term Christian is falling out of favor in our day, possibly due to the way we have tossed the name around and put it on everything from music and tee-shirts, to TV channels and news services. Many have turned to the title Christ follower, and I’m OK with that, or perhaps Jesus lover, which I like too. But in reality what we used to call a Christian is a person who has entered into a covenant relationship with Jesus Christ. The only real Christian is one who is the bride of Christ, a full partner in the ministry in which Christ walked and into which we are commissioned.

As our maiden enters into covenant, she takes up the cause, and begins to see others and their need to enter into this covenant as well. So her call to the others in her circles – come gaze on my Wonderful Husband!

This verse reminds me of what the writer to the Hebrew Christians says:

photo credit: helgabj via photopin cc
photo credit: helgabj via photopin cc

…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

1 – It has the same exhortation – fix your eyes on Jesus

2 – It explains one of the joys set before Jesus; the day we would say “I do.”

There comes a day when we sit at a heavenly wedding feast! In the mean while, let’s partner with the Lover of our souls, and bring many brothers and sisters to that table.

Lord, I am so glad you called me, and allowed me to hear your call. Use me to call others to this wonderful covenant.

Ben NelsonThanks for stopping by.

See you next week.

Meanwhile… Shine where you are plugged in.

Ben

 

Colorado Rockies
Colorado Rockies

When we left our maiden she was resting in the arms of her lover, sleeping in His protective embrace. He left her there safe and warm and placed a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door.

He had set things in place to allow her to be undisturbed in this time. She was under His hand of protection.

She awakes to a sound.

Listen! My beloved!
Behold, He is coming,
Climbing on the mountains,
Leaping on the hills!
My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. ~ Song of Songs 2:8-9

She rushes to the window and sees what it is she is hearing. And there He is, her Beloved.

But this is a side of her Beloved she has never known.

In the beginning of the Song, her Beloved, Jesus, was a Great Shepherd.

Next He took her under His wing, protecting her, feeding her at His table, giving her shelter, as a Father to her.

I have referred to Jesus as the Shepherd King for weeks now, but it is really here that Jesus is revealed as a conquering King, the Vanquisher.

Let’s pick it apart a bit.

First, notice that He is coming to her. If you remember her life prayer expressed in the very beginning of the song: “Draw me after You.” ~1:4 She loved Him from afar, but now He is coming to her.

Where had He gone? He was preparing the way, making sure the way was passable for the object His love (you.) He was preparing a way to walk and works to do.

Mountains and Hills

Mountains are the obstacles in life that seem insurmountable. When you are facing a mountain, you can’t see what is on the other side. To go around would take ages, seemingly more time than you have. To go over would take skills you don’t have. To go through would take an army of dwarves. (Thank you brother Tolkien.)

What are your mountains?

  • Unemployment
  • Debt
  • Sickness
  • Disability
  • Loneliness
  • Poverty

Hills are the problems of day-to-day life. They don’t cripple you, they just keep you from making progress. They come one after another and never seem to end. Got any hills in your life?

  • Cars that need constant repair
  • Relationships that are work
  • Work you just can’t get under control

When she (our maiden) goes to the window and throws back the sash she sees Him. And she sees that the biggest things in her life, the things that keep her up at night, her worries, her worst fears are not even slowing Him down.

Here we see Him climbing over mountains, but we know that there will be a day when He banishes them with a single word.

The stuff of life that slows her down – He leaps over – He is running through the hills and handles the mountains like a gazelle.

Have you ever seen a mountain goat, or any other mountain dwelling creature, just prancing up and down the mountainside? It is a wonder to behold.

What does it do in your heart, when you realize that the things you fear the most are child’s play to Jesus?

Remember Jesus walking on the water? You can read the story in John 6:15-22. The boys were toiling all night long – then they saw a ghost. They were frustrated by their circumstances and afraid of the unknown that was heading straight for them.

Jesus’ words are simple and profound.

It is I; do not be afraid. ~ John 6:20

And these are the words He speaks over you today. When it feels like all these endless hills are leading you to an impassable mountain – look for Jesus. He is calling to you – He is saying:

Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. ~ Isaiah 41:10 *

BenOh, that is good!

See you next week.

Ben

* I know this is an Old Testament quote and I am taking a bit of liberty putting it in red letters - but I want you to hear this from the mouth of Jesus. He is speaking this to you today! Thanks for reading with grace.