There are sixty queens and eighty concubines,
And maidens without number;
The temptation to skip this verse was strong because - well – queens, concubines and maidens?
I've read a few other people's comments on it, and thought about outright plagiarism – not a good choice.
So I went into that solemn place of prayer with my Father and said “What in the world?” (this is prayer number 42 in Ben's common book of prayer)
And my mind went back to community (as it is want to do.)
Look around you – who do you see in your community of faith?
See any queens?
Any like the Shulamite who have given themselves completely to the Shepherd King? Any who have taken the garden of their souls and turned them lock, stock and barrel over to the one who bought them.
Any who can say with her:
I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine,
He who pastures his flock among the lilies.
These are the queens. These are those who have married their Beloved and know Him in His chambers. These are those who know Him, and allow themselves to be known of Him. To the queens, creeds are not words but passions. To the queens, worship goes on when the music stops, when the words stop, when the sun goes down and when it comes back up again.
Notice – these are few among the multitudes.
Next we see eighty concubines.
Who are these concubines? Their relationship with the Lord is much less formal. The know His deeds, but not His ways.
Psalm 103 says:
He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the sons of Israel.
Moses KNEW God, Israel knew His deeds.
Jesus says to His disciples in John 15
No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. - John 15:15
Do you see the difference?
I am not here going to try to determine who is in the faith and who is out, who is saved and who is lost. I simply say, in the congregation of the righteous there are queens and there are concubines.
Finally we hear of maidens without number.
These are folks who perhaps have seen Him and loved Him after their own fashion, and from afar.
This is where our Shulamite started if you remember all the way back to the beginning.
She looked on Him from afar as a maiden without any knowledge of who He was. Then she thought Him a simple shepherd, and she knew not that He was the King. Her heart beat for Him, but He was not Her Master, Lord, King, Husband. He was simply a beautiful thought, a wish as yet unfulfilled.
The most wonderful news is that there is a path from maiden to queen! Her declaration then was: "May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine.” (1:2) and her greatest two-fold wish was: "Draw me after you and let us run together!” (1:4)
Are you on the path?
Men – I get that it is uncomfortable to head toward queenship – don’t let the language keep you from the point.
As children of God we must be walking this path from acquaintance to intimacy. [Tweet This]
As the princes said in the Muppet Frog Prince “I want to quee the bean!” (translated – I want to be the queen!)
So who is in your community? Are there queens? Are there concubines? Are there maidens? Last question: Are they (we) progressing?
Have a great weekend.