Pure White Lily Among Thorns
For now, Solomon and his betrothed are separated, though legally bound by the betrothal covenant. Solomon’s father determines the day of his son’s return for his betrothed. She waits at her family’s home with her virgin friends attending her, to prepare for the wedding day. Their eager ears delight as she relates thoughts of her beloved.
“Daughters, I am elated over the love of my betrothed. I once thought of myself as plain and less than attractive, a common wildflower of the field. Yet he says my distinct moral goodness, the preservation of my virginity, is conspicuous among all other daughters. He sees me as a pure white lily among thorns. The way he made me feel when he spoke, the appreciation in the way he looked at me has made me feel as though I am someone special. His belief in me uplifts me, releasing wonderful hope.
“My beloved is rare to behold, a carefully tended apple tree. Other men are only common trees of the forest, ragged and unkempt. In the forest of this crude world he is completely out of place. He treats me differently than other men. His presence is a protective shade turning away intruding lies and slander, a defensive barrier against attack. I feel secure, rested and at peace shielded in his strength. Every word he speaks is truth, like sweet satisfying fruit to my hunger.
“O daughters, my beloved publicly made it evident to all guests and family attending our betrothal ceremony his love for me is genuine. Never have I imagined such love and dignity were possible.
“I beseech you, help me, daughters. My heart is overwhelmed with longing for him and his great love. I feel weak, ready to faint. I need strength to endure this time of our separation, as I await his return. Please nourish me with raisin cakes. Remind me of his sweet words of love as the firm foundation I must stand upon. I yearn for intimacy with him as his strong hands hold me while we kiss and he tenderly caresses my body.
“O, be careful, chaste daughters! Promise me with an oath that you will not stir up such tempting desires before marriage. They are natural urges coming too early, too strong, leaping away from our control. Just as the roes and hinds have an appropriate season for mating, so we must wait for the father’s blessing and the right time for sexual intimacy.”
He Will Come Soon
“Be sure, sweet daughters, my beloved said he is coming for me and he will come quickly, in all his strength and splendor. He will fulfill his wonderful promise just as he said he would. Every day I await the distant trump of the shofar and the shout of his voice calling me away to be with him.
“It is more than the affection we share which determines the right season for his coming. He is ever watchful as he rightly keeps a veiled presence, standing behind the wall of purity, waiting for his father to send him. Surely, he too patiently looks for the time of his return for me.
“I long for the day when we can be one with each other. For on that day he will show himself in the twinkling of an eye, coming swiftly in all his great power and glory. The spark of our love and desire for each other is ready to leap into full flame at the proper moment.
“When finally, I am with my beloved, weathering the storms of life without him will be a thing of the past. With singing, I will enter a new life with my beloved to be with him forever. From all appearances the time must be quite near as the flowers are beginning to bloom and the birds have returned from their winter havens, singing and wooing in the trees. The green figs and the tender grapes give off a sweet aroma. For now, the time of his return is a hopeful dream, as I anticipate the consummation of our betrothal.”
Solomon conveys his desire to be with her. “O, dove of mine, my love, I yearn to be alone with you where we can look into each other’s eyes and share the depths of our hearts. O, how I long to hear your sweet voice in which I so delight.
“Believe in me, your beloved, with all your heart. Pleasant are your openly spoken words, proclaiming your love for me to others. I am edified when you choose to be known by my name. In the authority of my name you have access to the entire kingdom, and all I desire for you. Even in my absence let your confidence be in me. Invoke the power of my name and all doubt vanishes. My name has authority to meet your every need, comfort your every hurt, dispel your every fear, pay heed to your every concern and shield you from every harm. Depend on me and I will reveal more of myself to you.”
Guard Against Temptations
“Faith in my love for you is of vital importance, my dove. I tell you these things because we must be wary of seemingly harmless thoughts, like sly little foxes lurking about ready to attack our budding relationship. Petty things grow into bigger things that are only meant to separate us from our love and passion for each other. Be aware and refuse to listen to them. Every enticing and insignificant little lie, every negative thought needs to be immediately quelled before it spoils the awaited fruit of our pure and righteous sexual union. Taking control of these ever-present temptations requires discipline of the heart but is the righteous, most prudent thing to do.”
“My beloved, I am blessed by your commitment to righteousness and the strength of your determination to turn from temptations. My heart is assured you are waiting for me until the day of our wedding.”
The enemy, aiming to penetrate her heart and lure her to an easier way repeatedly pressures her, tempting her to give up hope.
“O, fair young daughters, this waiting for my beloved has been a time of great anticipation. I am so painfully aware of my own shortcomings, and I know his favor is completely undeserved. What if my hope is in vain? Perhaps he has changed his mind and will not come at all. Perhaps he has found another better than me; that would not be difficult.
“I remember his words, for he sincerely spoke his promise. I have the gifts he gave me which remind me of his commitment. Yes, these shine the light of hope in my heart, a bright ray of light growing ever brighter as it is looked upon. A pure, otherworldly light which only flickers when I look away but brings indescribable joy when the searching eye of my soul chooses to focus on its intensity.
“I’ve had a troubled night, O daughters. I fell into a restless nocturnal fantasy, weary of waiting for the father’s restrictive plan to unfold. I decided there must be another way. I looked for a means to be free from frustrating restraint. Certainly, I could work out my own plan so my beloved and I could be together. Justifying my actions, I thought, ‘I know what I am doing. I will go out and find him.’
“As I struggled with my delusional thoughts the guards found me. I attempted to avoid their inquiring concern by asking, ‘Have you seen my beloved?’
“Their answer resonated with my conscience, ‘No, we have not seen your beloved. You must turn back from the danger of the dark. Return to the safety of your staunch doors, barred and locked.’
“Ignoring their sound counsel, I paid no attention to lurking peril, I was determined to work out a course of my own. I soon found my love by my own efforts and held him tightly. The father’s house was inaccessible, so I brought him to my mother’s house, into the privacy of her chamber where our sexual ardor could be gratified.
“I was suddenly shaken awake by the intensity of my lustful desires. I entreat you again, O daughters, be careful of thoughts of love! You must resist what is against the father’s plan. Promise you will not stir up temptations of sexual sin. Flee fornication. Remain chaste for marriage. Wait for the time of the father’s blessing, as mates in the animal kingdom must await their season. For surely this is the best way to the peace and joy you are longing for.”
The above writing is from our new book, Simply Song of Solomon.