Song of Solomon 5:2-6:13
Selfishness Brings Separation
Our young bride has become accustomed to her new life. She is content, complacent. What once excited her and was so alluring has become common, even an interruption.
“I am sleeping so comfortably, but now I am suddenly awakened by a knock on my door and the voice of my beloved. Must I admit to the urgency of his call?”
“Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled. I have lovingly given the essence of my life, becauseof my great love for you. I long for your companionship, comfort and intimacy.”
“My beloved is speaking words of endearment, but never has he called me my sister, my love, my dove and my undefiled all at once. Could I have been sleeping more soundly and longer than I realized?
“He is reminding me; he was the one who brought me out of my old life of subservience to my brothers and lifted me to this exceptional new life. I know he has devoted his life to me out of the integrity of his heart, but . . . but what? I have come to embrace this life of blessing, but without total commitment on my part, taking for granted all he has done for me.”
Her woozy reply disappoints. “This is an inopportune time for me to give my love. I have made preparations for the night, finding peaceful slumber. How can I get up now? I was not expecting this interruption of my comforts. I am not willing to leave them.”
Even as she utters this, she begins to feel regret. “I know the right thing to do is to respond to him in love. But I prefer not to.”
He reaches forth his hand knocking with more determination, then silence. There is no welcoming voice from within.
“Eventually, my beloved’s loving persistence stirred me to rise up and respond as my duty to him. With reluctant obedience, I approached the door and turned the handles of the lock.
“What, he is gone? He left? My beloved has turned away and disappeared into the night. I feel like my very life has gone out from me. What have I done? I know I could never happily continue without him. How could I think anything is better than being with my beloved? I know in my heart nothing else could satisfy my soul but to be in right relationship with him. I am afraid I have taken him for granted and now it is too late.
“I must find him! Where has he gone? Why doesn’t he answer? My conscience is beating on my soul, exposing my foolish pride. I need help.”
Remembering Her Beloved Solomon
“O, daughters, please search in haste and if you find my beloved, tell him I am sick of heart without him.”
“Why do you charge us so urgently to find your beloved? Why should this one be so important to you? There are many men in the world. If you lose this one, you can find another who will do.”
“No, no! You must understand! This is my one beloved! He initiated this relationship motivated by his honest love. He has brought me out of a life of darkness into a life of light and hope. He is the righteous one who sacrificed his all for me to have a new life with him. I could never want another! He has preeminence because he truly is the foundation of my entire life.
“His warm, humble eyes are always set on me, as he thoughtfully directs me to what is best for me. His thoughtfulness makes me feel completely satisfied. He has repeatedly shown tender mercy toward me. Out of his heart, he speaks the perfect words of truth, making my heart rejoice and be glad.
“His powerful, generous hands are as precious stone or polished pearl. They bear the ring of gold embellished with priceless gems binding us together. The power of his legs as pillars of marble with joints of gold are a firm foundation bringing balance to my life. He has pure intentions, his vision clear. His lips speak simple words of truth more valuable than myrrh. His mouth sweet to kiss, his speech sweet to hear. The thoughts he expresses are pure, as lilies with life-giving seed bringing growth, peace, and completeness to my soul.
“He is my absolute best friend, my husband and delightful companion. We have become inseparably joined to each other. To be ripped away from him would destroy me!”
“Your description of your beloved sounds wonderful. Where would he have gone, so we may help you find your beloved?”
“You encourage me with hope, O daughters. You once were satisfied just to know who my beloved was and what was so special about him. Now you willingly seek him with me.
“At first, I was frantic wondering where he was. Then I remembered his faithful love, his character, and habits. Surely, he is tending his flocks, his vineyards, and the needs of the many devoted people in his charge. He is involving himself in all the routine responsibilities of his life. I was wrong to doubt his faithfulness.
“His faithful love for me far exceeds my love for him. Now I see I belong to him first and foremost. Only by allowing him to possess me, am I able to possess him. I am so grateful for he is faithful and steadfast to those who belong to him.”
Her understanding of love is showing signs of maturity. His love for her has become more important and is obviously deeper than her love for him. Her selfishness has changed now, putting him before herself. Her self-will still holds to the desire to have some control, though this is starting to be relinquished.
Assurance of His Love for Her
Though their relationship is broken, he confirms his steadfast devotion. “My love, please know you are beautiful, pleasant as the famed royal city of Tirzah. There is alluring peacefulness, holiness and comeliness about you like the beauty of Jerusalem. Yet, your beauty and peace are vulnerable to a terror far greater than your own strength.
“My love, turn away your eyes from me for you have behaved proudly. Humility needs to guide your mind away from the weakness of your selfish thinking to acknowledge the error of your actions. I pray God will strengthen you in your soul and make sure our relationship once again.”
Even in his admonition to her, he gives great surety. “My spouse, my love for you has not changed. I am married to you. I see the wonder of your beauty just as I did on our wedding night. My love for you has not departed just because you stumbled. My arms are always open to receive you into my loving embrace.”
He proclaims to their questioning friends as he stands resolute in his choice of this favored one. “It is well known many women are available to me. Yet, she is my chosen one. She is my beautiful dove, perfect, the only daughter of a loving mother. As a child, she was noted as blessed by the daughters. Even to the queens and the concubines, she shone as a special one.”
“Sir, this is beyond our understanding. Who is this one who can be as radiant as the dawning sunlight, as beautiful as the white snow of Lebanon, and pure in her passionate love for you, yet she is in a dreadful place, separated from you?”
Shame and Repentance of Sin
She admits her dilemma and struggles to a resolution. “I am in a desolate place and must resolve this issue in my heart. I made my decision and now I bear my guilt. Giving in to the selfish desires of my heart has caused me so much confusion and weeping with shame and regret.
“I knew I was wrong to be so selfish, but I did it anyway. How could I have been so proud, so callous of heart? My selfish desires are keeping me from my beloved and from giving to him without reserve.
“I considered the orchards and vineyards. Can I ever have such beauty and joy restored to the garden of our relationship? Can it flourish with abundant joy again? How can I face my beloved? How can my beloved still care for me?
“I realized the life-giving harvest my soul needed was to be found in the abounding grace of my beloved, the love and forgiveness I knew to be in his heart.”
Her mind and emotions have been in a chaotic whirl. To continue living for the desires of her flesh would be a disgraceful choice. To stay loyal to him, the one she loves so deeply, is the right choice. This is not a choice dictated by pride, obligation, or lust for things in the material. It is a choice motivated by a higher moral decision based solely on her love for her man, her beloved.
Her willing heart made a final decision to return to him. In the moment, humbled and ashamed, she repented of the selfish sin which kept her in the dark and lonely bonds of material comfort.
“Truly, I am wrong. I am sorry I have sinned against my beloved. I must go down to the garden where he patiently waits for me to admit the error of my heart and ask his forgiveness.”
Now, destitute of love, she goes to search for him who had first searched for, found, and delivered her. He had come to her, now she knew she had to come to him.
“Once my heart was willing to admit my guilt and change my thinking to being truly sorry for my sin, I felt so light and free. I was driven like unstoppable charging horses running back to him.”
Solomon makes no accusation. “Return to me, my wife. My heart overflows with compassion and mercy. I forgive you.”
Their friends find it hard to believe his benevolence. “King Solomon, what do you see in the Shulamite, your spouse? Why do you have so much compassion, mercy and forgiveness?”
“My love has been twirling as in a dance, but not a dance of rejoicing. She has been entertaining the fleshly forces of evil which spiral downward and the spiritual forces of good which circle ever upward on the wings of the Holy Spirit. Yes, my love has been in a dance between the wisdom that comes from above and the wisdom of her own sensual thinking. The flesh was hoping to possess her and alienate her from me, but the spirit has drawn her into a decision for the right, to overcome the enemy, win the battle and enjoy the honors of victory.”
“At the moment of my turning, there my beloved stood.”
Though not guilty of any fault, with downcast eyes, our hero lovingly accepts her with humility and unconditional forgiveness. With no revenge or resentment, he restores their relationship with new trust.
The above excerpt is from our new book, Simply Song of Solomon.
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