[b]Do You Have A Love Relationship With Jesus?[/b]
[i]by Zac Poonen[/i]
Song of Solomon is an important book for all Christians. I am deeply thankful to the Lord that He led me to study this book first, when I began my Christian life. A personal, loving, devoted relationship with Christ is the spring from which all true service for the Lord flows - whether it be evangelism, church-planting, Bible-teaching, social work or whatever. We must first learn "The Song of the Bridegroom and the Bride" - the song that our Lord sings to us, and that we sing back to Him.
In Songs of Solomon 1:1 the first thing we notice is that this is Solomon's song the Bridegroom's song primarily, and not the bride's. That means it is our Lord's song to us primarily, and not our song to Him. "We love Him because He first loved us" (1 Jn.4:19). We did not love Him first. He loved us first. It is only because He sang this song to us first, that we can sing a song to Him now. In Chapter 4 :8 We hear the Bridegroom saying to the Bride "Come with Me from Lebanon. Look down from the summit of Amana, from the summit of Senir and Hermon, from the dens of lions" (4:8). This is an invitation to live in the heavenlies. The Lord says, "Don't look at things from a low, earthly standpoint. Come with Me to the heavenlies and look at everything from that standpoint. The things of earth will then become small, dim and worthless, as you look at them from there." The Lord wants to lift us to a higher plane. True, there are lions there demons, evil principalities and powers. But we will be with the Lord there and together with Him we will overcome all those evil powers.
In Chapter 4:12 The Bridegroom calls the bride "a locked garden" an exclusive garden, exclusively for the Bridegroom. She doesn't belong to anyone else. She belongs exclusively to her Lord. Is your relationship with the Lord like that? Can the Lord say to you, "You are My private garden, exclusively Mine"? There are many things out in the world that can attract us like opportunities to make more money than we need, to get earthly power and fame and to earn a name for ourselves etc., Such temptations can be compared to other men trying to seduce the bride. But the bride here is not attracted. She is taken up with her Beloved alone. She belongs to her Bridegroom exclusively. Very few believers live in such a relationship with Christ and that is why they don't know Him intimately and don't understand His word. The secret of understanding the Bible is to have an intimate relationship with the Lord first of all who better than He can explain to us what His Word means. Walk with Him like the early disciples did and long to hear Him speak to you. Then your eyes will be opened like theirs and your hearts will be set aflame like theirs.
In chapter 5:2, when the Bridegroom came in the middle of the night calling, "Open to me, my darling" the bride was too lazy to dress up and open the door (5:3). She was concerned that her feet (that she had washed) would be soiled. He tried to unlatch the door himself (5:4). Then the bride changed her mind and opened the door, but found that her Beloved was gone. He went away because she did not respond at once, when He called her.That can happen to us too. The Lord may say to us, "Now drop everything that you are doing. Stop reading that book. Stop that conversation. Get alone with Me and talk to Me. Let's go for a walk together." And we may respond saying, "Lord, just wait. I have something important to do. It will be finished in 15 minutes. Then I'll come." And 15 minutes later, when we have finished that important (?) work, we say, "Lord, I am ready now." But we find that He is gone. We can't find Him. Do you want to be an effective servant of God? Develop this habit of dropping everything when the Lord calls you, and of listening to Him. You will never regret it.
In Chapter 5:3 the Bridegroom tells the bride "I have been out in the night and am covered with dew. Because Jesus came to earth to seek and save the lost, He walked the way of the cross (of self-denial) and suffered as He sought after lost sheep in the dark night of this world. He now invites His bride to walk the same way. But she is unwilling.
In Chapter 6:4-10 the Bridegroom then expresses His appreciation for his bride. He says that among all women, no-one is like His bride, His perfect one. I choose her above everybody else." Every husband should look at his wife like this: There are many attractive women in the world, but there is no-one like my wife. She is Number One in my eyes. This is what the Lord says about us. He appreciates us more than all the clever people and the rich people and the great people in the world.
In Chapter 7:1-9, the Bridegroom admires his bride. We need to see clearly that despite all our weaknesses, our Lord actually admires us and appreciates us. Many believers live with constant self-condemnation, just because they cannot believe that the Lord admires them. And when the Bridegroom admires the bride's lips, she is quick to respond saying that that is actually more true of His lips (7:9)! This speaks of a high degree of intimacy between the two the type of intimacy that we should have with our Lord.
In 7:10, the bride says, "I am my beloved's and His desire is for me." Here the bride is not just saying that the Lord belongs to her, but that the Lord is pleased with her as well. It is one thing for the Lord to say, "I love you." It is quite another, for the Lord to say, "I am pleased with you." A husband may love his wife, but he may not be happy with the way she does things. The Lord may love you, but may He not be happy with many things in your life. Mature love seeks to please the Lord. Now the bride becomes a co- worker with her Bridegroom and says, "Come, my love. Let us go out into the fields"(7:11). The bride now shares the concern of her Bridegroom for a needy world where the fields are white for harvest. But don't ever go to those fields all by yourself. Go there with your Beloved. Build a relationship with Him and then serve Him. He is the One who knows the best part of the field in which you can labour for Him.
That is how I have sought to serve the Lord during these more than forty years. I have never wanted to go anywhere by myself. I have said, "Lord, you lead the way and I'll come along with You. Let us go to the fields together. Tell me where You are going. And if You're not going somewhere, I dont want to go there either." If we serve the Lord in fellowship with Him and in submission to Him, there won't be any boastfulness in our lives, nor any comparison of our ministry with any other's.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon