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The Bride Is Beautiful
This chapter begins with a description of the bride by the groom in all the beauty she has for him. For his description he zooms in, as it were, on seven body characteristics: her eyes, hair, teeth, lips, temples, neck and breasts. She is a bride worthy of him, a bride that fits him perfectly, because her beauty is the reflection of his own beauty. In Song of Solomon 4:7, he even says of her: “There is no blemish in you.”
It is a description of the future remnant of Israel, especially of the city of Jerusalem. The Lord Jesus will clothe Jerusalem with His glory (Ezekiel 16:10-2 Chronicles :). Also the heavenly Jerusalem will be beautiful because it has the glory of God: “And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God” (Revelation 21:10-1 Kings :).
The reason why this chapter is so beautiful is that through Solomon we hear the Lord Jesus speak about the value His bridal church has for Him. He does not see us here in our practice, but He sees us in what we are for Him. There is a nice parallel to be drawn with what the Lord says to His disciples in Luke 22. First we read about the behavior of the disciples when they lie down with Him to eat the Passover. He says that He has earnestly desired this (Luke 22:14-Proverbs :). When they have celebrated the Passover, “there arose also a dispute among them [as to] which one of them was regarded to be greatest” (Luke 22:24).
But what do we read a few verses further on? There the Lord Jesus says to them: “You are those who have stood by Me in My trials; and just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Luke 22:28-Amos :). Who can understand that? The disciples have quarreled. The Lord knows them and knows how they are. Yet He says to them that they have remained faithful to Him. If we know ourselves a little, we can only say, ‘Lord Jesus, we have been unfaithful to You so many times, we don’t understand how You can say that.’
In the blessings of Balaam, who tried to curse the so often unfaithful people of God, we find the same thought. Through the Spirit of God Balaam lets us know how God thinks about His people. Then we hear no curse, but something completely different: “He has not observed misfortune in Jacob; nor has He seen trouble in Israel” (Numbers 23:21). He says that while at the same time the Israelites were arguing in their tents. They disobeyed and revolted against God. Yet Balaam says that God sees no evil in Israel. It is incredible, but still true, because God’s Word says it.
That is how God sees us. On the one hand, we know our responsibilities. We know that we often fail and are often unfaithful. On the other hand, we have as church a wonderful position for His heart and He tells us that here. We can also apply this to the individual believer who is brought to perfection in Christ through identification with Him. Christ describes what He made of him. It is the result of His grace and love.
We are called “beloved children” (Ephesians 5:1). God loves us. It is important for each of us to know deep inside that He loves us. This is also important in relation to our children. Parents love their children. They are often disobedient and do things we do not love. But that does not mean that we do not love the children. Love is always there, but not always shown in the same way. If they deserve punishment, we will give it, precisely because we love them.
It is also important that we occasionally say to our children: ‘You are beautiful. You did that well. You are valuable. You have something very beautiful.’ Do we ever say that to them? Do we sometimes say it to our wife? That is not flattery, but expressing appreciation to encourage each other.
Recently I spoke to a young man when we met at a supermarket. I hadn’t seen him for a long time. I asked him: ‘And, how is it with the Lord?’ ‘Oh, the Lord is doing well,’ he said. Yes, that’s for sure,’ I replied. But how is your life with the Lord?’ ‘That is over, all over. I was in a church and I was handy with all kinds of heating. And that’s why the people there could use me. They said to me, You can do that well; you can help me.’ But he felt used. That was not love, that was self-love.
This is also important to us. What do we appreciate in each other? Is this really only for what he or she does for the Lord? Or is it about our own profit, the advantage we have from such a person? Brothers and sisters who are more practical have their value. We can let them know. They will feel whether it is real gratitude or selfish motives play a role. And the child we love, is it because we like it, because we hardly experience problems from it? Or do we love the child, simply and only because it is our child, with its good and also unpleasant characteristics?
It has everything to do with how we see ourselves in the light of the Lord, how He sees us. He says to everyone who belongs to his church: ‘You are beautiful and precious.’ He says of the remnant of faith: “Since you are precious in My sight, [since] you are honored and I love you” (Isaiah 43:4). We may apply that to ourselves. He has proven how precious we are to Him by giving His life for us.
If we are aware of this, it will also be evident from the way we look at our brothers and sisters. He has also given His life for them. He also says to them that they are precious in His eyes. We must accept that and value it. It is not possible to really enjoy the love of God if we constantly argue with a brother or sister.
The first thing the bridegroom of the bride describes are her eyes. He compares her eyes to “doves”. The doves explain the character of the bride’s eyes. The Lord Jesus speaks of being “innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16) and having a “clear” or “single” (Darby translation) eye (Matthew 6:22). A single eye is an eye that focuses on only one object. The groom sees that the eye of his bride in sincerity is only on him.
The Holy Spirit is also compared to a dove. The Spirit will always direct the eyes of the believer to the one object of faith, namely Christ. He will give the believer insight into Who the Lord Jesus is for him. In addition, the dove has a strong bond with a partner. They always stay true to each other. The Lord Jesus also sees this characteristic in his own.
The groom sees her eyes, despite the fact that they are hidden behind her veil. It is precisely this veil that makes it clear that she is only for him. We see this at Rebecca who takes her veil and covers herself as soon as she meets Isaac (Genesis 24:65). With this she indicates: ‘From now on I am available only for you and no other man anymore.
The fact that the groom then talks about the long hair of his bride, fits in beautifully with that. We read in 1 Corinthians 11 that the hair is given to the woman for “a covering” or “a veil” (1 Corinthians 11:15 Darby translation). The long hair symbolizes the dedication and subjection of the woman to her husband. That is where also her strength lies. We see in Samson that he can show his strength as long as he has long hair.
The groom compares the bride’s hair to “a flock of goats that have descended from Mount Gilead”. It may be that a flock of black goats walking down the mountain slopes is reminiscent of wavy hairlocks. A flock also speaks of unity and unanimity. Believers who are devoted to the Lord Jesus and serve Him in submission also rise in unity and unanimity.
The goat is also the special animal for the sin offering (Leviticus 4:23; Leviticus 4:28Leviticus 5:6; Leviticus 16:5Leviticus 23:19). This reminds us that the long hair speaks of a devotion in which sin has no chance to break in. The believer who has long hair in spiritual application, remembers that the Lord Jesus suffered and died for his sins. He will want to keep himself pure to live only for his Lord and be pleasing to Him.
Teeth, Lips and Temples
Then the bridegroom talks about her teeth, which he compares to “a flock of [newly] shorn ewes”. The teeth are used to chew and take in food. In a spiritual sense, we can say that the believer eats the words of the Lord Jesus. Jeremiah says, “Your words were found and I ate them, and Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; for I have been called by Your name, o LORD God of hosts” (Jeremiah 15:16). With him we see that he likes to eat God’s words because God’s Name has been proclaimed upon him.
Teeth can also be misused. The apostle Paul warns the believers in the churches in Galatia of this. He sees that they want to reintroduce the law. If believers place themselves under the law again or impose it on others and the law is reintroduced into their lives in order to keep it, the result is that they devour each other. Paul is clear about this and says: “But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another” (cf. Galatians 5:15; Psalms 57:4; Joel 1:6).
The teeth are not compared here with lions, but with sheep. Sheep do not tear apart other animals, but docile they follow the Good Shepherd Who takes them to grassy meadows. A flock of sheep indicates grazing in green meadows and being able to distinguish between what is good food and what is not. A sheep is also a picture of Christ Himself in His tacit surrender to the will of God. This feature also characterizes the believer.
With newly shorn ewes it is clear that the wool has been shaved off. The spiritual meaning of shaving is that the believer judges everything that is of his sinful flesh and on which he boasts. It represents the judgment of what comes from its old nature. The leper to be cleaned had to shave off all his hair (Leviticus 14:8-1 Samuel :). Priests are not allowed to wear woolen clothes when entering the sanctuary (Ezekiel 44:17).
The bride’s food is characterized by purity. The bride feeds spiritually with the words of the groom. That makes her completely clean, as if she “comes up from washing”. Water is the familiar image of the Word of God (Ephesians 5:26; Titus 3:5). Reading the Word of God cleanses us of the defilement with which we are defiled as we go through the world. We cannot escape it. That is why it is important to read God’s Word over and over again and to become pure in our thinking.
The result is also a balanced life of faith. This is proposed in the “twins”. It is remarkable that the first teeth a child gets appear in pairs. The healthy teaching from God’s Word results in a healthy practice. There will be no bigotry about all sorts of truths and no exaggerated emphasis will be placed on practical Christian life. Both aspects must be balanced.
The result is spiritual fruit, on which we may think of when it says “not one among them has lost [or: is without] her young”. Others are encouraged to live the same way. Timothy and Titus are encouraged to be examples to others (1 Timothy 4:12; Titus 2:7). Especially older men and women have the opportunity to be examples for the youth (Titus 2:2-Deuteronomy :).
Then the groom speaks about her lips (Song of Solomon 4:3). Lips form the words we speak and are therefore a picture of the language. Our teeth are the instruments to receive and grind food given by the Lord, and our lips are the means to express what we have received from Him. Her lips are compared to “a scarlet thread”.
That reminds both of sin and of the liberation from the judgment of sin. Isaiah speaks of “sins” that are “as scarlet”, meaning that there is blood guilt on the people, but he also points out that they can become “white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18). The liberation from judgment is seen in the history of Rachab. She must hang a scarlet thread from the window of her house on the wall of Jericho (Joshua 2:18). This scarlet thread is the sign of her liberation from the judgment that comes upon Jericho.
The image here is that the believer uses words that make clear his liberation from the power of sin. This is reflected in the speaking by the mouth of words that are “lovely”. In her words, her royal dignity resounds. Scarlet is also the clothing of kings (cf. Matthew 27:28-Joel :). The bride does not use vulgar or dirty language, but words that are good, while her lips are under the authority of the king.
One of the contrasts between our life in sin and our life as Christians is the language or words we use. In the words we used to speak, there was nothing of and for God. Our mouth was at the service of our own corrupt heart as we roared: “With our tongue we will prevail; our lips are our own; who is lord over us?” (Psalms 12:4). This applies not only to the boasters, but also to highly civilized language users. There is nothing of and for God.
The believer does not boast in himself, but in the Lord. He makes this heard, for his heart and mouth are full of Christ and His work of love on the cross. He will not restrain his lips (Psalms 40:9) from honoring Him, but “continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name” (Hebrews 13:15).
This is also related to the “slice of a pomegranate” which the bridegroom must think about when he sees her “temples”. The temples are the side of the head, behind the eyes. These are the weak spots in the skull. The pomegranate indicates a fullness of life in the many seeds it contains. Each seed is juicy, sweet and red. The fact that there is a slice of a pomegranate indicates that this fullness is visible to the groom.
Pomegranates can also be seen on the hems of the upper garment of the high priest (Exodus 28:33-Habakkuk :). Here we see that the fullness of life is the result of the Lord Jesus’ service as High Priest in the sanctuary. He lives by the power of an imperishable life and is able to completely save those who approach God through Him (Hebrews 7:15-Esther :; Hebrews 7:24-Lamentations :). The fruit He Himself produces in the sanctuary, He sees with the bride.
We can connect the temples with our thoughts. Nobody sees our thoughts, but the Lord Jesus sees them. All the hidden thoughts of everyone are for Him an open book (Hebrews 4:12-1 Chronicles :). Of the believers He presupposes – in the image we have here before us – that their thoughts go out to Him and that they say to Him with David: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, o LORD, my rock and my Redeemer” (Psalms 19:14).
The thoughts are connected to the veil here. In Song of Solomon 4:1 the veil is also mentioned. There we saw that it is a picture of devotion and separation to the Lord Jesus. Here we see that the thought life is full of Him, precisely because there is no other important person for the believer than He alone. The Lord Jesus sees the believer as one who is seeking the things above and sets his mind on the things above, where He is (Colossians 3:2-Leviticus :).
The “meditation” is “pleasing” (Psalms 104:34), both to the believer and to Him. The believer meditates on his law, which is His word, day and night (Psalms 1:2; Psalms 119:97Psalms 119:148). He meditates on all His works (Psalms 77:12). He meditates on His precepts (Psalms 119:15; Psalms 119:78). He meditates on His wonders (Psalms 119:27). He meditates on His statutes (Psalms 119:48). He meditates on His testimonies (Psalms 119:99). He meditates on all His doings (Psalms 143:5). All these meditations are at the same time a protection against satan’s attacks on his weak, wandering thoughts.
Neck and Breasts
The neck (Song of Solomon 4:4) is a symbol of man’s will, which is naturally rigid and obstinate (Isaiah 3:16; Isaiah 48:4). But this can change by bowing the neck before God. Jerusalem has proved to be stubborn (2 Chronicles 30:8), but has bowed the neck under the discipline of God. Now the neck is an ornament of strength and victory, which is expressed in the comparison with “the tower of David”. In it not the power of one’s own, but the power of God becomes visible.
A neck like a tower indicates constancy and a raised gaze. It is not a power of its own or a haughty gaze. The steadfastness is that of faith in God, and the gaze that is lifted up is directed toward Him. There is spiritual maturity that no longer seeks strength in itself, but has found everything in Christ. By this can be resisted the temptations of the world and the temptations of satan.
The tower is not just any tower. It is ‘the tower of David’, the tower that David built or the tower that came into his possession. It is a defense work in times of war. The bride has now become like a bulwark against any hostile attack. She looks like David. The tower has been David’s refuge in times of need. He who is spiritually mature realizes that there is battle and that there is no strength for that battle in himself, but that all strength and protection are to be found in God (Psalms 61:4).
This is not the end of the description of the tower. On the tower “are hung a thousand shields”. It emphasizes that someone who has bowed before God has abundant protection. Whoever is powerful in knowing and doing the will of the Lord, will experience difficult times and great resistance. In order not to give in to the pressure of the enemy, it is important to make a will decision not to bow the neck to the difficulties and resistance and to do only the will of God. Those who do, have an inner protection as “thousand shields” belonging to “mighty men”. Those who bow before God behave like a mighty man.
The groom ends his description of the bride with her “two breasts”, which he compares to “two fawns” (Song of Solomon 4:5). Breasts are a picture of spiritual maturity and the ability to pass on food to small children. The fawns seem to allude to this. Fawns drink from their mother’s milk. The milk that is passed on by the breasts speaks of the Word of God through which believers can grow spiritually (1 Peter 2:2).
It is beautiful when believers grow in such a way that they are not only personally live with the Lord, but are also able to help others by giving them balanced instruction. This is expressed in the image of “the twins of a gazelle”. The original word means ‘two young deer born from the same mother’. They are identical in size, one is not bigger than the other.
It’s about a balanced life. Doctrine and life must be in balance. Young believers, but also the elderly, are in danger of falling into extremes. In that case, one side is concerned with the doctrine and the other with the practice. We must not set these two sides of religious life against each other, but develop them side by side.
The task of adult believers in the education of young believers is to give them room for spiritual growth and to give them directions that stimulate their personal faith life. The danger of the older believer is to instruct young believers in such a way that they meet their own preferences. The older believer who is spiritually mature, balanced in his faith, will follow the advice for education: “Train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6).
The training must be in accordance with “the way he should go”, i.e. he must be raised in accordance with his qualities and abilities. These must be formed in such a way that he becomes useful to God. There must be an insight into the individuality of the newly converted person wherewith the upbringing must be in tune. No impossible things should be demanded, but tasks should be given that are appropriate to gender, age, mental capacity and abilities.
It is mainly about giving leads for the direction of the path the child should go. It is about “the way he should go”, his way of life and the purpose of his life. His life path is not so much determined by his talent and abilities, but more by the choices he makes. The spiritual parent will teach him to make the right choices, choices that will bring and keep him on a path of devotion to God (cf. Genesis 18:19). In the book of Proverbs there are only two ways a child can go, that is either the way of the wise and the righteous or the way of the fool and the wicked.
“Feed among the lilies” indicates the appropriate environment where the bride is. The lily indicates delicate, breakable, fragile beauty. We can apply this to a sore conscience. Those who really want to live in a healthy spiritual balance will practice “to maintain always a blameless conscience [both] before God and before men” (Acts 24:16). Doctrine and life can only come to a healthy and balanced development if the conscience is clear, if there is nothing that makes it restless.
Prophetically, what the bridegroom of the bride’s breasts says points to the future of Jerusalem. When the city has returned to the LORD, it will become a source of blessing for all the earth: “Be joyful with Jerusalem and rejoice for her, all you who love her; be exceedingly glad with her, all you who mourn over her, that you may nurse and be satisfied with her comforting breasts, that you may suck and be delighted with her bountiful bosom.” For thus says the LORD, “Behold, I extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream; and you will be nursed, you will be carried on the hip and fondled on the knees” (Isaiah 66:10-2 Kings :).
The Mountain of Myrrh and the Hill of Frankincense
It is not clear who is speaking in this verse. It may be that the bride here responds to the description the groom has given her in the previous verses. It may also be that the groom is still speaking. There is something to be said for both views. We will first look at it from the bride’s perspective. She says as it were that she is overwhelmed by it that she means so much to him. She has to deal with all that. She feels limited in her ability to let it penetrate her. It cannot all understand it.
The time she needs to think about everything the groom has said about her lasts “until the cool of the day when the shadows flee away”. That indicates that it is not yet a day. There are still shadows present. It indicates that she still sees dimly. Thus it is written of us that we “now see in a mirror, dimly” and that we “know in part” (1 Corinthians 13:12). ‘Dimly’ means ‘in a riddle’. It is all not yet perfectly clear. The perfect knowledge has not yet come.
That is why she goes “to mountain of myrrh and to the hill of frankincense”. We have read about myrrh and incense before (Song of Solomon 3:6). Here in Song of Songs 4 we read about a mountain of myrrh and a hill of frankincense, which indicates a large quantity and also a level higher than the ground. Myrrh speaks of the suffering of the Lord Jesus. Frankincense speaks of the sweet scent that the Lord Jesus is for His God. It speaks for us that we think about the bitterness of Christ’s suffering and the sweetness of His loveliness. He underwent the suffering for us in order to save us from our sins. By this He was able to put his loveliness upon us, and we are taken now into favor before God (Ephesians 1:6 Darby translation; cf. Ezekiel 16:14).
It is good to be busy with this when we are impressed by the love the Lord Jesus has for us. We can do this in particular when we, as a church, proclaim His death at His table. Or is it to be said to us that we are not able to watch only for an hour with Him? We must learn to walk in the light of the cross. That desire will be there and will grow as we hear Him speak about us like here.
Are we taking the time to think about how He sees us? We may say to Him full of amazement that He said, ‘This is how I see you.’ If we accept this in all humility and with great gratitude we honor Him with it. It is a false humility that says that the gift is too great to accept. Whoever accepts it because He gives it, will also ask Him to indicate everything in his life that is not in accordance with it. He wants to change that in order to live the way He wants to.
As said, it may also be that the words of this verse are still spoken by the groom. The meaning of the cool of the day, the shadows, the mountain of myrrh and the hill of frankincense remain the same, but are now seen from his perspective. As long as it is not yet day and there is still the shadow of the night, the Lord Jesus is for His own in heaven. He is there because of His suffering – of which the myrrh speaks – on earth and His loveliness before God.
That He is at the mountain of myrrh means that He is our High Priest with God. He is a High Priest who can sympathize with us while we are still in trials on earth (Hebrews 4:15; cf. Matthew 14:23-Jeremiah :). The hill of frankincense reminds us of His pleasure before the Father and that we are made pleasant in Him. On the basis of this He is our Advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1).
He will be there until the full day arrives. The full day, without shadows, comes when He comes from heaven to establish righteousness on earth. Then He will shine as “the Sun of righteousness” (Malachi 4:2). There is no cloud causing any darkening (2 Samuel 23:4). This will also be experienced by the faithful remnant of Israel when it enters into the peace of the kingdom of peace after the intense trials of the great tribulation. This is not yet the case, as we see in the following verses, but we do see in faith the full result of Christ’s work, both of His work on the cross and of His work now in heaven.
Perfect Beauty and Testing
In Song of Solomon 4:7, the groom speaks to the bride, by which we think of the relationship between Christ and His bride, the church. He praises her impeccable beauty. He has already said that she is beautiful. Now He says that she is “altogether beautiful” and that there is “no blemish” in her. That cannot but be the result of His special care for her. Here we see the image of the believer who is perfect in Christ. Christ accomplished the work on the cross and He continues to take care of His own. That is what the previous verses have shown. Here we see the result.
As for the church, we see that Christ cleanses His bride in His love “by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:26-Daniel :). For this purpose He is now for the individual believer and for the church as a whole in heaven and is committed to us. He looks thereby at the end result.
The same goes for the earthly bride, Jerusalem. Jerusalem will be the perfection of beauty (Psalms 50:2; cf. Numbers 23:21). It will be the beauty that the LORD has laid upon her. That is the result of His going to the mountain of myrrh and the hill of frankincense. The bride has occupied himself with this and has therefore, spiritually applied, penetrated deeper into the mystery of the cross and the resurrection.
When we are spiritually on the mountain of myrrh and the hill of frankincense, we are in the company of the Lord Jesus. We are then in the spirit in the heavenly places, where we are also as to our position placed in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). Knowing that we are there in Christ is something else than to experience that. As we are busy with Him, with what He has done and does for us, He tells us who we are for Him and we experience fellowship with Him.
However, we cannot always stay in the spirit in the heavenly places. We then hear Him ask us to come with Him from the height down to the life of every day (Song of Solomon 4:8). He insists that she go with Him by saying ‘come’ to her twice.
The Lebanon is a symbol of stability, of what is unshakeable. Amana means ‘support’ or ‘confirmation’. One of the meanings of ‘Senir’ is armor. Hermon means, among other things, ‘inaccessible’. These different names of the mountains where the bride is, but also where the lions and leopards hide, can be applied to our position in the heavenly places.
At the place where we enjoy heavenly blessings we also have to deal with demonic powers, of which the lions and leopards are a picture. These spiritual powers of anger want to attack us to make it impossible for us to enjoy the blessing. But they will not succeed if we spiritually link the meaning of the names of the mountains to what we have become in Christ.
On earth, too, the Lord is our protection. This may encourage us and motivate us to do our daily activities with and for Him. We know the occasions of enjoying the love of the Lord Jesus. Then we live, so to speak, ‘on top of the mountain’, in heavenly spheres. But daily life also requires our attention, and that is what the Lord is looking at, while at the same time saying that He also leads us in this. We may come with Him and descend.
It is precisely the letter to the Ephesians, where our blessings in Christ are displayed in the heavenly places, that also speaks of our daily lives. We read about our responsibilities in society, in marriage and family and in the church. The Lord Jesus wants us to learn to have fellowship with Him in this too. His presence in and involvement with our earthly circumstances give it a heavenly radiance. His joy about this is great and at the same time it is a testimony in the world.
Prophetically God has said that He will send lions and leopards among His people because of their infidelity (Jeremiah 5:6; Habakkuk 1:8). The places where they have been are places where lions and leopards hide and lurk on their prey. Both animals are characteristic of the beast from the sea, the symbol of the Roman empire that will be restored (Revelation 13:1-Ruth :). The beast will try to devour the remnant, but God will hide them in the place He has prepared for her (Revelation 12:13-Esther :).
The reference of the groom to the Lebanon has to do with the residence-place of the faithful remnant during the great tribulation, the time of trial and hiding. Prophetically, the remnant here is outside the land (Psalms 42:6-Judges :). The Lord Jesus asks them to come to Him. After He has spoken to the heart of His own about the beauty He Himself has worked into them, He says that they may come to Him. They no longer need to stay in the circumstances in which they find themselves.
The Appreciation of the Groom
The heart of the groom is full of love for his bride. His heart is always full of love for her. But now he says to her that she has “made” his “heart beat faster” or has “conquered” his heart, which is the better rendering (Song of Solomon 4:9). Something has been done by her that has overwhelmed him without violence, something that has deeply touched his heart. He even says it twice in this verse, which indicates how intense he experiences this. Before he says this the second time, he addresses her as “my sister, [my] bride”. In Song of Solomon 4:8 he called her ‘bride’ for the first time. Now he calls her ‘my sister’ for the first time, emphasizing her relationship with him.
The relationship between the Lord Jesus and His own is one of love, but also one of kinship. It is even so that He first made us related to Himself before a relationship of love could arise. He, the eternal Son, has done this by becoming Man and connecting us to Himself through His work of salvation. As we read in the letter to the Hebrews: “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives” (Hebrews 2:14-Ezra :). Because of this, a relationship has arisen between him and us and He calls us “brethren” (John 20:17; Hebrews 2:11).
If we understand this well, we will have no choice but to look at Him with admiration and love. And that is what He notices. Just as the bridegroom sees from the bride’s eyes that she is completely full of him, so the Lord Jesus sees from our eyes that we only have an eye for him. That conquers His heart. It seems so less, only “a single [glance] of your eyes”, but it says it all.
It’s about our eyes, what we look at. Are we looking only at Him? He would like ‘eye contact’ with us (cf. Genesis 24:63-3 John :). His eye is constantly on us (Psalms 32:8). It touches Him deeply when our eye is clear (Matthew 6:22), that is, it is directed at nothing and no one but Him. If our eyes are on Him, we will live our lives entirely for Him.
Then the following connects to what the groom sees with her and through which she has conquered his heart. He sees “one strand”, or “one link” of her “necklace”. The necklace is in Proverbs a decoration that symbolizes the father’s education and the mother’s teachings (Proverbs 1:8-1 Samuel :). Some links of the necklace are “kindness and truth” (Proverbs 3:3). The groom has an eye for all the links and is delighted. The fact that he speaks of one link that has conquered his heart makes it clear that he has an eye for each link separately. Every detail of her decoration touches him.
So it is with the Lord Jesus in His attention to us. If we submit to the teaching from His Word, we conquer His heart with it. That we submit to His Word is evident when we act according to His Word when He points out something to us through His Word. It is only one link at a time, whereby all links together form an adornment. His heart is conquered by it when we do the least of all His commandments for Him. He appreciates this in a special way: “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others [to do] the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches [them], he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:19).
The bride said at the beginning of the book that the bridegroom’s love is better than wine (Song of Solomon 1:2). Here the groom expresses himself more strongly (Song of Solomon 4:10). He says ‘how much’ better her love is. The groom’s appreciation of love has always been greater than that of the bride. So it is with the Lord. He knows how to fully appreciate our love, while we often appreciate His love so little. That He so appreciates our love is because it is God’s love, that is His own love, which He poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). However weak we sometimes show it to Him in our practice, He knows its nature and appreciates it.
With the fragrance of the foils it is the same as with the wine. Again, the bride first praised the fragrant oils that are with the groom (Song of Solomon 1:3). The groom adopts that and expresses himself more strongly: the smell of her oils is much better “than all [kinds] of spices”. It is not so much about the oil, but about its smell. The fragrance contains all the rich and varied characteristics of that anointing. Fragrance is invisible and can only be discovered by smelling.
The oil, as we have seen before, is a picture of the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:20; 1 John 2:27). In addition to pouring out the love of God into our hearts, He also has come to dwell in our hearts and bodies (2 Corinthians 1:22; Galatians 4:6; 1 Corinthians 6:19). From our hearts we can spread through our bodies a fragrance that is smelled with joy by the Lord Jesus. Our love for the Lord Jesus is worked in us by the Spirit – the oil speaks of this – and for Him it is much better “than all [kinds] of spices”.
In the same way we can experience that someone has a certain spiritual radiation that we cannot describe. A person’s presence can radiate a benevolent rest even before that person has said or done anything special. The whole performance makes you feel accepted and safe, without that person consciously drawing attention to himself. Such an action is worked out by the Spirit and reminds us of the Lord Jesus. It is the fruit of a life of obedience to the Holy Spirit. It goes far beyond everything the world contains.
In the Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit was able to do anything to glorify God. The whole life of the Lord on earth has been a lovely fragrance for God. Now the Lord Jesus says this – in pictures – to the believer. The believer who lives a life shaped by God’s Spirit gives Christ great joy. He expresses His appreciation for this. When the love of God and the working of God’s Spirit are noticeable in a believer, the Lord Jesus finds His greatest satisfaction in it.
Lips, Tongue and Garments
The groom then speaks to her, whom he addresses again as “bride”, about her lips and what drips off of them. He says her lips “drip honey”. He notices what the bride says. What he sees makes clear to him what she has been busy with, what she has eaten. Honey is not made in a quick process. The preparation of honey requires a lot of work and time.
Honeycomb (Darby translation) – this is the honey in the first line of the verse – does not flow like a stream of water, but drips slowly, drop by drop. Honeycomb is also the pure, as yet unprocessed honey. There is no flood of words over the bride’s lips, but words that are sweet and building up. She does not speak impulsively, but thoughtfully. When people speak, their speech can resemble a waterfall of words. Such a waterfall has no depth, there was no consideration. James does not say for nothing: “But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak” (James 1:19).
This is also and especially true in marriage, in the conversation between husband and wife. The man sometimes tends to talk fast and a lot and fills in everything already. He knows exactly what his wife thinks, that’s at least what he thinks. Then communication comes to a standstill. The woman then says: I don’t have to say anything anymore, because you’ve already filled in everything. The man may think he won the discussion, but he lost his wife as a conversation partner. It is precisely the man who must learn to listen and learn to listen well, and not think that he already knows everything and can say how the matter works. Listening carefully and only then speaking is important.
The picture shows what the bridegroom observes in the bride a believer who for a long time, in fellowship with the Lord, diligently searches the Scriptures and collects persistent and patient food from them. The Word of God is for him “sweeter … than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb” (Psalms 19:10) and “a joy and the delight” of his heart (Jeremiah 15:16). Our language shows that we appreciate the Word and have taken it into our hearts. Everything that comes over our lips and speaks of the Lord Jesus is sweet to those who hear it; it strengthens them (Proverbs 16:24). The Lord Jesus notices this and appreciates it.
The groom also sees what is under her tongue. Under her tongue are “honey and milk”. This means that all the blessing of the promised land (Exodus 3:8; Exodus 3:17Exodus 13:5; Exodus 33:3) lies there. Honey gives strength when tiered in the daily struggle (1 Samuel 14:27-Joel :). Honey is the sweetness that, for example, flows from good family relationships. Honey was not allowed to be used in the grain or flour offering (Leviticus 2:11). The good relationships in itself should not have a limiting effect on the service toward God (Mark 3:32-Habakkuk :). Milk is what the young, delicate life builds up.
She has a stock of it under her tongue. The stock she has built up makes her suitable for distribution to those who need it. She keeps it hidden, she is not someone who throws everything out, but only uses it when it suits her. It is a hidden place, under her tongue, as it were ready for immediate use.
In the application we can say that the believer who has enjoyed the victories of the heavenly land, which are for him the heavenly places, will not show them off. He will know when and to whom he can say something about it. Paul knew that he could nothing say about this to the believers in Corinth. They were carnal, they did not have the right mind to hear about it. The believers in Ephesus were different. He could tell them a lot about this.
The groom also speaks about the fragrance of the bride’s garments. Garments speak of what people see of us, of our behavior. Engaging with God’s Word will affect our attitude of life. We will be a pleasant fragrance for others in our environment when dealing with them. If God’s Word is our daily food, it will become visible in our way of life.
Fragrance, as mentioned earlier, is not visible, but is experienced. The bride has the fragrance of the Lebanon, of the height. The groom notices that she shows heaven in her actions and behavior. Thus will be noticed on us the atmosphere of heaven.
It is precisely the letter to the Ephesians, which shows us the blessing of the heavenly land, that contains important directions for our lives. In Ephesians 1-3 the blessings are presented and in Ephesians 4-6 is told how we should live in accordance with them. Men and women in marriage are addressed, as are parents and children, and employers and employees. It is a joy for the Lord Jesus when, in our daily way of life, the fragrance of heaven, the fragrance of Himself, is present in the various relationships in which we stand.
What the groom says also has a prophetic meaning. As we have seen before, the relationship between the groom and the bride in Song of Songs is primarily a picture of the relationship between the Messiah Jesus and the faithful remnant or Jerusalem in the end times. Here we see that the remnant will have “the fragrance of Lebanon” when it has returned to God and been restored in its relationship with the Messiah.
The remnant will be clothed with “the garments of salvation” and God will wrap them with “a robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10). From those garments will come a wonderful fragrance that also hangs on the Lebanon. Lebanon is a picture of stability. What characterizes the remnant will characterize it throughout the realm of peace, for a thousand years. The guarantee of that is that they are the characteristics of God Himself. He gave her those garments with that fragrance.
A Garden Locked
The groom now compares his bride to “a garden locked” and “a rock garden locked’ or, better, “a source locked”, and “a spring sealed up”. That is to say, he sees her as exclusively for himself, as someone who is only open to him. She does not allow anyone else to approach to her. Thus is she a refreshment for his heart. How much he appreciates this is reflected in the way he addresses her again: “My sister, [my] bride” (Song of Solomon 4:12; Song of Solomon 4:9).
This again gives a picture of how the Lord Jesus sees his own. He sees them as only for Him. Whoever loves Him wants to share his or her love with Him alone, and shuts himself off from other objects of love. This is also important in the marriage. In it, husband and wife must be a closed garden, which means that they do not allow anyone else in their life to share their love.
When a married man or woman falls in love with someone else, they are no longer a closed garden and a closed and sealed source or fountain. One cause for this ‘opening up’ may be, for example, that the woman does not receive attention from her own husband and does receive that attention from another man. It may then happen that she ‘opens her garden’ to that other person and breaks the ‘seal of the fountain. The man is guilty of it, but the woman has no excuse either. There is never an apology for opening up the ‘garden’.
In the book Proverbs Solomon also speaks to his son about women as a source of joy for her husband (Proverbs 5:15-Psalms :). In a different approach, but with the same tenor, he warns his son not to go to another source, but to wander around constantly in her love (Proverbs 5:19). He tells him to be satisfied with his own wife. In his own house he has a source that can quench his thirst. By this he means his own wife. Thus, with him “marriage [is to be held] in honor among all, and the [marriage] bed [is to be] undefiled” (Hebrews 13:4).
Solomon asks him the question, the answer to which is contained in the question: “Should your springs be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets?” (Proverbs 5:16). When the man leaves his house and his wife to go to a strange woman, he leaves his ‘closed garden’ and goes ‘outside’, to ‘the water streams on the squares’. The sources that are outside, the woman who seduces him, are available to everyone. But the source of refreshment should only be his own wife. It should not be an option for his love to go out to a strange woman.
The spiritual application, as here in Song of Songs, is that we have enough for the Lord Jesus and for Him alone. He loves us unconditionally and exclusively and also counts on our unconditional, exclusive love (2 Corinthians 11:2). True satisfaction of every desire we only can be found in Christ’s love. As we grow older, our love for our wife will not diminish, but rather increase, just like our love for Christ.
If it’s good, the life of the believer is like a garden in which the Lord Jesus wants to have fellowship with him. The closed fountain in the garden is a picture of the Word of God that is contemplated under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The believer who is like a closed garden is one in whom the Word of Christ, the Word of the Beloved, dwells richly (Colossians 3:16).
We may well ask ourselves whether we are such a closed garden for the Lord Jesus. Is our life, is my life, all alone for Him? We will have to admit that it is not always the case, but is it our deepest desire that He experiences joy from our lives?
The believer is also like “a spring sealed up”. That which is sealed belongs to whosoever the seal belonged. The believer is “sealed … with the Holy Spirit of promise” (Ephesians 1:13; 2 Corinthians 1:21-Song of Solomon :) and belongs to the Lord Jesus. Through the Spirit he is firmly connected to Christ and will discover more and more of the glory of Christ. For the Spirit indeed came to earth to bear witness of Christ (John 16:13-2 Chronicles :). From the sealed spring, living water flows through the teaching of the Spirit from the inside of the believer to refreshment of the Lord Jesus and his surroundings (John 7:37-Malachi :).
We can also be closed in the wrong way. This is the case when our lives and the Christian community of which we are part are not governed by God’s Word and God’s Spirit, but by human traditions, by dead orthodoxy. We maintain rules for our own lives and for others who do not come from Scripture itself, but from explanations of Scripture, which are by definition human work. Then we will no longer be open to the activity of the Holy Spirit. The appearance then becomes the yardstick by which spiritual life is measured. There is no question about the inner life, the relationship with the Lord Jesus and the love for God’s Word.
In Scripture, a court or garden is a place where God wants to have fellowship with man. We already see that in paradise (Genesis 2:8). It is a garden made entirely by Him as a pleasure garden for Himself. In it are united the highest blessings of creation. Man may enjoy in it and of it together with Him. He comes to him for this “in the cool of the day” (Genesis 3:8).
Because of the fall into sin, nothing of the enjoyment of the garden is left to God. Man has not kept the garden closed, and has given up his fellowship with God. He has disobeyed his task to work and maintain the court as a court of lust for God (Genesis 2:15). He did not refuse the devil access, but allowed him to enter and talk to him (Genesis 3:1-Joshua :). At next ‘gardens’ we see the same picture. For example with Israel that God has made a vineyard for Himself (Isaiah 5:1-Judges :). In it have come men who have cast Him out to own the vineyard themselves (Matthew 21:33-Malachi :).
Yet today there is, and there will be in the future, a group of people who form for Him the garden that is exclusively for Him. We may be that as believers. We are that if open our lives to the working of God’s Word and God’s Spirit. The result is that our hearts and minds are turned to Christ. It is about Him in God’s Word, and about Him it is with the work of the Spirit. Israel will be such a garden for Him in the future (Isaiah 51:3).
The Decoration of the Garden
The garden has trees. The trees are not there for the wood, but for the view of it. So are the flowers in the garden there to look at and enjoy. So the bride is there for the groom. As a ‘closed garden’ (Song of Solomon 4:12) the bride is fertile for the groom. This is evident from the description he gives in these verses of her ‘garden’. He lists what grows in the garden. He has an eye for each tree and for the “choice fruits” that grow on it, for “henna with nard plants”, for “all the trees of frankincense” and for the “all the finest spices” that spread an appropriate scent.
The groom starts by naming “your shoots”. Shoots are the first visible signs of new life. He says that they are “an orchard” or “a paradise”. This reminds us of the beginning of the Bible, of the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:9). That paradise has been lost by sin. It also points forward to the situation in the realm of peace, which will be like paradise (Ezekiel 47:12; Revelation 22:1-Exodus :).
But for the Lord Jesus there is now also a paradise on earth and that is the life of the believer who lives only for Him. From that life an abundance of fruit emerges. There is not only life, there is also the fruit of life. This fruit He Himself cultivates through His Spirit. “From Me comes your fruit” (Hosea 14:9).
The groom mentions nine trees and plants that the garden produces and adorn him and give him fragrance. With that his enumeration of the pleasant of the garden is not complete. By speaking twice about “all” he indicates that there is much more he enjoys. It speaks of an abundance in which every thought of lack is absent, but which also cannot be described in its fullness. This is the best description of its fullness (cf. 2 Corinthians 8:9; Colossians 1:9-1 Kings :).
In the spiritual application, the connection with the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit is obvious (Galatians 5:22-Isaiah :). What is pleasant in the garden of our life before Christ can only be worked through the Spirit within us if we are separated for the Lord. Then the water of the Word can work fruit in us that makes us a pleasure garden, a paradise for Him.
The “pomegranate with choice fruits” recall the hems of the high priest’s upper garment on which pomegranates hang alternating with bells (Exodus 28:33-Nahum :). The testimony of the Holy Spirit (the bells) is connected to the fruit of the Holy Spirit (the pomegranates). That fruit comes through the watering of the Word and that is the result of the work of the Lord Jesus as High Priest. Everything in our lives that is fruit for Him has been worked through Him Himself.
All other fruits and spices speak of Him, of Whom He is and what He hath done. God enjoys it to the full. As this is present with us, He also enjoys us, because it reminds Him of the Lord Jesus. We are taken into favor in the Beloved. The Lord Jesus also enjoys it, because He recognizes Himself in us as those who fit Him, in whom He finds His joy.
It is not easy to discover the spiritual meaning of the trees and plants mentioned here. The “henna” is only mentioned here. In Song of Songs 1 the bride says that for her the groom is like “a cluster of henna blossoms” (Song of Solomon 1:14). Here we see the origin of the henna blossoms. They grow in the garden that is separated for the groom. We see here that the believer’s appreciation of the Lord Jesus is in fact His work in him.
Also the “nard”, which comes from the “nard plants”, is mentioned in Song of Songs 1. For an explanation see Song of Songs 1:12.
“Saffron” is only found in the Bible here. ‘Saffron is a spice extracted from the saffron crocus (crocus sativus). Saffron's aroma is often described by connoisseurs as reminiscent of metallic honey with grassy or hay-like notes, while its taste has also been noted as hay-like and sweet. Labor-intensive cultivation makes saffron a precious spice, which is why it is also called ‘the red gold’. [Source: https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saffron]
Two of the components of the holy anointing oil, which consists of “the finest spices”, are “calamus and cinnamon” (Exodus 30:23). In the description of the holy anointment are called “fragrant cane” and “fragrant cinnamon”. All the objects in the tabernacle are anointed with this holy anointment. The holy anointment represents the Holy Spirit, Who consecrates the believer and his whole life and service to God (1 John 2:20; 1 John 2:27). ‘The finest spices’, including calamus and cinnamon, refer to the glories of Christ, which are a pleasant fragrance for God. Where the Holy Spirit works in the believer, it will spread a precious fragrance, which is also pleasing to God (cf. Psalms 133:2).
The list is not exhaustive which is indicated by the groom by talking about “all the trees of frankincense”. These are trees that spread the scent of frankincense. In Song of Songs there is mention of “frankincense” (Song of Solomon 3:6), the “hill of frankincense” (Song of Solomon 4:6) and here of “trees of frankincense”. Frankincense is mentioned in connection with the sacrifices for the grain offering (Leviticus 2:1; Leviticus 2:2Leviticus 2:15; Leviticus 2:16; Nehemiah 13:5; Jeremiah 17:26; Jeremiah 41:5). The grain offering speaks of the life of the Lord Jesus on earth. The added frankincense indicates how much His life has been a pleasant fragrance for God.
God recognizes this in the lives of those who live separated for Him. Christ works this out in their lives. He has glorified God in all aspects of His life. In His words, deeds and actions He has always shown God. This is present to a limited extent in the believers. But every time they say or do something that is to the glory of God, He smells the pleasant smell of the frankincense that is so characteristic of the life of His Son (Ephesians 5:1-Exodus :).
Something has already been said about the “myrrh” in the explanation of Song of Songs 1:12. “Aloe” is mentioned by Balaam in the blessing he pronounces on Israel. Under the guidance of God’s Spirit he sees the tents of Jacob and the dwellings of Israel “like aloes planted by the LORD” (Numbers 24:5-Joshua :). In his blessing Balaam does not speak about the practice of God’s people, but about the value that the people have for Him. We can apply this to God’s purpose with the life of each of His own on earth. We are, so to speak, planted by Him on earth to be a pleasant fragrance for Him.
These two spices are also used at the burying of the Lord Jesus. Nicodemus brings “a mixture of myrrh and aloes” (John 19:39). It is a tribute to Him after the completed work to glorify the Father. The myrrh looks back on His suffering, the aloe looks forward to His return to the earth. The world doesn’t see Him anymore, but He comes back. In connection with His return these spices are also called. His clothing then smells with “myrrh and aloes [and] cassia” (Psalms 45:8).
Also the spices mentioned do not fully reflect what trough the groom in the closed garden of the bride is present for him. It is a garden “with all the finest spices”. The glories of the Lord Jesus cannot be written down exhaustively. All that is present in Him, all His attributes and characteristics, all of which are perfect in themselves, form a harmonious unity. The smells merge with each other and the ‘total smell’ of it is incomparable.
In that ‘total’ scent, every believer has his own scent, a certain quality of Christ that especially characterizes him. All believers together are needed to spread the full scent of Christ. The Lord Jesus works in this in the ‘garden’ of each of His own. Let’s open our garden to that work. What then will be enjoyed a wonderful fragrance by Him in all those gardens.
My Garden, His Garden
The bridegroom says to the bride full of delight: “[You are] a garden spring” (Song of Solomon 4:15). He sees her as a spring that irrigates her own garden, but also passes on the water to other gardens. It is therefore “a well of fresh water” or “a well of living waters” (Darby translation). Living water flows, it moves on to other places to bring life. It is water “[flowing] from Lebanon”. Here we see its origins. The water comes from the mountains, from the height.
A spring is a repository of water, not stagnant water, but living or flowing water. A spring speaks of depth; living water speaks of powerful and constantly flowing water. In the kingdom of peace there flows through Jerusalem “a river of the water of life” (Revelation 22:1). The renewed Jerusalem can, in the context of Song of Solomon 4:12-Ezra : here in Song of Songs, be called a ‘garden city’. The characteristic of a river is also that there is a constant flow of fresh water.
We recognize the description of the groom in the activity of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. The Lord Jesus speaks to a Samaritan woman about water He wants to give her (John 4:10-2 Chronicles :). The water He gives not only frees from restless searching for peace, but gives much more. That water is a spring of joy that someone gets within himself and that he never loses.
That source within is connected with eternal life. By this the Lord refers to the gift of the Holy Spirit Whom He gives in the believer to be in him a fresh spring of divine joy (John 7:38-Malachi :). The Holy Spirit is the gift that God gives us through His Son and through which we are able to enjoy everything that has been given to us in the Son. The Spirit of God makes the life of the believer fruitful and also makes him a blessing for his surroundings.
The streams come here from the Lebanon. The Spirit comes from Him Who is in the high, that is Christ. From the high He gave the Spirit (John 16:7). All spiritual refreshment and irrigation that flow into the life of the believer comes from the Spirit of life from the presence of the Lord Jesus for us with the Father in heaven.
Then the bride reacts to everything the groom has said of her as a garden in Song of Solomon 4:12-Ezra : (Song of Solomon 4:16). The bride wants what the groom has given her to grow and develop further. She wants the smell of the spice and of her garden to be wafted abroad, i.e. the abundance of smells to be molt. This requires wind. She asks the north wind and the south wind to blow through her garden.
In both winds we see a picture of the working of the Spirit in the life of the believer. It is similar to the Spirit Who will blow through the valley of the very dry bones through which life comes (Ezekiel 37:1-Exodus :; Ezekiel 37:9-2 Samuel :). Spiritually, the bride asks for the cold of the north wind on the one hand and the heat of the south wind on the other.
The bride knows that regardless of whether the conditions are favorable or unfavorable, whether they in season or out of season, those conditions serve to make the fragrance of the spices all the more flowing. Paul also speaks of these winds when he says he knows what it is to be humbled and also to live in prosperity. He also speaks about this when he says that he has learned the secret of being filled and going hungry. He knows both abundance and suffering need (Philippians 4:11-2 Kings :). He is only concerned about the smell that comes from it, and that is the power of Christ through Whom he can do everything (Philippians 4:13).
The cold that can enter our lives are the things we don’t like, the difficulties and worries of life. The bride asks for it. Do we ask for it? The question is whether we are ready to agree with what James says: “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials” (James 1:2). We’ll agree with what he says, but is it really so that we’re happy when we’re being tried?
We do not ask for problems, for a cold airflow in our lives. But do we really long that from our life more of scent is spread from and for Him? Then we ask Him to search and try us to see if there is a hurtful way with us, something that hinders the spread of that fragrance, and if He wants to lead us in the eternal way (Psalms 139:23-Jeremiah :).
There is a north wind in the life of the family in Bethany when Lazarus becomes ill and dies (John 11:1-Leviticus :; John 11:17). The cold of death has come. But the Lord Jesus comes with the south wind when He raises Lazarus from the dead (John 11:43). The Lord has already said that Lazarus’ sickness is not to death, “but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it” (John 11:4). The painful or sad things that happen to us aim to spread the scent of the glory of God and the glorification of the Son of God.
Disappointments are also like the north wind. The two disciples who went to Emmaus experienced the north wind in their disappointment in the Lord (Luke 24:13-Ecclesiastes :). The reason for this lies in false expectations. We can have them too. We have our wishes and imaginations of business. If things go differently, they are disappointments. Then we speak about it, and the Lord comes to us and burns our hearts by opening the Scriptures for us (Luke 24:27; Luke 24:32). Then the south wind blows.
We can experience the cold north wind when we have a ‘bad news talk’ with the doctor. A friend and brother had such a talk. Research has shown that he may have colon cancer. Such a message puts the whole of life in a different light. It has driven him and his wife into the presence of the Lord. They live with Him, but that life with Him then takes on a deeper meaning.
They have shared their needs with the believers of the local church. It has led us all in the presence of the Lord and to intercession. This is the tremendous effect of the ‘north wind’ that blows through the lives of a couple and a local church, enjoying the scent of fellowship with the Lord Jesus and with each other.
In his case, shortly thereafter, when the results of the examined piece of intestine were heard, the southern wind started to blow. No cancer cells were found. There is a large polyp that can be removed surgically. This message has made them and the fellow believers very grateful to our God and Father. The scent of communion with one another and the glorification of God has been blown through the church and beyond, to those who have no part in the faith in Christ, but to whom is testified of what God has done.
Do we wish to be a garden in which the Lord Jesus loves to come, because its fragrance is for Him? If we wish, we will say to Him: “May my beloved come into His garden and eat of its choice fruits!” It is striking that the bride in relation with the winds speaks of “my garden” and when she then invites her beloved to come to her, she speaks of “His garden”. It is both true.
We do not often think that our life is a garden for Him, where He would like to be to enjoy the fruit of it, fruit He Himself cultivates. Whether we are such a garden for Him is apparent from the things we fill our time with. Consider, for example, how much time is spent on placing and reading nonsensical focusing on social media, consuming films and all kinds of entertaining programs. What can we offer Him of these as the “choice fruits” of His garden to eat?
Kingcomments on the Whole Bible © 2021 Author: G. de Koning. All rights reserved. Used with the permission of the author
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de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Song of Solomon 4". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
Second Sunday after Epiphany