Waiting in Love
Day: 20 | Plan: Covenant
Today’s Reading: Song of Songs 3
Song of Songs 3:5 (NIV) “Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.”
In Song of Songs 1 and 2 we caught a snapshot of the growing love, passion and desire in the courtship between a man and a woman. The poetic symbolism is sensual yet modest. In Song of Songs 3, the woman is dreaming or daydreaming about her man. It sounds as if perhaps she had been dreaming about him “all night long.” She dreams of searching for him, finding him and bringing him to her bed.
She’s not thinking about sleeping. If you are married, perhaps you remember the days before your wedding night, when you dreamed of being in bed with your man. While the Bible condemns sex outside of marriage (Hebrews 13:4), it celebrates sexual love within the protective confines of committed marriage. Sexual intimacy was God’s idea, and she can hardly wait for that celebration.
The fact that she dreams of taking him to her mother’s house shows that she is not dreaming of a premarital sexual encounter, but one that is approved of by her parents … postnuptials and purely ordained. As commentator Dennis Kinlaw states, “Where in human literature does one find a text so erotic and yet so moral as this?”
As we have seen in Song of Songs 1 and 2, the man and the woman banter compliments and terms of endearment back and forth. Four times in this short passage the woman refers to the man as “the one my heart loves” (Song of Songs 3:1-4). I wonder if your husband and my husband would consider himself to be the same to us? Perhaps today would be a good day to remind him that he is the one your heart loves.
In her musing, once she has found her man, she will not let him go. (Song of Songs 3:4)
In Song of Songs 3:5 the woman abruptly stops her musing. It is almost as if she wakes up from the dream and throws cold water on her face! The word “wait” comes to mind. Once again she reminds her friends (and herself) to wait until the wedding day when all restraint will be gone. What a beautiful word for every woman: Don’t arouse love until it’s time. Save sexual intimacy for marriage. I imagine that as she was reminding her friends to patiently wait for their wedding night, she was also reminding herself.
In Song of Songs 3:6-11 the wedding day is finally here. At first glance it reads as if Solomon is approaching his bride. But the original Hebrew implies that it is the bride who is being brought from her home to the king’s city for the wedding.
“Who is this coming out of the wilderness like a column of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and incense, made from all the spices of the merchant?” (Song of Songs 3:6).
Solomon has overseen the building of the wedding carriage (Song of Songs 3:9-10), gathered 60 sword-bearing warriors to be groomsmen (Song of Songs 3:7-8) and placed pillars of smoke (most likely incense) in the processional to announce her arrival. This was no private ceremony!
I am reminded once again of the wedding supper of the Lamb. This will be no private ceremony! Heavenly hosts will join in the celebration! And just as Solomon has overseen the building of the wedding carriage for his bride, our heavenly Bridegroom is preparing a heavenly home for His bride. (John 14:1-4) Jesus will come with great fanfare to gather His Church, His bride. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to never forget the anticipation I had before the days of my marriage. Stir up in me the passion and desire that I had in the early days. Show me how to make sure that my husband knows without a shadow of a doubt that he is the one my heart loves. And Father, I am so excited about the day when my heavenly Bridegroom will come for me. I want to be ready. Honestly, sometimes my passion for Christ seems a bit cold. I pray that the Holy Spirit will stir the fire of excitement in my soul to love Jesus with all my heart. Show me what I can do to rekindle the passion, and then give me the willpower to do it. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Song of Songs 3:7-8 tells us that there were 60 sword-bearing men around the carriage that held... Read More
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