#58 Women of the Bible: Shulamite and waking up love
“Scarcely had I passed them (the watchmen) when I found the one my heart loves. I held him and would not let him go till I had brought him to my mother’s house, to the room of the one who conceived me.
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” (Song of Sol. 3:4-5 NIV).
Here is one of those amazing cryptic puzzles in the Bible (that I have written about previously) and I’m going to surprise you and say that this passage is linked to John 9 where Jesus opened the eyes of the blind man who was blind from birth!
In the John passage, the religious leaders had asked Jesus about the blind man – if he was blind because he had sinned or his parents? Jesus said that neither was the cause and that he was blind so that the works of God could be revealed in him and that He could only work in the day before the night comes and no one can work. Jesus then said that He was the light of the world.
Jesus spat on the ground, made a clay, put this on the blind man’s eyes, told him to wash in the Pool of Siloam and he was healed. As a result of the blind man’s unswerving testimony that Jesus had healed him, he was thrown out of the synagogue.
In the Song of Solomon, we know that the watchmen beat the bride when she was searching for the bridegroom (Song 5:6-7). The bride, when she had found the bridegroom didn’t want to let him go and had brought him to her ancestral home.
As I have said before, the Christian is the bride. All true Christians have religious opponents – legalists, compromisers, atheists, false teachers and governments who oppress them in their walk with Jesus. These are the “little foxes” (Song 2:15) which will nip at our faith and belief and lead us away from the Bridegroom.
We are not in the state of sin and sickness because of what our immediate earthly parents did: we are in that state because Adam sinned and we all inherit that tendency to sin. Jesus wants us to take Him back to where our sin was conceived, to the beginning of our Fall and to heal us from our very roots. He wants us to acknowledge and own our sin and our need for Him.
Like the bride, our response is to cling to Jesus, as the only means of our healing from sin and sin’s physical expression, disease and death, and to be washed in the living waters (eg Song 4:14).
We are urged not to stir up or arouse love until it is ready. Juxtapositioned against this in John we have Jesus saying that He can only work in the day because the night is coming. I believe we have here a prophecy in Song of Solomon that Jesus was coming and that He was going to descend into the night, into death.
The Light of the world was going into ‘the valley of the shadow of Death’, and at that point love was going to be awakened and that Light was going to light up the palace of Death and breathe life into all who entered it. The next verses in Song of Solomon say that the Beloved is coming from the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense and garbed in majestic kingly glory (Song 3:6-11).
There are so many links here to Jesus’s burial, and His glorious future appearance, that space won’t permit looking at, but I will end with this vision of Isaiah:
“Who is this who comes from Edom, With dyed garments from Bozrah, This One who is glorious in His apparel, Traveling in the greatness of His strength?— “I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” (Isa. 63:1 NKJV)