#64 Women of the Bible: Shulamite, my sister, my spouse
You have ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; You have ravished my heart with one look of your eyes, with one link of your necklace. How fair is your love, my sister, my spouse! How much better than wine is your love, and the scent of your perfumes than all spices! (Song of Sol. 4:9-10 NKJV)
The bride is transfixed with clear vision on her king and he endearingly calls her his sister and spouse. He proclaims her love is better than wine and her perfume than sweet spices. After that declaration of love and time has passed with the north and south winds releasing her fragrances, the King returns and they share a meal of honeycomb and wine mixed with milk (5:1).
Israel was initially God’s bride: "I will make you my wife forever, showing you righteousness and justice, unfailing love and compassion” (Hos. 2:19 NLT). It was later on that the Gentiles were invited to join with Israel as His bride.
What I find interesting here is that the King waited until the garden had produced the fruits and the sweet smelling spices had been released through the different seasons – which we wrote about yesterday – before he sat down and drank wine with her. Even though he remarked that that her love was better than wine, indicating that he knew the taste of wine, he was prepared to wait a length of time before he actually ate food and drank wine with her and invited his friends to deeply drink the wine (5:1).
This is exactly what Jesus promised to His faithful bride before He returned to heaven! Just before He was crucified, Jesus told us: “’I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.’
After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, ‘Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes’ ” (Luke 22:15-18 NIV).
Jesus has left us in the earth with the Holy Spirit blowing over us from the north and the south (4:16) releasing all sorts of sweet fragrances. The Holy Spirit has watered us with living water (4:15) so that we have produced the fruits of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22).
A day is coming when Jesus will return to find His fruitful and fragrant bride, the church, and He will eat and drink with her at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7-9). Given that past experience is a predictor of future performance, we can expect that drop of wine to surpass any wine we have on earth! (John 2:1-11).