”I was asleep, but my heart waked: It is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, ‘Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled; For my head is filled with dew, My locks with the drops of the night.’ I have put off my garment; How shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?...I rose up to open to my beloved...I opened to my beloved; But my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone. My soul had failed me when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.” [Song Of Songs 5:2-6]
The Song of Songs is not a Book I have spent a lot of time with, but this portion impressed me. In it we have the Lover coming to His beloved, desiring her presence. Although there is no doubt in the Song that she loves Him, He comes at a time that is inconvenient to her personally. She is perhaps relaxing for the evening and so hesitates...maybe even complains. She changes her mind however, and goes to let Him in. But He has gone.
The Song, besides portraying natural love, pictures for us the divine love of Christ for His Bride [the Church] and for us individually. Let’s look at it both ways.
First, Christ loves His bride/church. He died to redeem her to Himself. He delights in her as a Lover enraptured with love. It is an intense love, yet He is the perfect gentleman. He comes to His Bride, but she is not ready for Him. He does not force Himself on her...real love is not demanding. He simply leaves. Note: This is not talking about the salvation experience. It is referring to an on-going, developing love relationship.
This reminds me of the famous verse in Rev. 3:20 where Jesus stands outside the door and knocks. Although this verse is often used for the unsaved the actual context is Jesus standing outside the door of the church knocking [but if you’ve taken the Book of Revelation course you already know that]. Many times the church is so busy with meetings, programs, its own agendas, that Jesus is shut outside. She cannot hear his voice any longer, let alone be captured by this gentle, consuming Divine Lover.
This is not true of all churches, of course. It is; however, a common danger. Christ does not always come at convenient times. Is the church willing drop everything and open the door immediately when her Divine Lover calls? Or will we delay and then discover when we want Him, He is not there?
Second, on a personal level, Jesus is “head over heels” in love with each of His redeemed ones individually. Perhaps you have not pictured yourself as desirable to the Lord. You are. His love for you knows no bounds. But He will not force Himself on you. If you are too busy or if it is inconvenient when the Divine Lover calls He will fade into the night [again this is NOT referring to salvation]. You may look around for Him and discover He is not there. Whose fault is that? Are you truly in love with Jesus?
Perhaps we have begun to take His love for granted and so no longer respond as young lovers going through the delights of first love. [Lost your first love - where have we heard that before?]
What is the solution? Go out and seek Him. Chase after Him. Do not be delayed or hindered. Keep searching...and He will allow Himself to be found by you. Forgiveness will flow and relationship will be restored. Jesus loves you...yes, you individually and personally.
The love of Jesus for us is both the strongest and most fragile thing in the universe. Strong because a] He will always love us no matter what, and b] nothing can ever separate us from His love. Fragile because our thoughtless insensitivity and selfishness can keep Him at arm’s length and the Divine Lover will not intrude. We can see Him at a distance or we can rest in His embrace. We are as close to our Divine Lover as we choose to be, although this certainly does not mean we have a constant emotional high.
In this portion of the Song of Songs the love of each person is not in question. Jesus loves us...no question. We also are in love Jesus. The real question is how deep of a relationship do we really want? Are we willing to answer instantly to His love calls or do we take it for granted and put Him off until it is more convenient to our time schedule?
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