Memphis Belle

Untitled Document
Song of Solomon Chapter 1 Song of Solomon Chapters 2-3
Song of Solomon Chapters 4-6 Song of Solomon Chapters 7-8
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Song of Solomon 4:1-16

 

“Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes within thy locks:  thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead. 2 Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which came up from the washing; whereof every one bear twins, and none is barren among them. 3 Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech is comely:  thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks. 4 Thy neck is like the tower of David builded for an armoury, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men. 5 Thy breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies. 6 Until day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense. 7 Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee. 8 Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon:  look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions’ dens, from the mountains of the leopards. 9 Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck. 10 How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices! 11 Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb:  honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon. 12 A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. 13 Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard, 14 spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices: 15 A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon. 16 Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south, blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out.  Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.”

 

[Audio Version: http://resources.ccphilly.org/WED881]

 

‘Behold, How Fair Are We In The Eyes Of The Lord’

 

“Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes within thy locks:  thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead.” (verse 1) “Behold,” now, it seems that he then speaks to her.  We’re going to look at the first few verses here in chapter 4, this is the king speaking.  And it’s interesting, he says “Behold, thou art fair,” now look, we hear ‘Behold, he cometh with  clouds,’ go through the “beholds” in the New Testament, they’re just incredible, you know, ‘Behold, the King of kings and Lord of lords,’ you can go through a whole list of them.  This is him saying to her, this is him, Jesus, speaking to us, “Behold, thou art fair,” now that’s hard for me to take somedays, because my wife is not saying to me on that day, ‘Behold, thou art fair.’  She might be saying ‘behold, thou art unfair,’ or ‘behold, there’s nothing fair about you this morning.’  And again, fair here doesn’t mean ‘behold, you’re ok, average,’ “fair” means beautiful, it means lovely, and somedays there’s no human saying that to us.  And you feel like you’ve failed in so many ways, and then from heaven, to hear heaven say ‘Behold, consider this, thou art fair.’  There’s a beauty about you that isn’t earthly.  It’s not earned, it’s not deserved, it’s not beheld, except in the spiritual realm.  You know, I think of again, Balak hiring Balaam, trying to get him to curse the children of Israel.  And they had been a mess, they had worshipped the golden calf, they had done all kinds of things wrong.  And it says when the Holy Spirit came upon Balaam, he looked at them and instead of cursing them he said “How lovely are thy tents, O Jacob, there is no iniquity found in thee.”  I’m thinking ‘What?!’  And believe me, the Lord has used that and challenged me, and said ‘Joe, if my adversary, when he’s filled with the Holy Spirit can see the beauty of my Bride, what’s your problem?  You must need to be filled with the Holy Spirit today too.’  And here, “Behold, thou art fair,” and then Paul saying ‘Forgetting those things that are behind,’ he slaughtered Christians, making them blaspheme Jesus at the point of a sword, he was the anti-christ of the Book of Acts, he was the most single destructive force in the early Church in the Book of Acts, the most feared, the most bloody, the most determined.  And he would say ‘You know, all of my pedigree, circumcised on the 8th day,’ he says ‘forgetting those things behind, I press toward the mark of the high calling in Christ.’  Paul says ‘I have not yet apprehended that which I have been apprehended for, I have not yet, Paul says, ‘fully apprehended why God in his love apprehended me, I’m still working on it.’  And so is everybody who reads this, and wants to take it to their own heart.  He beholds us that way because of his own work, he beholds us that way because that’s the way Balaam, an adversary, saw the children of Israel when he was filled with the Spirit of God.  He says “Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes within thy locks:  thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead.” “flock of goats,” you know it kind of ruins it for us a little bit, you need to look at this, there’s a cultural part of this, you have to understand it’s really wonderful, so it’s not, again, the doves’ eyes, the dove is a clean animal, but more than that, the scientists tell us, the dove, their vision, they can only see one thing at a time, they have kind of tunnel vision, they can only focus on one thing at a time, and I think that’s the beauty of this, he says ‘Behold, thou art fair my love, behold thou art fair, thou hast doves’ eyes, I realize that you’ve gotten past all that other stuff and your eyes are upon me, your voice is sweet to me, your countenance is comely.’  He’s going to say to her ‘you’re terrible like an army with banners as we go, just think, you’re ravaging my heart,’ the Lord’s going to say.  Here he says ‘you have doves’ eyes within your locks,’ and then he says ‘your hair is as a flock of goats,’ not a flock of sheep, that would be white hair, ok, ‘you’re a beautiful old gal, your hair looks like a flock of sheep,’ that’s not what he’s saying.  ‘Your hair is like a flock of goats that appear on Mount Gilead,’ the goats over there were black.  Sometimes, I’ve been over there, you see a whole flock of goats on the side of the hill, their hair is a little longer than sheep, and you see it blowing in the wind as they go, and it can look like black hair, just remarkable and beautiful, it’s a compliment in this culture, ok.  Work with me, alright.  Guys, you can learn to say things like this, but you can’t steal it from here, because it doesn’t apply anymore, but this should give you ideas. 

 

The King Describes His Beautiful Bride

 

Her Hair And Teeth

 

“thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead.  Your teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which came up from the washing; whereof every one bears twins, and none is barren among them.” (verses 1b-2) now that’s good (the sheep) now we’re to the right color, you want the teeth to be white, that’s good.  He says ‘your teeth are like a flock of sheep, that are even shorn,’ they’re symmetrical,  that’s a good thing, ‘they’re come up from the washing,’ now that’s really good too, you’ve used gargle, you know, ‘your teeth are even shorn,’ not a snaggle-tooth sticking out to the side, you have two incisors, you know you got two canine, they’re all there, there’s nothing missing, they’re symmetrical, you’ve got two of each one, and they’re kind of all even, that’s a great smile.  ‘Your teeth are like a flock of sheep, they’re even shorn which came up from the washing, whereof every one bears twins, there’s symmetry, that’s good, none of them is barren, there aren’t any empty teeth there, things gone.’

 

Her Lips And Cheeks

 

“Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech is comely:  thy temples are like a piece of pomegranate within thy locks.” (verse 3) isn’t it funny, that must have been complementary in that day, “thy lips are like a thread of scarlet,” today it’s not good unless your lips are as big as a cucumber or something, everyone gotta have collagen or something.  In this day lips were beautiful when they were like a thread of scarlet, today they got to look swollen and diseased.  “Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech is comely” the way you talk, it’s beautiful, “thy temples” or your cheekbonesare like a piece of pomegranate within thy locks.”  I love pomegranates, but I’m trying to find the beauty in this one, “thy temples are like a piece of pomegranate within thy locks.” (verse 3b)  I was just squeezing some pomegranates this afternoon, I love pomegranate juice, but there’s nothing about that I think, I think of my wife, I want to see a big piece of pomegranate there, sticking out of the side, there’s something about it they understood that I don’t, as we look at this.

 

Her Neck And Breasts

 

Now “Thy neck is like the tower of David builded for an armoury, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men.” (verse 4) that is something you got going on there.  Ah, the best I can do with this, a few of the guys said, when the shields were hung there at the armoury, there was no war, it was a sign of peace.  So there was beauty to the shields and bucklers hanging in the armoury, because there was genuine peace then in the city and the nation.  So, ‘your neck, there was something peaceful, that was good, that’s wholesome, I appreciate about this.’  “Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies.” (verse 5) that’s good, there’s a symmetry, that’s important, that’s good, let’s move on [laughter], “which feed among the lilies.” This is ancient Hebrew poetry, they’re making a point about these things.

 

We’re Waiting For This Day To Break

 

“Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.” (verse 6)  And we’re waiting for the Day to break, aren’t we?  Myrrh is, I learned more about myrrh than I wanted to, studying through this Book, myrrh is used both in burial and in the wedding, it’s used on both.  So for us to get to the mountain of myrrh, with Christ, certainly there’s a place there where we always abide at the cross, always.  You know, Alistair Beggs, a friend, he said “Joe, I preach the Gospel to myself every day, I’m at the cross of Christ, every day.”  And every day we’re anticipating his coming.  Chuck Smith, before he died, used to talk about Mama Mitchel, an old lady in his church, and he said, she came when the church was full of Hippies, no shoes, Rock’n Roll, Mama Mitchel would be there, this old Baptist lady, she loved it.  And he said, then finally, I had to fly back to Pennsylvania, because he was always doing something with us, and he said we took Mama Mitchel on the plane with us, Daniel Amos, Chuck Smith, a couple Rock Bands and Mama Mitchel, and he said “In Philly we left her, cause she was going from Philly to Africa,” she was 92 years old then, “to do mission work.”  And he said “Mama Mitchel, every day of her life, wore a fresh bouquet, from the florist, every day.  I don’t know how much money she spent in the years I knew her.”  He said “One time I asked her, I said ‘Mama Mitchel, what’s the deal with the bouquet?’ and she said, ‘You know, every day when I get up, I think this may be the day that my Bride Groom comes for me, and I want to be ready,’ and she said ‘that bouquet reminds me all day long that it might be the day.’”  And then he said “She headed to Africa, and she said, ‘By the way, if I die in Africa, don’t bring this old body back, just let ‘em bury it there, I don’t care where they bury me.’”  And he said she died in Africa, and they buried her there.  Isn’t that a nice story about the mountains of myrrh and Mama Mitchel, you can remember this… “Until the day break, and the shadows flee waay, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.”  This speaks both of Redemption, it’s certainly a picture of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, “and to the hill of frankincense” certainly he’s our High Priest, and he was tempted in every way as we are, and yet without sin, but can be touched with our infirmities, because he put on our skin and he walked among us, and he was thirsty, and he was hungry, and he sweat, and he was cold, and he wept, and he was betrayed.  And because of that we can come boldly to the Throne of Grace.  It says here when you go into chapter 5, that the priest even takes care of those “who are out of the way.”  How remarkable is that?  Even for those who are out of the way, are you out of the way this evening?  Are you out of the way this evening?  This Lord, this King, wants to bring you back into his arms, he wants to say to you ‘Behold, thou art fair, I’ve done this work, this is my doing, your voice is sweet to me, I want you to get up and spend time with me, I want you to be with me, your countenance is comely, I look upon you and I see beauty,’ and of course it’s the beauty of Jesus Christ [reflected back into us].  Read ahead, I hope that the Lord comes before next Wednesday, and you’ll get a better idea of what this really means, and you’ll understand how dumb I was interpreting it in the way I did.  My challenge to you is, get alone with it.  I’m telling you, I have read through over thirty-some years of commentaries and opinions and linguistic scholarship, church fathers, you can rake through this and rake through this and rake through this.  And to me, my favorite ends up to be, if you want to read commentaries, Jesse Pen Louis did a commentary on the Song of Solomon, which she said she would never do, until she was laid up in a hospital and thought she was on her deathbed.  And she lay there and she heard the Lord speaking to her out of these things.  And without books and commentaries and so forth, she wrote her little paperback, it’s not an intimidating commentary on the Song of Solomon.  The other one is by Watchman Nee, who wrote a commentary on the Song earlier, and then ended up in prison, for over 20 years where he died, and after he died in prison his wife found parchments, manuscripts of writings he did, and in prison he rewrote his whole perception of the Song of Solomon.  And you read Watchman Nee and you realize he’s in a dark place, no light, no love, no evidence of Christ being gracious to him at all, in this dark unbearable situation where he will die, and he says ‘I hear him saying Thou art fair my love, arise, come away with me, Arise my love, my fair one and come away,’ and you just read what he says.  You have no right to take those things from Jesse Penn Louis or from Watchman Nee, because you think of the price they paid for those things to come into focus, wonderful.  Let’s stand, we’ll sing a last song…

 

Review

 

We have come as far as verse 7 of chapter 4, we can read down, kind of get a running start of this.  Again, if you’re joining us for the first time here, just briefly this Book, very interesting Book in the Old Testament, no mention of Jehovah God, no mention of salvation, no mention of theology.  It is a song of love, Solomon says, the Book tells us it’s the Song of Songs, preeminent above all other songs.  Always recognized by the ancient Hebrew church, included in the Scripture, always recognized by the Church fathers, the counsels as they put the Scripture together [canonized the Bible], so it has its place.  Again, the problem is content and intent.  So there are people who have interpreted it in different ways, suspecting that the intention was a literal historical characterization of a romance between bride and groom, and will use this to teach on marriage and sexual intimacy, those things may be there [and they are, but the intent goes far, far deeper in the spiritual sense].  There are those who have taken that to a degree where it has become unclean, and I think wrong.  The ancient rabbis saw it as a picture of Israel and Jehovah God [Yahweh], again Aqqaba saying “All of the Scripture is holy, but the Song of Songs is the holy of holies.”  Our tract has been, that it is, we’ll boil it down, I will personally, to a picture of the Church in Christ, or the believer in Christ [and her Bride Groom Jesus Christ].  We know from Ephesians 5 that marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church [greater Body of Christ].  We know from Revelation chapter 19 [verses 7-9] we have a picture in the Marriage Supper of the Church and Christ.  There are other pictures of Jesus as the Bride Groom and the Church as the Bride and so forth.  So there is a romance, no doubt, contained within this that I think enables the believer to sit alone with it.  The greatest benefit, because I’m reading and have for years, all the commentaries, and none of them agree with each other.  So the most wonderful thing I think is for you to sit alone with the Book, and let it speak to your heart.  Don’t be afraid to let it say the things that it says, because some of them will fill you with wonder.  So, certainly as we, let’s jump in and work down to verse 7 where we are.  “Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes within thy locks:  thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead.  Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which come up from the washing; whereof every one bear twins, and none is barren among them.” that’s black hair and white teeth, that’s the order you want it in, the teeth are washed, symmetrical, all these things are good things, “Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech is comely:  thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks.  Thy neck” we talked about this last week, in case you’re mystified by any of it,is like the tower of David builded for an armoury, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men.” Some neck, huh? “Thy two breasts are like twins, which feed among the lilies.  Until day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.” (verses 1-6)  Possibly for the believer, myrrh used both in the burial and in the wedding, in the culture certainly Christ was offered myrrh mingled with gal on the cross, when he tasted he wouldn’t drink of it, it was in anesthetizer, certainly for us, the safe place to be as it were, the picture is, the mountain of myrrh there, Golgotha, we stay there for the rest of our lives in some ways.  The hill of frankincense, Christ is now the High Priest, he ever liveth and maketh intercession for the saints. 

 

The Groom, Christ, Speaks To His Bride, “There Is No Spot In Thee”

 

And then this statement now from Solomon, from the Groom, from the Lord, “Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.” (verse 7)  “fair” remember, that’s not average, that’s good.  I don’t know about you guys, but that does my heart good.  And I have to sit with that, and reiterate it to myself, because I’m always aware, and the devil’s always ready to remind me of some spots that are there.  there is no spot in thee.” Of course that’s remarkable, because in the Old Testament, the worshipper of course brought the lamb to the priest, the priest never examined the worshipper, he examined the lamb, the lamb had to be without spot and blemish.  It was a foregone conclusion that the worshipper has spot and blemish, that’s why he was bringing the lamb without spot to worship.  But here, in Christ, this God, Romans 4 tells us, is the God that calls things that are not as though they were, he’s able to say to us ‘you are justified, sanctified and glorified,’ because he was, he is and he is to come, he views us from all three of those positions.  And Jude says now he is able to present us faultless before his throne of glory, he’s going to present us faultless in glory, you can imagine.  So the pictures that come, Revelation tells us this, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him:  for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed with fine linen, clean and white:  for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints.  And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they that are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.  And he saith unto me, These are true [or trustworthy] sayings of God.” (Revelation 19:7-9)  So we see this picture, you know, throughout.

 

Being Called To Higher Ground

 

But here he’s looking at her, saying, “Thou art fair my love, my love; there is no spot in thee.  Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon:  look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions’ dens, from the mountains of the leopards.” (verses 7-8)  beautiful, picturesque, Mount Hermon the highest piece of ground in Israel, the other side is Lebanon.  Been there many, many, many times, and wonderfully, sometimes even in the summer, if it’s a very clear day, you can still see some snow there on Hermon, it’s over 11,000 feet.  The idea is, there’s a vantage point here, he’s calling the one he loves to higher ground.  Certainly if we’re going to believe he’s inviting us and saying to us ‘There is no spot in thee,’ if you’re going to believe that, you’re going have to go to higher ground.  You know, it may be the place where there are lions dens, that lion who creeps around seeking whom he may devour, you know, the accuser of the brethren.  But there’s a vantage point here, being called to higher ground.  We’re passing through this world and all the difficulties of it, and here’s the Lord, look what he says in verse 9, “Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck.” the idea is, one look of your eyes, with one chain of thy neck, “How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices!” (verse 10) you listen to this and you think ‘Can I really think that?  Can I really think that?  That the Lord would say to us ‘You have ravished my heart.’  You know, it’s interesting, he picks the analogies, he’s the one who says in his inspired Word that the marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church.  He’s the one in the Book of Revelation who tells us when he gathers the Church to himself, ‘Blessed are those who come to the marriage supper of the Lamb,’ that’s how he sees it, what he calls it.  He puts himself in the position of the Groom that’s able to receive this Bride, and the reason he’s able to receive her is because he was the one who made propitiation, because he satisfied all of the just demands of God’s Law and wrath, so that he can look at this Bride and say ‘There’s no spot, it’s done…it is finished.’  Sometimes I think, you know, look, we study theology, and we should, we should all have a strong personal theology, we should all have a Biblical hermeneutic.  Study through the Scripture and understand why we believe what we believe, those things are very important.  But in the middle of all of that, on the vertical, there’s a personal relationship with the Living God that God’s given us through the blood of his Son, that is preeminent and it seems in his heart over everything else.  You know he says to the Church in Ephesus in Revelation chapter 2, ‘I’ve seen your works, you labour to the point of exhaustion, I see that, you’re a working church, you’ve tried those who are false teachers, you can’t stand base people,’ he goes through the list, this church is a church that is accomplishing, it’s working, it’s getting things done, you know, from outward observation, this would be the kind of church you want to be part of, but he says, ‘I have somewhat against thee, because you’re left your first love, remember from whence thou hast fallen, repent, do the first works, lest I remove your light.’  He says to this lean, mean preaching machine, this church, it’s everything a church should be, he sees an atrophy that’s beginning, and then says ‘There is something in all of this objectivity, there’s also subjective, there’s something in all of this of passion and of heart and of love,’ and he challenges.  It’s interesting as we go into this in verse 11, “Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb:  honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon.” [according to the Song of Solomon, in a physical marriage, French kissing is ok, just so you know.]  Guys, you could probably work your wife with that first statement.  Some of this you can’t.  “Honey and milk are under thy tongue, the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon.” you have that great PineSol smell. 

 

She Is The Groom’s Garden Which Has Pleasant Fruits (Fruits of the Spirit)

 

Now listen, “A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.” (verse 12) it’s just shut in, “a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.”  He’s going to say down again in verse 16, ‘Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden…let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits,’ verse 1 of chapter 5, ‘I am come into  my garden,’ listen, there isn’t any of this where the Lord is saying ‘I’ve come into my factory, you know, good work being done,’ look, because a lot of us have come through churches where we feel my relationship with him is based on the fact that I’m praying enough and reading enough [Bible study], I’m serving in enough ministries in church, I’m doing, doing, doing, doing.  I think we should do, but that has to be borne out of love.  [The Church, Body of Christ, has been given the job, assignment of proclaiming the Gospel of Salvation to the whole world (cf. Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20) that’s undeniable.  But we should be doing that as a Bride heralding her Groom’s imminent coming, arrival.  That should be our love-motive for our Gospel proclamation works, not a legalistic works trip.  Nor are we to give this Gospel presentation to this poor, sin-sick world in a condemning, hateful or prideful way, but in love.  I always say, you can’t be beating someone up for their lifestyle and be presenting the Gospel of Salvation to them, which is to be done in love.  Christ, our Bride-Groom died for that world out there, which you were also a part of.]  Because if it isn’t done in love, it’s a legalistic trend that ends up running your tank till it’s empty, and you dry up, and it is a slow process, and then you realize ‘Why have I lost this, where is the first love, where is that?’  And it’s interesting, you hear the Lord’s voice here speaking to the one he loves as it were, and it’s a garden, organic, it’s something that grows, it has life.  You know, it says the fruit of the Spirit, and we have that in contrast in Galatians to the works, plural, of the flesh.  The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering.  He says here, he says “A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.” (verse 12) all of the potential, what he sees in us.  Interesting, “Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits;” in contrast to works, “camphire, with spikenard,” (verse 13) you read through, it’s interesting, “spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all chief spices:  a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.” (verses 14-15) and the Hebrew of that understood, that which is described is very unique, because spikenard came from India, you read through the list of some of these things, they were not native to the land of Israel, so there’s this collection of interesting spices and fruits.  Solomon may have had gardens, he had studied botany and so forth, he may have had places where these things were gathered.  But the idea of the origin of all of these things, is it’s gathered in one place, and here’s the Lord describing, saying spikenard is there and saffron is there and cinnamon is there, all of these different things of flavour, of taste, of delight, they’re there, they’re gathered there in this garden, it’s not a factory, it’s not work, it’s not ‘you smell like sweat,’ this is a garden.  One of my good friends here at church years ago said, we were talking about teaching the Scripture, and he said “You know they say all inspiration without perspiration is your responsibility.”  I understood what he was saying, I agree.  But I said “Ya, but all perspiration without inspiration is BO,” just a thought that I had.  This beautiful description of this unique garden, not natural in some ways, with the best of everything gathered there.  And then the voice “Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof my flow out.  Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.” (verse 16)  It seems that it’s the bride speaking here in this last verse, very interesting, the north wind was, always, in Israel a picture of more severe weather, of cold, difficulty.  The south wind, always a picture usually of warmth, sometimes it would dry, but it was a picture of the warmth.  It says “blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out” it’s almost like the bride is saying, ‘You know what, Lord, come what may, there are hard things in life that come, you know, the north wind is going to blow, and then the south wind is going to blow,’ the north wind is blowing out there tonight, and just in the difficulties, in the joys and sorrows of life, it says somehow in this, it allows the spices, it allows the spices thereof to flow out, it does something where this verdant parcel is dependent upon the bride groom, dependent upon him, in difficult times and blessed times, that the spice may flow out.  Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruit.” (verse 16b)  It’s his garden, this is yours, Lord, I’m a zero, I’m your workmanship, your ema, there’s no expression Lord unless you’re working in and through me by your grace, and ‘Let him come into his pleasant garden, and eat his fruit.’  She’s offering, she’s putting this before him.  The interesting thing is, there’s no chapter break when this was written, and as we go on, it’s interesting, we’re listening, listening, she’s kind of speaking less and listening more.  You know what, what we’re hearing more and more from him as this goes on.  And she seems to be coming about, and she’s inviting, you know, ‘Come north wind, come south, blow upon the garden, let my beloved come into his garden, Lord, have my life, here it is.’ 

 

Song of Solomon 5:1-16

 

“I AM come into my garden, my sister, my spouse:  I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk:  eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved. 2 I sleep, but my heart waketh:  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, and my locks with the drops of the night. 3 I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on?  I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them? 4 My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him. 5 I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock. 6 I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone:  my soul failed when he spake:  I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer. 7 The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me. 8 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I am sick of love. 9 What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women? what is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us? 10 My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand. 11 His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven. 12 His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set. 13 His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers:  his lips like  lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh. 14 His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl:  his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires. 15 His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold:  his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars. 16 His mouth is most sweet:  yea, he is altogether lovely.  This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.”

 

The King Comes Into His Garden, And We’re That Garden

 

And look, this is how he always responds “I AM come into my garden, my sister, my spouse” you’ll notice the “my’s” I have them all circled here, “my garden,” “my sister,” “my spouse,” “I have gathered my myrrh, with  my spice, I have eaten my honeycomb, with my honey, I have drunk my wine with my milk,” and then he says, gives an invitation to visit the wedding feast, “eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.” (verse 1c)  So, he always responds, as we go through here, there isn’t a place where the cry is ‘Lord, I so desperately need you, Lord here I am before you, Lord,’ ok, the difficult things come, the north wind blows, the south wind blows, but somehow in this there’s fruit, I know somehow in this it produces something of trust and a faith, ‘Lord I want you to come, please here’s my life, come in, have me Lord, I’m tired,’ he always, and he does tonight too, respond this way.  And anybody here this evening who is going through a struggle, ‘I don’t know where the Lord is, how do I find the Lord?’ This is not a geographical problem, like we hand out maps, ‘you go to…you make a right, you go down to Wells road, make a left, that’s how to find the Lord.’  That isn’t it at all.  It’s an issue of the heart, ‘Lord, uncle, come Lord, here I am.’  Because you’re here thinking ‘I’m messed up, he doesn’t care about me,’ he’s saying ‘My fair one, there’s no spot in thee, there isn’t anything wrong, you’ve ravished me with one look of your eyes, with one part of the necklace, you’re a garden of spices, the fruit, you’re a unique gathering of all of these things.’  And yet you hear the bride herself, ‘Awake, O north wind; come, thou south wind come into my garden,’ and then he says ‘I am come into my garden,’ he accepts, “I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse:  I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk:  eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.” (verse 1)  

 

The King Comes To His Bride At Night, But She Doesn’t Open Her Door For Him

 

And in verse 2 it’s interesting, she says, it’s a break, the thought changes, here she says, “I sleep, but my heart waketh:” isn’t that a beautiful way to talk about insomnia? What a beautiful description of tossing and turning,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, and my locks with drops of the night.” (verse 2) look, the beauty of this to me is remarkable.  She says, there are those times for every believer, for you and I, where in the night you toss and turn [at my age, that happens almost every night, insomnia].  She says something interesting, ‘his voice knocketh,’ not saying anything specific, but you know he’s knocking, ‘Yoo-hoo, we need to talk,’ his voice is knocking.  Isn’t that an interesting description of the voice, in our relationship he stands at the door and knocks.  It says here ‘his voice knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled,’ isn’t that interesting?  Listen to what he says “for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.” it means it’s early in the morning.  I think ‘How many times the Lord in my own life, and all of us should experience that, you kind of wake up and you know he’s telling me, I want you to come, pray,’ you’re thinking ‘Lord, it’s early,’ he’s saying ‘Yea, I know that, my hair’s full of dew, you know, and the drops of the night, don’t tell me what time it is.  I want you to get up and I want you to spend time with me.’  And you know, it’s funny, because you can toss and turn all night, you slide out of bed on your knees next to the bed, you spend 20 minutes in prayer, sometimes you climb back in and you go out, and how beautiful it is that he would do that.  He comes in the middle of the night, his voice is knocking, she says, it’s an invitation, ‘Come, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled,’ isn’t it interesting that he sees us that way, undefiled? ‘My head is filled with dew, I’m here early, I want to be alone with you, my love, with the drops of the night.’  And then of course, not like us, she actually makes an excuse.  You’ve never done that, have you?  ‘But Lord, it’s cold, can’t we pray in bed? Let me roll over, put my head down in my pillow, it’s a praying position,’ won’t last long, but you know. 

 

Next, She Makes Excuses For Not Opening Her Door

 

Look what she says, “I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?” (verse 3) they would do that before they would get into the bed in those days, because lots of time it was a dirt floor and, ‘I’ve washed my feet, how shall I defile them?  Yea, I gotta get up and get my feet all dirty again, I just got into bed with my kerchief and cap and settled down for a long winter’s nap,’ all these excuses here.  And the interesting thing is, she says “My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.” (verse 4)  You saw in the Ben Hur movie, where he came to the door, and there was kind of like this box by the door, and you took, and there was a key there and you reach in, and in the culture sometimes, if the door was locked, part of the lock was on the inside, part of it was there on the outside, if no one was there they would leave an ointment, leave flowers in there, it was like your mailbox by the side of the road, when you came home you knew your beloved had been there because he had left something inside the door in the lock there, as it were.  He’s appealing to her.  Now look, in human marriage, in human marriage, when there’s a loving advance that’s refused, it can be hurtful, as human beings.  When a husband is loving and makes a loving advance to the wife, and she refuses, or visa versa, that can be difficult.  And the problem here seems to be indifference.  It’s not ignorance, which you kind of see a little earlier in this Song, here she seems to be, the believer seems to be indifferent, as they’re being wooed, ‘Come on, I want to spend time with you, I want you to get up, here I am with the dew of the morning in my hair, I know it’s early, come on, let’s spend time together,’ ‘I need to rest, I just laid down, I never get any sleep, I need, you know, you give your beloved rest,’ you quote another verse trying to justify.  It’s interesting, even the Lord, I think his feelings get hurt, when he is taking the initiative.  Let me say this too, this doesn’t have anything to do with theology, doesn’t have anything to do with your justification that’s by faith, it doesn’t have anything to do with your standing before Christ, that’s all established on the cross.  This is in the context of communion with him, a fellowshipping with him.  She says ‘My beloved went as far as to put his hand into the hole of the door, she says my bowels, my guts, you know in the gut level, I knew it.’  You know, it’s interesting, in the Scripture, the deepest compass for us morally is described in the Scripture sometimes as the kidneys, the bowels, even sometimes more than the head or the heart, there’s something deep, visceral, down inside of a human being sometimes, just ‘I knew it in my gut, I had a gut feeling.’

 

She Opens Her Door, But The King Has Gone

 

So she says “my bowels were moved for him” ‘I knew I should have responded.’  And then she says, look, “I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock.” (verse 5) she was on the inside now, that was from him, “I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone:  my soul failed when he spake:  I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.” (verse 6) There’s kind of an interesting lesson here, you know.  All of us in this room are growing in grace and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, and we’re all going through that process of learning to commune with him.  Look, we live in a culture where everything assaults us from the sensory level, and we all have mobile devices, we’ve become experts on the horizontal and we have lost what many generations understood about the vertical, and cultivating that.  Because we’re made, look, facebook, that’s a big thing now, I don’t do it, but I understand, you don’t, I do.  It’s not a face, and it’s not a book, this is a Book, and these are faces in the room.  And human beings have an innate ability to look into the face of another human being, and know by the tone of their voice, by the look in their eye, it’s something we’re losing in our culture.  Because everybody’s tied together there on the Internet, we’re together alone, you listen to Ted Talks there’s a great one there, by a professor from MIT, it’s called Together Alone.  And it’s the same thing, you know, spiritually, we have to cultivate that, find a place, where the Lord says, ‘get a closet,’ find a prayer-place for your own life, learn to just go in there and lay on your face or get on your knees, find a place to be alone, because you cultivate that sense of his presence and the prompting of the Lord.  And then later in the day something happens, and you say ‘Lord, that was you talking to me about that!’  Dah, and don’t feel bad, because Jeremiah had to wait till his cousin Hananeel came, and said ‘Now I know that was you talking to me!’ he’s the prophet, he’s supposed to know, right?  So, we’re cultivating this. 

 

The Lesson:  We Shouldn’t Grieve Our Bride Groom or His Holy Spirit

 

So it’s very interesting, I think there’s a lesson here, what happens is love comes, and love is sensitive, and the Lord many times…you think how often the Lord wants to come, he’s paid the ultimate price so he could restore what Adam lost in the Garden, and he wants to be with us…and sometimes it describes him here along almost being…sometimes, and yet love is a feeling.  We wouldn’t know the love between a father and a son if it weren’t for God, we’re created in his image and likeness, the whole world was born out of father-son love, husband-and-wife love, born out of father-son love.  The ability to love and to be hurt and to be discouraged, that’s all in the heart of God.  Relationship is a gift he’s given us.  It tells us ‘that we should not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,’ that’s the same word used when Paul says ‘Brethren, I don’t want you to be ignorant concerning those who have fallen asleep, that you sorrow not,’ that’s the same word, that this speaks of mourning for the dead, that’s the same word grieve the Holy Spirit,’ we can break the heart of God.  It’s hard for us to imagine that he is willing to be that vulnerable.  It’ll all be fixed in glory, but now, as he comes to us in love, from the divine side, it beckons us, it says ‘Come, come, come,’ and we create a pattern ‘It’s cold, Lord, we’ll talk in the Spring or something.’  And then he has the right to withdraw himself.  Now he doesn’t do that due to a theological reason, everything’s covered in the blood of Christ, he’s doing that to instruct and to teach, because there may be a more difficult time down the road he knows is coming, and we are going to have to be in communion with him to survive a difficult experience, so he teaches us then to sense these things.  And here, it seems that he draws himself back, she says “I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone:  my soul failed when he spake:” she says “I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.” (verse 6) and you know that experience, ‘I can’t find him, I can’t feel his presence.’  “I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.  The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.” (verse 7) now there’s an interesting picture here, as before she went and the watchmen treated her differently, it seems at this point they’re saying ‘What do you mean, he came to you, knocked on your door, you didn’t open to him? You didn’t pay any attention to him, you knucklehead, what do you expect?  He’s gone now,’ and the idea is, they’re kind of like Job’s counselors in this verse, and she says ‘I was smitten by the people that were supposed to help me.’ ‘Maybe you’re carnal, maybe that’s why, is there any sin in your life?’ she says ‘they took away my veil,’ which was a picture of purity and so forth.  It’s very interesting, ‘You can’t find the Lord? well what’s going on in your life?  You can’t find the Lord, why don’t you talk to me about it, what’s going on?  What kind of sins are in your life?  What are you doing?  You’re grieving him,’ and she says ‘That’s what I got, as I was searching for him.’  He knows that her heart is genuine, as she looks for him.  But human beings can judge us too quickly and too easily.  She says in verse 8 “I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I am sick of love.”  It is ‘that I am lovesick, my heart is broken because of my loss of his presence, if you see him, would you tell him that I’m lovesick, my heart is broken.’  Now the question comes, “What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women?  what is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us?” (verse 9) notice this word “so” “thou dost so charge us?” ‘what’s your beloved more than another beloved? why are you laying this trip on us?’  Now I can never read this verse without remembering J. Vernon McGee years ago, I remember I had this cassette of J. Vernon McGee, I had millions of cassettes by J. Vernon McGee [I used his commentaries extensively in the prophecy sections of this site, as well as elsewhere].  On this particular one, on side one it was Psalm 2, and I just loved to listen to him because of his Southern drawl, because he could get away with saying stuff that nobody else could say.  And on the back side was him at a seminary, a Presbyterian seminary, and it was the graduation, and he was their main speaker talking to a graduating class of seminarians.  And he picked this verse, and he said [in his Southern drawl] ‘Well, you’re awhl gettin’ ready to graduate, you might as well forget everything you learned for the last four or six years, cause you’re goin’ out into the world, with broken people, broken marriages, broken hearts, broken homes, genuine troubles,’ and he said ‘they don’t care what you know, they only care Who you know, and you gotta be able to tell them What is your beloved more than these?’ and he kept saying it through the whole thing, ‘What is your beloved more than other beloved?  If you don’t know that, your diploma ain’t doing anybody any good.’  And it was just so wonderful to hear him just rake over, sorry, forgive me, my mind goes there.  “What is thy beloved,” I hear it all with this Southern drawl, “more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women?”  ‘If he’s so amazing, why didn’t you let him in?  You’re coming here charging us like this, challenging us, if he’s all that, why didn’t you let him in?  What is he more than another?’ 

 

What Is The Bride Groom Like To Us?

 

Now verses 10 to 16, then she describes, she tells now, this is what he is more than another.  She says this, “My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.” (verse 10)  Now you don’t get it from the King James, “my beloved is white and ruddy” you notice in the Hebrew those two don’t go together.  Literally the Hebrew says this “My beloved is gleaming, he’s gleaming, glistening,” gleaming is the way it’s translated in my Hebrew text.  “My beloved is gleaming and red, ruddy,”  in other words, he’s divine and human.  What is there about Jesus?  I’ll tell you what there is about Jesus, Mohammed’s in a pot in his tomb, Buddha’s in a pot in his tomb, Zoroaster is in a pot in his tomb, Confucius is in a pot in his tomb, there’s an empty tomb in Jerusalem, that’s what there is about Jesus, that’s what my beloved is more than all these other beloveds.  He’s gleaming, yes and he’s ruddy, he’s human and he’s Divine [turn to and read Revelation 1:13-18 to see what our beloved is like].  ‘You know he is gleaming, he is ruddy, he’s the chiefest among ten thousand, strong and valiant.’  “His head is as most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven.” (verse 11) John says in the Book of Revelation, he’s shining like the sun in its strength.  This is interesting, his locks are bushy and black as a raven.  It wouldn’t surprise you when you go to Israel, you see that everywhere, men and women, it’s unusual for someone to have lighter hair, Leah was unusual because she had lighter eyes, you see all around you beautiful dark hair, their eyes are beautiful black.  His head is like most fine gold, his locks are bushy and black.  “His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters,  washed with milk, and fitly set.” (verse 12) you know, his eyes, the way they sit, the way he looks, there’s no anger, his eyes are like the eyes of doves.  “His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers:  his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.” (verse 13) though his face would be beaten beyond human recognition, wonderful this description, “his lips are like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.” you think of Christ, the things that he said, how the common people heard him gladly and so forth.  “His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl:  his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires.” (verse 14) and the Hebrew has the interesting idea that it can be like enfolding, I think underneath the everlasting arms, his hands are like these gold rings of beryl.  His belly, which is the same word as bowels we have over here, his bowels, the deepest part of what he is, “is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires” the Hebrew says “like a plate of ivory covered with sapphires.”  What an interesting description, the color of heaven, how beautiful, how blue.  “His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold:  his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.” (verse 15) not of marble, literally of alabaster, set upon sockets of gold, his countenance, the way he looks, is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedar, strong and stately.  How do you describe Jesus, I think of Sam Lockridge going through this whole thing, we’ll play it when we finish the Song of Solomon, he goes through this ten minute description of Jesus, and then he finally says, “I wish I could describe him to you.”  It just is classic, it’s as good as anything that I have ever heard, it’s remarkable.  Do we have that, Matt?  Can we play it at the end?  Tonight?  Blessed are the flexible.  Anyhow, just, ‘How is it when you try to describe Jesus?  Well, how do you know that you know?’  You try to tell people what he is like, ‘you know I need the Lord,’ you’re trying to tell people, they don’t believe you.  How is it when you try to describe to them, you look at this description, how amazing it is here, ‘ah, he’s like Lebanon and all this refreshing beauty, like cedars.’  “His mouth is most sweet:  yea, he is altogether lovely.  This is  my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.” (verse 16) the idea is, there’s only one, there is no one else like him, ‘he is altogether lovely.  This is my beloved, this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.’  Jesus said in John 15 “I no longer call you my servants, I call you my friends, because a master doesn’t tell a servant what he’s doing, but I made all things new.’  Listen to that description of the Lord, isn’t that pretty remarkable?  This is who he is, you want to know why I’m looking for him? 

 

Song of Solomon 6:1-13

 

“Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women? whither is thy beloved turned aside? that we may seek him with thee. 2 My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies. 3 I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine:  he feedeth among the lilies. 4 Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners. 5 Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me:  thy hair is as a flock of goats that appear from Gilead. 6 Thy teeth are as a flock of sheep which go up from the washing, whereof every one beareth twins, and there is not one barren among them. 7 As a piece of a pomegranate are thy temples within thy locks. 8 There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number. 9 My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her.  The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her. 10 Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners? 11 I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley, and to see whether the vine flourished, and the pomegranates budded. 12 Or ever I was aware, my soul made me like the chariots of Amminadib. 13 Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee.  What will ye see in the Shulamite?  As it were the company of two armies.”

 

“And then they said (the women of Jerusalem to the Bride), “Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women? whither is thy beloved turned aside? that we may seek him with thee.” (verse 1) ‘if he’s all that, we’re after him too, if that’s who he is we want to look for him too, why in the world didn’t you let him in when he knocked on your door?’ you know, this whole thing [verses 6-8 and 10-16 of chapter 5].  And then she says, very interesting, verse 2, “My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.” She’s coming back to her first love.  “I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine:  he feedeth among the lilies.” (verse 3) she remembers now where he is, “he feedeth among the lilies” she’s coming back to her first love.  Remember in chapter 2, verse 1, she said ‘I am the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valley,’ and what she’s saying is ‘I’m common, there’s a thousand like me.’  He says ‘Ya, but you’re a lily among thorns, you’re a lily among thorns.’  Now she’s remembering.  ‘Where is he?  Oh yea, he’s down in his garden, I know, I don’t have to be something special, he’s there, he feeds among the lilies, I am my beloveds, he is mine, he feedeth among the lilies.’

 

The Bride-Groom Says This To His Bride

 

Then all of a sudden we hear his voice, in verse 4, listen to what he says, “Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners.” Tirzah is an area beautiful in Israel, Tirzah means “the light,” it is beautiful, delightful, ‘you’re comely as Jerusalem,’ and then this doesn’t seem to fit, ‘you’re terrible as an army with banners.’  Literally, “you are breathtaking like the raised banners, like the raised standards,” literally, that’s what it says, ‘you are breathtaking, like when all the waves of standards of Israel when they go up,’ there’s something about seeing that, there’s a national pride, there’s something where you feel that.  [In Moscow, ever since they won WWII, the Victory Day parade held once a year, with all Russia’s military hardware and army marching through Red Square is a glorious thing to behold, it is breathtaking.  Solomon’s wife, and for Jesus, the Bride of Christ is going to be breathtaking, so says our Lord and Saviour Yeshua haMeschiach, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.]  Look what he says to her, ‘You are beautiful O my love,’ he comes back to the lilies, back ‘he feedeth among the lilies,’ all of a sudden he’s there.  He doesn’t say ‘O now you want to talk to me,’ does this sound familiar knock, knock, knock, did you answer the door?  Now…’ there’s not a word of rebuke, there’s not a word of reproof, when she’s back in his presence again.  That’s the way we want to judge him [as being like saying to us O now you want to talk to me] the way we judge humans all the time.  And it can’t be that way.  In Micah 7:18 it says ‘Who is like the LORD? who doesn’t hold his anger, doesn’t stay angry forever, who is like that to thee?  Camel Morgan, one of my favorite, one of my favorite expositors, says “Every day you and I see something the Lord cannot see, every single day of our lives we see something the Lord cannot see,” and he takes it from Micah 7:18 [and Pastor Joe is one of my favorite expositors].  Because the question is, ‘Who is like unto thee?’  Every single day we see our equals, he never does, and driving to work with a cup of coffee, with the cellphone, trying to put on makeup, trying to text, blowing the horn, yelling at people, crabby, miserable, crazy, racing, late human beings, and we want to put him in a category like that.  Divine love comes to us because of who he is and not because of who we are.  There isn’t anything in us that elicits his love.  He never said ‘Look how cute they are, I have to send my Son down there to die for some of them, I’m just dying to get some of those.’  He loves us because God is love.  Ancient rabbis would say “He loves us because he loves us.”  That’s Divine love.  If it isn’t received that way, it’s never received.  Because we want to feel worthy of it, we want earn it, we want to, we’re so used to being put under all the standards of all the people, or all our parents or a professor, our aunt or whatever it might be, and this is a completely different picture.  He comes back to her now, and there’s no reproof, “Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, you’re as breathtaking as the standards when they’re all risen.” (verse 4) he says again,  “Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me:  thy hair is as a flock of goats that appear from Gilead.” (verse 5) now that’s a good thing, these are black goats, you see them go up the mountain of Gilead, their black hair would swirl in the wind, “your hair is like a flock of goats that appear from Gilead,’ again, “Thy teeth are as a flock of sheep which go up from the washing, whereof every one beareth twins, and there is not one barren among them.” (verse 6) symmetrical, white, lovely smile, there’s not one barren, you see a beautiful woman on the television, and then she smiles and got a black spot right there.  He says ‘there’s none missing,’ “As a piece of a pomegranate are thy temples within thy locks.” (verse 7)  Now look, why is he repeating this?  ‘You’re repeating, why are you repeating this?’  For her benefit, it’s for her benefit. [Comment:  In a series I have on a separate website, one on marriage, I have a series titled Love For A Lifetime, and in this series the pastor brings out that it is built into the very nature of women that they all need the positive re-enforcement and encouragement of affection and praise coming from their husbands, as a matter of fact, it is their #1 emotional need (see https://HOWMARRIAGEWORKS.com)]  I need to hear the Gospel from him every day of my life.  Because I am aware, every day of my life, that I am a sinner saved by grace.  I need to hear it every day.  Listen, men, we complain about our wives, right?  She’s always saying,  ‘Do you love me honey?’  ‘Of course I love you,’ she calls him in the middle of the day ‘OK, see ya.  Do you love me?’  ‘I told you this morning that I love you, I told you when we got married I loved you, what do you want?’  go to bed, the lights are out in the bedroom, ‘Alright honey, good night, give me a kiss,’ out of the dark ‘Do you love me?’  [there’s that #1 need I was talking about]  Jesus never does that [asking us all the time whether we love him].  He says [to his Bride] ‘You know what, to me you’re like a flock of goats on the Mount of Gilead, your teeth are like white sheep,’ and he tells her the same thing over and over.  It’s because we need affirmation [especially women, our wives, men, learn this lesson], we need affirmation, we constantly need to hear of his love and the way that he sees us, “as a piece of pomegranate are thy temples within thy locks.” (verse 7) Then he says “There are threescore queens and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number.” (verse 8) so this has to be early in Solomon’s career if he only has 60 wives and 80 concubines at this point in time, he’s just getting started.  ‘There are 60 queens and fourscore concubines, 80 concubines, virgins without number,’ but he says “My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother; she is the choice one of her that bare her.  The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.” (verse 9) there was an acknowledging of the beauty as it were, as there is, I believe of the Church [Body of Christ].  Paul says to the Corinthian church, which isn’t the church I would say this to, that he wants to present her as a chaste virgin to Christ one day.  This question, “Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?” (verse 10)  Who is this one, this picture of her, the Lord’s love, this Church, you as an individual, the Church corporately, ‘Who is she that looketh, shines forth as the morning?’ there’s something about God’s people, we have a hope that the world doesn’t have.  You know, with all the folks that have gone home to be with the Lord [and Pastor Joe has for the past 37 years pastored Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, at one time numbering 30,000 until he broke it up and divided it into many congregations round Philly, has seen many as they grow old, die, going on to be with the Lord.  Births and funerals within that church are a constant occurrence], you know, just within the last few days, one of my conversations today, we sat and we talked, and we cried [over someone who just died], how does an unbeliever deal with that?  How does an unbeliever deal with watching a spouse or a parent or a child take their last breath?  It is so final, the way it feels.  How does an unbeliever deal with that?  And unbelieving people, they try to say stuff, they want to say stuff to you, you know.  ‘Ah, they’re going to a better place?’ what is that, Club Med?  ‘what does it mean to you, you’re not a believer, you’re saying that because you heard other people say that.’  What’ya mean, going to a better place, Buddha’s there, everybody’s there together, what’d you mean they’ve gone to a better place?  They’re mouthing words, but the Church when she opens her mouth, she’s in glory, she’s in glory now, she’s with him now [he’s implying all those believers who have died and passed on.  Even within the greater Body of Christ there are differing secondary beliefs about just how that occurs, soul-sleep verses spirit-in-man stays conscious upon death, where all the spirits-in-man go upon death (as Solomon showed in Ecclesiastes).  To view some of these differing beliefs held by others within the Body of Christ about heaven and hell, see https://unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm]  She’s standing in his presence, the Church is like the morning, the light that comes with it, because there is real life, the Word of God is the Word of God, and it is alive, there’s something that shines.  It says the voice of the Lord, when he came in the night, his voice was knocking, the voice of the Church, it communicates something the rest of the world doesn’t.  That’s why they get so mad at us.  It isn’t just what we say, what they’re bugged about is we believe what we say, that’s what they get bugged about.  It says “Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?” (verse 10) ‘beautiful as the moon, which reflects the light of the sun,’ she’s compared to the moon, look, the beautiful thing is, there’s a picture of that, you guys know what a crescent moon is, you know the moon gets down to a little sliver, the moon disappears in the sky when the world gets between the sun and the moon.  There’s a full moon, the moon has no light, it’s reflecting the light of the sun, when there is a full moon it’s because there’s nothing of the world between the light-bearer and the light-reflector.  And when you and I shine, when we’re like the sun in the morning, it’s because there’s not enough worldliness between us and our Saviour to block his light from being reflected in our lives.  Sometimes I know we’re like a little sliver crescent moon, we got to get back, gotta get the world out from between us and him.  ‘She’s like one who looks forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear, literally flawless as the sun, and then again, breathtaking as the raised standards of Israel that’s breathtaking as this beautiful display.’ 

 

The King Goes Down To Check Out His Garden, Her Heart Starts To Race

 

“I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley, and to see whether the vine flourished, and the pomegranates budded.” (verse 11) now this is so funny, it’s the only place in the Bible that mentions that.  I must have read 15 scholars, commentators, nobody knows what to do with it.  It’s the only place in the Song that mentions, it’s the only place in the Old Testament that mention ‘the garden of nuts.’  That’s here!  “I went down into the garden of nuts” the inference is here, to see things that are springing forth and growing, “to see the fruits of the valley, and to see whether the vine flourished, and the pomegranates are budding.”  It’s interesting, the Hebrew word from “spring” comes from the almond, the original Hebrew words are verbs, it’s the word for the almond, which is the first to give forth flower and bud in the spring.  So that seems to be the inference here, ‘I went down when the blossoms were just coming, the garden of nuts, to see the fruits of the valley, to see what’s springing forth, whether the vine was flourishing, whether the pomegranates were budding.’  “Or ever I was aware, my soul made me like the chariots of Amminadib.” (verse 12)  ‘I went down to the garden, that’s where’ she said ‘she found him again, to see the things that are springing forth, before I even realized it,’ she said, ‘my soul resonated, and I became like the chariots of Amminadib.’ we’re not sure who Amminadib is, evidently Solomon was a man of chariots and horses, it was a man with reputation among his charioteers, she said ‘my soul began to race,’ as she comes down to this place. 

 

The Bride Is Pictured “As A Company Of Two Armies”  What Is The Reality Of That?

 

And then it seems his voice, “Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee.  What will ye see in the Shulamite?  As it were the company of two armies.” (verse 13) it’s a feminine form of Solomon, so here it’s calling her, this is not a Shunamite, we don’t want to confuse Shunamites with Shulamites, this is the feminine form, it’s a Solomite, “Return, return, O Shulamite, that we may look upon thee.  What will ye see in the Shulamite?” ‘in the Shulamite, question mark,’ the answer, “As it were the company of two armies.” the sense of it is, ‘the dances of Mahanaim.’  You guys remember Mahanaim, when Jacob returned from Padam Aram, running from Laban, and he came to that place there where all of a sudden he saw two bands, the saw the company of angels, and he saw his own group, he named it Mahanaim, the place of two armies or two bands (Genesis 32:1-2).  And the idea is, ‘What will we see?  When we finally see this Bride, who is she?’ it says here, ‘she’s like a company, like the dancing of two armies, there’s the Church of Jesus Christ, and she’s surrounded by the angels, where the involvement of heaven is there also.’  You ever see angels?  We had one of our folks in our church when we were in the old building, he saw a huge angel standing over the church, swinging a sword, and he came back all freaked out.  I remember when my wife, when we first got saved, went to Costa Mesa, she had a girlfriend, completely kind of introverted, very shy, very bashful, and she got up and ran out of the service, they said ‘What is wrong?’ she said “I looked up” and there were only 100 Hippies coming there, and she said “there was an angel standing over Chuck [Smith] swinging a sword.”  Now people say they’ve seen them.  Have you seen one, not swinging a sword down on me, but if you see one, don’t be afraid to let me know, I take that, that’s a blessing.  When I was a kid, long before I was saved, he opened my eyes to one, so they’re around us.  What is the Church?  Someday we’re going to realize it was a company of two armies, that every time we gathered here, the angel of the Lord was camped around us.  There was both the divine and the natural.  Speak of that, think of that, think of that with your kids, think of what a blessing it is. 

 

In Closing

 

So, the beauty of this bride, the voices are being raised, the king’s longing to be with her, bride groom again as it were, he knocks on the door, she doesn’t answer, and by the time she gets up he’s gone, the heartache, the way she’s judged by other people as she tries to find him, with the question ‘What is he more than others?’  ‘I’ve got to tell you something, he’s like the sun, in his brilliance, his mouth is like this, his legs are like pillars,’ they say ‘If you go looking for him, let us know, we’ll go with you too,’ then she realizes, ‘I know where he is, I remember, where I found him in the first place, where we first encountered, he feeds among the lilies, my first love.’  I don’t have to be anything special, I don’t have to be any more than I ever was, I’m a sinner saved by grace.  I approach him solely on the basis of his grace, not on anything I could earn or deserve, and she rediscovers him there.  He does not reprove her, he doesn’t rebuke her, he tells her once again of her beauty and his longing for her. That’s a wonderful rediscovery.  And then he reaffirms what he’s told her before, how we all need that, you know.  He says in the final analysis, as she becomes clear, as she’s like the dawning of a day, she’s like the moon, she’s like the sun in its flawlessness, she’s breathtaking like the standards of Israel when they’re all raised.  What will she be when we finally realize what she is?  She’s like the dances of Mahanaim, two armies.  That day is coming, we’re going to see that.  OK, so here it is, you’re stupid to do this before you teach because you can’t follow it, he’s better than this, but this is old Sam Lockridge, a pastor that’s gone to be with the Lord, at a church in San Diego, and this is him trying to describe Jesus Christ, you guys will enjoy this [sadly, there’s no way I can transcribe this, because it’s not just the words, but the way he speaks them, he sounds like an old Martin Luther King belting out a sermon, but better, far better, transcribing it wouldn’t do it justice] God bless you guys, have a great night.”  [transcript of a connective expository sermon on Song of Solomon 4:1-16, Song of Solomon 5:1-16 and 6:1-13, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]

 

related link:

 

To hear that tape of Sam Lockridge, log onto this link, scroll to the end of Pastor Joe’s Song of Solomon 6, verse 13, the very end of the sermon, starts at 1:02:46 (one hour, two minutes, 46 seconds).  http://resources.ccphilly.org/WED881

 

 

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