by Colleen Donahue
There is nothing so touching as the story of Cinderella - a poor, wretched maiden that is changed through magical circumstances into a beautiful princess. Completely transformed she goes forth to live her life in splendor with the prince that truely loves her.
Although the world sees this as a fairy tale, it is really a true story for each of us. Every man and woman was born in sin passed along by our first parents, Adam and Eve. Because of sin in our lives we were cut off from fellowship with God and left to live in our own darkness and guilt.
Yet, because of magical circumstances (God sending His Son Jesus to die in place of us) we have been transformed and made new men and women in Christ --able today to go forth as a prince or princess with our true prince Jesus Christ.
This is the story of the Song of Solomon which we have been studying the past two months. A Shulamite maiden - despite her poor position and standing, is loved by Solomon, King and prince of Israel, who invites her to be his bride and to rise up to a better life and position with himself. It is a wonderful picture of the way that Jesus Christ calls out to each one of us (no matter how black and sinful our life is), desiring to "raise us up with Him into the heavenly places" (Ephesians 2:4-6). He has a new life ready for each of us who dare to walk with Him into...
THE COMMUNION OF LOVE -
Part 3 of the Song of Solomon
READ SS 3:6-11- THE WEDDING DAY
Day 1 The scene is now one of King Solomon bringing his bride up from her wilderness - a place of wandering to a place of rest. She is not recognized now for she is a transformed person resting in the shadow of her loved one. In the same way that Solomon has lifted up his bride, so God does for us when we are dead in our sins and wandering. He makes us new men and women in Christ and lifts us up with Him to the heavenly places (even though we are still on earth!) Song of Sol. 3:6 / Ephesians 2:1-6/ II Corinthians 5:17
Day 2 Solomon and his bride are well protected by his warriors which in the spiritual realm are those that are prayer warriors - those able to use the word of God (sword) against the evils of this age. We may be seated with Christ in the heavenly places but we are still subject to attack from the outside and as such must be protected. (Perhaps this speaks to the importance of being a part of a church or fellowship group where others know and pray for us.) Song of Sol.3:7-8/ Ephesians 6:12,18/ Isaiah 62:6
Day 3 The Palanquin had become a vehicle for her use in transportation but also represented what she had become and what the king had made her through his grace. Although human, she was redeemed by the precious blood of Christ and possessed the divine life of the indwelling Lord. Note the symbolism used...Song of Sol.3:9-10
Wood of Lebanon = Cedar wood - It was superior to all wood (Christ is superior to ordinary men)
Silver Pillars = Redemption
Gold = Divine nature
Purple = Royalty
Day 4 Once the bride wanted to keep her Beloved all to herself and hidden away. Now she is a changed woman. She wants everyone to know and love her Beloved as she does. Song of Sol. 3:11 Once we know and love the Saviour ourself, we want others to know Him as we do. I Peter 3:15/ Psalm 66:16
READ SS 4:1-5 - THE BEAUTY OF THE NEW CREATION-OR-THE BRIDEGROOM'S PRAISE OF HIS BRIDE
Day 5 As we are united with Christ, He sees the beauty of His Spirit and the graces that they produce in our lives. Although we may not see it in ourselves, He sees it and finds it very very attractive and pleasing. These are the graces which he sees in her and that are expressed through symbolism......
A) Gentle, trusting eyes only for Him (Dove's eyes) SS 4:1A
B) Full consecration and submission of heart and will (Hair) SS 4:1B
C) Even, pure speech (Teeth, lips, mouth) SS 4:2-3A
D) True beauty for Him (Cheeks or temples) SS 4:3B
E) Strength to overcome in life (Neck) SS 4:4
F) Faith and love expressed evenly in her life (breasts) SS 4:5
Day 6 As we grow in Christ what graces will He see in us that will also bring beauty and a quality of life to the world around us? Galatians 5:22-23 / II Peter 1:5-9
READ SS 4:6-8 - THE CALL RENEWED
Day 7 The king repeats his bride's excuse earlier for not going with Him and announces that He must go before the day begins and the night ends. He must go to the Cross to care for the needs of a troubled world. SS 4:6 Day 8 Perhaps the king speaks this line at this time to assure her that there is no need to feel she must improve before going with Him. She is wholly qualified to be His partner. SS 4:7
Day 9 He is calling her to a heavenly elevation - not to depart from Lebanon, but a coming with Him into a spiritual outlook represented by Lebanon and the three peaks. First, He wants her to see things from the top - from God's point of view, which is truth (Amana). Then she is to see the conflict of sin and righteousness. Although evil is at hand she has the armour of God (Senir) and the sword of the Spirit. Finally, from Hermon (meaning destruction) she can see the destruction of Satan and God's victory over sin and death. SS 4:8A / Colossians 3:1-2
Day 10 In the sphere of the heavenlies, there is room to grow and develop but it is also the place where the enemy is very real and operates. It is "from the top" that we'll see the Devil as a lion and a leopard. We are safe in Christ but He wants us to see the awfulness of sin and its terrible results. We need not fall to this enemy. SS 4:8B / Ephesians 6:10-18 / Psalm 91:13
READ SS 4:9-15 - THE HEART OF THE KING IS SATISFIED-OR-WHAT THE BRIDE IS TO THE KING
Day 11 From these heights the king overflows with yet another description of his bride - but this time stating through comparisons and similies what she is to him personally. His heart had been stolen by her trusting eyes, and by the work of the Holy Spirit in her that made her life fragrant and sweet for Himself and others. His heart was satisfied. SS 4:9-11 Is Christ's heart satisfied by your life?
Day 12 She did not exist for herself alone but for the pleasure and satisfaction of her Bridegroom lover. She was exclusively for the Bridegroom and not a public garden. She was a garden locked and a fountain sealed. But there is further meaning in these words. Until she is ready to let the rich graces of her heart flow out in His service, He sees her life sealed and shut up. SS 4:12
Day 13 The plants and trees in SS 4:13-14 have an emphasis upon color or fragrance. Everything of beauty and fragrance lies in spiritual maturity. The Holy Spirit is a continual refreshing in the heart that is able to spill over to feed and refresh others which causes them to grow. SS 4:15
READ SS 4:16 - THE BRIDE'S PRAYER
Day 14 All circumstances are designed and controlled by the Holy Spirit to release the spiritual grace stored within us. The bride knows this and prays for the Holy Spirit to let the circumstances of life come (represented by the North and South winds) so that her life might now be used for others. SS 4:16A / II Corinthians 2:14
Day 15 Then she invites the Lord Jesus (her Beloved) to take her life for Himself so completely that it is no longer her life (my garden) but HIS life (His garden). Her one desire now is that He be satisfied. SS 4:16B / Galatians 2:20 / I John 3:24
Day 16 Is your life your own or does it belong to the Saviour? Romans 14:8 / I Corinthians 3:16 / 6:19-20
READ SS 5:1 - THE KING'S RESPONSE
Day 17 There is no long interval between the yielding of ourselves unto God and the acceptance by Him. If the surrender is complete, the acceptance is complete and immediate. Notice how many times the word "MY" is used in this verse. SS 5:1A
Day 18 When we give ourselves wholly to the Lord, He takes us wholly. His object in doing so is not only that He might cherish and love us but that He might use us for His purposes in a lost world. First He gathers and drinks to Himself but then immediately takes what she has given Him and offers it to others. SS 5:1B
PART IV -SS 5:2-6:12 - COMMUNION AGAIN BROKEN - RESTORATION
In this section, we begin to see that if Christ is to use our life whenever and wherever He wishes, then there is more He must work out in us. The Bride is found at rest in her attainments. She has had her prayer answered and is satisfied. Her heart isn't going out for anything more - although inwardly she is alert to her Beloved's voice. Although the Bride had given her life to the Bridegroom, she was not prepared to let Him use her in sacrificial service. So, rather than going with Him and getting "wet with the dew" and experiencing the "drops of night", she had retired to a safe place and bolted the door with her Beloved outside!
READ SS 5:2 - THE NEW CALL
Day 19 It is a blessed fact that even if we aren't seeking anything more (thus sleeping), the Lord is seeking us - to draw us nearer to Himself so He can impart deeper, fuller blessing. SS 5:2 / John 15:16A/Jeremiah 31:3/Luke 19:10
Day 20 Up until now in the Song of Solomon, we have seen....
A) CHRIST AS KING - Taking possession of the heart SS1:4
B) CHRIST AS THE RISEN ONE - Calling her to come out of herself to higher places. SS 2:8
C) CHRIST AS LOVER - Rejoicing with her in newness of life. SS 4:1 Now we will see Him revealed as ...
D) CHRIST - THE MAN OF SORROWS SS 5:2B
Day 21 His revelation now to her (and to us) is the agony He would face at Gethsemane. Isaiah 53:3 / Luke 22:44 / John 12:27
Day 22 "How sadly possible it is to take delight in conferences, and conventions, to feast on all the good things that are brought before us, and yet to be unprepared to go out from them to self-denying efforts to rescue the perishing; to delight in the rest of faith while forgetful to fight the good fight of faith; to dwell upon the cleansing and the purity effected by faith, but to have little thought for the poor souls struggling in the mire of sin. If we can put off our coat when He would have us keep it on; if we can wash our feet while He is wandering alone upon the mountains, is there not sad want of fellowship with our Lord? (Communion with God ; J. Hudson Taylor , pp.50-51) SS 5:3 / James 2:14/ 4:17
READ SS 5:4-5 - A DELAYED RESPONSE
Day 23 At times when the spoken word of our Lord has failed to break our stubborn hearts, He gives us a little glimpse of Himself and our hardness is melted. SS 5:4
Don't run the risk of missing Him by trying to make yourself ready first as this bride did. Rise up quickly - just as you are - with a penitent heart. This is the only preparation the Lord requires. SS 5:5 / Psalm 51:17
READ SS 5:6-8 - RESULTS OF A DELAYED RESPONSE
Day 24 Her delay had been costly. Can you pick out six results from her sluggishness to respond to Him? SS 5:6-8
(Note: #1. The watchmen in perhaps wanting to assist her caused her more pain by their words and counsel. Exposing her failures 'took away my mantle' they put her to open shame.
#2. Her desperation is shown by her turning to ones less spiritually mature for help - i.e. the Daughters of Jerusalem.)
READ SS 5:9-16 - WHY IS THIS LOVER SO DIFFERENT?-OR-THE BRIDE GIVES HER PERSONAL IMPRESSION OF HER BELOVED
Day 25 If we were asked, "What is Jesus to us above the other people in our lives?", would we answer as well as this maiden? If we are going to represent Jesus today we must know Him intimately. SS 5:9-16
READ SS 6:1 - THE DAUGHTERS OF JERUSALEM ARE NOW MOVED TO SEE HIM THEMSELVES
Day 26 The secret of leading others to seek Jesus themselves is to testify of Jesus - to tell of HIS beauty and HIS grace and of what HE IS to US! SS 6:1 / I Corinthians 1:23/2:2
READ SS 6:2-3 - THE BRIDE FINDS HER BELOVED INSTINCTIVELY
Day 27 It was while she was in the process of praising her Beloved that the conviction seems to come to her that the place she would find Him would be the place where she had left Him (SS 4:16B- 5:1A). She needed to go back to the place of surrender and be prepared to agree with Him, to do His will, to share in His ministry and then she would find Him - and does. SS 6:2-3
READ SS 6:4-9 - NEW COMMENDATION BY THE BELOVED
Day 28 No Sooner has the bride uttered the words of 6:3 than the Bridegroom Himself appears. He has no words of reproach but in tenderest love tells her how beautiful she is. SS 6:4-7
(Notice that 6:5,6,7 are like 4:1,2,3) In spite of her wanderings, the thoughts of the Bridegroom towards his bride have not changed.
Day 29 The king is not content just to assure his bride of his unchanging love and appreciation. He goes further and lets the world know that she has a unique place in his affections. SS 6:8-9
READ SS 6:10 - WHO IS THIS?
Day 30 The Daughters of Jerusalem see a great change in her now that she is united with her Bridegroom in servicing the vineyards. She is portraited here with all shadows gone and reflecting all the light and victory of Christ. SS 6:10 Reflecting the light of Christ in this world is the greatest way for those around us to see Him. Isaiah 60:3 / Matthew 5:14-16/ Acts 13:47/ Philippians 2:15
READ SS 6:11-12 - THE FRUIT OF UNION
Day 31 Rather than basking in praise, her thoughts and actions were now concerned with her Beloved's work among the people of the world. SS 6:11 And it is while we are seeking truth and concerned for God's work that we may be found by Him and "set among the chariots of Amminadib" - i.e. "my willing people". SS 6:12
Next Month we'll continue with the last two sections of The Song of Solomon.
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