2.1-2 The Shulammite continues the conversation which she commenced in [1.16-17]. Her description of herself, unlike Solomon’s upbringing was a common one, that is, “the lily of the valley” or “the lily of the low places.” Solomon being both a sensitive and receptive lover quickly picked up on the thread of her conversation, sensed her meaning and quickly gave her another compliment. The lover’s genuine love for each other was encased in a watertight relationship and there words were specifically aimed at the centre of each other’s heart. This is a reflection of the Lord’s love for His church. As we continue to walk with Him, He will whisper terms of endearment to His church which we, like Mary, out of love for Him will treasure His word in our hearts.
Young woman 2.3-13
For all the vicissitudes of the believer’s life, Christ is the answer. For example, if you are currently in a barren place, Christ is the source of all fruitfulness, if you are spiritually thirsty, Christ is the water of life, if you are in need of comfort, He is always near to the broken-hearted, if you are in danger, Christ is your shade and defender and most importantly, if you are starting to walk contrarily to the revealed word of the Lord He always knows the right time to administer the sweet “taste” of the loving correction of the Lord. If this is your situation then the writer to the Hebrews has brought you a word in season, “As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?” [Heb. 12.7]
2.4-6 At that time His motive is primarily one of comfort and restoration. Notice here the positive indications of his tender protecting love, he embraces and escorts the woman to the banquet hall where it is obvious to all how much he loves her. He sustains and strengthens her with raisin-cakes; he refreshes her with apples which were considered to have the powers of an aphrodisiac, then, when she is weak with love or when she is intimately involved in the love-making process between a man and a woman, his left arm is under her head, and as she turns to look up to him his right arm embraces, enfolds and caresses her.
Young woman 2.7-13
Some of us, with the best will in the world may have made, probably on more than one occasion, serious spiritual misjudgements regarding the place, the people or the timing of the Lord’s call. If this is you, before you move out again, maybe you need to copy the process of preparation which God specifically manufactured in the case of the Shulammite. Note here how the three stages correspond.
“Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and wild deer, not to awaken love until the time is right.”
“Ah, I hear my lover coming! He is leaping over the mountains, bounding over the hills. My lover is like a swift gazelle or a young stag. Look, there he is behind the wall, looking through the window, peering into the room.”
My lover said to me, “Rise up, my darling! Come away with me, my fair one!”
“Look, the winter is past, and the rains are over and gone.”
“The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come, and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air. The fig trees are forming young fruit, and the fragrant grapevines are blossoming.”
“Rise up, my darling! Come away with me, my fair one!”
It is interesting to observe that the Shulammite only felt confident when both inner and outer circumstances indicated that this was now the right time to respond to his call. For example, in 2.7,11 her circumstances were starting to change, in 2.8-9, 12-13a there are positive indications of internal and external growth and in 2.10, 13b she hears and obeys the voice of her lover.
Young man 2.14
“My dove is hiding.” Solomon’s lover is hiding in the cleft of the rock. Note here the double reference to her face and her voice. Out of his love for her, Solomon is desperate to hear her voice or to see her face. This is how the Lord responds to us when we are intentionally quiet. He loves to hear our voices and to see our faces.
Young women of Jerusalem 2.15
“Catch ... those little foxes ... they ruin the vineyard.” What exactly are those little foxes? Paul’s instructions to the believers in Ephesians chapter 4 must have been applicable in his day and maybe also in our time. The followers of the Lord Jesus were to “Stop telling lies ...and to get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behaviour.” Therefore, in the bright light of these scriptural commandments, it is essential that self-examination should be the Christians’ first priority, probably at morning and evening, which practice should go hand in hand with prayer and confession and should consequently result in the re-appearance of good fruit.
Young woman 2.16-17
The Shulammite is conscious that their shared experiences, which she dearly loves to elaborate on, clearly indicate that he still belongs to her and yet, at the same time, she senses and dreads a possible change in their circumstances and she desperately longs for the dawning of a new day so they can restart their relationship again. However, she is not prepared to leave where she is and to go with him although she still wants him to come to her. Indecision in the Spirit realm can often result in a season of barrenness. [David McArdle]