“I have entered my garden, my treasure, my bride! I gather myrrh with my spices and eat honeycomb with my honey. I drink wine with my milk.” The bride’s invitation of 4.16 has been accepted and Solomon is now in the midst of her garden, the place of all fruitfulness. The spiritual principles of invitation and response as well as those involved in seeking and finding will always enable us to be spiritually efficient.
Young woman 5.2-8
At this juncture in the proceedings, I would like you to consider the possibility that there may have been spiritual opportunities in your life for removing and destroying recurring sin at the root as well as positive encouragements to grow and develop into a mature Christian, sprinkled alongside your path which you may have not fully appreciated when first offered or deliberately let slip through an all-too familiar cannot be bothered to change attitude. For example, in [5.2-8] the bride was acutely aware of the highly desired interventions of her lover [cf. 5.2-3, 5-6, 8] and yet when they came to pass, based upon her various negative responses, they never did consolidate their union and communion at that time [cf. 5.2, 4, 7]. Therefore, it may be spiritually beneficial at this time to ask, where exactly did the bride go awry and what theological truth can we learn and apply from her unfruitful labours? Now the answer sounds too simplistic, but the truth is rather than immediately obey what He had said she asked him two questions [5.3]. Have you ever been guilty of hesitating and then deliberately delaying your requested obedience? Have you ever received explicit instructions from the lover of your soul and then, body swerved them, and composed diversionary tactics while, after knocking, He was still standing outside the door patiently waiting to enter. Is this not a picture of the modern-day church [Rev. 3.20]?
It is at this time of fractured friendships that we are in a spiritual dilemma for our steps do not closely coincide with either those of God or of a righteous man doing His will. Why not? We are living in direct disobedience to the revealed word of the Lord. God will, out of His intense love for us, ensure that we will meet people, whose response may not always be favourable, acceptable or welcoming, but at the same time, the right conclusion is what God is after and He will often use adverse circumstances to accomplish His perfect will. For example, our previous allies, the night watchmen trapped, tormented and tortured the bride. As a result of this cruel response, she resorted once again to the helpful assistance of the young women of Jerusalem and asked them to “make this promise, O women of Jerusalem - If you find my lover, tell him I am weak with love.” His unchanging love was the start of this relationship and it is His love which will seal its conclusion.
Young woman 5.10-16
The ten-fold perfection of her lover
His head is finest gold
His eyes sparkle like doves
His cheeks are like gardens of spices
His lips are like lilies
His arms are like rounded bars of gold
His body is like bright ivory
His legs are like marble pillars set in sockets of finest gold.
His posture is stately, like the noble cedars of Lebanon
His mouth is sweetness itself
He is desirable in every way
The bride’s experience at the hands of the young women of Jerusalem opened the door for her to outline both the outstanding beauty and the unique qualities of her beloved. It is extremely comforting for us to realise that these memorable spiritual gems were moulded and manufactured in the context of wilful sin and yet, note here that whenever she is extolling the various virtues of her beloved she is, as with us in relation to Christ, assured of a positive welcome with never an alternative point of view ever being considered. [David McArdle]