We are now approaching what I believe to be the most pivotal verses in all of the Song of Songs. It’s here in the second half of Song of Songs chapter 4 that everything will change for the life of the bride. There are two key places in Song of Songs chapter 4. The first one is Song of Songs 4:6 and the second one is Song of Songs 4:16. Some commentators believe that Song of Songs 4:6 is the pivotal change within the Song, but I believe it to be Song of Songs 4:16 as we will look at in this chapter. In Song of Songs 4:6 the bride made both the verbal and physical declaration that she would start ascending the mountain of Myrrh. This decision was huge. But in Song of Songs 4:16 she makes an even more stunning declaration about who she belongs to and what she is willing to do to be completely united with her Beloved. So much has happened in the life of the bride that you could nearly close the book and meditate only on chapter’s 1-4; but God in His creative genius decided to write 3 more chapters. In this Chapter I am going cover Jesus’ tender words of affirmation for the bride and His invitation for her to be with Him where He is. I will also cover the ravished heart of the bridegroom God and the bride’s cry to fully belong to Jesus. It would be a lie to say that these are my favorite verses within the Song, but they are certainly among my top 5.
Jesus’ Tender Words of Affirmation over the Bride (SOS 4:7)
Jesus has set forth a pattern within the Song of Songs that’s not unique only to the Song of Songs, but it is seen rather clearly in this very special book. That pattern is this: before God says anything to the bride either corrective or affirming, He first tells her how He sees her and then how He feels about her. Jesus does this every time He speaks with her, without fail. This is so important for you and me to see. So many of us see an angry God, a frustrated and disappointed heavenly Father. When we have a wrong paradigm of God it affects how we relate to God. But when we have a right paradigm of God it empowers to relate to Him in a right way. If you remember from Song of Songs 4:6, the weak and struggling bride agreed to follow the Lamb up the mountain of Myrrh and to go her way in Christ. Because a couple of chapters back the bride had said no, and here she is saying yes to Him, it leaves Him totally undone.
In Song of Songs 4:7 Jesus responds to the young, struggling bride and says “You are all fair, My love, and there is no spot in you.” This statement from Jesus to the weak bride is preceding what He is going to say to her and ask her in the very following verse. But before Jesus shares any information with her, He first tells her that she beautiful (fair) and that there is no spot in her. Most Christians agree that one day they will be beautiful before God, without piles of sin and compromise. But what we forget is that the process of sanctification is moving us towards Christ-likeness and as long as the sin we have had pointed out to us is repented of, then we are pure and spotless before the Lord. What most Christians don’t know, and aren’t taught through the Church, is that prior to the end of this age, Jesus will have a Church on the earth that is walking in a level purity that will be second only to the first century Church. We know this from the prophecy that Paul made in Ephesians 5:27 that Jesus would have a Church without spot, wrinkle or blemish. Jesus is speaking over the bride in a place of weakness, not a place of strength. She is becoming strong, but isn’t strong yet, and it’s in this place that He declares to her she is all together beautiful and without spot.
Jesus is currently raising up a Church, or a global bride, that will look like He does. Paul also said in Ephesians 4:12-16 that the purpose of the five-fold gifts in the Church is to bring the people of God to the full measure, even the stature of the Man Christ Jesus. God’s purpose in our lives isn’t to make us comfortable but rather to make us holy. God’s enjoyment over us is not only about Him enjoying us in the age to come, but that He enjoys pure fellowship with us right now, in this age.
Jesus’ Invitation for the Bride to Come Away with Him (SOS 4:8)
Jesus has now affirmed her, or told her how He feels about her. Following these word’s of affirmation He extends again an invitation for her to be with Him where He is. Song of Songs 4:8, Jesus says to her “Come away with Me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from the top of Amana, from the top of Senir and from Hermon, from the Lion’s dens, from the mountains of leopards.” In this invitation to the bride to be with Him where He is, He also reminds her of what’s on top of the mountains. I believe this to be the reason why she doesn’t ascend the mountain in the first place. It’s not because of rebellion that she doesn’t ascend, but rather fear. There are lions and leopards on the tops of the mountains.
It seems that many Christians spend the majority of their lives wondering if Jesus wants them near Him. Most Christians know that God is love, so that must mean He loves me, but what about right now? What about when I’m in a broken state and I’m in a place of utter weakness? This is something that I see many Christians struggling with, and it’s not helping them grow in either their relationship with God or the destiny that He has called them into. It actually renders us helpless and we don’t end up moving forward at all.
There are two key passages that speak to the reality that Jesus longs for us to be with Him where He is. In Revelation 4:1 the Bible says “After these things I looked and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” Here, John sees a door standing open and it’s in heaven. Jesus couldn’t be clearer about how He feels about us being with Him. Beloved, He’s left a door standing open in heaven. But what’s more, John then hears a voice extending an invitation for him to come up. Not just a door is standing open in heaven, but also an invitation for both him and us to come up and be with Him where He is. And in Matthew 11:27-28 Jesus says “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Come to Me, all you labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest…” Jesus makes is very clear through this verse that nobody knows the Father but the Son and the person to whom the Son reveals Him. And then in the following breath (verse) Jesus says, COME TO ME! Nobody knows the Father except the Son and the one to whom I will to reveal Him, COME TO ME! Jesus couldn’t have been clearer about His passion for us to be with Him where He is.
Jesus is extending an invitation to the bride that all of us have received as well. It’s an invitation for us to be with Him where He is. Jesus longs to have His bride along side, in both the secret place and in the place of ministry to the nations. Jesus isn’t going to work the harvest alone. He is working hard to raise up a worthy partner that He can share His kingdom with, so that He can thrust in His sickle and reap the harvest.
As I mentioned a few paragraphs back, this mountain that she has been called up to is a mountain of difficulty, challenges and adversity. It’s a mountain of Lions and Leopard’s dens. Peter tells us in 1st Peter 5:8 that our enemy the devil walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. And when John sees the anti-Christ rising up out of the sea, in Revelation 13:2, he sees four realities about the antichrist that describe his reign. John sees that he’s like a leopard, a bear and a lion. And then He goes on to describe that he’s a beast. The reason why John calls him a beast is because he’s not like any one animal, but rather a combination of several different animals. He is beast-like. The place that Jesus is calling her up to on the mountains is a place of difficulty and a place of spiritual warfare. We are not fighting against people, but against spirits and principalities in heavenly places. And this is amplified when we step out in the place of public ministry on the tops of mountains, because we are working to take ground the devil has previously claimed. It’s a fight. But if we respond rightly in the midst of it, Jesus will make sure that we do not stumble. He is able to keep us, and what a great Keeper He is!
The Ravished Heart of the Bridegroom God (SOS 4:9-11)
The power of our weak yes to Jesus is something that I don’t know if we will ever fully understand. When you and I say yes to Jesus’ invitation to be with Him wherever He might be in our individual lives, it moves His heart in way that doesn’t make sense to us. Because the bride agreed to start ascending the mountain of Myrrh Jesus becomes undone by her decision. It is here in Song of Songs 4:9-11 that Jesus says to her “You have ravished my heart, My sister My spouse; you have ravished My heart. With one look from your eyes, with one line from your necklace. How fair is your love, My sister, My spouse! How much better than wine is your love, and the scent of your perfumes than all spices! Your lips, O my spouse, drip as the honeycomb; honey and milk are under your tongue; and the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon.” Let’s take a few paragraphs and break this down.
Jesus is allowing His emotions to be seen by the young bride, to let her know what her weak yes to Him means. I define her “yes” by her willingness to follow Him wherever He leads. Her yes is her agreement with His leadership over her life, even though she doesn’t know the outcome of where she is going. It’s this kind of obedience that moves the heart of God. It’s very critical to also understand for our allegory; Solomon is a type and shadow of Jesus. So that means that the uncreated God is totally undone by the weak yes of His bride, when she trusts His leadership over their lives. The Creator becoming undone by His creation is something that doesn’t make sense.
This is the first time in the entire Song that Jesus refers to her as His spouse. The phrase “My sister, my spouse” really used to mystify me. I understand that Jesus is my Bridegroom, so that makes me His spouse, but how am I also His sister, and how can those two be used in the same sentence? After looking at this passage for some time and getting some different perspectives I have come to understand what this means in an introductory way. If you think about the relationship between brothers and sisters and how they know nearly everything about one another, this phrase makes much more sense. Jesus is saying to the bride “I know you in the way that a brother knows his sister: in all the good and in all the bad. But, I still choose to make you My spouse.” When I saw this passage in that light, it changed everything for me.
Jesus knows me in the way a brother knows his sister. He knows my strengths and my weaknesses, but that doesn’t stop Him from marrying me forever. Most people are worried about showing their real personalities to their loved ones for fear of losing their love. So we hide and create all sorts of different masks that we wear when were around them. But with Jesus there’s no such thing as a mask. All things are laid bare before Him and He sees all. So this means, that when He sees me, He see the good and the bad, but still chooses me as His partner, someone that He wants to share His kingdom with. And it’s not her ministry, her bank account or her mailing list that has so moved His heart, but it is she alone who has caused Him to be ravished. This is why the Bible says, “Who is like the Lord?”
I love that Jesus says to her, “with one look from your eyes, with one link from your necklace, you have ravished My heart.” If we just take that at its plain meaning, Jesus is ravished by just one look from her eyes. If He’s ravished over just one look from her eyes, what would a steady gaze or a locked stare do to Him? Beloved, I assume that you have no idea how much your weak look moves His heart. We spend so much time wondering if God is for us, wondering if He’s mad at us, wondering what He thinks of us but that’s only because our view of Him is skewed. If we had any idea how much just one look moved Him, we would spend hours gazing into the heavens asking, looking for information about the God Man!
The Bride’s Cry to Fully Belong to Jesus (SOS 4:16)
It’s here that the most important declaration to God is made from the bride in the entire Song of Songs. It’s my opinion that everything that has taken place in the life of the bride has been setting the stage for this incredibly key moment. It’s here that the bride is going to verbally say to God that she wants to fully belong to Him, no matter what the cost is. Here in Song of Songs 4:6 the bride says to Jesus “Awake, O north wind and come, O south! Blow upon my garden, that it’s spices may flow out. Let my Beloved come to His garden, and eat it’s pleasant fruits.” Now, you might be reading this passage and thinking to yourself “what’s so special about this verse?” Well, it’s what’s being said by the bride in context to what has already been said. What I mean is that God has shared much information about the bride during Song of Songs chapter 4. In fact the bride is only quoted for having two verses within this entire chapter. The rest are all from God to her.
If you remember, the bride was really fearful at the close of Song of Songs chapter 2 and refused to go with Jesus up the mountain. In the following two chapters 3-4 Jesus worked to prove His safe leadership over her and her protection with Him. He shared deep internal longings that the bride was reaching for but didn’t possess externally and the way that her weak yes moved His heart so deeply. It was after finding Him in (SOS 3:4), seeing her safety in the gospel (SOS 3:6-10) and the deep internal longings of her heart (SOS 4:1-15) that she finally responds with this one verse here in Song of Songs 4:16. Here in Song of Songs 4:16 she is calling out to both the north and south winds, that they would come and blow upon her garden. In Job 37:9 we clearly see that the north winds were a very cold and bitter wind. And from Luke 12:55 you can see that the south winds were very warm and refreshing winds.
The reality is, it’s going to take both the pressure of God and the blessing of God upon us and in our lives to produce the life of God not only in us but through us. The bride was here calling for Jesus to send whatever He willed to send, because after she heard how He felt about her, she was willing to do anything. She was saying “Come hardship, come blessing, let them both crash upon my heart and when they do, it will produce the life of God through me. So many people look only for the blessings, only for the good things that come from God and not the tough, difficult things as well. It takes both pressure and blessing to produce the life of God in us and through us. It would be awesome to be able to only move ahead with blessing winds blowing upon our hearts, but that’s not a reality. We need both.
This is the first time the bride no longer refers to her life as her own. In Song of Songs 4:16 she says “…Let My beloved come to His garden, and eat it’s pleasant fruits.” This is what I like to call the bride’s Galatians 2:20 moment. In Galatians 2:20, Paul says “it’s no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me…” Paul is rightly speaking that his life is no longer his own. At one point Paul’s life was his own. God has given our lives to us as a gift and we are free to do with them whatever we would like. But, when you become a Christian you no longer have the rights over your own life. The reason for this is because our salvation came at the expense of the Son, so though it’s free and you can’t earn it, it’s also something that you must trade for. We give Jesus our lives and He gives us His. This is great exchange and you can’t have it both ways. To give Him our lives means our lives are no longer our own, but His.
Because of what the bride has heard from Him, she makes this verbal declaration to Him. It’s so important that you hear God’s voice speaking over you how He feels about you. If you don’t hear His voice saying the right things, you will become passive and complacent in your walk with Him. But when you hear His voice it causes you, just like the bride, to rise up and tell Him “I will do anything, go anywhere, change anything to fully belong to You!” Do you hear His voice of affirmation over you? And if so, what is it causing you to do about it?