The journey of the maturing bride is starting to change from one of being misunderstood to one of acceptance with her own identity. She has walked through many valleys and up numerous mountains, all of which have helped shape and forge the life of Christ in her. Paul prayed for the Galatians in Galatians 5:19 “My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you.” The people that Paul was praying for were already Christians. So why is he praying that Christ be formed in them? This is because the process of forming Christ in us is painful and also because Paul is laboring in prayer to make it happen, which is also extremely painful. The bride’s life is as of labor in birth. Here, as we are going to see in Chapter 7, she is starting to see the fruit of her labor, and it’s nothing short of Christ in her!
The bride has walked through the joy of encountering Jesus in His chamber, the pain of losing His presence and becoming overworked in other vineyards while neglecting her own. She has been reunited with her beloved, only to lose His presence again because of disobedience. She’s encountered her own sin and weakness and Jesus’ love for her in the midst of it. She has also lost both His presence and her place of ministry among the body, all while serving Jesus and under His leadership. But in all things she hasn’t thrown in the towel or stopped short of what Jesus has for her. This has produced the life of Christ in her, and she’s radiating that life to those around her. Her life here in Chapter 7 is declaring the joy of following Jesus beyond the difficult and into the fruitful. In this chapter we are going to see the daughter’s of Jerusalem publicly vindicate the bride (SOS 7:1-5), and then Jesus publicly vindicate the bride as He releases her into uber-fruitful ministry (SOS 7:6-9).
The Bride Is Publicly Vindicated By the Daughters of Jerusalem (SOS 7:1-5)
Song of Songs chapter 6 ends with two different responses to the wholehearted devotion of the bride. The first response is from the daughters of Jerusalem and the second one is from the same watchmen who struck her back in Song of Songs 5:7. The daughters are sad to see the Shulamite move on into the gardens of God, as she is serving in the second commandment. They don’t want to be without her therefore they ask her to stay (SOS 6:13a).But the watchmen, on the other hand, respond with a sarcastic statement disregarding the bride’s wholeheartedness and the curiosity of the daughters to continue to look upon the Shulamite. In Song of Songs 7:1-5, which is the very following verse after these two responses, the daughters are going to open their mouths and declare the beauty of the bride as she has matured into a faithful partner of Jesus. The daughters say to the maturing bride, “How beautiful are your feet in sandals, O prince’s daughter! The curves of your thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a skillful workmen. Your navel is a rounded goblet; it lacks no blended beverage. Your waist is a heap of wheat set about with lilies. Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle. Your neck is like an ivory tower, your eyes like the pools in Hesbon by the gate of bath Rabbim. Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon which looks towards Damascus. Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel, and the hair of your head is like purple; a king is held captive by your tresses.” This chapter has a heavy amount of symbolism as the daughters are using various things to describe the beauty of the bride.
I will now take some time to walk through what each of these different parts mean when it relates to the life of the maturing bride. They start out by saying “How beautiful are your feet in sandals, O prince’s daughter!” Feet and sandals or shoes throughout the bible speak of two main things, destiny and evangelism. In the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15, as the son is restored into right relationship with the father, the father puts the robe on him, the ring and new sandals. The father putting new sandals on the son was symbolic of him taking away the son past prodigal life and giving him a new future. But here, in the Song of Songs it is speaking mainly of evangelism. Isaiah 50:7 says. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that bring the good news (gospel).” And when Paul is talking about putting on the whole armor of God he says in Ephesians 6:15 “…and having your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace…” Both of these passages speak about taking the gospel to others. The bride in the Song is now ready and is already taking the good news to others, helping in the garden of God. The daughters then say of the bride, “The curves of your thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a skillful workmen.”The bride’s thighs in the Song speak about the support base she is standing on. The strength of her legs are being likened to jewels that have been worked, cut and handcrafted, not just by anyone, but by a skillful workman. This is speaking about the previous circumstances that the bride has walked through, the many trials, joys and great hardships that she has endured up unto this moment. It’s true in my own personal life: when I see those that are 30, 40 or 50 years in the Lord, still serving and passionate about Jesus that I understand their thighs are strong, having been weathered by many storms and great pressure. Our physical thighs don’t define themselves and neither do our spiritual thighs. The maturing bride has worked hard to strengthen that which she is standing upon and others have taken notice.
From her thighs the daughters then say “Your navel is a rounded goblet; it lacks no blended beverage…” The Hebrew meaning for navel here is “umbilical cord.” This is speaking about the healthy, formative early years of developing in our inner life. Jeremiah 1:5 says “before you were even born in your mother’s womb, I knew you. And I sanctified you and ordained you a prophet unto the nations.” It’s here that God is making it clear to Jeremiah that while he was still in his mother’s womb that God was forming and shaping his future life as a prophet of the most High God. The daughters see that her inner life in Christ has rightly formed. It is empowering her to move on through many hardships. Many people give their lives to Christ; start the journey of following Jesus, only to find themselves entangled with many of the same things that once brought them down. Now this could be for many reasons, but one of the main reasons I have seen this happen is because these people haven’t developed a deep inner life through Christ that helps them stand in an old world. We must give time and energy to developing a deep inner life if we are going to stand in the midst of great pressure and remain faithful to Jesus. From her navel they speak about her waist by saying, “your waist is like a heap of wheat set about with lilies.” The daughters notice that the bride is living pregnant with a coming harvest. It’s not that she is experiencing fully right now what’s alive on the inside, but she is noticeable in the Spirit with what she is carrying on the inside. What’s also powerful about this internal harvest she is carrying is that it’s a harvest brought forth in purity. Lilies throughout the Song speak of purity (SOS 2:1). She is going to bring forth a harvest, and because she is living a life of purity, her harvest will be a harvest of purity. We truly reproduce who we are, not what we want to reproduce.
The daughters continue to describe the beauty of the bride in the midst of the watchmen by speaking of her breasts. They say to the bride, “your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a Gazelle.” In some of the previous chapters we have already covered the various scriptures about breasts and the ability to feed and nurture young ones. This is what’s being said here. As a man, this passage was a little challenging to read and really come to grips with, but when set against the backdrop of the scriptures it’s clear and easily understood. But, it’s here that the daughters add something else to her beyond just her ability to nurture young ones. They say that in her nurturing, she is actually producing twins, or a double portion. Now, if you have been in church before you have heard about the double portion anointing. But what I am pretty sure you haven’t heard of is what the double portion is! I believe that the double portion is a mixture of the first and second commandment operating in their proper arrangement according to Jesus. I believe that the double portion is the combination of power and wisdom. It seems that throughout history there have been ministries that are either wisdom (academic) ministries or they are powerful (operating in the gifts of the Holy Spirit) ministries but we have rarely seen ministries that do both. It’s both the power of the Holy Spirit and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit that she is operating in. She is a prototype that God is emerging within the earth today: of people that love Jesus like Jesus loves them, operating in the power of His name but coupled alongside with wisdom to build healthy, long-lasting ministries to be handed down from father to son. From the bride’s breasts the daughters move on to describing her neck by stating, “your neck is like an ivory tower…” Back in Song of Songs 1:10; 4:4 Jesus praised for her for the strength of her neck. The neck, throughout the Bible and even in our world, speaks of our will such as being stiff-necked or having a stubborn will. But here they are saying something much different than just the reality that she has a submitted will. Here she is said to have a neck that is like an ivory tower. Now ivory is much different from jewels or gems that are mined from a mountain, because it can only come through pain or death. The bride’s will is being spoken of not only as just submitted, but submission through pain. For those of you that have become submitted in a real way, not just in want or word, but in action, clearly understand that it comes through great pain, pressure and struggle. The bride has walked through hardship and pain, trusting Jesus’ leadership over her life and it’s equating in a will that has been forged into a safe tower. A will submitted through pain will provide safety in the midst of compromise.
The daughters move from her neck to her eyes as they say to the maturing bride, “your eyes like the pools in Heshbon, by the gate of bath Ribbim.” The daughters of Jerusalem see that the bride’s eyes have given her great grace in receiving revelation from God. It’s through the eye-gate that we receive that which is alive within us, and that’s for the good or the bad. Our eyes are the entrance into our inner life. And if they are set on Jesus, we become filled with light, but if they are set on sin, wickedness and compromise then we also become filled with negative things. Paul gave us a powerful prayer in Ephesians 1:17-18 that we can pray asking God to give us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that our eyes are enlightened. Heshbon was a resort town that was known for its clear water which made it a destination that people wanted to come. Being able to see is the gift of God to us that we only receive by confessing to Jesus that we are currently blind (John 9:41). In our confession that we can’t see, we actually receive our sight. The bride is then described by the words “Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon which looks towards Damascus.” Now, don’t try to use this pickup line with your spouse in the morning before they get a triple Americano into them. Wait till either the Americano kicks in, or until you have at least 30+ years of marriage under your belt. What the daughters were saying about the bride is that her sense of smell was trained to detect the enemy before it got to her. Damascus is the capital of Syria and they were the fiercest of Israel’s enemy. She was like a defensive tower, a tower which stood tall giving her great ability to see the enemy coming, prior to them getting to her. There are many Christians who live their lives like being tossed to and fro throughout life in this age, unanchored into the age to come (Ephesians 4). When we don’t have the ability to smell the enemy prior to him getting to us, we become defeated and not victorious. We must become a discerning people if we are going to inherit what God has promised us.
The beauty of the bride continues to be unfolded by the daughters as they are describing the various parts of her physical body and how they relate her personal spiritual growth. The daughters then say to the bride, “Your head crowns you like mount Carmel.” Now, Mount Carmel is the place where Elijah called down fire on the prophets of Baal. It was a place where the power of God was demonstrated in the midst of a demonic culture, a place where God got the victory over the devil on behalf of a man who had a crucified mind. The same thing is true for us. We must have victory over our minds, and work to have them transformed by the power of God, if we are going to wage a good warfare like the bride. The bride has a mind that’s crucified because she has been willing to walk through the difficult seasons that are behind her. From the bride’s head, they describe her hair by saying, “and the hair of your head is like purple.” It’s clear from Numbers 6 that hair throughout the Bible mostly speaks of our dedication to God. In Numbers 6 it tells the story of what the Nazarite vow is. Part of this vow was that the men weren’t to cut their hair, but let it grow for a certain period of time. It was a vow of dedication to God and a very honorable thing. It’s here that the bride is being praised for having great dedication to God. But it’s not just that she’s been dedicated, but that her dedication has turned into royalty. Purple throughout the Bible speaks of royalty (Rev. 17:4; Mat. 27:28; Mark 15:17; John 19:2). It’s one thing to long to be dedicated to God, it’s another thing to actually be dedicated, but it’s something entirely different to have your dedication to God turn into a life of royalty. Dedication isn’t the goal of our lives; it’s to be brought near Jesus! Being with Jesus as His royal partner both in this age and in the age to come is our goal. It’s here that the daughters of Jerusalem sum up all things concerning the spiritual growth of the maturing bride by telling her “…A king is held captive by your tresses.” Tresses are long locks of hair. And if you remember from the previous statement, hair speaks of dedication. But what’s interesting is that they are saying her long hair (tresses) is actually holding kings captive. Beloved, right now the earth doesn’t take the Church or Christianity seriously, but there is coming a day when they will. There is coming a day when the book of Acts will play out, not only in Jerusalem and the surrounding regions, but throughout the entire globe. It’s in this coming hour that the earth will take seriously the Church as it moves forward touching cities, states, nations and the globe.
In Song of Songs 7:5c, this is the final verse where the daughters of Jerusalem are speaking. Through the past five verses though, they actually gave a spiritual description of the maturing bride much like the maturing bride gave of Jesus in Song of Songs 5:10-16. In Song of Songs 5:10-16 the bride gave ten descriptions of Jesus from His head and hair down to His feet. But here in Song of Songs 7:1-5 the daughters give ten descriptions of the bride starting at her feet and moving up all the way to her head and hair. This is a beautiful parallel between these verses as we get a picture into the grand plan of Father God and His great passion for us.
Jesus Publicly Vindicates the Bride for Her Steadfast Devotion (SOS 7:6-9)
Here in Song of Songs 7:6 the speaker shifts from being the daughters of Jerusalem (SOS 7:1-5) to being Jesus. Some question who is speaking here, but I believe from the things already written in this chapter that it’s Jesus. Jesus is here, standing by, listening to the words of the daughters as they praise the bride’s beauty. He can’t help Himself but to speak up. Jesus here jumps into the mix and also rattles off different things that He loves about the bride. So it’s here in Song of Songs 7:6-9 that Jesus says to the maturing bride, “How fair and how pleasant you are, O love, with your delights! This stature of yours is like a palm tree, and your breasts like its clusters. I said, “I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of its branches. Let now your breasts be like clusters of the vine. The fragrance of your breath like apples, and the roof or your mouth like the best wine.” Our Beloved Jesus can’t help Himself. He must stay true to who He is and to His pattern: first to affirm the bride before He says anything else to her. He starts out by saying, “how fair and how pleasant you are O love with your delights.” The bride is being praised by Jesus for the many delights she now possesses in the Godhead. But something you must understand is that this isn’t the first time Jesus has praised the bride and lavished love upon her. He has been doing this all the way back in the start of Song of Songs chapter 1.
Beloved, if you don’t see a God who is lavishing love upon you in chapter one of your life, you will never make it to chapters 7-8. You must see a God who isn’t just lavishing love upon you when you finally become mature, but also throughout the entire process of becoming mature. You must receive a revelation of the Father’s love for you in your immaturity not only when you’re mature. If you think only about God loving you when you are mature, you will fall short in experiencing the love of God today. Get a revelation of God loving you right now, so that you end up enjoying the fruit of walking with Him throughout the whole of your life. He loves you, is passionate about you and longs to embrace you right now.