Chapter 2


Rose of Sharon/Lily of Valleys/Among Thorns/Apple Tree/His Shadow and Fruit/ His Banner/Flagons and Apples/Omnipresence/His Love/Voice of My Beloved/Mountains and Hills/ Standing Behind Wall/My Fair One!/He Tarries/My Dove!/Little Foxes/Mine! His!/Day-break 



ROSE OF SHARON

 

“I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys”, says the bride in verse 1, with the true sense of humility concerning her status and position amongst the daughters of Zion.  According to the Amplified version, “I am only a little rose or autumn crocus of the plain of Sharon, or a humble lily of the valleys (that grows in deep and difficult places)”.

 

A true bride of Christ would always humble himself/herself before the children of God.  He/she would never covet praises of men either for himself/herself or for his/her ministry.  When glorified or praised by men, he/she would promptly retort, “I am only a little rose or a humble lily of the valleys”.

 

The great apostle Paul did not glory in his personality, his marvelous ministry, and the visions and revelations given by God.  He rather preferred to describe himself as “one born out of due time”, “the least of the apostles not meet to be called an apostle”, one who was less than the least of all saints”, the chief of sinners (I Cor. 15:8 9, Eph. 3:8, I Tim. 1:15).

 

Let us turn to the book of Acts.  When Cornelius fell down at the feet of Peter and worshipped him, Peter said, “I myself also am a man” (10:26).  Paul and Barnabas, when glorified by the people of Lystra who had even brought oxen and garlands for sacrifice before them, told the plain truth: “Why do ye these things?  We also are men of like passions with you” (14:8-15).  Paul, while defending himself against the accusations of the Jews in Jerusalem, testified before the chief captain, “I am a man…” (21:39) and again before the multitude, “I am verily a man which am a Jew” (22:3).

 

When I wrote to an evangelist in a bid to bring him home the need of evangelizing those who had not yet heard the glorious gospel even once, he wrote me back.  “Brother, I am not an ordinary person.  But I am a man of God…” His words hurt me deeply, and prompted me to search the Scriptures for the basis of his statement.  And it was in this context that the Holy Spirit led me to the Scriptures quoted above.  Paul or any other apostle never glorified himself saying, “I am a man of God or a special person chosen of God.”

 

Truly speaking, a true bride of Christ is like a rose in the midst of thorns.  Nevertheless, a rose grows among thorns which are nothing but part of the very rose plant.  Thorns do not prevent the rose from blossoming but rather serve the rose as its wall of protection.

 

Thorns may be your past sins forgiven by God or your past failures being constantly reminded by the Devil.  They may also be the fierce persecutions being constantly faced by you for His Name’s sake.  Nevertheless, these thorns “work together for good to them, that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom.8: 28).

 

LILY OF VALLEYS

 

            As the lily grows in the valleys (in deep and difficult places), so you also grow in the valleys.  Such growth, which takes place by His grace only, may not be perceptible in the eyes of man because it is God who gives the increase.

 

            Spiritually speaking, the world in which we live is the valleys.  It is the valley of sin and death, the valley of tears and sorrows, the valley of trials and temptations, the valley of persecutions, the valley of despair.  So long as you live in this world, you are in the valleys rather than on hilltop.  Though at times God allows you to enjoy His presence by mountain-top experiences like visions and revelations as enjoyed by the disciples of Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, you have to inevitably pass through the valleys most of the time as you sojourn on this earth.  Don’t be like Peter who said unto Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here”(Matt.17: 4).

 

            Please note this important fact.  You do not merely happen to be in the valleys but you are of the valleys as “the lily of the valleys”. Yours is not always a life of ease or bliss but mostly a life of thorns like a rose of thorns or a lily among thorns. 

 

AMONG THORNS

 

“As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters,” says the Bridegroom in verse 2 concerning the environment in which His beloved lives.  The lily of the valleys is among thorns.  Though thorns surround it, yet it blossoms.  Let thorns be there.  This hardly matters to the little lily because thorns cannot deter the lily from blossoming.  Here, the thorns surrounding the lily are likened to the daughters, who are the children of God.

 

Dear bride of Christ, you are surrounded by the fault -finding or criticizing children of God who constantly prick you like thorns.  Among the children of God who prick you are a few prophets also, who act as the watchmen unto the House of God.  They are like the thorns surrounding you.  The prophet may cry aloud lifting up his voice like a trumpet (Is.58: 1), if you are bent upon doing something contrary to the Word of God.  Don’t kick against the pricks lest you should hurt yourself!

 

APPLE TREE

 

“As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons”, says the bride in verse 3 concerning the distinct and peculiar personality of her beloved.  An apple tree, as many trees of the wood surround it, is quite distinct and refreshes a weary traveler who has lost his way in the jungle.

 

Jesus who is the only Begotten Son of God is like the apple tree and His disciples, the adopted sons of God, are like the many trees of the wood in a jungle.  As such, we ought not to take the place of the only Begotten Son of God Who is quite distinct from His disciples.  He alone is found worthy (Rev.5: 3, 9).  The ministers of God being merely the trees of the wood should not appropriate for themselves the glory and praises due to His Name.

 

Any doctrine, which equates the sons of God with the only Begotten Son of God, is absolutely false. It is only Jesus Who gives us the living waters or the eternal Bread.  A servant of God acts merely as a conduit of His living waters or His power.  The source is Jesus only.

 

Sad to say, nowadays many people return home disappointed or empty-handed without receiving blessings from God, having participated in evangelistic campaigns or healing crusades.  It is because they had not gone to the Apple Tree but had staggered beside the trees of the wood, expecting fruits from the trees of the wood rather than from the Apple Tree.  Jesus never fails anyone who goes to Him with a real hunger or thirst.

 

The surrounding trees of the wood in the Song of Songs do project in a pre-eminent manner the image of the enchanting Apple Tree in their midst.  Similarly, as a true servant of Christ, you must project the image of Jesus Christ only.  Paul wrote in II Cor.4: 5, “ We preach not ourselves but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake”.  You ought not to preach yourself or your ministry in a boastful manner but Christ Jesus.  Rather you must humbly present yourself before the people as their servant for Jesus’ sake.  Don’t glory in the spiritual gifts endowed on you by God or in the calling of God,save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ”(Gal.5: 14).

 

Today there are in our midst many children of God like the bride in the Song of Songs who had backslidden and lost the presence of her Beloved Shepherd. These children of God must but wade their way for the Apple Tree through the trees of the wood, which surround the apple tree.  To such people, the Apple Tree looks very distinct from the trees of the wood, which mean those servants of God who judge and cast them out, even out-riding the self-righteous and prideful Pharisees and scribes.  Even these Pharisees and scribes reserved the judgment of the adulterous woman for Jesus, the righteous Judge!im lwith a real hunger or thirst.

 

HIS SHADOW AND FRUIT

 

How true is the statement of the bride in verse 3 “I sat down under His shadow with great delight and His fruit was sweet to my taste”?  It is His shadow that is the shadow under the Apple Tree, which shelters and refreshes a weary traveler.  A fruitless tree of the wood cannot offer fruits to the weary traveler who takes shelter under its shadow.  Apple fruit means the true blessings emanating from Christ Jesus, the Source of Life.  These blessings do not only concern your body but also your soul.  One needs not only bodily healing but also spiritual healing of the soul, which means salvation. They are distinct from the so-called blessings emanating from the Devil, the god of this world who may give only bodily healing and material prosperity. If any person claims to possess powers of healing or powers of miracles on his own, he does not derive such powers from Christ Jesus but from the Devil.

 

His fruit is really sweet to your taste. His fruit caters to your peculiar taste as He is very much concerned about you in a personal manner and is quite conscious of the environment in which you live or of the special circumstances under which you live.  And His fruit caters to your particular spiritual or physical need, which is not understood by others. Are you looking for His fruit to your taste?  If so, you must needs to go to the Apple Tree so as to hear yourself His voice from the Word or receive His blessings peculiar to your need, which no human being understands.

 

HIS BANNER

 

“He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love” says the bride in verse 4 regarding the sublime, eternal love of her beloved.  As the father in the parable of the prodigal son brought his younger son straightaway to the banqueting house where the elder son “heard music and dancing” (Lk 15:25), so our loving Father brings us to the banqueting house, our past sins or failures notwithstanding.  What blinds His holy eye to our wretchedness and unworthiness so that we are taken into the banqueting house rather than into the prison of quarantine is His persevering, eternal love, which is like a banner over us.  His banner of love insulates you from the temptations of the world and of the devil.  We are known to the world by this banner only.  This banner signifies that we are made righteous by the Blood of Christ alone.  Except the banner of His love over us, we do not have any other banner over us. But the worldly people prefer to be known by the banners of race, religion, language, status, wealth etc.

 

FLAGONS AND APPLES

 

            “Stay me with flagons; comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love”, the bride beseeches her beloved in verse 5.  Truly, the disheartened bride needs the comfort and love of her beloved shepherd.  The bride wants to be sustained with raisins (dried grapes) and to be refreshed with apples. Raisins are very nutritious for a weak body.  Spiritually speaking, the Bible, the Word of God, likened to raisins, strengthens our soul, which is weakened by the Devil.  Dear bride of Christ, you are spiritually alive today despite all your backslidings or failures because the Word of God is sustaining you. For instance, the promises of God in Psalm 91 concerning His security have saved you from the accidents, dreadful diseases and attacks of the Devil. The Devil could have annihilated you spiritually long ago had you not been sustained by the Word of God.  Apart from raisins, your beloved Shepherd also refreshes you with apples, which stand for His blessings in abundance. Christ comforts you with His material blessings in this world when you are in need of them. In this world, likened to a wilderness, you find an oasis in its midst.  Jesus is that Oasis Who gives raisins and apples to a weary traveler.

 

OMNIPRESENCE

 

            “His left hand is under my head, and His right hand doth embrace me”, says the bride in verse 6 concerning the real presence of her beloved, which she had lost earlier.  The bridegroom now manifests his presence in a tangible manner to his bride who has become very desperate.  As you feel the loss of God’s presence because of your many backslidings but yearn earnestly after Him, His very presence would surround you so that you feel Him tangibly more than ever before. 

 

            His presence would follow you even if you make your bed in the hell (Maybe, as a result of your backsliding, you yourself make your bed in the hell mentally) or if you take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea (Maybe, due to persecution for His Name’s sake, you flee from some prominent place and hide yourself in an obscure corner).  Even there shall His Hand lead you, and His Right Hand hold you.  If you say that the darkness (caused by sin or by lack of clear understanding of God’s word) shall cover you, even the night shall be light about you.  Yea, the darkness hideth not from God.  But the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to God (Ps.139: 8-12).

 

HIS LOVE

 

            I charge you O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please”, the bridegroom tells the daughters of Jerusalem in verse 7 about his love and concern for his bride.

 

            The bridegroom charges the friends of the bride who surround the disheartened bride, not to stir up or awake His love till it pleases.  He directs his love in endless streams to His comfortless and fearful bride.  He alone understands the peculiar state of his beloved whereas the friends around the bride are not in a position to sympathize with or understand her.  Rather, they surround her and stand in the way of his showering love upon her.

 

            A disheartened and desperate servant of God is flooded with the comfort and love of Jesus.  Simultaneously, the children of God who are not aware of the peculiar state of the servant of God disturb him and thus don’t allow him to cherish the love of Jesus in that they disturb his personal fellowship with God or his prayer life by yearning after his ministry.  Here is a difference.  Jesus seeks His servant but the children of God seek the ministry of His servant.

 

            At such times, Jesus would be more concerned about His beloved servant and would charge the children of God, by the roes and hinds of the field, not to stir up or awake His love.  Why does the Bridegroom choose the roes and hinds of the field to adjure by?  These animals are gentle and meek in character.  It is not a mere adjuration but this adjuration is tinged with gentleness and meekness.

 

            The Holy Spirit is always gentle and meek and is not harsh with anybody.  The abundant manner in which the Bridegroom loves His bride and is concerned about her is seen here.

 

            Let us also admire the poetic beauty in this verse of the Song of Songs in that “the roes and the hinds of the field” are commented upon.

 

VOICE OF MY BELOVED

 

            “The voice of my Beloved!  Behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills tells the Shulamite in verse 8 unto the daughters of Jerusalem.  Hearing the peculiar voice of her beloved, the disheartened bride exults in joy here.  She is able to discern the gentle voice of her beloved shepherd as quite distinct from the surrounding many voices of the daughters of Jerusalem as also the deceitful voices of thieves or strangers.  She is quite familiar with his voice. Are you familiar with His voice?  It never berates or condemns you though it rebukes you at times but in a gentle manner whenever you go astray from His ways.

 

  It is a persevering and persuasive voice manifesting His unfathomable love rather than an intimidating voice seeking revenge upon His bride.  It is not a voice of condemnation but a voice ministering life unto her.

 

MOUNTAINS AND HILLS

 

            Oh, He cometh leaping upon the mountains – the mountains of sins and iniquities, skipping upon the hills – the hills of despair and frustration.  Dearly beloved of Christ, are you desperate over the mountains of sins and iniquities in your life?  Are you driven to the hills of despair and frustration?  Behold, He cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.  Maybe, you have been condemned or rather forsaken by certain God’s people.   But your beloved Shepherd has not forsaken you and has come in search of His lost sheep.  What an incomprehensible love!

 

STANDING BEHIND WALL

 

            “My beloved is like a roe or a young hart.  Behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, showing himself through the lattice” says the bride in verse 9.

 

            Jesus, your Shepherd, is like a roe or a young heart.  He is meek and gentle.  He also looks innocent because He has no grudge or prejudice whatsoever against you on account of your past life.  He has not only forgiven all your sins and iniquities but has also forgotten the same.  As such, I am not wrong in saying He is innocent and harmless like a roe or a young hart.  He is not like a lion to execute judgment on you for your wrongdoings.  Had He wanted to execute judgment, He would have judged you long ago.

 

            Behold, He standeth behind our wall – a wall that has since been erupted by our sins and iniquities.  He still does not go away but stands there, notwithstanding the wall in between, and looking forth at the windows, showing Himself through the lattice.

 

            As a Good Shepherd, He would not force His entry either through the windows or by climbing up some other way (Jn.10: 1).  He tarries there, behind the wall, simply looking at the windows probably with a great longing that at last one day the gates will lift up their heads and will receive the King of glory because of His long tarrying (Ps.24: 7-10).  The bride is not in a position to comprehend the longing of her Beloved, and does not open the door for Him.  He is thus made to tarry behind the wall.

 

            The beloved Shepherd does not only tarry and look at the windows but He also shows Himself through the lattice so that you can still see and hear Him, the wall notwithstanding.  Oh, what an incomprehensible love!

 

            Dearly beloved of Christ, you can still see and hear your Bridegroom through the lattice.  There is a lattice in your life by which the Lord wants to commune with you and to strengthen your inner man.  The grace of God is still available to you.  You can still be victorious.  Through this lattice, you can get the power of God.  Nobody, even the Devil, can shut this lattice, which is purely a personal communion between the Bridegroom and the bride.  Probably you don’t want to see Him through the lattice because the daughters of Jerusalem, that is the children of God around you, had scorned you or because you thought Jesus had forsaken you forever.  Though you are reluctant to look at Him through the lattice, He is still standing there, and showing Himself to you through the lattice.

 

MY FAIR ONE!

 

            “My beloved spake, and said unto me, rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away”, king Solomon exhorts the Shulamite in verse 10.

 

            Standing behind the wall and showing Himself through the lattice, He now speaks in a whisper, calling you, “My love, my fair one”. Discerning the peculiar voice of her beloved, the bride rejoices in exceeding joy and tells her friends, “My beloved spoke and said unto me….” She is more blessed to hear the voice of her beloved than her friends who are not able to discern his voice.

 

            He is now calling you “My love, my fair one”.  Truly, you are God’s elect, that is Christ’s Beloved and fair one.   You may not be physically fair in the sight of the people of this world.  But, you are fair in His sight.  Your inner man, washed by the precious Blood of the Lamb, is fair in His sight. The jury of any Beauty Contest is mainly concerned with the outer appearance of the contestants.  Christ alone looks at the inner beauty of a man or a woman. Christ does not judge in the manner as the people of this world do. You are His love, His fair one.  If so, then who is there to “lay anything to the charge of God’s elect. It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth?  It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again who is ever at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us”  (Rom.8: 33-34)?  Even the Devil cannot condemn you because God justifies you by the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus.   

 

            “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away”, He whispers to His bride.  In obedience to His clarion call, you must first rise up – rise above all the circumstances in which you are now placed, looking at the resurrected and glorified Christ, the Victor.  Rising up, you must “come away” from the din and tumult of the world so as to be alone with Him in the wilderness.  “Arise ye, and depart: for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction”  (Micah 2:10).  This corrupt world with its best but deceitful comforts cannot give you the rest needed by your soul.  Only the Lord is the place of your rest.  In Him you will find all comfort and rest.  You must come away from those who have condemned you or those who have not understood or sympathized with you.

 

HE TARRIES

 

            Now the Bridegroom says to His beloved in verses 11-13:  “For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone: the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; the fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give good smell.  Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away”.

 

            This passage shows the long-suffering of our divine Bridegroom.  He tarries behind the wall for a pretty long time.  He just reminds you of the time already lost in His tarrying.  Maybe, he has been waiting over an unduly long time for you to rise up and come away.  Here, while reminding, the Divine Author just touches, in a superb manner, the seasons that passed away, and the seasonal changes brought about in the kingdoms of animals and plants, instead of rebuking you in plain and harsh words for your inordinate delay.  It is like a loving mother telling a parable to her young child, pointing at the various objects around him, in order to impress upon him her advice rather than rebuking him in plain words.  This is the height of our Shepherd’s motherly love for us.  In the gospels, we can see that our loving Lord teaches us through many parables so as to make us easily understand the truths.

 

            Let us read the poetic mind of the divine Author.  Gone is the winter.  Also the rain is over and gone.  Oh, now approaches the spring with colorful and fragrant flowers appearing on the earth, with the time of the singing of birds at hand and with the voice of the turtle being heard in our land.  Then the Author portrays the fig tree putting forth her green figs as also the vines with the tender grape giving a good smell.  He thus poetically reminds us of the time already lost, and of the blessings already lost, as we have not been able to rise up and come away.

 

            The passage of various seasons is a portent pointer to the time factor in the life of the bride.  And the seasonal changes in the kingdoms of animals and of plants are a reminder of the need for newness in her life and of the inheritance of new blessings from God by her.  The Bridegroom again exhorts the bride in verse 13:  “Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away”.  This is a constant exhortation out of love by the Bridegroom.

 

MY DOVE!

 

            “O My dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely”, tells the bridegroom in verse 14 unto his bride as he yearns to see her countenance and to hear her voice.

 

            “O my dove”, He calls you.  You are like a dove, which is known for innocence and harmlessness.  You are a dove of Jesus in His cage of love, gravitating His care and attention for you.  You are His, and not of any man.  You, the dove of Jesus, dwell in hidden places like the clefts of the rock and the secret places of the stairs.  Spiritually speaking, your dwelling places are hardly accessible to worldly fame and praises of men.  You are indeed in cleft-like narrow places in your life where you face, in an endless stream, tribulations and temptations.  Dear dove of Jesus, you ought not to show thyself openly but to serve your Master secretly without coveting fame or praises.

 

            You are a dove of Jesus dwelling in the clefts of the rock, which alone give you all protection.  Dear minister of God, as a dove of Jesus you may fly out publicly and thus do the ministry by the gifts of the Spirit.  But, you must retreat to your permanent dwelling place in the clefts of the rock, because you need rest as well as refuge.  Remember that you are in the clefts of the Rock of Ages.  Let people see only the Rock, and not you.  Don’t stand on the top of the holy Rock but take refuge in the clefts.  Jesus, the Rock of Ages, was crucified and His Body broken for our sake so that His cleft-like wounds give us eternal refuge.  We would be spiritually safe so long as we identify ourselves with the crucified Christ.

 

            Secondly, you, the dove of Jesus, live in the secret places of the stairs.  People who go up a building by the stairs hardly notice the doves in the secret places of the stairs, as they have to look up and down, and not sideward.  You must consider yourself insignificant, and must not think of yourself more highly than you ought to think but to think soberly  (Rom.12: 3).     The great apostle Paul said that no man “should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me”  (II Cor.12: 6).

 

The secret places of the stairs also spiritually mean those places where you are unknown, and where people see you “no more” once your presence is not required.  For example, once the ministry was accomplished, the eunuch of the Ethiopian queen saw the evangelist Philip no more.  When the eunuch and Philip came up out of the water after baptism, “the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more and he went in his way rejoicing.  But, Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea (Acts 8:39-40).  It is thus seen that Philip immediately retreated to the secret places of the stairs, by visiting other places where he had not been to, and where he had been unknown.

 

            If you have hidden your countenance from your Beloved in utter contempt with a conscience smeared by guilt, and have not thus been communing with Him, He now whispers, with a great longing, “Let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice….” Though you may say, “Look not upon me, because I am black….” (1:6), yet He says, “…thy countenance is comely”.  Though you may not be willing to commune with Him, yet he calls you back into His sweet fellowship, saying “…. for sweet is thy voice”.  This is the testimony of Jesus concerning you. 

 

LITTLE FOXES

 

            “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines; for our vines have tender grapes”, pleads the bridegroom, in verse 15 with his bride to take the little foxes that spoil the vines of love in their lives, for the vines have tender grapes.  The grapes are not ripe but tender. 

 

The love of Jesus is perfect but your love for Him is still imperfect.  Your love being imperfect, the grapes are tender, and not ripe.

 

The little things in your life – the things that you think to be trivial – in fact corrode the very foundation of your spiritual life, and thus spoil the vines, which have tender grapes.  It may be your failure in calling on a person in distress personally.  It may be your lack of concern or love for a beggar asking for alms. It may be your lack of concern for a poorly clad stranger who visits your church.  It may be your telling a “little lie” or distorting somebody’s version.  It may be a little hatred in your heart against somebody.  It may be a little pride or a little impatience on your part.  It is for you to examine the little things in your life and remove them with the help of the Holy Ghost, the Helper. It is the cleft-like wounds of Jesus that give us eternal refuge.  We would be spiritually safe so long as we identify ourselves with the crucified Christ.

 

MINE!  HIS!

 

            “My beloved is mine, and I am His: he feedeth among the lilies”, the bride tells her friends in verse 16 concerning the intimate and personal relationship between her and her beloved.

 

            My beloved is mine!  Jesus is not exclusively of any particular church or of any sectarian Christian group or of the so-called Christian religion, though such of them may claim to be privy to Him.  No corporate body can appropriate Jesus for itself alone because salvation is individual, and not corporal.  Here, the bride in the Song of Songs does not tell the daughters of Jerusalem, “He is ours”. 

 

Nowadays, there are multitudes that appropriate the salvation through Jesus but hardly appropriate Jesus personally and individually.  In other words, none of them would say, “Jesus is mine”, but may claim: “The salvation by Jesus is mine. Or the gifts of the Spirit are mine. Or the divine healing is mine”. They lack in the knowledge about the personality of Christ Jesus Who is indwelling them. They don’t know Who He is. How true is the prophecy of Hosea, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”! (Hos. 4:6).

 

I am His! You are of Jesus alone, and not of any man. You are His ambassador.  And as such you should represent Jesus alone, though you may belong to some church or organization.

 

He feedeth among the lilies. The disciples of Jesus are the lilies of the valleys, growing in obscure and deep places, unknown to the outside world. When such disciples of Jesus as would humble themselves before God and man and would consider themselves as insignificant as the lilies of the valleys, assemble together for worship or witnessing, Jesus is indeed in their midst and feeds among them. His great longing for human fellowship is fulfilled and the desire of His heart satisfied in them.  He manifests His glory in their midst and shares it with them.

 

DAY- BREAK

 

Until the day break and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether” cries the bride unto her absent bridegroom in verse 17.

 

The bridegroom has temporarily withdrawn his presence from the bride. She is not able to feel his presence. The night is at hand. Bether spiritually means “separation”. Being affrighted of the fast approaching night, she entreats her beloved who has gone over the other side of “the mountains of Bether” which separate them, to return to her before the day breaks and the shadows flee away.  She desires him to be as swift as a roe or a young hart. At times, you may not feel the presence of God because mountain-like-insurmountable problems or temptations assail you. And you would only see the mountains everywhere. Your despondent heart may fail you. You may be tossed here and there due to the severity of the problems or the temptations. Oh, you hardly feel His presence, wondering whether Jesus has really forsaken you. Your fear about tomorrow casts a shadow of darkness around you, and you are in the grip of fear. The cloud of darkness is about to overshadow you. Your faith in Him becomes almost dead. O beloved bride, why can’t your eyes of faith stretch a little far behind the mountains? Your beloved Shepherd is waiting anxiously on the other side of the mountains, hearing your heart cries and even your heart beats.

 

His lofty love jumps high over the mountains, however tall these may be. His arrow like love penetrates the rocky mountains, however tall these may be. Corrie Ten Bom of Holland was imprisoned along with her father and her sister in the Nazis’ concentration camps during the Second World War just because they sheltered the persecuted Jews in their house. She subsequently lost her father and sister in the prisons. Oh, the prison walls and the pangs of separation from her kiths and kins stood like the mountains of despair and despondency, making her doubt the very existence of God. But the arrow-like-love of Jesus penetrated these rocky mountains and reached her in her solitude.

 

The Bridegroom, though hearing your heart cries and heartbeats, wants you to open your mouth and to call unto him. Dear bride, don’t be disheartened over the constant existence of mountains in your life today. Tomorrow these mountains will surely melt away. Notwithstanding such mountains, you must rejoice over the fact that your Shepherd is hearing all your heart cries and heartbeats and that His omnipotent and penetrating love is reaching you. You must crave His presence before the daybreak. On hearing your call of distress, He would make you feel His presence before the onset of the dreaded night. You would feel His abiding presence as He manifests His glory through the Word. His Word would drive away the clouds of darkness caused by your fear and unfaith.