Chapter 3


Dream/Streets and Broadways/ Watchmen of City Finding Him/Dont Awake His love!/Wilderness/Palanquin/Chariot/Wedding



DREAM

 

In the night I dreamed that I sought for the one whom I love. She said, I looked for him but could not find him”, says the bride, in verse 1, who still feels the absence of her shepherd despite her entreaties to him in the preceding verse of chapter 2.

 

At times, in spite of your craving of His presence, He still hides Himself, and the dreaded night ultimately overshadows you. It looks as if He has disappointed you by allowing the shadows of darkness over your life. He tarries. You become desperate in the night, with fear and unfaith blinding your spiritual eyes as the Devil of the night whispers into your ears, “Jesus does not love you now. He has failed to keep His promises and you have waited for a long time”. The disheartened bride of the Song of Songs finds herself in a dream world. In the night dream, she seeks for the one whom she loves. Though she looks for him, yet she cannot find him. What a pity! She is disappointed even in the dream.

 

Some children of God nowadays claim to have seen Christ in dreams and visions. Such supernatural experiences might have strengthened their faith but not all the children of God have had such an experience. No doubt, some disheartened people like the bride of Song of Songs may yearn after such dreams and visions. Having lost their faith in his Word, they are driven to despair, seeking desperately such supernatural experiences with God. Alas! They have not experienced such divine encounters despite their seeking them.

 

Dear bride of Christ, even if you have not experienced any such dream or vision, don’t say, “I could not find Him”. Here what matters is your love for the One Who had redeemed you by His precious Blood, and not your desire to have His vision. No doubt, Christ Jesus loves you. 

 

STEETS AND BROADWAYS

 

“I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not?” continues the bride in verse 2.

 

The disheartened bride who is sick of his loving presence decides to go in search of him into the city, where the nobles and the kings of the world reside.  She steps into the streets and broadways, which are confusing to her, a country girl.  She staggers at the narrow streets.  Dear bride of Christ, do you also stagger at the narrow streets where you come across certain commandments purported to be emanating from your Beloved?  Such commandments, in addition to the Old Testament commandments, look grievous and burdensome to you.  The bride also staggers at the broadways.  Do you also stagger at the broadways where you find unbridled freedom to do what you want?

 

            In the city, she finds a congregation of the nobles and kings of the world mixed with the Levites.  O dear bride, do you similarly find an unholy alliance of the ministers of God with the corrupt rulers of the worldly kingdoms?  The ministers of Christ Jesus should not adulterate or dilute the glorious gospel just to make it acceptable to the nobles endowed with the wisdom of the world, and the arrogant rulers, political or administrative, and the social reformers.

 

WATCHMEN OF CITY

 

            “The watchmen that go about the city found me: to whom I said, Saw ye him whom my soul loveth?” the Shulamite asks the watchmen of the city in verse 3.

 

            The watchmen of the city now find the bride wandering.  The so-called watchmen whom you come across may not be the watchmen of the House of God.  These watchmen who want to be prominent are of the city.  They watch their own sectarian churches or their own evangelical ministries without any concern for the Body of Christ, or for the masses living in the obscure villages and places which are not yet reached by the glorious gospel. 

 

            The disheartened bride goes to these watchmen of the city and asks them whether they have seen her beloved. These watchmen have not known Jesus with His entire Personality. They have known only a part of His marvelous Personality. These days we find many ministers of God who know Jesus as their Saviour, Healer, or Miracle Worker etc. They hardly feel the agonies of the poor saints or the suffering children of God who are of the Body of Christ.  If they do not love the members of the Body of Christ, their love towards Christ is not complete. They are hypocritical if they proclaim that they love Christ because they cannot love Christ sans His Body. 

 

            The bride of the Song asks the watchmen of the city, “Did you see Him Whom my soul loves?” The One Whom your soul loves is entirely different from the One the watchmen have seen. How true it is! The bride of the Song looks for the one who has the fragrance of all the ointments as per Ch. 1:3, and who is like a cluster of henna flowers as per Ch.1: 14.

 

FINDING HIM

 

            “It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth: I held Him, and would not let Him go until I had brought Him into my mother’s house and into the chamber of her that conceived me”, says the bride in verse 4 after finding the one whom her soul loves.

 

            As she has passed by the watchmen a little away, she finds the one whom her soul loves. The watchmen of the city could not find him. But she has found him. When? After she passed by the watchmen of the city, she found him. Dear bride of Christ, you will find Him on your own because of your perseverance and earnestness in searching for Christ, the Truth. You will find Him because of your intimate relationship with Him. You will find Him because of your knowledge of His marvelous Person in entirety. You will recognize and identify Him because of the odor of His ointments.

 

            The Shulamite now holds him after finding him. You should also hold and cleave to Him once you have found Him after lapse of a long time. Don’t let Him go until you had brought Him into your mother’s house and into the chamber of her who conceived you.

 

            Dear disciple of Christ, you have a mother’s house i.e. a spiritual home where your have fellowship with a large number of sisters and brothers in Christ. You have some spiritual elders in the mother’s house that had suffered birth pangs until Christ was completely and permanently formed within you (Gal. 4: 19). You have certain responsibilities towards this mother’s house, i.e. the spiritual elders who had spiritually begotten you. These days, due do dissention and doctrinal differences among the children of God, the mother’s house is made feeble. The false teachers and false prophets are throttling the mother’s house within. The mother’s house might have now become like ‘dry bones’ as in the vision of prophet Ezekiel. The spiritual elders, who were once mighty instruments in the hands of God or who had travailed in birth pangs for Christ to be formed in you, may not be now aglow with the power of God. As you have found the truths and sieved the same from the false doctrines, it is your responsibility to bring the Spirit of Truth into the mother’s house and into the chambers of those who spiritually conceived you. God has revealed his truths to you through certain peculiar circumstances, especially by trials and sufferings. And you have to bring the Spirit of Truth into those places darkened by such pernicious false doctrines that strike at the very foundation of the Christian faith. Dear bride of Christ, through you, the Spirit of Truth may lighten the darkness in the House of God.

 

DON’T AWAKE 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 concerning His love and care 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 the 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 of this verse of the Song of Songs in that “the roes and the hinds of the field” are commented upon. 

 

WILDERNESS

 

            “Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like (stately) pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all (the fragrant) powders of the merchant?” the bride asks the daughters of Jerusalem in verse 6, concerning her beloved.

 

            Surprisingly enough, the bride who is deeply acquainted with her beloved now suddenly asks, “Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness?”  Since her beloved is coming out of the wilderness, she is unable to recognize and identify him.  Your Beloved Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days being tempted by the Devil.  Even during the remaining part of His earthly life, He was in the wilderness, undergoing physical sufferings by way of toil and penury and temptations.  He preferred to withdraw Himself into the wilderness when His fame was spread, and when people thronged Him for miracles.  He had no place to lay His head as He was wandering hither and thither with His beloved disciples.  Wilderness spiritually stands for a place of loneliness, a place where one is crucified to the world, a place whence one’s fame is hardly spread, a place where justice is denied, a place where one is humiliated and stripped of his worldly glory, a place of misunderstanding and reproach by his own people, a place of constant temptations, a place where one’s faith is tested through fire. 

 

            Jesus was in this wilderness right from the time of His birth as Herod hunted down the Baby Jesus.  He was further thrown into this wilderness at the garden of Gethsemane (loneliness), at the Pilate’s court of justice in Gabatha (denial of justice) and at the ruffed Golgotha (stripping of His worldly glory).

 

            The bride of the Song sees astonishingly that marvelous person coming out of this wilderness.  How is he coming?  He comes like stately pillars of smoke perfumed with myrrh, frankincense and all the fragrant powers of the merchant.  He emerges from the wilderness in a different form so as to raise doubts in the heart of the bride whether it is her beloved shepherd who was driven to the wilderness. Jesus too, after His resurrection, appeared to His disciples in a different form. And the marvelous Person of the Glorified Christ Who appeared in a vision to John at Patmos looked different.

 

            To the bride of the Song, he is like a stately pillar of smoke. Dearly beloved, it is one and the same Person Who manifested the Father’s glory to the children of Israel in the form of pillars of cloud and fire as means of guidance and protection.  The Pillar of Cloud and Fire is revealed as a stately pillar of perfumed smoke in the Song.  The smoke emanates from the fire, which burns myrrh and frankincense (gums of perfume extracted from certain trees) and all the fragrant powders of the merchants.  Myrrh and frankincense were presented as gifts to Baby Jesus by the wise men, and were also used in holy anointing oil.  Myrrh and frankincense were the high-class perfumes, symbolic of Christ’s holiness fragrant through His Body.  Jesus is the fragrance of God’s holiness.  The fragrant powders of the merchants symbolize the holiness of God’s people on the earth.  Such fragrant powders are too costly that the merchants trade them.  These are like “pearls” not to be given to the dogs and not to be thrown before hogs (Matt.7: 6).  God’s holy people have to separate themselves from sin, and to keep their bodies as “pearls”.  Jesus is likened to the pillars of smoke carrying the holy fragrance of His Person, and of His bride.

 

            The Pillars of Smoke can reach any person living in sin, bringing forth the sweet fragrance of holiness.  This Smoke had emerged out of the Altar of God at Golgotha where Jesus was sacrificed as a Sin-Bearer vindicating God’s holiness.  The Holy Fire had consumed the Lamb of God at Golgotha and the resultant holy smoke of the sacrificed Lamb is the eternal Pillars of Smoke.

 

            The bride sees her beloved gliding from the wilderness like the pillars of smoke.  Because of His wilderness experience, Jesus is crowned with God’s glory. The bride, who sees her Beloved gliding from the wilderness, is also required to follow the footsteps of her Beloved in the wilderness.  There is no other way for her to know more of the Person of her Beloved, except by following His imprint left on the wilderness.  “Who is this who comes from the wilderness?” she wonders.  She has thought that her Beloved, a King of Kings, was probably in a royal palace, enjoying all the paraphernalia of a king, and that she too would be taken to that place on the earth where she need not face loneliness, temptation, suffering, etc.  Christians who always believe in all-round material prosperity don’t want to follow their Master’s footsteps in the wilderness.  They tend to think that with the presence of God in their life, there would be no wilderness at all.  Dear bride, as you emerge out of every wilderness experience in your life, you too would be clothed with God’s glory and power, and would carry the fragrance of His holiness.

 

PALANQUIN

 

            “Behold his bed, which is Solomon’s; threescore valiant men are about it, of the valiant of Israel. They all hold swords, being expert in war: every one hath his sword upon his thigh because of fear in the night” one of her friends whispers into her ears in verses 7-8.

 

            The bridegroom comes from the wilderness but in his palanquin guarded by sixty mighty men of Israel who handle the sword and are expert in war. The bridegroom after undergoing the wilderness experience is now honoured and glorified with the royal palanquin, which is exclusively accessible to the bride. The unworthy bride is made worthy to approach the palanquin for seeing and communing with her beloved. She can remove the curtain of the palanquin and commune with him. It is a personal communion between the bridegroom and the bride and none else, even the mighty men of Israel, can overhear their conversation.

 

            Dear bride of Christ, you can too see the palanquin of your Beloved, carrying His presence which is exclusively accessible to you as you seek His presence with all your heart and soul. After undergoing His wilderness experiences on the earth, the resurrected and glorified Christ was given the kingly paraphernalia like “a royal robe with a girdle” (Rev 1:13), “many kingly crowns” (Rev 9:12), a name inscribed on His thigh as the “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (Rev. 19:16). You can have easy access to the secret place of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Nobody on this earth or in the heaven or even the Devil has the right to stand in the way of your reaching His presence. Whenever you seek His presence with all your heart and soul, the blessed Holy Spirit, the traveling Palanquin, reveals the presence of Christ to you. You may be lonely or in a place surrounded by your enemies or on sickbed or in a place of great sufferings or persecutions. Yet the traveling Palanquin carrying the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords comes to you. There is no hard rocky place, which cannot be penetrated by the Holy Spirit Who reveals Christ to us.

 

            Sixty mighty men of Israel who handle the Sword and are expert in war guard the Palanquin. The presence of Christ is secured by the two edged Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.  These mighty men of the war who are experts in war and who handle the Sword of the Spirit are certain servants of God.  These servants of God, mighty men, fight the false prophets, false teachers and anti-Christs with the Word of God, in order to secure the honour and glory due to His Name.  These servants of God interpret the Word of God rightly from its two sides, and secure the Word of God against the false doctrines.  The presence of Christ is interwoven with the Word of God.  Any adulteration of the holy Word of God would eclipse the glory of Christ proportionately to the extent of such adulteration.  These servants of God who are of the Body of Christ enable the disheartened bride to find Him by their teaching and prophetic ministries.

 

            Sixty mighty men surround the Palanquin in three circular rows.  It is a body ministry with oneness of mind.  Interpretation of those in the first row is to be confirmed by the second and third rows.  A thief or a false prophet may not be able to break the cordon of this strong three layers’ ring.  Every man has his sword upon his thigh.  This means everybody charged with the duty of watching and securing the Palanquin has a specific function to perform.  For example, one man has a certain revelation from some Scripture portions.  Another man has a certain other revelation from some other Scripture portions.  But all of them are required to watch over the security of His Word. They are not hundred in number but sixty in number.  This means that a majority of the Spirit-filled mighty men fight the false doctrines. They will never allow the thief to adulterate the Word.  They will never compromise the Word for any personal experience or a revelation outside the Word. These days, the Word is interpreted from its one edge only like the Devil quoted the Scriptures from one angle to tempt Jesus in the wilderness.

 

            Every man has his sword upon his thigh because of fear in the night.  Every man has a firm grip over his sword even in times of darkness that creates fear in the mind of the wandering bride.  The bride is wading her way through the spiritual darkness caused by frustration and fear because she has taken her eyes off her Beloved, the Sun of Righteousness Who is up above all the mountains.  The cloud of ignorance of the Word may cover the Sun of Righteousness from her view.  In times of such darkness, the guardians of the Word help her in catching a glimpse of the Palanquin.  Oh, how we need fellowship with the saints in times of darkness causing fear in our heart!

 

CHARIOT

 

            “King Solomon made himself a chariot of the wood of Lebanon.  He made the pillars thereof silver, the bottom thereof of gold, the covering of it of purple, the midst thereof being paved with love, for the daughters of Jerusalem”, the daughters of Jerusalem continue to speak about King Solomon in verses 9-10.

 

            King Solomon made himself a chariot or a palanquin of state of the cedar wood of Lebanon.  The palanquin carries the king.  Spiritually, it means the very glory of God revealed to the lost men.  Jesus received the glory of the Father.  The glory of the Father appeared like devouring fire on the top of Mount Sinai to the Israelites and they were forbidden from touching the mountain.  Under the New Testament, Jesus manifests the glory of the Father to us, and we can behold His glory in a way different from that appeared on the Mount Sinai.  We can handle Christ, the glory of God and the Word of Life unlike the Israelites of the Old Covenant (I John 1:1).  God in Christ Jesus made Himself a Chariot of His glory.  The Chariot of Christ is the Holy Spirit.  In other words, the Holy Spirit under the New Covenant carries Christ Jesus.  The Holy Spirit Who reveals the glory of God and Christ to us was earned by Jesus Christ out of His Blood.  This Holy Spirit is peculiar to us under the New Covenant and different from the Spirit of God Who manifested Himself under the Old Covenant. This Chariot does not destroy the sinners but goes in search of the lost sinners.

 

            The Solomon’s car is made of the cedar wood of Lebanon. Cedar is an evergreen tree strong enough to build the temple.  The righteous shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon (Ps.92: 12).  Cedar spiritually means strength.  The glory of Christ Jesus is as strong as the cedar tree of Lebanon.  He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  His glory is greater and stronger than any mighty kingdom of this world.  Are you frightened of any man?  Are you oppressed by the devil?  Don’t get disheartened.  As the glory of Jesus rests on you or surrounds you, none can touch you unless allowed by God.  Anybody harming you touches the apple of the eye of God and will never go unpunished.  The glory of Jesus is a fire around you.  He who touches you will be burned to ashes.  In the midst of tempest-like-problems, you will stand like a cedar tree.  You have the unique privilege of entering the Chariot and communing with Him.

 

            Solomon made its pillars out of silver.  The pureness of the Word of God is likened to the silver refined in an earthen furnace, purified seven times over (Ps.12: 6).  The glory of Jesus Christ rests on the pillars of the pure Word of God.  The glory of Jesus is inseparable from the Word of God.  If the words of God as revealed in the Bible were adulterated, the glory of Jesus would be eclipsed to the extent of such adulteration.

 

            Solomon made its back of gold.  Gold is figurative of the faith of saints refined through trials and tribulations (I Pet.1: 7).  The glory of Jesus reflects on the refined faith of saints who have undergone manifold trials.  The glory of Jesus is manifested through the lives of His saints who have endured great tribulations and temptations.  You need refined faith – faith tested through fire.  This is living faith, different from ordinary faith.  By ordinary faith, you believe in God only for some miracles.  But by living faith, you believe in Him under all circumstances, thinking that all things work together for good.  This living faith thus manifests the glory of Jesus.  Only those saints with the living faith will be able to see and handle the Chariot.

 

            The seat of the Chariot is made of purple.  The glory of Jesus is seated on holiness.  Purple, a mixture of red (showing Christ’s sacrifice) and blue (Christ’s righteousness) vindicates the holiness of God. God’s holiness justified Christ’s Blood for the remission of our sins for our great salvation. We are justified before God not because of our own righteousness but because of the living Blood of Jesus and His righteousness.  On our part, we have to lead a holy life separate from sin and a righteous life so that Christ’s sacrificial Blood may not be in vain.

 

            The inside of the Chariot is wrought in needlework by the daughters of Jerusalem showing their love in action for the One Who loves them eternally.  Many saints of God in the heaven who had accomplished great things for God have left their works of love on the Body of Christ.  The saints still living on the earth are also manifesting their works of love for Jesus.  The glory of Jesus is manifested through the works of love and the lives of these saints.  In India, we still remember the ministry and life of Sadhu Sunder Singh.  The glory of Jesus is being manifested through him as we read his biography.  All over the world, people see the glory of Jesus in the life of Mother Teresa who said, “It is only Jesus I serve 24 hours a day…” The glory of Jesus reflects on the needlework made by Mother Teresa manifesting her love for the One Who died for her on the Cross and appointed her to the ministry of serving the poorest of the poor.  Dearly beloved, can people see your works of love for Jesus and glorify God? Anybody getting a glimpse of the Chariot is attracted towards the beautiful needlework made by the saints of God.

 

WEDDING

 

            “Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and behold king Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart”, the bride tells the daughters of Zion in verse 11.

 

            The bride is asking the daughters of Zion to go forth and behold king Solomon wearing the crown with which his mother crowned him on the day of his wedding. Zion is symbolic of God’s kingdom.  The daughters of Jerusalem are referred here as the daughters of Zion which mean the people of God.

 

            Who is the spiritual mother of Jesus?  It is the nation of Israel under the Old Testament, which gave birth to the Savior of the world (Rev.12: 1 to 5). The Old Testament saints are the spiritual mother of Jesus. His wedding with the Church will take place after the judgment of the great city of Babylon.  On this very day, the nation of Israel would be so blessed as to be summoned to the marriage supper of the Lamb as the mother of the Bridegroom (Rev.19: 7-9). The nation of Israel would have the privilege of crowning Jesus as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  Here, we, the people of God, meaning daughters of Zion, are caught up prophetically through the ages to a future day – the day of our betrothal with Christ Jesus.  As far as God is concerned, the day of betrothal is a fait accompli.  This divine drama depicting the Church as the bride and the nation of Israel as the mother of the Bridegroom had taken place before the foundation of the world.