Chapter 7


Her Feet and Joints of Thighs/Her Naval and Belly/ Her Breasts, Her Neck, Eyes and Nose/Her Head and Hair/Bride Being Fair and Pleasant/Her Stature/Roof of His Mouth/His Desire/Christs Great Commission/Going to the Vineyards/Mandrake and Pleasant Fruits



HER FEET AND JOINTS OF THIGHS

 

            “How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince’s daughter!  The joints of thy thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman”, the companions of the Shulamite, the daughters of Jerusalem, comment on the attractiveness of her person in verse 1.

 

            The companions address the poor country girl ‘O prince’s daughter’.  The people of God around you, on seeing your peculiar personality, would adore and treat you as a prince, though you may live in penury.  Your feet in sandals, which run for the God’s ministry, are very beautiful in their sight.  They give you the sandals for your feet, which are symbolic of the prayer and monetary support given by these very people without which it is impossible for you to do the God’s ministry.  Your feet would not look beautiful without such shoes or sandals.

 

            The curves of your thighs look like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman.  The curves of the thighs are an important part of the body on which the body pivots.  The people of God around you admire the beauty of your righteous life likened to the curves of your thighs on which your ministry pivots.  Your personal life should so shine like the jewels, the work of the hands of a skilful workman that the people of God to whom you minister may give a good testimony about your righteousness.  God’s people are closely watching your personal life.  Your righteousness should so shine like the jewels made by a skilful workman.  The testimony of the people of God or your companions in Christ is very important.  These days, we hear through our ears testimonies of the people of God about the personal lives of some servants of God and the ministries being carried on by them according to their own will and pleasure. These servants of God should not ignore the valid criticisms of the God’s people.

 

HER NAVAL AND BELLY

 

            “Thy naval is like a round goblet which wanteth not liquor: thy belly is like an heap of wheat set about with lilies”, continues the daughters of Jerusalem in their admiration of the beauty of the Shulamite in verse 2.

 

            The naval in the center of the abdomen may appear insignificant, as it has no specific function to perform.  But in the sight of God, the Creator, this insignificant part is very precious.  The naval is the umbilicus or depression caused in the center of the abdomen. The umbilical cord connects the foetus to the placenta, which is the structure that unites the unborn mammal to the womb of its mother and establishes a nutritive connection between them.  In other words, the naval string or the umbilical cord is the lifeline to the unborn baby from the mother’s womb.  As and when the fully-grown baby comes out of the womb, this cord is disconnected.  Similarly, when a person is being born again in the Spirit of God, there is a direct lifeline to that person from God.  That person gets revelation of God through the lifeline of the Holy Spirit while being born again.  God reveals to him through His Word, and he is spiritually formed through the Holy Spirit.  Once he is born, the lifeline from God is disconnected.  Once he is born, the lifeline from God is disconnected because the Holy Spirit starts indwelling him.  Through the lifeline, you would have experienced some supernatural encounter with God at the time of your initial conversion.  You may not again encounter the same supernatural experience after your spiritual birth because the lifeline has been cut off.  After conversion, you may not need the stereotype or the same supernatural experience because the Holy Spirit has taken abode in your heart.

            The naval once formed would continue to be there in the center of the abdomen constantly reminding you of your initial encounter with the living God and of the perpetual presence of the Holy Spirit in your heart.

 

            This naval, in the sight of God, looks beautiful like a round goblet in which no mixed wine is wanting.  In lieu of the ordinarily meaning words, “a round goblet full of liquor”, the divine Author uses a poetic language by saying, “a round goblet, which wanteth no liquor”!  The wine is symbolic of the Blood of Jesus.  The Amplified Version calls it “mixed wine”.  The Blood of Jesus before shedding on the Cross of Calvary was of the Jewish race.  But after it was shed on the Cross, it became the mixed wine because it brought the Jewish race on par with the heathen race.  It is now in a round goblet.  Goblet means a large drinking cup, properly one without a handle.  Any human being, belonging to any race, society, religion, and nation etc. can have access to the round goblet from any side.  As the cup has no handle, nobody can hold the cup in his hand, exclusively for himself, his society, his race, his religion or his nation.  It is open to all.

 

            The naval, which reminds you of your new birth, is very significant. It is beautiful like the round goblet containing mixed wine.  The abdomen will look ugly in the absence of the naval in its center.

 

            Secondly, your belly is like a heap of wheat set about with lilies.  The belly has in it the digestive organs of the body, without which the food cannot be digested and converted into blood.  Similarly, the words of God meditated and digested in your spiritual digestive system by you quicken your soul.  Your spiritual digestive system is to be always active by the intake of the words of God.  Merely memorizing a large portion of the Bible verses is not enough.  There are a number of God’s people who can quote the Bible verses verbatim but don’t discern the exact and apt message of the Holy Spirit emanating from these Bible verses to them.  There are many promises, comforts and counsels of God that will help you in every peculiar situation.

 

            As His bride roaming about in the wilderness, your ears should be tuned to listen to His voice in the Word.  Your spiritual digestive system is perfect like the belly of the Shulamite.  But your spiritual ears should be attentive to His voice.  The belly is likened to the heap of wheat set about with lilies.  Our daily bread is mainly made of wheat, the chief food-grain of the world.  The heap of wheat is symbolic of the abundant messages of God through His Word.  It is set about with lilies.  Lilies are pure and white.  The Bible is cent percent pure in its content. It reveals the holiness of the holy God. It reveals the mind and thoughts of God.  It contains the pure wisdom of God. It does not contain the human wisdom of scientists, researchers, novelists, poets etc.

 

HER BREASTS

 

            “Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins”, the daughters of Jerusalem adore the beauty of the Shulamite in verse 3.  They compare her two breasts with two fawns, the twins of a gazelle.

 

            Spiritually speaking, your intercessory ministry upholding God’s servants and the lost souls and your ministry to God’s servants are likened to the two breasts which convert blood into milk.  You have the spiritual breasts like the two young roes that are twins. If you are a servant of God, you have to feed the people with the words of God through your spiritual breasts like a mother breast-feeds her children.  You have perfect spiritual breasts, the fountains of God’s messages, through the indwelling Holy Spirit.  These fountains likened to the two breasts of a woman produce the messages of God out of the Word.  These messages are not produced out of your superfluous knowledge of the Bible.  But these are produced out of your practical life.

 

            Don’t look down upon you.  You may not have a doctorate degree in theology or Bible.  The Holy Spirit in you is complete and perfect.  The early apostles like Peter were not learned people.  But they were the mouthpieces of God giving His messages.  The source of their wisdom likened to the two breasts of the Shulamite was the Holy Spirit.

 

HER NECK, EYES AND NOSE

 

            “Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine eyes like the fish pools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bath-rabbim; thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus”, the daughters of Jerusalem continue their adoration in verse 4.

 

            Dear bride, your neck is strong as a tower of ivory and free from the spiritual spondylitis.  In all adverse circumstances, you should lift up your head and see the One Who is seated on the High Throne.  Don’t look down in despair or look sideward in anticipation of human help.  It is as strong as a tower made of ivory.  In Chapter 4:4, the Bridegroom compares it to the tower of David built for an armory.  A tower made of ivory, the tusks of elephants, is very costly.  It is different from ordinary towers.  The Holy Ghost compares your neck to this tower.

 

            Your eyes are likened to the fish pools in Heshbon by the gate of Bath-rabbim.  Your eyes are full of tears like the fish pools in Heshbon.  Whenever you make intercessory prayers, the Holy Spirit fills your heart with love and tears may roll down your eyes.  Sometimes as I minister to others, God fills my heart with a great burden and I become emotional with tearful eyes.  Heshbon is an ancient city built by Reuben, also known as the Levitical city.  This shows that as you minister like a priest standing in the Levitical city, you should pray for God to give you a heart full of burden so that your eyes become like the Heshbon fish pools.

 

            Your nose is likened to the tower of Lebanon.  It is also as strong as the tower of Lebanon.  Through the nose, one smells and breathes.  As the bride of Christ, you smell His holy, fragrant presence and breathe His very life.  Your nose is perfect without any defect.  When you were without Christ, you had smelt the fragrance of this world and had breathed its life.  As such it was spiritually defective.  On your re-birth, your nose has become spiritually strong and perfect.  Dear child of God, if you physically suffer from any breathing problem or any respiratory disease, you should meditate on this verse.  On re-birth, you have acquired perfection in Christ Jesus.  You are complete in Him. Though some of your senses might have been physically defective before your spiritual re-birth, all your senses, either physically or spiritually, are now perfect in Christ Jesus.  Don’t pray “Please heal me, O Lord”.  But instead, thank and praise Him for giving you perfect senses on re-birth.  Divine healing is for the total man.  On your re-birth, Jesus Christ has healed your soul and body.

 

HER HEAD AND HAIR

 

            “Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple; and the king is held in the galleries”, continue the daughters of Jerusalem in verse 5.

 

            Mount Carmel is known for the prophetic ministry, especially of Elijah and as a place where Elijah gathered all Israel and the false prophets for a mighty manifestation of God’s power.

 

            Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel.  The head of a God’s child is so precious that the Holy Spirit communes with him through his brain so long as he lives in his earthly tent.  God’s power touches a person through his head.  As a child of God, God’s anointing rests on your head and your head in turn crowns you.  The Devil tries to attack your brain with all his power available through his channels in the world like pop and cinema music, Television, etc.  If the Devil has defeated you, your head would no longer crown you.  God gives you His Wisdom or His Word.  The cunning Devil takes away the words of God or the wisdom stored in your brain cells as you listen to his pop-music etc. or hear his messages.  “What communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Wherefore come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you….” (II Cor.6: 15 to 17).  On Mount Carmel, Elijah defeated the prophets of Baal and manifested God’s power.  Today, God’s people are powerless because the Devil has stolen God’s wisdom from their heads by constantly injecting his false doctrines and messages.  As you minister, God’s power descends on your head and is manifested through you to the outside world like the Elijah’s ministry on Mount Carmel.  Dear child of God, you must preserve and save your head from the onslaughts of the world and of the devil.

 

            Secondly, the hair of your head is like purple.  Purple shows your sacrifice for the Body of Christ, the Church.  Mary Magdalene washed the feet of Jesus with tears and wiped them with the hair of her head (Luke 7:44).  “She loved much”, Jesus testified about her.  Mary Magdalene sacrificed the best of her for the Body of Jesus.  Her black hair was like purple in the sight of Jesus.  The hair of a woman is her glory.  Similarly, you have to offer the best of your earthly possessions to the Body of Christ, the Church in a sacrificial manner.  The thing, which you endear, the thing that you consider as precious as your hair or the thing that is the costliest in your life is likened to the hair of your head.  You are so possessive about this thing that this has covered your life as the hair covers the head.  As you sacrifice this particular thing at the altar of Calvary, it becomes purple in the sight of Christ.  Whenever you call upon Jesus, He remembers your sacrifice for His Body, the Church.  The ministers of God to whom you sacrificially minister with your material possessions would testify, “the hair of your head is like purple”.

 

            Seeing the king Solomon watches the shepherd girl in absorbed admiration, the daughters of Jerusalem comment on her beauty and add, “The king is held in the galleries”.

 

            Jesus, the beloved Bridegroom, is being enticed towards your spiritual beauty as depicted in the above verses and is held captive by its tresses.  As the people of God around you testify to your spiritual beauty, the King of Kings is raptured and held captive.  The Tamil Version of the Bible says that He stands in the galleries in a state of unconsciousness.

 

BRIDE BEING FAIR AND PLEASANT

 

            Now the king comes forward saying, “How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!” in verse 6.

 

            Jesus, your beloved Bridegroom, testifies to your being fair and pleasant in His sight.  This world admires the physical beauty of the women selected during the beauty contests.  The people throughout the world are eager to get a glimpse of such “beauty queens”.  But God holds the mirror of Jesus in His hand and looks at the people through this mirror.  Those whose sins are forgiven through the Blood of Jesus are fair and pleasant in the sight of God.  In our midst, there are some maimed or short-structured or not-fair-looking persons.  If the sins of such persons are forgiven through the Blood of Jesus, blessed are they because their souls, having attained eternal life, would not perish in the hell.  Such people, though in a minority, are a delight to God in the world where sinful people in a majority cause grief and pain to God’s heart.

 

HER STATURE

 

            The king continues in his admiration, “This thy stature is like to a palm tree and thy breasts to clusters of grapes” in verse 7.

 

A palm tree is very tall.  According to Jesus, you are taller in spiritual stature than the worldly rulers who are unrighteous and sinful.  You may live in penury but are seated with Christ in the heavenly places.  You are spiritually taller like a palm tree so that you may not smell the filth of the world lying underneath.  Your spiritual breasts, which produce God’s messages, are likened to the clusters of grapes, which produce wine on being crushed. These messages likened to the wine comfort the broken hearted and heal the sick

 

            “I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples” says the king to the Shulamite in verse 8.

 

            Dear bride of Christ, your life in Christ is like the tall palm tree.  Only the Holy Spirit has the exclusive right to climb you and take hold of your organs for His ministry. Don’t allow any worldly person or any emissary of the Devil to climb your life and influence it in any manner.  Don’t allow any false prophet/teacher to touch you lest he should climb you and take hold of your members for propagating his pernicious messages.  Don’t yield your members to unrighteousness.  The world and the Devil are casting their rays on you constantly to tempt you.

            “The smell of thy nose like apples”, adores the king about the nose of the Shulamite in verse 8.

 

            You have a spiritual nose, which smells the fragrant presence of Christ, Who is likened to the fragrance of apples.  Do you feel the presence of Christ daily in your life?  A basket of apples grown in places like Kashmir spreads its sweet fragrance.  The fragrance of apples is different from the fragrance of flowers.  An apple is edible whereas a flower is not edible.  Christ is like an edible apple.  “O taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps.34:8). There are many religious leaders or Gurus whom people worship these days.  Their teachings may appear fragrant to our nose but their personal life is not fragrant so as to be imbibed by us. As you abide constantly in the presence of Christ and smell His fragrance, your spiritual life inhaling the fragrant life of Christ becomes fragrant and Christ would testify, “The smell of thy nose like apples”.

 

ROOF OF HIS MOUTH

 

            “And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak”, the Shulamite now interrupts and adores the mouth of her beloved in verse 9.

 

            Through the roof of the mouth, the words proceed.  The words of Jesus have the healing touch for the weary.  It makes the weary cheerful.  It is like the best wine which you preserve for your beloved guests – the wine, and that too, the best wine which one preserves for his/her beloved.  Jesus preserved the best wine for the beloved guests of the marriage of Cana at the end (John 2:10).  The words of Jesus are like the wine of a superior quality, which goes down smoothly and moves gently the lips of sleepers.  The divine Author does not use any other words to deduce that the wine intoxicates the drinker and causes him to lose his consciousness and to blab. Instead, He uses the words, “causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak”.

 

         Jesus gives us the right word in the right time.  His counsels through the Written Word are like the best wine.  People of this world rush to astrologers or yogis for the so-called divine revelations or counsels.  They don’t go to the One Who is the Alpha and Omega (the Beginning and the End); Who is the Wisdom of God.

 

HIS DESIRE

 

            “I am my beloved’s and his desire is toward me”, says the Shulamite to the king in verse 10.

 

            Dear bride of Christ, you are Christ’s.  You belong to Him and are identified with Him because He has bought you with His precious blood.  Don’t take pride in the church you belong to.  You are separate from the world and thus belong to Him.  His desire is toward you in an individual manner, and not towards any particular church, group or nation.  Christ has His desire toward you.  He desires your salvation, your well-being, your good health and your prosperity.

 

CHRIST’S GREAT COMMISSION

 

            Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages”, entreats the Shulamite unto the king in verse 11.

 

            The field means the world (Matt.13: 38).  You have to entreat Christ to go forth into the world along with you.  This means you have to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”  (Mark 16:15).  You cannot do it on your own.  You have to go to the world along with Christ.  This means you ought to be filled with His Spirit and power and to be led by Him to those places in the world where the Holy Ghost wants you to preach the gospel.  Don’t be in a place or nation, which has already been reached by the gospel.  As you entreat Jesus to accompany you to the field, He will take you to the right place in the world.

 

            Secondly, you have to entreat Him to lodge with you in the villages.  Village means an assemblage of houses smaller than a town.  Town means a populous place bigger or less rural than a village, inhabited by an urban community.  Spiritually speaking, a town is a group of people who have become populous with the advent of the light of the glorious gospel whereas a village is a group of people who have not heard the glorious gospel.  In the world, there are many places, which have not yet been reached by the gospel.  You have to lodge and not merely visit such villages along with Christ.  Missionaries belonging to organizations like FMPB, Blessing Youth Mission, and IMS etc. in India lodge in these villages for the sake of the glorious gospel.

 

GOING TO THE VINEYARDS

 

            “Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves”, exhorts the Shulamite in verse 12.

 

            Christ and you have to go to the vineyards early.  In the early morning, you have to intercede for the persons and the ministers of God planted in your garden or vineyard.  In the vineyards, you have to keep a watch over the plants.  Along with Christ, you must see whether the vines flourish.  If there are some unsaved persons in your garden, it is your responsibility to see that they receive the gospel or the Word.  Along with Christ you have to perceive the spiritual growth of the persons concerned.  The persons concerned should flourish in your garden.  If there are ministers of God in your garden, you should see that they attain greater spiritual strength and are used of God mightily by interceding for them in prayers.  The hearts of unsaved persons in your garden have to be prepared for salvation. The ministers of God have to yield the first fruit of souls in the form of “tender grape”.  The pomegranates in your garden are those evangelists who perform various evangelistic ministries through the gifts of the Holy Spirit bringing comfort and divine healing to the weary and the sick.  As you intercede for these evangelists, they bud forth and produce the fruit of souls through the ministry of signs and wonders.

 

            Please note the word “vineyards” in plural.  You should not bother only about your own vineyard but also about the vineyards of others.  You should pray for these vineyards also, and should have a concern for the growth of the plants in other vineyards also.  These days, we find many ministers seeking and coveting the intercessory prayers and the material support of the people of God for their own ministers and not for other ministers.

 

            Abiding in Christ only, you can produce fruits in your garden (John 3:4).  Along with Christ only, you have to visit the garden.  This means that you ought to be constantly guided by His Word and His Spirit while taking care of the persons planted in your vineyard.  Christ is the Gardener and you are His co-worker.  You will give your loves to Christ Jesus in the vineyard.  It is not love but “loves”.  Christ wants your pre-eminent love for Him.  Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Do you love Me more than these?” (John 21:15)  Christ has given you a vineyard, which means a ministry.  You can give Him your love as you faithfully do the ministry.  It may be a prayer ministry.  But you should be faithful to him in doing that ministry.  

           

MANDRAKE AND PLEASANT FRUITS

 

            “The mandrakes give a smell and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved”, continues the Shulamite in verse 13.

 

            Mandrake is a rhubarb-like herb having narcotic qualities.  In your garden, there are certain mandrake-like persons who spread the fragrance of holiness through their holy lives.  This fragrance attracts the people of this world towards Christ.  Your vineyard must produce all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old.  The persons whom you are ministering to are pleasant fruits, new and old.  They may be new disciples of Christ or old disciples of Christ.  Both the categories are pleasant fruits to Christ.  Christ loves both the categories alike.  A person who has become His disciple recently is equated with another person who had become His disciple long ago.  The bride lays these fruits “at our gates”.  There is no individual gate for each keeper of the vineyard so as to claim “at my gate”.  These days, many ministers boast of the number of persons saved through their individual ministries by naming such persons or publishing the statistics of the numbers.  Dear minister of God, you should keep these precious fruits “at our gates” for your Beloved Shepherd.  The gates are common to all ministers.  The pleasant fruits are not for your benefit.  Don’t covet their offerings for your vineyard.  These are for the Lord and His Body, the universal unseen Church.