Song of Songs is often overlooked by us, but it is the most beautiful love story if you would only dig into it for its treasure. It describes our relationship with the Lord as a relationship between a man (Christ) and woman (believer, the bride.) It describes his passion and desire for us. The Lord is our lover and longs to be in an intimate relationship with us, like a lover. Take out your bible and follow with me.
“O daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you – if you find my lover, what will you tell him? Tell him I am faint with love.” Song of Songs 5:8
Earlier on her lover had come looking for her:
“Listen! My lover is knocking: “Open to me, my sister, my darling, my dove, my flawless one. My head is drenched with dew, my hair with the dampness of night.” Song of Songs 5:2
But her love had gone cold and indifferent; it was too much effort to engage in relationship with him.
“I have taken off my robe – must I put it on again?
I have washed my feet – must I soil them again?” Song of Solomon 5:3
Her attitude is much like a marriage that is past the first romantic years, where we start to take each other for granted, the reality of life sets in and working on the marriage becomes hard. Or a relationship with the Lord when the first years of a relationship with Jesus have passed; now it is too much effort, the discipline of seeking Him out to be with him goes against our comfort or routine. We become self centered, self seeking, self orientated, impressed with self, self reliant. Any other self you want to add?
Like the church of Laodicea (Rev 3:14-20) we become neither hot nor cold. We say “I am rich in the inheritance I have from God; I have acquired wealth and blessing in the things of God and do not need a thing.”
Or like the church of Ephesus (Rev 2:1-6) “…we work hard for the Lord, we persevere through hard times, we live the Christian life, but we have forsaken our first love.” We are no longer enthusiastically in love with Him, our love has fallen from great heights.
“I opened for my lover, but my lover had left; he was gone. My heart sank at his departure. I looked for him but did not find him. I called him but he did not answer.” V6
When we neglect a relationship long enough, it becomes difficult to restore the intimacy we had before. As in a neglected marriage there is a numbness that sets in, an indifference that is hard to shake. We start to feel the pain of not being with our lover, she describes it in v7 as being like a criminal or prostitute normally found outside the city walls. And rightly the watchmen beat and punish her as such.
Her spirit is in pain as she longs for the intimacy with her lover as our spirits are in pain when we fail to connect with our Lord. Notice that we are never told that her lover has forsaken her, she knows exactly where he is later in the chapter: “He is in the garden, browsing amongst the lilies.” But the scripture describes a condition of her heart where she has lost the ability to find him because of her neglect of the relationship.
- Her indifference in attitude,
- her lack of discipline,
- her lack of personal sacrifice for pleasure or comfort in the interest of relationship,
- her sense of being trapped (being punished) yet unwilling to do anything about it.
She is looking for Him, but with a heart that has grown cold. Sometimes we complain about our relationship with the Lord, but we are not willing to do anything about it. She asks her sisters:
“O daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you – if you find my lover, what will you tell him? Tell him I am faint with love.”
How often we profess our love for the Lord with our mouths, but we fail to engage in an intimate relationship with him.
We say to our sisters, “Tell the Lord that I love him” because it is too much effort to find Him and tell him myself. We look to others to sustain our relationship with Him by passing on messages from Him to us:- little bible versus, books, messages, insights that they have gained. We expect our sisters to help us continue a relationship with the Lover of our soul rather than taking personal responsibility to seek him for ourselves. Making then pass the love notes between us, rather than loving Him ourselves.
Now these are the kind of sisters I personally like. Sisters who are not prepared to be the messenger of their love and furthermore believe that she should look for Him herself. Her sisters ask her: “Why should we do this?”
“How is your beloved better than others, most beautiful of women? How is your beloved better than others, that you charge us so?” V9
See, she has forgotten who her lover is. She has forgotten her first love. Her sisters force her to remember Him (the same instruction is given to the Church of Ephesus in Rev). She then in verses 10-16, remembers her lover and tells her sisters who he is. She concludes in Song of Songs 6:3 “I am my lover’s and my lover is mine.”
She remembers who He is and in the process she remembers who she is and who she belongs to.
And now her sisters will go look for Him with her, but not for her. “Where has your lover gone, most beautiful of woman? Which way did your lover turn, that we may look for him with you?” Song of Songs 6:1
But notice that when she remembers her lover, and falls in love with him all over again as “her lover, her friend”….(v16) Then she knows where to find Him and goes out herself to look for Him. Then they are united and she says:
“I am my lover’s and my Lover is mine…”
Lord, I confess that my love has gone cold and that I have neglected our relationship. I have relied on other people to tell me of Your love, instead of seeking You out for myself. Renew my love for You, help me to find You, see You and fall in love with You all over again.