in a beautiful garden of flowers…
Let me gaze at You, my Beloved, for that is all I want to do. Surrounded by
the flowers in this garden You alone have created, I am enthralled by all the
beauty I see in You. As I worship I feel You drawing closer and I cherish the
intensity of your gaze upon me. You are delighting in the bride You have
admiring the jewels you have bestowed in my soul.
You reciprocate as my adoration delights You. You gaze at me, as I gaze at You. I worship, You respond. I praise, You reach for me. I adore You and You treasure me with Your passionate, protective fire.
We are gazing at one another in a garden of spiritual delights that only two lovers can know.
How beautiful you are, My darling, how beautiful you are! - Song of Songs 1:15
How handsome You are, my Beloved, and so pleasant! – Song of Songs 1:16
Has anybody ever noticed that worship is reciprocal ?
Song of Songs
In the midst of the battles, conflicts, laws and moral
instructions, the chronicles of the past, present and future, in the center of
this wondrous conglomeration of history and spirituality that is the Word of
God, there is a garden, an oasis, a soft, sweet place where lovers dwell. We
hear the love song, the Song of Songs, drift over the garden walls drawing us to
come and listen, to meditate among the flowers, to experience the never ending
love affair of Christ and His bride. And sometimes it can take quite a while
before you realize the bride He is calling to is – you. You fell in Eden and
tumbled out into a wilderness landscape. Wandering in the desert, you knew you
were a believer, but you had a hard time obeying the Voice that was trying to
shepherd you to your appointed destination.
Finally, after completing a rugged course of obstacles and testing, you found yourself standing on a hill overlooking a romantic garden filled with flowers, fruit trees and vine covered trellises.
In the midst of this garden you beheld a bride and her bridegroom. They were singing to one another, beautiful songs of adoration and love. You felt overwhelmed at the loveliness of this scene. You were drawn to it, yet, repelled at the expression of such unrestrained devotion. You decided not to enter into the garden of intimacy.
Instead, you circumnavigated it carefully, holding onto yourself as tightly as you could, fearing that if you let it go, you’d never find it again among all those flowers.
So you guarded your steps cautiously and eventually came to a realm of religious activity. You were happy there, for you thought the God you attempted to serve was pleased with just a weekly visit from you. You thought He wouldn’t mind leaving you alone the rest of the week. You thought He couldn’t see your secret sins, and that He would never dream of inconveniencing you with change.
So you were genuinely surprised when your captivity came; like a net thrown down upon your head suddenly from the heavenlies. You were driven away from your comfortable life by your enemies. Imprisoned by circumstances you couldn’t control, you cried. Realizing you had no other place to go, you focused yourself on the Cross. Knowing now that repentance was the golden key to your release, you began to follow God all over again, this time with humility of heart. You followed Him through miles of dusty streets. You sat at His feet. You fished with Him, getting to know Him all over again. You came close enough this time to study His wounds until you knew what they were for. You could genuinely rejoice before the door of an empty tomb. And when He called, you came willingly this time. You followed where He wanted to lead.
He led you back through the hills, beyond the burnt out ruins of your captive past, until you found yourself once again standing on that hill overlooking the garden of intimacy.
Your Bridegroom is calling to you. This time you do not hesitate. Self is suddenly dropped at the gate as you run into His outstretched arms in delighted abandon, no longer fearful of the passion of His embrace. At last you have become one with His music, the goal of His inward workings along the road of your life. With joy you embrace His punch line, wondering why it took so long. In love with your husband, now your life is His song. It has been a long journey to come to this place of intimacy where you always belonged. From beginning to end, your life has circled and come back again to sing the Song of Songs.
I don’t believe that it is mere chance that placed the Song of
Solomon just before the book of Isaiah in the Bible. They are a study in
contrasts that have been set together for a purpose. Behold, the passionate
bride of Solomon Christ’s similitude. His bride is passionately emotional in her
praise of her Lover. She seeks Him relentlessly. He is all that she desires. Her
mouth is continually filled with praise of His virtues. She is not ashamed to
pour out everything she is before Him. She glories in the intimacy of their
union. The only bliss she knows is in His presence. When He is away from her she
suffers, pining in His absence and will not be consoled until He has returned.
She is a portrait of a woman deeply in love with her
His passion for her is even more intense. The flames of His ardor are never quenched. The fire of His adoration continues to blaze over page after page and spreads into the following book, where the passionate Bridegroom stares in bewilderment at the woman He betrothed to Himself years ago.
Now she is sitting in the kitchen with her hair in curlers, reading a newspaper as she puffs on a cigarette. She won’t look up at Him, even though He’s been trying to start a conversation with her all morning.
He misses their intimate communion and He cries out, “What happened? Why have you become silent? Where are the sweet songs you used to sing to Me? I long to
hear them now.”
She reaches for her cup and fills her mouth with a deep, bitter brew.
He knows she will be leaving soon and He sighs as He follows her through her busy day. He tries to win her attention, but she is too preoccupied with the things she sees. She shrugs off His attempts to woo her straying heart, for she is drawn to other lovers and the riches she thinks they possess. He watches sadly as she wanders from door to door, and He remembers His bride of ages past, when He was the only wealth she was seeking for.
He cries again, but she cannot hear Him. He tries to wrap His arms around her to carry her back to her place with Him, but she only draws her cloak about her, determined to resist the Wind. Then duty calls and with a sigh, she bids a temporary farewell to her new loves and returns to the sanctuary for an hour to sing some hymns with her mind somewhere else. He watches her and He is grieving, for He can see her lips move, mouthing words she can no longer feel.
He tries to speak to her once again, this time through the words of the minister. She becomes convicted and convinces herself that the sermon is not of God. She makes up her mind not to come back again. Then the morning is over and she quickly returns to the world’s embrace, as her Husband sadly watches her turn her
back to Him once again,
“I love you,” He whispers, “and I always will.”
His desire for her is still a firestorm that will not cease to roar, and He continues to cherish this bride who is a whore.
It is no mere coincidence that the passionate love of the Song of Songs rests beside the lukewarm, indifferent wife that Isaiah describes.
Behold, two lovely faces reflected in one mirror –
which one is yours?
A child shows affection; when you worship Me, worship Me as My bride - with passion!