Unless otherwise noted, scripture references are from the Message Bible.
Song of Songs
“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for your love is more delightful than wine.” (NIV) In chapter 5 of the Message Bible, it says, “His words are kisses.” We can look upon God’s Word as His kisses to us. When you receive a rhema word from God, it is a ‘now’ word for you. It bears witness with your spirit. It can be those times when a scripture leaps off the page at you, giving you what you need for that day. It can also be when you see something in scripture that you’ve never noticed before. When that happens to you, you’ve just been kissed by your Bridegroom. When that happens to me, I write ‘kiss’ beside that portion of scripture. It’s a gentle reminder to me of the great love my Savior has for me, how He longs to ‘kiss’ me. It makes me want to be even more sensitive to listening to Him, so that I don’t miss out on a ‘kiss’ which He may have for me.
“I am weathered but elegant. My brothers ridiculed me and sent me to work in the fields.” Thinking upon this verse, it could refer to being pulled out into the workforce because of the opinions of others, or because of feeling like you must keep up with what other people have, or that you must do what other people do. I’m not talking about those who truly must work, but I’m referring to those of us who feel that awful peer pressure to go out and work in the ‘fields’ because we seek the approval of other people. Are we trying to win the approval of God or man? (Gal. 1:10) Seeking the approval of God can bring us sweet satisfaction along with some eternal rewards. Seeking the approval of man will always leave us wanting more, looking for more satisfaction. Also, seeking the praise of man will end up causing much hurt because man is very fickle and ever-changing in his opinions and ideas. Man will always find something else that we need to be doing to receive his applause.
The NIV states “Do not stare at me because I am dark, because I am darkened by the sun. My mother’s sons were angry with me and made me take care of the vineyards; my own vineyard I have neglected.” Looking at this scripture in light of Jesus, our Bridegroom, we see that she is telling Him not to stare at her. Do we say the same thing when Christ looks at us? Does it make us uncomfortable when we feel His gaze upon us? Do we get offensive when we find Him wanting to look deep inside our heart, looking to further change us into Him image? He indeed looks at us intently, but He doesn’t stare at us. Jesus looks at us similar to how a groom beholds his bride — there is that thrill of emotion, a heart filled with love, anxiously awaiting the days ahead when they share beyond just their thoughts, words, and hearts. They will be sharing the intimacy of dwelling together. Jesus longs for that with us. He wants to indwell us, to share His dreams with us, but to also have us share our dreams with Him. Just as the bride and bridegroom once lived separate lives, through marriage, they are molded into one. We are to be molded to Christ, taking on His Name, leaving the fleshly ways of our past behind us.
Later in the chapter, it says, “We enjoy a canopy of cedars enclosed by cypresses, fragrant and green.” When we choose to work the ‘field’ which God has called us to work, we will find that we are enjoying that canopy of cedars, which is enclosed with cypresses. Cedar was used in building material because of its great growth and strength. We are to be building a foundation upon the Solid Rock. We want the materials we use to be strong, like cedar wood. Taking this a step further, are we building with things that give growth and strength to our marriage? Or are we like the foolish woman who tears down her marriage with her own hands? (Pr. 14:1)
Another interesting thing to note about cypress is that it is actually the ‘gopher wood’ that was used to build Noah’s ark. That wood was strong, and able to withstand the worst flood ever seen. God can make us strong, able to stand firm and secure no matter what storms we face.
“My beloved is a bouquet of wildflowers picked just for me from the fields of Engadi.” Engadi was an oasis with fresh water and hot springs. It was a source of fine dates, aromatic plants used in perfume and medicinal plants. Our relationship with Christ is to be one where we have fresh, living water flowing from us. We are to be growing fine ‘fruits’ through the fruit of the Spirit who dwells in us. We are to be the aroma of Christ to our world. Thinking about our ‘world,’ what aroma do we
give when we are stuck in traffic, when the line at the grocery store is long, when the cashier rings up an item incorrectly and we don’t notice it until we get home? What aroma do we offer to our family at the end of the day when we are tired? What aroma do we give when our hormones are raging, and we don’t feel up to par? Are we able to offer the ‘medicine’ of loving care and compassion to those around us? Jesus offers us that oasis of Engadi — it’s found in abiding in Him. (Jn. 15)
Do you feel the need to visit the oasis today?
© 2004, Stacy R Miller