As we continue to make our way through this romance poem known as the Song of Solomon, we come to an interesting passage, one that speaks volumes to us today.
The scene, focussing here on the woman, starts off like this: “I slept, but my heart was awake, when I heard my lover knocking and calling: ‘Open to me, my treasure, my darling, my dove, my perfect one. My head is drenched with dew, my hair with the dampness of the night.’” (Song of Solomon 5:2 NLT)
The first Truth to be gleaned here is this: The church can be, and often is, asleep! We can be, and often are, asleep!
Isn’t this one of the key points of Jesus’ parable of the Bridesmaids: “When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.” (Matthew 25:5 NLT)?
It would be better for us all to heed the advice of Jesus, given just prior to His parable about the Bridesmaids: “So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming.” (Matthew 24:42 NLT)! We shouldn’t be asleep at all! We need to be alert! To ever be on the lookout for our Lord!
Nonetheless, we do fall into spiritual slumber, and we aren’t really reprimanded for this. In fact, this brings us the second important point from this verse: Even if we do fall into a spiritual slumber, Jesus still comes — to us! The book of Revelation tells us this as well: “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” (Revelation 3:20 NLT). That, my friends, is how much the Lover of our Souls wants to be with us! He will come to us, in our spiritual slumber!
How will we respond?
The woman in the Song of Solomon, the woman that represents each follower of Jesus Christ, answered like this: “But I responded, ‘I have taken off my robe. Should I get dressed again? I have washed my feet. Should I get them soiled?’” (Song of Solomon 5:3 NLT)
Not only has the woman fallen asleep, but she has become complacent! She doesn’t wish to get dressed again. She doesn’t wish to bathe again.
I don’t know about you, but I can relate to this. Once I’ve finally crawled between the sheets for the night, the very last thing I want is to have to get up again! I can so totally relate! So can the 5 foolish bridesmaids in Jesus’ parable. They hadn’t brought enough oil, and when the bridegroom finally arrived, they didn’t feel like going out to buy some: “Then the five foolish ones asked the others, ‘Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’” (Matthew 25:8 NLT)!
But herein lies the problem, doesn’t it? When those bridesmaids returned, they found the door shut: “Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Lord! Lord! Open the door for us!’“But he called back, ‘Believe me, I don’t know you!’” (Matthew 25:11-12 NLT). And unfortunately our woman in the Song of Solomon, who represents each of us, fared no better: “My lover tried to unlatch the door, and my heart thrilled within me.I jumped up to open the door for my love, and my hands dripped with perfume. My fingers dripped with lovely myrrh as I pulled back the bolt. I opened to my lover, but he was gone!” (Song of Solomon 5:4-6 NLT)
We shouldn’t fall into a spiritual slumber, friends. Rather, we should remain alert at all times, for we do not always know when Jesus will come to us. But if we do fall into a spiritual slumber, Jesus will come to us. It is how we respond that becomes vitally important. Will we jump up immediately, putting aside everything that might possibly distract us, and give ourselves completely to Him? Or will we, like the woman in the poem and like the foolish bridesmaids in Jesus’ parable, respond with complacency?
Think about it for a moment: What is it that keeps us from jumping up the moment the Lover of our souls knocks on our hearts’ doors? Are we too busy watching a movie? Are we anticipating that shopping trip with friends? That upcoming football game? Are we cooking dinner? Are the kids calling for our attention? Are we writing emails? Perhaps even doing something for the Lord, something like — trying to encourage someone? Whatever it is, no matter how innocent, if it keeps us from responding immediately to our Lord’s call, then we have let something come between us and the Lord. We have become complacent!
I don’t know about you, but this is a wake-up call for me. I don’t know how many times I’ve woken up in the middle of the night with the urge to pray, and I’ve rolled back over and gone back to sleep. I can’t count the times I’ve felt the urge to do something for someone, but I’ve been busy with my own agenda, and it hasn’t happened. I am ashamed to admit how often I’ve heard my Lord knocking and I’ve been too busy, too “in the moment”, and I’ve seen it as nothing less than the proverbial “monkey wrench” thrown into my agenda.
Oh Lord, forgive us of our apathy! Forgive our complacency! Help us to make You our number 1 priority, no matter what we may be doing, no matter what else may be on our agendas! You and You alone must be our number 1!
Join us on Tuesday, October 11, for another important lesson to be learned from this unfortunate incident in the Song of Solomon…
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart
Moderator, Associate Director, Answers2Prayer Ministries
(To access the entire “Unveiling the Song of Solomon” mini-series, click here!)