As we continue our journey through the Song of Solomon, we come to a tiny little passage, just one verse long. It isn’t spoken by the man, who represents Jesus, and it isn’t spoken by the woman, who represents each of us. Rather, it is spoken by the onlookers, those who don’t know Christ; but oh, what a powerful message it gives…
“Who is this sweeping in from the desert, leaning on her lover?” (Song of Solomon 8:5 NLT)
Here we see a vivid image. The woman, who represents each one of us who are in Christ, is coming from the “desert”.
We know that the desert is a dry place, void of water, food, shelter, the essentials of life. We also know that the image of a “desert” is often used to indicate periods of troubled times in our lives, a waiting period, a holding pattern, so to speak; for when we think of a “desert experience”, our minds always go to the 40 years that Israel wandered in the desert before receiving their promise.
We also see that she isn’t just “coming” from the desert, she is “sweeping in”!
In other words, we don’t see the image of someone parched and depleted, crawling forward by the sheer force of will, only to cross into the “non-desert” place and collapse! Not at all! Rather, we see this person “sweeping in”! This person is charged! She is running, jumping over the finish line, so to speak, full of exhilaration fuelled by and the joy and challenge of the experience!
Finally we see a vivid image that she isn’t “sweeping in” alone. Rather, she is “leaning on her lover”!
We know that the literal “lover” in the Song of Solomon was Solomon himself; but we also know that Solomon is portrayed here as an image of Jesus Christ. Therefore, the image actually sees each of us who are in Christ, leaning heavily on Him as we leap out of the desert place, full of fire and joy!
Desert places in our lives aren’t places where we would choose to go. Yet God promises this: “So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (Deut. 31:6 NLT). He tells us to: “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7 NLT). He says, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30 NLT) Therefore, when we lean upon Him, He will bring us through that desert place in such a way that we will come “sweeping in from the desert”, “leaning on [our] lover”!
Are you in a desert place right now? Inundated by problems, in a holding pattern, no end in sight? Take courage from this tiny verse in the Song of Solomon! Remember: You don’t walk it alone. Case your burdens on Jesus. lean on Him, the Lover of your soul! For when you do, you can be sure that you will get through the desert place. And not only will you get through it, but when you lean on your Lover, you will come “sweeping in from” it!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart
Author, Moderator, Associate Director, Answers2Prayer Ministries
(To access the entire “Unveiling the Song of Solomon” mini-series, click here)