Lesson 15: Compelled by Love

The bride responds to His loving admiration with enthusiasm to serve and with beautiful humility.

Beloved
6:11 I went down to the grove of nut trees to look at the new growth in the valley, to see if the vines had budded or the pomegranates were in bloom.

She goes down not only to look but also to intercede for others. Her self-consumed attitude is being replaced with a mature love for the church. She is quick to recognize their strengths and potential for fruitfulness. She is one with her Lord as she engages in His service.
Selah: A mark of spiritual maturity is turning our attention to the spiritual growth of others. What will be evidences that we have concern for the spiritual life of those around us?


6:12 Before I realized it, my desire set me among the royal chariots of my people.
She suddenly found she had great zeal for others and enthusiasm to serve God’s people. Instead of being put off by the immaturity, pride, wrong applications of the Word and lack of discernment of those less mature, she is now surprised by the tender compassion she feels. She becomes compelled by love. (2 Corinthians 5:11, 14)
Selah: Do you tend to look at other believers’ strengths or their weaknesses? What helps you to focus on their strengths?

Friends
6:13 Return, return, O Shulammite; Return, return, that we may look upon you! (NKJV)
For the first time she is called “Shulammite”—the feminine form of Solomon, the Prince of Peace. How appropriate that they call her by His name for she now bears His image more than ever before. Her concerns reflect His.

Those who have the life of Jesus in them are the ones who are missed when they depart. The friends cry out, “Come back, come back, come back! Let me gaze upon Jesus in you once again for it is so refreshing to my soul.” They repeat their call showing their intense desire. They see her love for others and wish to be near her so they can learn from her.

Mature saints are the truly attractive ones to others in the Body of Christ. It is sometimes easier for those with immature faith to see Jesus if they see Him through the mature ones.
Selah: Can you think of a mature believer people gravitate towards? What traits characterize that person’s life?


Will you pray, “Dear Bridegroom of my heart, cause me to be so intimate with You that Your presence in me will have a positive spiritual effect on others”?

Beloved
What would you see in the Shulammite—As it were, the dance of the two camps? (NKJV)

Her beauty amazes her friends. Christ’ love for her has caused her to love Him, and now her happy love for Him gives her a rare loveliness that they admire.  

But the Shulammite cannot conceive why any attention should be paid to her. “What will you see in her?” The eager look of the daughters of Jerusalem surprised the bride.

The word “camps” can be translated as “Mahanaim” which was the place of Jacob’s encounter with angels in Genesis 32:2. The word must have come to mean a very exciting place that attracted people. Dancing in Scripture is a sign of victory. “When the victorious Israelite army was returning home after David had killed the Philistine, women from all the towns of Israel came out to meet King Saul. They sang and danced for joy with tambourines and cymbals” (1 Samuel 18:6; also Exodus 15:20).

So, the dance of two camps or armies refers to a victory dance. In her perfect modesty and humility, she is unaware of how beautiful she really is. “Why do you look at the Shulammite as though you were gazing at two heavenly armies celebrating a victory dance?”
Selah: Humility is an important quality in the spiritually mature. What are evidences someone is humble? How do you think humility is obtained?


Lover
7:1 How beautiful your sandaled feet, O prince’s daughter! Your graceful legs are like jewels, the work of a craftsman’s hands.
7:2 Your navel is a rounded goblet that never lacks blended wine. Your waist is a mound of wheat encircled by lilies.

Her Lover explains the marvelous virtues in her that are so amazingly attractive, not just to Him but also to those who long for her to be near them. He repeats qualities mentioned earlier but adds her ability to walk in truth and wisdom, her dependence upon Him, her keen discernment, her thought life, and her increased fruitfulness.

In 4:1-5 her Bridegroom gave eight affirmations beginning with her head. He now gives ten. These ten virtues are a practical definition of godliness. They are in us also when we meditate and apply the Word.

For the first time the Beloved describes His bride’s feet. She is now striving to walk “in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). She is ready and willing to go with Him anywhere. When we carefully follow Him, we give Him great pleasure: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4).

Her shoes speak of evangelism. “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news” (Isaiah 52:7). Her graceful legs like jewels speak of her ability to walk in Christ’s power and wisdom.

The word “naval” is the Hebrew word for “umbilical cord,” so the naval is the lifeline to her spiritual life. She has learned to be totally dependent upon Him. Her inner life is the result of her attachment to Him. Because she is continually dependent, she is full of the wine of the Holy Spirit. The mound of wheat is a picture of the abundance of the harvest.
Selah: He has praised her for keeping in step with the Spirit, for walking in Christ’s power, and learning to continually depend upon the Spirit.
In which of these areas do you most desire to improve? What will help you?

 

7:3 Your breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle.
He repeats the words He spoke in 4:5. 1 Thessalonians 5:8 unlocks the secret of the two breasts. “But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate.” She is filled equally with faith and love. She needs both as she ministers to others.

The words “which feed among the lilies” that were in 4:5 are omitted here. Feeding among the lilies refers to enjoying the fellowship of other surrendered lilies. The Holy Spirit feeds our spirits through others as we share about Jesus. However, the spiritually mature believer does not need to depend on that fellowship for spiritual sustenance. Jesus alone can satisfy her spiritually.

Spirit-filled surrender results in allowing Jesus to fill all our needs when fellowship with others is not available. Madame Jeanne Guyon, a 17th century Christian imprisoned for her faith, dearly loved Song of Songs, and one of her books is written describing its beauties. Her deep love relationship with Jesus caused her to survive the many long years of imprisonment where she lived in a cell below ground level. She had no light except a candle at mealtime. After ten years in this place she wrote:
A little bird I am, shut from the fields of air;
Yet in my cage I sit and sing to Him who placed me there;
Well pleased a prisoner to be,
Because, my God, it pleases Thee!
Selah: Do you depend more upon your friends for spiritual support or upon the Lord?
What do you think it means to be able to say, “The LORD is my portion” (Lamentations 3:24)? or “All my fountains are in you” (Psalm 87:7).


7:4 Your neck is like an ivory tower.  Your eyes are the pools of Heshbon by the gate of Bath Rabbim. Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon looking toward Damascus.
As mentioned earlier, the neck in Scripture represents the human will. This speaks of her resolute determination that has become her protection from evil. She is meek and yielding in all matters concerning herself but unbending in faithfulness to her Lord.

In 4:4 He described her neck as the tower of David, now it is like an ivory tower. An ivory tower is a symbol for noble purity and speaks of her pure desires. His will is her will. She is determined to carry out His desires and to bring glory to Him rather than to herself.
It is amazing that we can speak with our eyes without saying a word. We can look into someone’s eyes and detect joy, love, hate, understanding, depression, confusion. Pools are still, quiet waters. Her eyes have a spiritual depth to them.

The nose speaks of discernment, intuitive knowledge of God that can be likened to the sense of smell. The nose warns if there is a gas leak or an electrical wire burning. It alerts us to dangers that cannot be seen or heard. Discernment is the virtue that is the quickest to be dulled by any act of disobedience.

The tower of Lebanon was a watchtower built to detect the enemy’s activities. The maiden is now mature enough to discern the enemy’s tactics. Her supernatural discernment in spiritual warfare will be a source of protection from the enemy. Without keen discernment, we are vulnerable to the strategies of darkness.

Her nose is pointed toward Damascus, the city that was the seat of Israel’s perpetual enemy, Syria. This tower looked out over the valley or plain in order to spot enemy movements from afar. A discerning believer is one who becomes aware of the enemy. The Holy Spirit gives sensitivity to recognize the enemy’s tactics.

When Solomon prayed for discernment, God was greatly pleased. “So God said to him, ‘Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself...I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both riches and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings’” (1 Kings 3:11-13).
Selah: God is still pleased with our prayer for discernment. Use Paul’s prayer in Philippians 1:9-10 in praying for yourself and your family.


7:5 Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel. Your hair is like royal tapestry; the king is held captive by its tresses.
The order of the description is interesting. The spiritually discerning nose mentioned in 7:4 must be first in order to recognize the presence of the enemy. Next, her head is described like “Carmel” to deal with the attack in the thought life where most of the trouble begins and plagues us! Carmel means vineyards or fruitful place. Her mind, under the control of the Holy Spirit, becomes a spiritual vineyard producing the needed fruit to dispel the enemy—thanksgiving in place of unthankful thoughts, love instead of hate, joy rather than sadness.
Mt. Carmel was considered one of the most excellent and beautiful peaks in the land. Her fruitful wisdom and purity of thought can now be compared to that Mount Carmel. Her hair, a symbol of consecration to God, is declared to have royal power that even holds the King captive.

Amazingly, when we surrender to Him, He “is held captive” and responds as though we are in charge. When we surrender, we are saying, “I will do whatever You choose.” But to our surprise He replies, “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:14).
Selah: Why can He give such an offer to those who yield Him complete control?