Lesson 18: The Seal of Love

Now that she has the seal of His love in her heart (Song 8:6-7), the Bride is aware of the spiritual condition of others. She doesn’t seek to meet their needs on her own but looks to Jesus for guidance.
 

Beloved
8:8 We have a young sister, and her breasts are not yet grown. What shall we do for our sister for the day she is spoken for?

Once Jesus sets the seal of fiery love in her heart (Song 8:6-7), the Bride turns her attention away from her own spiritual condition to that of the needs of others. The fact that she even “sees” her sister’s need is the work of the Spirit in her.

She feels the same towards the little sister as Jesus does. He is ravished over her (4:9) and longs to see her face and hear her voice (2:14). She recognizes that this immature believer is her responsibility, and she is burdened for her.

The word “young” also means “little.” This sister is little in faith and so easily loses her courage in difficulties. She quickly gives up in pressure. Her breasts are not yet grown, so she is unable to nurture others with the milk of the Word. She fellowships with those she hangs out with but neglects to take responsibility for others. She is overwhelmed with her own problems. The Bride wants to help, so she intercedes for her. Now that the seal of love is on her heart, she is compelled by that love to be concerned for others. (2 Corinthians 5:14)

The Bride says, “We have a young sister,” because she is working closely with Him. She does not say, “What will ‘I’ do for my sister,” but rather, “What will we do,” indicating that she is in partnership with Jesus. She is burdened for others and feels the same concern He feels.

 “What shall we do?” She will not make her plans and then ask for His blessing but will learn what His thoughts are and together they will fulfill His plans. We would be spared much anxiety if we always sought to know His thoughts. When we let Him lead us and leave the responsibility with Him, our strength is not exhausted with worry and we accomplish His purposes.
Selah: Why is it easy to lose a sincere interest in others’ spiritual growth? What are ways we can increase our concern?


Lover
8:9 If she is a wall, we will build towers of silver on her. If she is a door, we will enclose her with panels of cedar.

The Bridegroom sweetly responds acknowledging His oneness with her. “We will build...we will enclose.” He will not do His work without her but will work with and through her. What is done for this sister, however, will depend upon where she is in relation to Him. The bride would need discernment; not everyone needs the same help to mature spiritually.

“If she is a wall” speaks of one who is mature enough to defend herself from spiritual enemies. Cities with walls were well defended, but cities without walls were defenseless. Spiritual towers will allow her to see the enemy’s tactics. Silver represents redemption. He and  the Bride will teach her to reach others with a redemptive purpose, so she can bring others to salvation.

But if the sister is unstable and easily moved like a door, she will need to be enclosed with boards of cedar. Cedar was an especially strong wood with a pleasing fragrance. It was not likely to decay so was used for building and adorning temples and royal palaces. He will work through His bride to strengthen the sister who is immature.

This will happen when the bride begins to pray specific promises from the Word doing spiritual warfare over her sister. The bride will spend time just being a friend to her little sister so she can see what a mature Christian really is. She will bear her burdens and give her words of hope and encouragement.

We must realize that our every move is being observed. That is how the little sisters are taught. They must see the Christian life lived out—a walk of humility, patience, caring and accountability. And they must be supported by our prayers and encouraged through the Word.
Selah: What “little sister” might God be asking you to help grow deeper in her faith? What are ways you might accomplish this? How are you allowing her to see the victorious Christian life lived out?


Beloved
8:10 I am a wall, and my breasts are like towers. Thus I have become in his eyes like one bringing contentment.

A remarkable confidence now fills her heart. She acknowledges that she is mature and able to protect and bless others. Her breasts like towers speak of her great ability to nurture and give sustenance to many.

She has become one who has grown to a place of maturity, bringing great contentment to Jesus. His heart has longed for His flock to be cared for and protected. Without boasting she could describe her progress as Paul did: “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). Jesus wants to bring each of us to the place where we know we satisfy Him and that He has pleasure in us.

The maiden had this confidence because she had a witness in her heart that she was doing the will of God. We expend much emotional energy when we condemn ourselves and live with self-doubt and uncertainty. He wants us to enjoy a radiant confidence that we are living with pure motives and serving Jesus with all our hearts. This is gloriously possible after He has put His seal on us by pouring His passionate love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
Selah: Despite our failures, we can live with a desire to please Him and believe that our desire gives Him pleasure. Why does it please Jesus for us to think of ourselves as bringing Him contentment?


8:11 Solomon had a vineyard in Baal Hamon; he let out his vineyard to tenants. Each one was to bring for its fruit a thousand shekels of silver.
8:12 But my own vineyard is mine to give; the thousand shekels are for you, O Solomon, and two hundred are for those who tend its fruit.

“Baal Hamon” means “place of a multitude.” Jesus has many servants, and just as Solomon leased his vineyard, Jesus entrusted the responsibility of His vineyard to a multitude of tenants (Matthew 21:33). He gives each of us a certain area of His vineyard to tend for Him.
She knows that each one will give an account one day to the King for her assignment (Luke 12:31-48). “Each of us will give an account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12). “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

Silver represents redemption, so the fruit He expects will be works for the purpose of seeing souls redeemed. Each must bring a thousand pieces of silver. The “thousand” is a complete number that speaks of the full measure that God requires according to what was entrusted to each person.

The Bride says before her Bridegroom, “I am ready to give account to You because I have given You the thousand that You asked for.” She has given all He expected from her. In 1:6 she was made a keeper of vineyards though she neglected her own. Now after becoming His beloved Bride, her own vineyard is full and mature, bearing magnificent fruit.

Her vineyard was a way she could give to Him. All we do is always to be our personal expression of love to Jesus. His reward is enough. As Oswald Chambers said, “If you are devoted to the cause of humanity, you will soon be exhausted...but if the mainspring of your service is love for Jesus, you can serve men though they treat you like a doormat.”

She acknowledges that those who “keep its fruit,” or her fellow workers, will have a portion in her fruitfulness when they stand before God. She fulfilled her calling as she worked in team relationship with others. Many helped her in her vineyard. Each worker on the team will share in her reward in eternity. The 200 shekels of silver speak of the portion of reward that her co-workers will receive on the last day.
Selah: “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people” (Hebrews 6:10). What do you think your response will be on the day God hands out rewards in heaven? Do you believe you are giving Him the full measure He expects?

Lover
8:13 You who dwell in the gardens with friends in attendance, let me hear your voice!

The journey ends with a happy exchange of love between the maiden and her Bridegroom. He affirms her as one who is still dwelling in the midst of God’s garden serving His people. He speaks of companions. Jesus loves to have us speak with others about Him. He even has an angel taking notes! “Then those whose lives honored God got together and talked it over.

God saw what they were doing and listened in. A book was opened in God’s presence and minutes were taken of the meeting, with the names of the God-fearers written down, all the names of those who honored God’s name” (Malachi 3:16 The Message). Her companions eagerly listen for her voice because they recognize and appreciate her wisdom.

He has a final desire filling His heart, “Let Me hear your voice...” He longs to hear her voice in worship and intercession as well as teaching and evangelism. We satisfy His longing when we pray. Every time we whisper, “I love You, Lord,” we are bringing the most precious sound to His ears. Our cry for revival is a love song to Jesus.

Jesus appreciates our good deeds, our witnessing, our teaching a Bible class, but if those activities crowd out our time alone with Him, He misses us and feels neglected.
His final words caution us to never allow busyness, offenses, tensions and pressures drown out our daily devotion to minister to His heart.
Selah: How does knowing your time with God immensely pleases Him change the way you view your daily devotions?


Beloved
8:14 Come away, my lover, and be like a gazelle or like a young stag on the spice-laden mountains.

The Song ends showing that her prayer in 1:4 to be drawn to her Beloved has been answered. Now she is leaping and running with Him. She is echoing the very words He once spoke to draw her to the mountains. She desires for Him to steal away and run with her.

In 2:17, she had asked her Lover to turn and go without her to the “rugged hills.” Now that she has tasted the pure joy of His love, she is eager to go with Him.

In 4:6, she willingly chose to go with Him to the mountain of myrrh, a place that she knew would involve sacrifice.

But now, she recognizes there will be mountains ahead, but she does not care! Her journey with Jesus will be filled with sweet joys because the mountains will be fragrant with His presence. The bride has discovered the indescribable joy of being loved by the King whose love knows no bounds. She does not fear the journey ahead for it will be through “spice-laden mountains.”

When we learn the sweetness of communion with Jesus and the joys of receiving His love, our fears melt away in anticipation of a life He lovingly chooses for us.
Selah: The maiden’s journey from being merely a worker for Jesus to being a lover of Jesus started with a desire to be kissed by His Word. Do you know the joy of allowing Jesus to cherish you by receiving His love through Scripture?