What does a woman think about herself when she is in the best of all possible love relationships? Perhaps the answers that come to mind would vary greatly depending on the woman. Another important factor is the imagination of the person answering the question. Can you think of a better world than you have ever known? Allow yourself to be taken up into the best of all possible realms. If a woman in that great place is in the best of all possible romantic relationships then she would know herself to be supremely and delightfully loved. To know love is to be greatly blessed.
The woman in the love poem we call “Song of Solomon” knows that she is loved, and she boldly tells the truth, “I am a rose, a lily.” To be willing to say great and true things about yourself requires a sense of freedom and an environment of safety and affirmation. This is not boasting, it is just the truth, and in this best of all possible kingdoms, the truth is proclaimed without shame or fear of reproach.
The king of this place has established the truth here. He is the one who has added his voice to what everyone knows. Yes, she is a lily, far above any competing object of his affection. He calls her his love. She knows her man, the king, to be like an apple tree in the forest, a most surprising and excellent discovery. Just to be in his shadow and to long for his fruitfulness is a very wholesome delight, and she is not ashamed to speak of this desire. His love for her has created an environment of beauty and protection, a place for a great feast, with a banner over her that is his love.
She is overwhelmed with the glory of this place and this man, and surely she would simply be crushed by the wonder of such a perfect affection if it were not for the food of that land, and for the strong hand of her lover, his left hand supporting her head, and his right hand embracing her body.
Love like this is so powerful that it should not be awakened until the right time. It is such a good gift that it must not be stirred up too much until the perfect moment arrives. Such a love should not be forced upon her. She should desire it greatly herself, and that takes time, so that desire has an opportunity to take root and blossom within her.
Consider the beloved man together with the woman who has become so willing to admire him. Where did he come from? No one can say. We hear of his leaping over mountains like a great gazelle in order to be with her. He calls to her as he looks through her window. His voice speaks, and it is the one voice that her heart longs to hear. He urges her to rise up to meet him. The winter is over, and the flowers are on the new earth. Every breath is full of the life of new creation, and he must enjoy it all with her. Can you smell the freshness of the fruit of the earth? Do you want to walk in that land with him?
It is not enough for this king to see his new world. He must see her face as they explore it together. He wants to hear her voice, because it is sweet to his ear, and her face is very lovely to look at. Is there some troubling enemy that would destroy the vineyard in that place? Don’t be afraid of such things. Such little foxes will be caught. No one will destroy this moment that these lovers have together.
Her man is a forever lover, and she is his forever love. That’s why she can say, “My beloved is mine, and I am his.” They started off together with the freshness of morning. They were with each other all day and night. Now he is off to the place where he goes. He does not run away in secret. She blesses him with her words, as if her wish were required to show the perfection of the journey ahead of him. She says, “Turn, my beloved, be like a gazelle or a young stag on cleft mountains.”
There is something planted by God within a woman, and even within a man, that wants to be loved this well and this much. It is fitting that we who are created in the image of God would desire a world that is worthy of His perfection. That world was costly to win, but our Lover is very worthy, and He has paid the price that was necessary that we might be able to enjoy life with Him forever.
He came from heaven, and when He had completed His costly work on earth, He returned to heaven. His intention is not only our rescue, but also the renewal of all things. His banner over us is love. His love is in us even now, as we walk in the light of that new land. He is there before us, we are in Him, and by His Spirit He is in us. His left hand is holding up your head, and His right hand embraces you.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Father God, You have a wonderful plan for Your Son and His bride. There is a great celebration coming soon. There are moments of intimacy in the days ahead. Our Husband comes bounding across the mountains for us. Is there a Lover who truly loves us with such wonderful holiness and with perfect power? Are we truly the beautiful one of Your Son? Is it His voice that we hear in Your Word calling to us? Suddenly a new and glorious world has been born in us and all around us, and there is hope. We belong to Your Son, O God. We are His and He is ours.