Chapters 6-7

I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine (6:3).

As we look at these two chapters we are reminded that they are part of a larger section describing the interruption in the relationship between the bride and bridegroom, followed by the exultant reuniting of chapter 8.

As chapter 5 closes, the bride, in search of her lover, is describing him in glorious terms. And when she thus praises him her friends turn again and say, “Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women? whither is thy beloved turned aside? that we may seek him with thee” (6:1). In other words, “Where has he gone? How is it that you have let him slip out of your sight if he is so much to you?” Is that not a proper question? If Christ is so precious to you, if He means so much to you, why is it that you so easily allow fellowship to be broken? Why do you so readily permit other things to come in and hinder communion?

And then instantly as she bears testimony to him, she recalls the last words he said to her before that eventful night, “I am come into my garden” (5:1). Her own heart was the garden—she knows where he is. She says, “My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies” (6:2). And instantly he speaks; he is right there. He had been waiting and watching for her to come to the place where he was everything to her soul. At once he exclaims, “Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners” (4). And then through all the rest of the chapter he praises her. He expresses his appreciation of her as she had expressed hers of him.

In chapter seven, verses 1-9, the bridegroom uses one beautiful figure after another to tell all his delight in her. It is a wonderful thing to know that the Lord has far more delight in His people than we ourselves have ever had in Him. Some day we will enjoy Him to the fullest. Some day He will be everything to us. But as long as we are here, we never appreciate Him as much as He appreciates us. As she listens to his expression of love, her heart is assured; she has the sense of restoration and fellowship. In verse ten she says, “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.” In other words, he has not turned against her. When we turn from Him, the natural thought of our hearts is that He has turned against us, but He has not. If He allows us to go through trial, it is like Joseph testing his brethren in order to see if there was genuine repentance of sin.

Three times in this little book we have similar expressions to this, “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.” In 2:16 we read, “My beloved is mine, and I am his.” That is very precious. Are you able to say, “My beloved is mine, and I am His?” In other words, Have you given yourself to Him? Have you trusted Him as your Savior? If you have, He has given Himself to you. Just the very moment you give yourself to Him in faith, that moment He gives Himself to you and comes to dwell in your heart. This is the assurance of salvation: Christ is mine, and I am His. And then in 6:3, she says, “I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.” That is communion. I belong to him and he belongs to me, that we may enjoy one another together. And then in 7:10 we read, “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.” Every doubt and every fear is gone. She has found her satisfaction in him and he finds his in her. What a wonderful picture of the communion between the Christian and his Savior.

Is this only a picture, or is it a reality in our lives? Is it not a fact that so often we do the very things the Shulamite did? So often we turn a deaf ear to the Bridegroom’s voice. We can be so busy even with Christian work that we do not take time for Him. I can be so occupied with preaching that I do not have time for prayer. I can be so taken up with preparing sermons that I do not have time to feed on the Word. You may ask, “Why, how can you prepare sermons without feeding on the Word?” It is one thing to study the Bible in order to prepare an address that I am to give to other people. It is another thing to sit down quietly in the presence of the Lord and say, “Blessed Savior, as I open Your Book I want to hear Your voice speaking to my heart. I want You to talk to me, to express Yourself to me in tones of tender love.” As I read His Word in that attitude, He speaks to my soul; as I lift my heart to Him in prayer, I talk with Him. That is communion.

Do not be content with the knowledge of salvation; do not be content to know that your soul is eternally secure; do not be content to know that you are serving Him in some little measure. Remember, there is something that means more to Him than all your service, and that is to sit at His feet and delight your soul in His love. As you read again the bride’s description of her bridegroom in the fifth chapter it will remind you of the fullness there is in Christ. It seems as though every figure is exhausted to show His wonder.

Join all the glorious names
Of wisdom, love, and power,
That ever mortals knew,
That angels ever bore;
All are too poor to speak His worth,
Too poor to set my Saviour forth.

Isaac Watts

Oh, to have the heart so occupied with Him that we lose sight of everything else, and Christ alone will satisfy every longing of our souls!