Whom My Soul Loveth
A young bride sits alone with her heavy heart, unable to control the tears that overflow her reddened eyes and flood down her cheeks. Suddenly she rises and rushes out into the street. The dense darkness of that midnight hour matches the gloom that engulfs her soul as she wanders through the broad ways of the city. When the surprised watchmen find her she reveals the cause of her anguish by asking, “Saw ye Him whom my soul loveth?”
The scene, of course, is from the Song of Solomon, chapter two, and is the only sad note in this otherwise sweet song of love. Her’s is a QUESTION OF DISMAY, for she is awakened to discover that her Beloved is gone. Something has brought about a separation between them while she was asleep and dreaming that all was well.
It is a picture so often reprinted in our Christian life, when the heart becomes cold and we no longer enjoy the sweetness of the presence of the Lord. The tragedy is that while we are in such listless lethargy we presume that He is still with us. Samson, after sleeping with his head on the lap of Delilah, assayed to go out as at other times, yet wist not that the Lord was departed from him. (Judges 16:20).
In the midst of her darkness a ray of hope is seen when the Bride becomes aware of His absence, for this begets within her a desire to seek Him, and seek Him at once. In her heart she so loves Him that she can not be happy without Him.
Her anxious search is rewarded, moreover, for she says, “I found Him!” When the believer longs for the Lord, He will soon be found. We have assurance of this in Jeremiah 29:13, “Ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye search for Me with all your heart.”
Finding Him, and afresh becoming occupied with His loveliness, the Bride gives way to an EXCLAMATION OF DELIGHT, “Saw ye Him whom my soul loveth!” She wants others also to be occupied with Him and to admire His beauty.
Following the end of World War Two, several troop trains were arriving in the City and crowds of friends and relatives were gathered to welcome the boys from the battlefronts. One young woman fairly danced with excitement, but not because of the presence of the mayor and other civic officials; neither was she interested in the brass band heading the parade, nor the high army officers with their medals and braid. She had eyes for only one young man in khaki and she scanned line after line of marching troops in search of him. Suddenly she shouted, “There he is! Do you see him?” Then she darted off to greet her lover.
“Who Is Thy Beloved?” (S. Of S. 3:6)
The enthusiasm of the Bride stirs those who are about her to ask, “Who is this? Who is the One you so love?” It is a QUESTION OF DESIGNATION, and easy for her to answer, for there is only One who is the object of her affection, there is only one “Beloved” in her life.
Some have suggested that the story behind the book is that the Bride is in love with a humble shepherd lad, from whom she has been taken by King Solomon, but her heart still yearns for the one who feeds his flock. For my part, I prefer to think that the King who is mentioned, in all his glory and majesty, is the same one who assumes the guise of the humble Shepherd to lead his sheep to pasture. Surely it fits the picture of our Beloved, who is the Lord of Glory and yet the Lowly One, the Good Shepherd of the sheep. It should melt our heart to think that He who fills the Throne of God above is the One who came down in humility to us, selecting us as the object of His heart’s affection.
“What Is Thy Beloved?” (S. Of S. 5:9)
But for those in the world, who have never come to know the Lord Jesus Christ, there is no beauty in Him that He should he desired. They therefore enquire, “What is thy Beloved more than another beloved?” This is a QUESTION OF DESCRIPTION, and the Bride responds with one of the most majestic passages in the whole book.
“My Beloved,” says she, “Is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.” Then she uses simile after simile as she describes Him from His head to His legs and back to His countenance.
When she comes to His mouth, she is lost for language, for she can find nothing to compare with that. Instead, she cries, “His mouth… His mouth… Oh, His mouth is most sweet!” But why is His mouth sweeter than all? Remember, her first desire, at the beginning of chapter one, was, “Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth.” In this present day kisses are given so carelessly and thoughtlessly by some that the true meaning is lost. However, in Scripture a kiss is a holy and intimate expression of love. it suggests that there is no ill feeling, no estrangement, nothing unforgiven; there is no other love, no com-love, no competitor for the heart’s devotion.
We cannot enjoy the kisses of His mouth and the sweetness of His love and fellowship if there is unconfessed sin in our life, or something of the world taking His place in our affection. However, for the soul in close communion with the Lord, truly His mouth is most sweet.
“Where Is Thy Beloved?” (S. Of S. 6:1)
Her portrayal of the loveliness of the Bridegroom creates in others a longing to find Him as well, and so there is a QUESTION OF DESIRE: “Whither is thy Beloved gone… that we may seek Him with thee?” The Bride’s reply is, “My Beloved is gone down into His garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.” (6:2).
What a picture this is of the Lord Jesus Christ in the midst of His worshipping people! The once waste howling wilderness, overrun with thorns and thistles, He has purchased with His own blood; He has hedged it about and cared for it, so that one could say, “Ye are God’s tillage.” (1 Corinthians 3:9, Margin), or as another translation puts it, “Ye are God’s tilled field.”
From this garden of spices and lilies there arises the blended fragrance that delights His heart. One gives forth a song of praise, another a prayer of worship, while every heart that says “Amen” at the giving of thanks contributes to that sweet-smelling savour. Here, in the circle of His own redeemed people, is where the Beloved One delights to be found. “For where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20).
May His presence be so manifest in our midst that others who are seeking Him, when they come amongst us, may exclaim, “I sought Him… I found Him.”