Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Draw Me And We Will Run After Thee

Lord willing, I plan on doing a series of devotions on the Song of Solomon. There is so much in this book, and everytime I come back to it, I understand a bit more of it, because I am more familiar with all the other passages the author (especially the Holy Spirit, the one who moved King Solomon to pen this song down) was referring to - of course you will find this is true with all other Bible study, but it is especially applicable when studying out portions of Scripture that use symbolism. If we let the Author show us from other passages of His Word what He means by each symbol (based on usage and context), then we have a better idea of what He means here as well. It is a wonderful picture of Christ and His bride, the church. This book might have originally been applied (by the earlier readers) to the relationship between the Heavenly Father and Israel, His spiritual wife, but the symbolism is even more exact and fitting to Christ and the New Testament church.

To make it easier for you to find other devotions and studies on certain themes in this blog, look at the bottom of each post, and you will see Labels that indicate the main themes for each study. If you click on the one you are interested in, you will find other studies on the same general themes - unfortunately, they just load up all on one page and do not give you the option to choose which study you want specifically, though you can skim through the List Of All Studies In 2006 to find the ones you are most interested in (Note: from this page, you will find links to other Table of Contents for each series, studies from 2007, etc.). If you hold down the shift key and left-click the mouse, you will open the link in a new window (this is a good shortcut to memorize as it will work on all your web browsing), and you will not have to keep hitting Back in your browser everytime you check a new link out, you can just X-out the window when you are finished viewing it. As I have marked my series on Genesis with that label, so too I will mark this series of devotionals with "Song Of Solomon" to make it easier to find the other ones that use portions of that book as a springboard for further study. Wrestling Until The Day Break marks the first study in this blog that refers specifically to this book. When I have put together several in this series, then I can add links to each post tying them together (like I did with the Genesis series).

Draw Me And We Will Run After Thee

Like any other part of the Word of God, when I come to the Song of Solomon and dig deeper, I am always learning new things, gleaning new things - but in this book, these new things that come to my attention always seem to stir my heart, quicken my devotion, and strengthen my walk with the Lord. As Matthew Henry states in his commentary on the Song of Solomon (I highly encourage you to especially study out his commentary on this book of the Bible, as it truly opens it up), "[W]hen the meaning is found out, it will be of admirable use to excite pious and devout affections in us; and the same truths which are plainly laid down in other scriptures when they are extracted out of this come to the soul with a more pleasing power. When we apply ourselves to the study of this book we must not only, with Moses and Joshua, put off our shoe from off our foot, and even forget that we have bodies, because the place where we stand is holy ground, but we must, with John, come up hither, must spread our wings, take a noble flight, and soar upwards, till by faith and holy love we enter into the holiest, for this is no other than the house of God and this is the gate of heaven."

1:4 Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee.

There are two applications we can make from this first part of Scripture: the Lord drawing us to Him to be saved, and the Lord drawing us to Him for fellowship. Notice that it is God Himself which takes the first action.

1) Drawn to Christ for salvation.

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

This is probably the most well-known verse in this regard, however it is not indicating that God only draws a select few that He has pre-chosen or elected (as Calvinists would have us belief).

Yes, the Lord must draw us to Himself for salvation - but who does He draw?

John 12:31-33 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.

Cross-reference that with the following passage about Jesus dying for our sins - this is indicating His death on the cross, being lifted up and crucified:

John 3:14-15 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

The Word of God states that if Jesus is crucified, all men will be drawn to Him. How will that drawing take place? Through the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the preaching of the Gospel:

John 16:7-14 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Before anyone can be saved, the Holy Spirit must first do His inward work of conviction of sin and enlightening man to understand the Gospel and the Scriptural testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ, the only Saviour, and the Gospel must be preached - or else how can they call upon the Saviour to be saved, if they have never heard of Him?

Romans 10:13-15 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

1 Peter 1:22-23 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

The agents of our salvation are the Holy Spirit and the Word of God working together - without either one we cannot be saved - and the medium of our salvation is our faith. The Word of God and the Holy Spirit must first do their work - we must be drawn first - then we respond by faith (ie. trusting and relying on God's Word about the Saviour and His gift of eternal life), or we harden our hearts and reject the message, like Pharaoh did.

John 3:3-5 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (Throughout the Scriptures, water is often a symbol of the Word of God. See Ephesians 5:26)

Studying this theme out today, I found this passage quite interesting:

Luke 15:1 Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.

The publicans and sinners - those who realized they were lost and in need of salvation - drew near to Jesus to hear Him, then Jesus goes on to tell those listening to His Word that He was seeking them first! (See all three parables - I will deal more with the Shepherd seeking the sheep in a future study in this series.)

Luke 15:3-7 And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

He sought us first and then calls us to Himself:

Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Draw the lost, Lord, to hear the saving message of salvation!

2) Drawn to Christ for fellowship.

In the Scriptures, eating together was symbolic of fellowshipping with one another, as they often shared their hearts and themselves with their meals.

Notice it is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself who is first calling us to fellowship:

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

In this Song, we also see Him doing likewise:

...the king hath brought me into his chambers...

Song of Solomon 2:3-4 As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.

Psalms 45:15 With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king's palace.

Song of Solomon 2:16 My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.

Notice in verse 2 of this chapter that the lilies are the believers - and here the Lord Jesus Christ is feeding - ie. fellowshipping - among them, fellowshipping in their midst.

Song of Solomon 6:2 My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies. (For a little more commentary on comparing believers to lilies and the meaning of this verse, read He Gathers His Lilies.)

Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

In a future study, I will also present more on this theme of the Lord seeking us for fellowship. Consider this study an introduction of sorts.

In the latter days, the Lord God is the one who will draw the leaders of His people back to Himself (the context of this chapter is referring to God working in the midst of the nation of Israel during the tribulation and turning their captivity again).

Jeremiah 30:18-22 Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob's tents, and have mercy on his dwellingplaces; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof. And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small. Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them. And their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them; and I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto me: for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me? saith the LORD. And ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

How does the Lord draw us?

With Lovingkindness:

Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.

With Bands of Love:

Hosea 11:4 I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them.

1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.

Draw us, Lord, and we will run after Thee!

August 24th/06
Jerry Bouey

For a list of studies that use the Song of Solomon as the springboard:

Song Of Solomon

1 comment:

Kate said...

I'm looking forward to your series, Bro. Jerry! This is truly a blessing to me!

"Notice in verse 2 of this chapter that the lilies are the believers - and here the Lord Jesus Christ is feeding - ie. fellowshipping - among them, fellowshipping in their midst."

What a lovely picture God has painted for us!!!

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