We are COMMISSIONED to witness JESUS CHRIST to OTHERS
July 14 Bible Reading: Song of Solomon Chapters 4-6
"Where has your beloved gone, O fairest among women? Where has your beloved turned aside, that we may seek him with you? My beloved has gone to his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed his flock in the gardens, and to gather lilies. I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine. He feeds his flock among the lilies." (Song 6:1-3)
In the above passage, the Shulamite and the daughters of Jerusalem are conversing with one another. In the Christological interpretation, the Shulamite is the bride (the Church) who is witnessing about her beloved (Christ) to the daughters of Jerusalem (the world). What we see here is that the daughters of Jerusalem see the intimacy of the Shulamite with her beloved and ask her for the whereabouts of her beloved. They express an ardent desire to seek her beloved since they conclude that she knows something about her beloved that they do not know. That may be the reason why they ask the second question, “Where is your beloved that we may seek Him like you do? We want to know Him like you do. We want what you have.”
Actually, the answer provided by the Shulamite in 5:10-16, has caused the daughters of Jerusalem to change the question from "What is He?" to "Where can we find Him?" They are no longer content to see her beloved at a distance. In fact, they ask the same question that the Shulamite herself had asked her beloved in 1:7, "Where you feed your flock?" We should also understand that the daughters of Jerusalem refer to Christ as "your beloved" because He is not their beloved yet. They continue to see the Shulamite who is the bride of Christ as a godly person filled with God's presence, and addresses her as "O fairest among women?" (6:1)
Now the daughters of Jerusalem want to seek her beloved with the Shulamite. In other words, the world wants to seek the Lord Jesus Christ along with the Church. The bride's proclamation of the beauty of Jesus (see 5:10-16) has stirred them to seek after Jesus with passion. By speaking of the glory of Jesus Christ, the bride has been able to attract others to Him (see 1:4; Mal. 3:16; Mt. 5:14-16). They are now willing to let go of all their “other beloveds” in order to see the splendor of Jesus!
In the ancient Near East a garden represents a place of love and beauty. The Shulamite is the true garden of love for her beloved (4:16; 5:1). Jesus is in His Church and is building it as He has proclaimed before: “I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Mt. 16:18). The Bride teaches them where they can find Jesus in an intimate way. Jesus dwells in His garden to gather and feed His people. His garden speaks of the worldwide Church which is made up of local churches. There is only one Church in the earth, but there are many diverse beds of spices. Spices speak of manifestations of grace, and each ministry is a unique spice. Each "spice bed" in the garden has a rich fragrance of Christ!
Jesus loves the whole Church, and is working to build it today just like tending His “garden”. The flock is the people of God, and the lilies represent the produce of the land. In speaking of Jesus Christ to others, she regains her own assurance and grounds her convictions on His love towards her, more than on hers towards Him. "Yes, He loves the people; all His saints are in Your hand; they sit down at Your feet; everyone receives Your words" (Deut. 33:3). So, the bride implies an invitation to the daughters of Jerusalem to enter His spiritual Church, and become lilies in His garden.
In the similar manner, today we are commissioned to witness Jesus Christ to a dying world around us: "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen. (Matt. 28:18-20).