Song of Solomon
“Sick with love” is lovesickness, and is the equivalent of being exhausted with happiness. Such was the experience of the saints of all ages when they came into a full realization of the Lord’s special presence. It is that which Dwight L. Moody experienced when he was so overwhelmed with joy that he felt he could not contain such torrents, and he entreated the Lord to restrain the flow. For the joys of His presence can surpass the limits of what we can contain. The capacity to enjoy the Lord must needs be of His enabling; otherwise it is all too much for mortal men and cannot be contained by us. … Intense spiritual feeling such as this can produce physical exhaustion. In this condition the maiden sank back with delight and ecstasy, calling upon any around to support her. Her Beloved Himself answered the appeal, putting His loving arm around her and holding up her head:
“His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me” (2:6).
The left hand under the head implies that she would turn to look up to Him but needs support to do so. The right hand embracing describes the natural way of embracing a person. The idea here is that of the protection and support of His love. The emphasis is not so much on the supporting strength alone, but on the supporting strength which is derived from intimate association. In other words, there is need for His sustaining grace that she may be equal to bearing the love with which He embraces her.
“I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the fields, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please” (2:7).
Roes are of the gazelle family; “my” is not found in the Hebrew text, but has been inserted by the translators; and “he” should read “she” (or, better still, “it”), which would fit the context better. This is the King, not the maiden, speaking; for to “charge,” or adjure or command most solemnly, is in keeping with the true characteristics and authority of a king.
This concludes the first part of the book and is a description of spiritual experience. It is the Lord’s desire that His followers should find rest. At this present stage, the goal of such tranquility of spirit and general security maybe said to have been attained. Coming out from the inner chamber and then being brought forward into the house of wine may be described as a very smooth journey. The Lord now wishes her to rest awhile.
… “The King’s solemn charge in this manner speaks of this maiden as a victim of lovesickness – exhausted by the exertions of devotion. In such a state she should do nothing but wait awhile. She is in the hand of the Lord, and He would not permit these others to disturb her. …
Such a one as this maiden needs to rest a moment until this period of emotional exhaustion passes. She should wait until she is stirred again of her own desires to seek further experience. Others who may imagine she is immature are not to try to help her nor seek to stir her affections with fleshly energies.
The lessons she has learned have now come to a conclusion for the time being. Devotion has reached a certain climax. Let all things, then, keep silence before Him. “But the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him” (Habakkuk 2:20). He, the Lord, is silently loving you. Zephaniah 3:17 says that He will rest in His love for you.
The summary of this first part of the Song is this: First, in this opening section she sees the value of the Cross, but not the full reality of the life of resurrection nor the power of it. Second, the peril in this first phase is that of being over-indulgent in a form of inward communion which leaves her exhausted. Third, submission to the Cross and the true meaning of dedication with its proper application to life is still unknown to her. Since there has been no real proving of her, she has not yet actually taken up the cross. She still has not walked far enough in that way which brings the testing of the cross. Fourth, still another peril is that she only realizes as yet how precious the Lord has been to her. In other words, she has only been on the receiving end of the fruit of the Lord’s labor on her behalf, but has not yet allowed the Lord to claim the fruits of His labor in her. That is, she has the Lord but the Lord has not yet gained all of her. In short, this first section is merely Christ for me. I am not yet wholly for Christ.
To hunger, to seek, to thirst
Awaken first love, come awake
And do as you did, at first
Spirit of the living God come fall afresh on me
Come wake me from my sleep
Blow through the caverns of my soul
Pour in me to overflow
Come and fill this place
Let Your glory now invade
Spirit come and fill this place
Let your glory now invade
"But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:
'Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.'”