Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Song of Solomon, Day 25

Episode Resources

Get more from this study. Meditate through the "Making It Personal" questions located at the bottom of the transcript.

Leslie Basham: Are you longing for Jesus to return? Here’s Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: This is the cry of every true believer’s heart: “Come quickly, Lord Jesus. We long for You. We look for You. Come quickly from those mountains of spices and take me with You so that our love can be fully consummated.”

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth for Friday, March 25, 2016.

A lot of people secretly wonder why God put the Song of Solomon in the Bible, but if you’ve been with us for the last several weeks, you know that this book is a rich resource that will cause your passion for Christ to grow.

Nancy’s been taking us through the book chapter by chapter in the series, “How to Fall and Stay in Love with Jesus.”

Nancy: Well, we come today to the point, some of you weren’t sure we ever would, and that is the end of the Song of Solomon, the end of this amazing story. I was just talking with a woman on the break before this session, and she said,

This whole thing of the love of God . . . it takes your breath away. It just kind of reminds me of standing at the back of the church and looking down the aisle at the other end you see the beloved that you’ve waited for, and you’re going to walk toward him to get married. It just takes your breath away.

And it does. I hope that that’s something we never get over the wonder of. And so, Father, You’ve been good to speak to us throughout this series and open up Your ways and Your heart to us and to show us Your incredible, amazing love. And now as we approach these final verses, again, we just ask You to be our teacher, Holy Spirit, to show us Your heart and to give us a glimpse of what is in store for those who love You, for those who eagerly await Your coming. And we pray it in Jesus’ name, amen.

In the previous session, we looked at the passage where the bride is concerned for the maturity and the wellbeing of her little sister, and what can we do to help her grow up, to help her become mature, to help her get ready for marriage. And now as we come to verse 11 of chapter 8, we come back to this recurring theme that’s been all the way through the Song, the theme of vineyards and fruitfulness.

The bride says in verse 11,

Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon: [that’s a place that we don’t know what or where it is, okay?] He had a vineyard. He leased the vineyard to keepers; everyone was to bring for its fruit a thousand silver coins.

Now, she’s speaking here of a vineyard that Solomon owned that he let out to tenants, and the tenants were able to keep some of the fruit as a reward for their labor. But in exchange for that, being able to live off the land, they were required to give 1,000 pieces of silver to Solomon who’s the owner of the vineyard. This description, I think, represents law’s demand. It’s what you have to pay. It’s a requirement of the law that Solomon be paid by those who reaped the fruit and partook of the fruit of his vineyards.

And it’s a picture for us of what it means to labor under the law, being motivated by duty or by obligation or by fear of what will happen if we don’t perform—law’s demand. These people worked in this vineyard as tenants. They were keepers. They had a requirement. The law required that they bring this thousand pieces of silver to give to the owner of the vineyard. It wasn’t that he didn’t deserve it. It was just that they were required. It was an obligation to pay.

Well, the bride’s relationship with her beloved is totally different from those tenants who labor out of law’s demand, and she describes that in the next verse, verse 12. She says, “My own vineyard is before me.” Now, the first one was Solomon had a vineyard. Now she says, “I have a vineyard. My own vineyard is before me. [This is mine.] You, O Solomon, may have a thousand, and those who tend its fruit two hundred.”

So she says, “I have a vineyard. It’s mine.” But she also recognizes that, apart from Solomon, she wouldn’t have anything. He’s the one who gave her the vineyard. He’s the one who has cultivated it and tended it and kept it, and she wants him to receive the benefit and the profit from that vineyard.

So she says, “It’s my vineyard, but I want you, Solomon, to have a thousand.” Now, that’s how your translations read: a thousand, but actually, literally, it should be “the thousand.” Solomon, you may have the thousand. I think this implies that she wants all the yield from her vineyard to go to Solomon. It’s all his. It’s his vineyard. I mean, he gave it to her, so it’s hers, but she says, “It’s yours. I want you to have it all.” She doesn’t keep back any of it for herself.

And she’s saying, in effect, “Though I don’t have to give you anything for this vineyard, I want to. Why should I give you less than law’s demand?” What she’s illustrating here is a picture of love’s delight. You give back to Him not because you have to, not because you’re obligated to, but because you want to. You do it freely. You do it voluntarily. Her vineyard is really her life, and she wants to give everything she has, everything she is to Solomon. Not because she has to, but voluntarily. It’s a gift that’s motivated by love and grace and gratitude.

And not only does she give Solomon a thousand, she gives him the proceeds of this vineyard, but she also gives a double tithe to those who have worked to help tend the vineyard. “Those who tend its fruit will get two hundred.” And, again, here’s the same motivation. She’s not doing this because it’s out of coercion or obligation. This is not law’s demand. But she gives freely. This is love’s delight.

She recognizes their labors and their part in helping to make her vineyard fruitful and productive, and she wants them to reap the reward for their efforts. So she says, “I want to pay you generously. I want to tip you generously.” This is more than a tip. This is a very generous response to those who have tended the vineyard.

So she apparently is keeping nothing back for herself. She’s giving all the proceeds to Solomon who gave her the vineyard in the first place, but she’s saving just enough to give to those who helped to tend the vineyard.

Here’s a woman who is motivated, not by duty, not by fear, but by sheer joy of being related to this king who lets her have this vineyard. She has surrendered herself voluntarily, all that she has, all that she is, to him, and she wants him to reap the fruit that she has borne for him.

Again, it's a picture as our love for Christ matures. We serve Him; we give to Him; we give our offerings and our tithes and our gifts and our time and ourself—not because we have to, not because we’re obligated to, but because we love Him because He has loved us, because He’s been so generous to us, because we want Him to be blessed.

Well, verses 13 and 14, we come to the final stanza of the Song of Solomon, and the bride and her beloved each have a final word for each other.

Now, when you watch a romantic movie, you’re used to these amazing endings where the lovers walk off together into the sunset. Right? That’s how it ends? This story ends a little differently. It ends up with the two lovers aware that they are still separated and longing for the day when they can be together forever, never to be parted again.

We’ve seen over these last weeks in the Song of Solomon the story of Christ and His Bride. Christ who came to this earth, who sought out and purchased a Bride for Himself, who made Himself known to us, but then who left, went back to heaven, and has left us here on earth. So where are we today? We’re sitting here on earth. Where is Christ today? He’s in heaven, seated at the right hand of the Father.

Now, He made a promise that He would come back; that He’s preparing a place for us; that He would come and get us; He would take us to Himself. But right now, we’re separated. We are, but we aren’t. We have Him. He’s given us an engagement ring—what’s that? The seal, the guarantee of our inheritance yet to come—it’s the Holy Spirit. Right? So we have that promise. We have the Holy Spirit who’s been given to us. But as long as we’re here on this earth in these bodies, we’re absent from the Lord that we love.

We love One; we worship One; we serve One that we can’t see, that we can’t touch, that we can’t feel. We know Him by faith, but we’re still separated. And our hearts long for the day when we will be together forever with Him in heaven, in person, with Him. And that’s the longing that’s expressed in these last two verses of the Song of Solomon. Let me read them, and then we’ll talk about them.

Verse 13, the beloved says, “You who dwell in the gardens, [speaking to his bride] the companions listen for your voice—let me hear it!”

And then the bride says, “Make haste, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spices” (v. 14).

Let’s back up and look at verse 13. The beloved says to his bride, “You who dwell in the gardens, the companions listen for your voice—let me hear it!” You who dwell in the gardens—now, again, where is the beloved? He’s away.

Our Beloved is in heaven. And where are we? We’re here on this earth living in the gardens of this earth—some more beautiful than others. We're tending this earth as we were given to do from the very beginning of Genesis and we're looking for that day when we’re in that final great garden of paradise, paradise restored. But in the meantime, it’s paradise fallen, broken. It’s a broken garden. It’s a garden with thorns and thistles. We tend it; we work it, and we get frustrated in it, but that’s where we live. We dwell in these gardens here on this earth.

And he says, “You who dwell on this earth, here in these gardens, the companions listen for your voice,” he says to this bride, “Let me hear it.” I think these companions are other believers, and we’ve seen them throughout this study. Sometimes they were called the daughters of Jerusalem. They were observers. They were spectators. And these other believers, these companions that we have as we dwell in the gardens, we talk with each other. We listen to each other. We enjoy conversing with each other.

As believers, as companions in the faith, we seek out each other's company, and we want to hear each other's voices. People say to me, "Can you come and speak at our conference? Can you write a book on this? We want to hear your voice." I have companions who say, "I want to hear your voice." And I want to hear the voice of my companions in the faith. I want to hear others speak of the Lord. I want to hear you speak of the Lord.

It reminds me of that verse in Malachi where it says, “Those who feared the Lord spoke often of Him to each other.” That’s a sweet thing, that we should converse together about the things of God.

And so he says, “The companions listen for your voice. You talk to each other. You enjoy that.” But then what does he say? “Let me hear your voice.” He wants to hear her voice. Now, we saw this earlier in this Song, chapter 2, verse 14, where he said, “Oh, my dove, that is in the clefts of the rock, let me see your face, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.” And we talked about how awesome that is, amazing that He would want to see our face, that He would want to hear our voice.

And now he says it again. It’s his very last word to her: “Let me hear your voice.” I think it’s astounding. I never get over the wonder of this that that would be what is on His heart, especially when you think about what we usually talk about to the Lord, how often we whine, how often we have to come back to Him asking forgiveness because we blew it again, how often we come to Him saying, “I need this; I need that,” how often we ask silly, childish questions.

But, do you get frustrated (well, maybe sometimes you do) with your three-year-old asking question after question after question? Yes, you do sometimes, but as a mother, you love hearing your child’s voice. Right? As a Father, as a Parent, He loves hearing our voice. As the Bridegroom, He loves hearing the voice of His Bride. You would think He would get tired of hearing our voice, of hearing.

He’s got angels singing in heaven. Why would He need to hear us singing? The older I get, the more crackly my voice gets, and I’m going, “Why would You want to hear my voice?” My prayers are so weak and anemic and poor. They’re poverty stricken. Why would He want to hear them? But He does.

This has been convicting to me as I’ve been dwelling in this passage in recent weeks, thinking about how much time I spend talking to others about all kinds of things, including about the Lord, and how little I talk to Him.

My good friend Charles Spurgeon has this to say about this verse. He says,

What would a husband say if his wife was seen to be chatty and cheerful to everybody else, but never spoke to him? O believer, will you let the Lord Jesus, as it were tears in his eyes, say to you, "You talk to everybody but to me: you lay yourself out to please everybody but me: you are a charming companion to everybody but me?" Oh, our Beloved, how ill have we treated Thee! How much have we slighted Thee! The text goes like a dagger to my soul, for I have spoken all day long to others, and have had scarce a word for him whom my soul loveth.

Another writer put it this way: “He desires to hear from us often in praise and prayer. Would we be much with one another yet little with him? Would we say all manner of things to our spiritual brethren yet fail to pour out our hearts before him?”

He says, “You who dwell in the gardens, the companions listen for your voice—let me hear it!”

And then in verse 14, the final verse of the Song, the bride responds to her beloved, and she expresses longing that he would come back to join her, that they could be forever united. She says, “Make haste, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spices.”

And we’ve grown to love that term, my beloved, because that’s what she’s called him all through this book. That’s her name for him. It’s a term of affection, a term of intimacy. I can’t help but ask, again, as we come to the close of this book: Do you know Christ as your Beloved? Do you? Do you just know about Him? You go to church. You talk about Him. You sing about Him. You hear about Him. You know others who know Him. But do you know Him?

It’s the difference between religion and Christianity. If you are a Christian, then Christ is your Beloved. But I fear that so many only know about Him. They have religion, but they don’t have Jesus.

Once again, she calls him, “my beloved.” And then she talks about these mountains of spices. “Be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spices.” We’ve seen mountains crop up periodically through the Song of Solomon—four different instances at least.

In chapter 2, we saw the mountains of Bether—the mountains of separation. But now there’s no more separation between them—that’s what she’s longing for, the day when there will be no more separation.

And then in chapter 4, we saw the mountains of the leopards—a picture of these major obstacles that he overcomes by his power.

We saw in chapter 4, the mountain of myrrh—a picture of the death and the burial of Christ before His resurrection.

And now we have the mountains of spices. I think those have to refer to heaven where Christ is at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us, the incense, the prayer that goes up to the throne of the Father, not only the prayers of the believers down here on earth, the prayers of the saints, but the prayers of Christ—the mountains of spices, a picture of heaven.

She says, “You’re in heaven. I’m on earth. Make haste.”

Now, let me say that Christ comes to His people in many different ways. He comes to us through prayer. He comes and ministers to us as we intercede, as He intercedes for us. He comes to us through the ministry of His Spirit. He comes to us through the ministry of His angels. In seasons of revival in the church, He makes His presence known to us in extraordinary ways.

But she wants him to come in a way that there will never again be any barrier or distance between them. This longing is all through the Scripture.

Psalms says it this way: “My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord” (84:2).

And He does. He visits us in sweet ways now. He has visited us today with His presence. Has He not? It’s been sweet. But we look and we long for the day when we will be forever with the Lord, with Him, in His presence, away from any presence of sin, no earthly things holding us down, no flesh holding us down, no barriers between us—just us and the Lord forever together.

And so she says to him, “Make haste. Don’t delay your return.” This is the cry of every true believer’s heart: “Come quickly, Lord Jesus. We long for You. We look for You.” She longs for that day. “Come quickly from those mountains of spices and take me with You so that our love can be fully consummated.”

We sing about it. "Lord, haste the day, the clouds be rolled back as a scroll. The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend, even then it is well with my soul." You know why it is well with my soul? Because we have a future hope of things yet to come. We see them now by faith. Faith will one day be sight.

John of the Cross said, “I can hardly wait for age and years to let me go into Your presence, for I long for that day when I can love You fully with greater satisfaction, without end, and forever.”

And that is the glorious hope of the bride. That is my hope. That is your hope. That is our hope. That is the hope that the apostle Peter spoke of when he said, “Though you have not seen him, you love him." Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him, and you rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory. Why? Because you know that He is coming. You know that you will see Him. You know that the clouds will be removed, and you will be with the Lord forever.

That is the hope that will sustain us as we live our lives down here on this earth, and as we await the final consummation of our marriage to the Lord Jesus, our heavenly Bridegroom.

One writer describes what is happening in the bride’s heart at this moment, and I want to read to you these few paragraphs as we bring this series to a close. He says:

At this point her experience was like a drop of water losing itself in the ocean, mingling deeper and ever deeper with the love of Christ. There seems to be little left in the realm of earth but her physical body. Her heart’s affections are in another world.

Little wonder, therefore, that she cries out with urgency, "Make haste, my Beloved, as the roe or a young hart lights upon the mountains of spices, so do Thou descend into Thy glorious kingdom. Although full and mature my love for Thee has become, yet there remains something more, which can be satisfied only by Thy coming."

Then shall faith become sight and prayers shall be praise. Prayers shall be praise forever. Love shall then reach its climax and be free from the shadows of clouds. Then shall I serve and worship before Thee in a sinless state.

What a day that will be! So, Lord Jesus, make haste. Come quickly. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. And until that glorious day, may my garden continually produce its fruit for the delight of Thy heart. (Watchman Nee)

And, oh Lord, we join our hearts with that writer and others and with this Shulamite bride, praying that You would make haste; that You would come quickly; that Your Bride would be ready; that we might be before You a radiant and holy Bride. May our pathway rise higher and higher until that perfect day when we see You face to face, when the marriage is consummated. And locked in that embrace for all of eternity, we will say, “If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, 'tis now.” Amen.

Leslie: Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has been describing the longing believers in Christ have for His return. That message wraps up a multi-week series from the Song of Solomon called, “How to Fall and Stay in Love with Jesus.”

Maybe you want the kind of deeper, more intimate relationship with Christ you just heard about. One way is to get to know Him through the names given to Him in the Bible. Names like: Man of Sorrows, Messiah, Wonderful Counselor. Each of these names help you see a different, meaningful facet of Jesus. Nancy writes about the names of Jesus in a book called The Wonder of His Name. Think of it as a devotional-meets-coffee-table book. Artist Timothy Botts illustrated this book, and it will beautify your home. Most importantly, it will remind you why Jesus is to be so loved and treasured.

We’d like to send you The Wonder of His Name when you make a donation of any amount to Revive Our Hearts. And your donation will make a big difference to this ministry. Here’s Nancy to explain.

Nancy: Yes, Leslie. It’s important that people understand that Revive Our Hearts is a listener-supported ministry. That means we’re only able to bring you Revive Our Hearts on the radio and online as long as listeners like you support this ministry financially. If you’ve appreciated this teaching on “How to Fall and Stay in Love with Jesus,” and you want to continue hearing series like this from the Word of God, would you consider asking the Lord whether He would have you support the ministry of Revive Our Hearts? We really need that support at this time.

And when you make a donation of any size, be sure to ask for the book, The Wonder of His Name. Our number is 1–800–569–5959, or visit us online at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Leslie: Thanks Nancy. When Margaret Nyman’s husband passed away from cancer, she was suddenly left alone with a lot of emotions and practical needs. She will join us, starting Monday to share her experience and perspective on how to trust the Lord in a season of widowhood. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the ESV. Song of Songs references are from the NKJV.

Making It Personal

Day 25 – Mature Love 6: Let Me Hear Your Voice (Song of Songs 8:11–14)

  1. What motivates your service for the Lord? Is it fear, duty, love, or something else?
  2. Is it your heart’s desire to live a fruitful life, for the pleasure and satisfaction of your heavenly Bridegroom? Express that longing to Him.
  3. The Beloved says to his Bride: You, who dwell in the gardens, the companions listen for your voice—let me hear it! (8:13). Are you satisfied with the amount of time you spend on a regular basis listening and talking to the Lord (through His Word and prayer)? If not, what adjustments could you make to allow for more time to cultivate your relationship with Him?
  4. The Bride in the Song of Songs is eager for the return of her Beloved—Make haste, my beloved . . . (8:14). Are you eager for Jesus to return for His Bride? What difference could that expectation and longing make in your life and service until He comes? Are you a ready Bride?
  5. It would mean a lot to Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth and the Revive Our Hearts team if you would take a few moments to jot a note of encouragement, sharing how God has used this study in your life. For example, 
    • How has this series on the Song of Songs deepened your love for Christ?
    • What are some of the major takeaways you have gained from this study?
    • How has this study impacted your view of human love, sex, and marriage? Has it made a difference in your relationship with your mate?

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