Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Song of Solomon, Day 4

Episode Resources

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

Leslie Basham: Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth invites you to run after Christ.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: You can’t be running simultaneously in two directions. If we want to run toward Christ, we need to be willing to run away from anything that competes or distracts from our relationship with Him.

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

This week Nancy began a series called "How to Fall and Stay in Love with Jesus." If you’re a follower of Jesus, this series will show you how to grow more intimate with Him. And if you don’t know Him, it’s an invitation to fall in love with Him for the first time. Here’s Nancy.

Nancy: We're still in the early days in a series that is going to take us a few weeks. I'm not sure yet how many days it will be. We're airing it during the Lenten season, leading up to Passover and Passion Week.

What prompted that in my thinking was the Jews during their Passover celebration read the Song of Solomon. The see in it the picture of God's covenant love for His chosen people.

I thought of how fitting it would be for us to be studying this passage leading up to the celebration of God's passion for us, His death and resurrection. As we're seeing in this book, of course it's a beautiful story about love and marriage, but at the heart of it all is the relationship that God has with His people, that Christ has with His Bride, the Church, and us as individual believers.

Again, I've said it and I'll repeat it here, I realize that in taking this position about the Song of Solomon I'm kind of swimming upstream as to how many people view this book today. But the historic position of the Church and Jewish commentators as well through hundreds and hundreds of years of interpretation is that this is first a book about divine love. As we receive God's love for us, as we receive Christ's love for us, then we are able to love Him back. And His love is able to flow through us to others.

So you want to have a better marriage? And I know because some husbands have told me so that they are really excited about us doing this series because they are hoping that their wife will "get" this Song of Solomon stuff and that they'll have a better marriage. You want to have a better marriage? Get your relationship with Christ right. Get it growing; get it deep; get intimate with Him. And out of the overflow of that, you will be able to bless your mate. You will be able to enjoy your marriage. You will be able to enjoy the sexual aspect of your relationship in greater ways as you come to see the way Christ loves His Bride and the way she responds to Him.

I hope that you are reading the book over these days. I'm reading out of the New King James version. You can follow along in your own translation or pull this translation off of the Internet and follow along.

We've looked at the first paragraph. Let me just read it and then we'll pick it up with verse 4.

I’m starting in Song of Songs chapter 1, verse 1.

The song of songs, which is Solomon’s. [Then the bride says] Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for your love is better than wine. Because of the fragrance of your good ointments, your name is ointment poured forth; therefore the virgins love you.

Now this bride has seen the supreme value of her bridegroom’s love, and she realizes that his love is better than the greatest treasures and pleasures of life. She has seen the fragrance of his name and all that he is, and so now she cries out to him in verse 4, 

Draw me away! We will run after you. The king has brought me into his chambers. We will be glad and rejoice in you. We will remember your love more than wine. Rightly do they love you.

Now let’s stop there, and we’re going to look at that fourth verse today.

When you’re in love, you want to be with the one you love. You want to spend time with him. No one has to tell a dating couple who think that they want to get married, “You guys really need to spend time together.” They want to do that.

Here’s a bride who craves the companionship of her beloved. She longs to be with him, and she wants to be closer to him than to anyone else. I think of that verse in Psalm 73 that says, “It is good for me to draw near to God” (v. 28). She says, “Draw me—draw me away. It is good for me to draw near to God.”

And she expresses intense longing—“Draw me away; let me be near you.” You see that same longing expressed many times in the psalms, when David says, for example, in Psalm 63, “Oh, God, earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for you” (v. 1). That’s the kind of intensity and passion you sense from this bride.

Take a look in verse 4 at the different pronouns that are used and you’ll see, first of all, that this is very personal request. She says, “Let him kiss me . . .” in verse 2; in verse 4, “Draw me . . . The king has brought me into his chambers.” I think this is a picture of an individual believer who’s seeking an intimate relationship with Christ.

Others have experienced that kind of relationship, but she’s saying, “I don’t want to just read about what others have said . . . I don’t want to just hear about it. I want You to draw my heart.” It’s a very personal plea. As Fanny Crosby said in that famous gospel song,

I am Thine O Lord, I have heard Thy voice,
And it told Thy love to me.
But I long to rise in the arms of faith
And be closer drawn to Thee.
Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord . . . 
 
("Draw Me Nearer," Fanny Crosby)

That’s what this bride is saying: “I’ve heard about You; I know about Your love. Your love is amazing, but I want to be drawn closer to You. Let Him kiss me . . . draw me.”

But there’s also a corporate relationship in view here. Look at these pronouns: “We will run after you . . . We will be glad and rejoice in you . . .  We will remember your love more than wine” (v. 4). I think here we see the Bride of Christ, the Church, desiring together to have a relationship with Christ as His Bride. The Bride, the members of that Bride, seeking Him together.

“We will run after You. We want to be close to You. We will be glad and rejoice in You.” Now, in this plea there is a recognition that we are helpless to move toward Him on our own. He is the One who has to draw us; He has to enable us to come to Him.

You get the sense that the bride is saying, “I want to come to you. I want to be with you, but I can’t do it on my own.” So here’s an appeal for his intervention, his grace: “Draw me! Draw me closer to you.” Jesus said it this way in John chapter 6, “No man can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. . . . And I, when I am lifted up from the earth [speaking of His crucifixion], I will draw all people to myself” (John 6:44; 12:32).

You see, you and I can never experience the relationship that we want, that we need, that we long for, with Christ unless He draws us to Himself. In fact, we won’t even desire to have that relationship unless He draws us. He’s the one who has to even give that desire. He must initiate. He must lift us out of our helplessness by His Spirit and His grace.

Thankfully, we have a God who loves us, who desires to have a relationship with us even more than we want one with Him, and who’s always actively drawing us to Himself. God’s love for Israel was a drawing, wooing love. He says in Hosea 11:4, “I led them [or in the New King James, ‘I drew them’] with cords of kindness, with the bands of love.”

God’s people were always wandering away from Him, and He would be reeling them back in, drawing them to Himself. He invites us to come. He says,

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.” (John 7:37)

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)

“Draw near to the throne of grace.” (Heb. 4:16)

We’re invited to draw near to Him. So, He is drawing our hearts, but we must respond to His initiative. That’s why she says, “Draw me away. We will run after You.” The longing heart is seen in this phrase, “Draw me . . . I need you. I want you to draw me. I’m longing for that.” And then the responsive heart is seen when she says, “We will run after you.” “Draw me. We will run after you.”

One commentator said it this way, “We cannot run after him unless he himself draws us, yet once he draws us it is our business to run.”

As He draws, we run. The psalmist experienced that. You read it in Psalm 119: “I will run in the way of Your commandments when you enlarge my heart! . . .  I hasten and do not delay to keep your commandments" (vv. 32, 60).

“I will run toward You.”

Now, running suggests to me vigorous, purposeful running. I ran on the treadmill last night. I'm not a runner. I was listening to my app for KHCB (Keeping Him Close By), our station partner in Houston. I was so blessed in that thirty minute period on the treadmill. But I was running. This was purposeful activity. By the end I was panting (actually, long before the end).

Running suggests that this is not a half-hearted commitment. This is not divided loyalty. It's pursuing Him purposefully. Charles Spurgeon said it this way.

Creep if thou wilt about thy worldly business, but run after thy Lord.

So how do you respond when He draws your heart to Himself? When you sense the Lord calling you to Himself, drawing you, giving you desire for His Word, to know Him? How do you respond when He speaks to you through His Word, when He draws you to Himself? Do you resist? Do you run to other things? Do you delay? Do you ignore that call? Or do you run after Him?

Now, to be drawn away to Christ is to be drawn away from other and lesser things. You can’t be running simultaneously in two directions. If we want to run toward Christ, we need to be willing to run away from anything that competes or distracts from our relationship with Him. Aren’t there so many things in that category? Relationships, social media . . .

If we want to run toward Christ, we need to be willing to run away from anything that competes or distracts from our relationship with Him.

I have, for the time being—actually I blew it in the last twenty-four hours—but I have for a while at least banned my electronic devices from my bedroom . . . which is where I spend a lot of time with iPhone, iPad, laptop, all those things. I put them in the next room. I said, “I want to have a place where I’m just able to meet with the Lord . . . to be quiet, to be still, to meditate on Him.”

I spend so much time with those devices, and find they can be a huge help and blessing to my work and ministry and relationships, but they also can be a huge distraction. I find in my quiet time—I’m not proud of this—I find that I can be so easily distracted.

As I’ve been doing this study, I’ve been saying, “What do I need to run from? What do I need to put aside so that I can run toward Him purposefully?” Anything that is temporal or trivial, we just need to get rid of some of these things in our lives. Things that don’t matter, things that won’t mean a thing a year from now, much less in eternity.

“I will run to Him,” means that we need to be running from other things. To be drawn to Him is the greatest protection from being drawn away by other gods. James says, “Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed” (1:14). I don’t want to be drawn away by my sin and by my flesh and by this world. I want to be drawn away by Christ.

Jesus recognizes this when He says, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). The hymn writer said it this way in the late 1800s—maybe you’re familiar with this one:

I am resolved no longer to linger, charmed by the world’s delight.
Things that are higher, things that are nobler, these have allured my sight.
I will hasten to Him, hasten so glad and free.

Jesus, greatest, highest, I will come to Thee.
("I Am Resolved," Palmer Hartsough) 

That’s the heart that says, “Draw me and I will run after You.” Now, when we run after Him, others will want to run with us, and you see that in this passage. Song of Songs 1:4, “Draw me . . . and we will run after you.” Or as the NASB says, “Let us run together.”

Our lives influence those around us: your children, your mate, your friends, your coworkers. They know what you’re drawn to; they know what you really love. They know what pleases you, what brings you pleasure, what satisfies you. They know what your pursuits are. They know what you can’t stop talking about. Those are the things that really matter to us—they know that.

If you’re always talking about Pinterest, for example—nothing wrong with Pinterest, necessarily—but if you’re always talking about that, the people around you are going to become interested in Pinterest, right? Whatever you’re talking about, whatever you’re drawn to, whatever you’re spending hours of your time on, they’re going to have an interest in that.

People who like you, who like to be around you, are going to be interested in the things you’re interested in. Well, if our lives are being drawn to Christ and He is our focus, our magnificent obsession . . . we’re talking about Him, we’re delighted in Him, we’re satisfied in Him . . . you think that isn’t going to have an impact on people around us?

I had a meeting several months ago that I set up. I was going to be at a conference, and I knew that a friend of mine who I don’t see often was going to be there. I said, “Can we just get together for several hours the day before the conference starts?” She agreed. We made plans, and we spent the day in a hotel room just talking and praying.

What I didn’t know when I set up that appointment was that over the past year this woman who is a Christian leader, a woman with a significant responsibility in another ministry, God has been drawing her heart, and she has been being revived.

I didn’t know she needed it. I thought she was doing great. She has a sweet walk with the Lord, and that’s why I just wanted to get around her. But as she told me the story of the past year and how God has met with her in some amazing new, fresh, and sweet ways, I was just like open ears, open mouth, open heart. “Tell me more; tell me more.” We prayed. We sang. We looked into the Word together. I just listened to her testimony. Nothing dramatic, but there’s a sweetness there.

She is at a place in her life where she can’t get enough of the Lord. She’s loving Him, longing for Him. She’s up in the middle of the night wanting to read her Bible for hours on end. At a point her husband thought she was a little crazy. But you know what? He’s running after Christ now in greater ways.

He’s been so impacted. Her children are running after Christ in greater ways. I was drawn back to this study of the Song of Solomon after being with her for several hours because I thought, I need what she’s got. I want more of Christ. Now, I have all of Christ, but I want to experience to the deepest extent possible what it means to love Him, to be in an intimate relationship with Him.

That’s all she could talk about. So she had prayed, “Draw me.” By the time we left, we were running together, more toward Christ. It will be the same as you seek Him.

So who or what are you running after? As others see your life and your priorities—what you love, what brings you delight, what you pursue—what are they being inspired to run after? What are your children being inspired to run after as they see what matters to you?

As others see your life and your priorities—what you love, what brings you delight, what you pursue—what are they being inspired to run after?

Are your children running toward Christ or away from Christ? Now, your running toward Christ doesn’t guarantee that your children will run toward Christ, but I think there’s a whole lot better chance when they see not just that you have a head knowledge of Him, but that He is precious and sweet and the pearl of great price and the supreme treasure to you. Who wouldn’t want that, as they see the difference He makes in our lives?

She says, “The king has brought me into his chambers” (v. 4) She has expressed her longing: “Draw me away.” Now she describes his response to her longing. She says, “I asked him to draw me, and he did.” That’s why I’m encouraging you during this series to be praying, “Lord, draw me to Yourself. Draw me into a more intimate love relationship with you.” Then expect that He will. He will not ignore or deny the cry and the longing of your heart. He will grant it.

This is the first of five places in the Song of Solomon where he is identified as the king, royalty, supreme authority—there is no one higher. He is her beloved, but he is also her king, and He is our King. He is the Sovereign Ruler of the universe, which leads us to have a sense of wonder and awe that He would bring us into His chambers, His very most personal space.

Not just anyone can enter the king’s presence, right? You have to be invited. On occasion people are granted an audience with a head of state, a king, or president. If you have a meeting with one of those dignitaries, you probably are going to meet in the Oval Office, Buckingham Palace. But only a very few are ever invited into the inner, personal chambers of these heads of state.

The bad news in the Scripture is that sinners cannot draw near to a holy God. We can’t get close to Him; we can’t be in His presence. God said to Moses, “Don’t draw near this place . . . this is holy ground.” God told the Israelites, “Stay away from Mt. Sinai where my presence is. Don’t come near; don’t touch it. It will kill you,” because God is holy.

But through Christ, the veil that stood between us and His presence has been torn in two and a new and living way has been opened up so that we can go into His chambers, into His holy presence. Hebrews 7 says, “We have a better hope through Christ through which we draw near to God, so let us draw near—come close—to Him with a true heart, in full assurance of faith.”

He desires to be intimate with us, to have us come into the holiest place. We are welcome to enter His inner sanctum with boldness.

Now, this bride is amazed that he should choose her, that he should love her. And aren’t you amazed that the King of kings should choose and love us? “The king has brought me into his chambers.” It’s hard to talk about Jesus and His love and to describe it any better, or nearly as well, as Charles Spurgeon did. Here’s what he had to say about this:

That ever so divine a person should set his love on us, is very wonderful. I can understand my mother’s love, I can understand my child’s love, I can understand my wife’s love, but I cannot understand Christ’s love. Oh, brothers, we are nothings, we are nobodies; yet this glorious Everybody, this All in All, did actually set his love upon us.

So she says because I’ve been brought by the king into his chambers, "We will be glad and rejoice in you. We will remember your love more than wine.” That’s what happens when you have intimacy—union and communion with Christ. The result is joy. He is the source of our joy. We can never have true joy apart from fellowship with Him.

So this satisfied lover purposes to be glad and rejoice in him, and then to remember his love. God says to His people in Jeremiah 2, “I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness” (v. 1). He remembers the love we once had for Him. Do we remember His love for us? His love that was seen in His coming to earth, in His living among us, serving, helping, healing, giving, forgiving. Do we remember His dying love, His continued love, His interceding love? Remember His love.

  • When you are misunderstood, rejected by others, remember His love
  • When you struggle to love your mate or a difficult child or a difficult coworker, remember His love for you. 
  • When you feel alone, new in the area, you’ve lost your dearest friend, you long for a true friend—remember His love.
  • When your heart is cold and loveless toward Christ, remember His love and let His love for you fuel your love for Him and for others. 

So she says, “Rightly do they love you,” or as the NIV says here, “How right they are to adore You.”

He has drawn our hearts to Himself; He has brought us into His chamber. We will be glad and rejoice in Him. We will remember His love more than the chief, supreme pleasures of life. “How right they are to adore you.” So, would you pray from your heart to His today, “O Lord Jesus, draw me, draw me, draw me to Yourself, and we will run after you.”

The songwriter said it this way:

Give me one pure and holy passion;
Give me one magnificent obsession.
Give me one glorious ambition for my life;
To know and follow hard after You.

To grow as your disciple in Your truth
This world is empty, pale, and poor;
Compared to knowing You, my Lord.
So lead me on, and I will run after You.
 
("One Pure and Holy Passion." Mark Altrogge. Artist album: Passion: One Day Live.)

Leslie: I hope that song reflects the prayer of your heart after studying the Song of Solomon today. Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth is in a study of the Song of Solomon, and we’re calling the series "How to Fall and Stay in Love with Jesus." It’s easy to hear a message like that and think, This is so good, but then get busy with everything else and forget what you’ve heard.

Would you take a few minutes to make this message a deeper part of your life? Here’s Nancy to tell you how.

Nancy: When I teach, I always want to explain biblical passages carefully, thoroughly, and accurately. And then I also want to show how a passage applies to daily life. I call it the "what?" and the "now what?" Sometimes in my notes, I just write “MIP” and that stands for “Make It Personal”—take it home to the heart and the life of the listener.

Well I’d like to help make this series in the Song of Solomon more personal for your life. So I’ve written a series of questions to help you follow up with this teaching. For example, here’s one question for the passage we heard today: "How do you respond when the Lord draws you to Himself? Do you run after Him or do you delay, ignore Him? Or do you run to other, lesser things?"

I want to encourage you to read through the Song of Solomon on your own, to meditate on it, and follow up what you are studying by answering questions like these. We lay out the plan for how to do that and provide the questions in a booklet called “How to Fall and Stay in Love with Jesus.” We’ll send you a copy when you support Revive Our Hearts with a financial gift of any amount. Gifts from listeners like you are crucial in keeping this teaching coming to you each week day. Your gift will help us continue helping Revive Our Hearts call women to freedom, fullness and fruitfulness in Christ.

You can donate online at ReviveOurHearts.com, or you can call us at 1–800–569–5959. We’ll send one copy of the booklet “How to Fall and Stay in Love with Jesus” per household for your gift of any amount.

Thank you for expressing your heart for this message and this ministry and for expressing it with your support and your prayers.

Leslie: Do you ever wonder whether God could really love you? Nancy will address that question tomorrow. I hope you’ll be back for Revive Our Hearts.

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

All Scripture has been taken from the ESV.  Song of Song references have been taken from the NKJV.

Making It Personal

Day 4 – Initial Love (Draw Me Closer—Song of Songs 1:4)

  1. Draw me away!. . . . The king has brought me into his chambers (1:4). How does it make you feel to know that we have a Savior who loves us, desires a relationship with us, and takes the initiative to draw us to Himself? 
  2. Draw me . . . We will run after you (1:4). How do you respond when the Lord draws your heart to Himself? Do you run after Him, or do you delay, ignore Him, or run to other, lesser things?
  3. Are you running after Christ—engaging in vigorous, purposeful activity? If not, what’s drawing you away from Him? 
  4. As others see your life and priorities—what you love, what brings you delight, what you pursue—what are they being inspired to run after? 
  5. We will remember your love more than wine (1:4). How can you “remember” and savor Christ’s love for you today?

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