The Bride prayed, in the last verse of the last chapter, for the repetition – as often as possible – of those precious interviews with Jesus during the dark and lonely scenes of this life; and this prayer prompts her here to actively seek Him (verse 1). So intense are these burning desires which are kindled in her heart, that they rise above even the strongest necessities of her bodily nature! Nothing is more essential for the body than restful sleep, but her hungering and thirsting for the manifestations of her Beloved are even stronger than the claims of sleep. She left her bed and went out amidst the chilly dews and dangers of the night, in hopes of finding Him! (verse 2)
Being animated by the fervent emotion which makes us feel Jesus to be the One Whom our soul loves, we shall avail ourselves of every aid in finding our Lord! We shall inquire especially of those who are appointed as watchmen in Zion – that is, the ministers of the Gospel – concerning our spiritual state, and the means of being restored to the joy of His salvation (verse 3). This is what the Bride does here. And under these circumstances, the promise is fulfilled, which says, “They that seek shall find!” Efforts showing such earnestness and sincerity of purpose are rewarded by the return of Jesus to our longing hearts (verse 4). And when we have found Him, we are eager to enjoy the blessedness of that one special relationship where there can be no restraint, and where we may commune with Him in secret concerning all that is in our hearts!
In chapter 1:6, the daughters of Jerusalem had looked upon the Bride with contempt; but now they admire her and speak of her with great respect. “Who is this?” they ask. “How beautiful she looks! Who would have expected such a beautiful and magnificent person to come out of the wilderness?” Her soul has been recovered out of a state of despondency, and now she ascends out of the dry and desolate wilderness. She comes up like pillars of smoke – like a cloud of incense ascending from the altar of burnt-offerings – which indicates a fire of pious and devout affections that has been rekindled in the soul. She is also perfumed with myrrh and frankincense – that is, with the graces of the Holy Spirit, which are like sweet spices that send forth a very fragrant aroma. At such a time, when her devotions are peculiarly lively, she is not only acceptable to Christ, but also amiable in the eyes of others. They are ready to cry out with admiration, “Who is this? What a monument of mercy she is!”
The daughters of Jerusalem stood admiring and commending the Bride, but she overlooks their praises. She is not puffed up with them, but transfers all the glory to Jesus! She directs them to look away from her and toward Him. Three times in the last six verses of this chapter, Christ is referred to as Solomon. He is far greater than Solomon, but He was foreshadowed by that king of Israel.
There are three things which the Bride admires her Savior for. The first is the safety of His bed (verse 7), referring to the sweet repose and satisfaction which redeemed souls enjoy in communion with Him. Those who rest in Christ not only dwell at ease, but they also dwell in safety. Their holy serenity is under the protection of a holy security. Sixty valiant men, in a posture of defense, stand as a picture of the Divine protection with which Jesus encircles His Bride. Therefore, she does not need to fear any danger – especially in the night, when she is under a spiritual cloud or experiencing extraordinary trouble.
The Bride admires the splendor of her Husband’s chariot (verses 9-10). Just as Christ and believers rest in safety under a great guard; so also, when they appear publicly, they appear in great magnificence – as a King and Queen in royal state. In the everlasting Gospel, as in an open chariot, Jesus publicly rides forth and shows Himself. His chariot is draped with purple – a princely color! But that which completes the glory of this chariot is love; it is lined with a holy love “for the daughters of Jerusalem,” for the Gospel is all love!
The luster of Christ’s royal Person is also admired by the Bride, when He appears in His greatest pomp (verse 11). The Bride calls the daughters of Zion to acquaint themselves with the glories of the King: “Go forth, and behold him!” Christ, in His Gospel, manifests Himself. Let each of us add to the number of those who give honor to Him, by giving ourselves the satisfaction of looking upon Him! Who should pay respects to Zion’s King, but Zion’s daughters? They have reason to rejoice greatly when He comes! (Zech. 9:9) With the eye of faith, let us look with pleasure and love upon Jesus in His glory; and let the light of His transcendent beauty put us out of conceit with ourselves!
The daughters of Zion are directed to take special notice of that which they would not see every day, and that was Solomon’s crown. Applying this to Christ, Solomon’s crown represents the many honors which are put upon the Savior-King, and the sovereign power and universal dominion with which He is entrusted. There is probably also a reference to the honor shown to Christ by all His true believers, in Whose hearts He dwells. When they are joined to Him in an everlasting covenant, it is His coronation-day in their souls. Before their conversion, they were crowning themselves; but then they begin to crown Him, and they continue to do so from that day forward. On that day, He engages them to Himself forever in lovingkindness and in mercies; He joins them to Himself in faith and love, and He gives them Himself and all that He has.
Lord, kindle the flames of our affection for You, so that we may enjoy the blessedness of our relationship with You and never let You depart out of our sight! Amen.
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