Song of Songs 2:16-17 - 16 "My beloved is mine, and I am his; He pastures his flock among the lilies. 17 Until the cool of the day when the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of Bether."
Verse 16 sounds so beautiful. And I can impress myself by saying this to the Lord. And I can impress others by speaking this way about Jesus in public. But this statement by the bride is actually hypocritical and an insult to Jesus. Because the bride does not want to be with the Bridegroom. She does not open up the door for Jesus who wants to be with her (Verse 9), and who wants her to come away with Him (verses 10-15). Instead, she wants Him to turn and continue to dazzle her.
The bride here is primarily interested in a glamorous Jesus – One who is like a gazelle beautifully bounding over the mountains (Verse 17). She claims that she wants to see His magnificence and majesty, but it’s empty words and really an insult to Him.
Jesus is indeed majestic and graceful – more than any gazelle or young stag on the mountains. But that is not what He desires to be to us. He comes looking through the window, wanting to be with us (verse 9), but we turn Him away because we prefer His power over His presence.
We must beware by a soulish delight of the majestic Jesus. He calls us to be disciples not admirers, and the call of discipleship is proved by our following Him relentlessly. We prove our true admiration and worship of Jesus by our readiness to follow Him in His humility and meekness for every situation of life.
Psalm 25:9 (KJV) – The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.
We can admire the cross of Jesus, but resist His present call that we be conformed to His death by also getting on the cross and crucifying the world and every bit of our filthy flesh (Philippians 3:10; Luke 9:23; Galatians 2:20, 5:24, 6:14).
We can weep when we meditate on how Jesus suffered, but resist His present call to fellowship with Him in suffering (Philippians 3:10).
We can passionately sing about the majesty of Jesus on Sunday morning, but miss the majesty of Him sweating all day during the week to make tables for a living. And so, we resist His present call on Wednesday morning to be equally diligent in our workplace (Hebrews 4:15; Colossians 3:22-24)
We can eagerly pack our swords to fight for Him on social media and the public arena, but get tired soon after when He asks us to help carry His burdens in the Gethsemane’s of our lives (Matthew 26:38).
But most of all, we can wave the palm branches as He rides in majesty, but refuse Him when He asks us to take His yoke and learn meekness from Him (Matthew 11:29).
May we all “arise and come along” (verse 10) with Jesus. And be with Him – whether in green pastures or in the valley of the shadow of the death; whether beside still waters or on the cross.
Wherever He is, that is where they will find us also.