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  • Paul Wallace

Song of Songs 5:2-16

Song of Songs 5:2 (ESV) 2  I slept, but my heart was awake. A sound! My beloved is knocking.“Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my perfect one, for my head is wet with dew, my locks with the drops of the night.”

The bride had fallen asleep waiting for her groom to come home. A sound woke her. The king is late. The business of the kingdom has kept him into the late hours of the night. When he arrives he finds the bedroom door locked. Not a good sign! He knocks and wisely calls out with words of love describing her as MY sister, darling, dove, perfect one (Ephesians 5:26,27). Sweet talk has done it before, but it is not working tonight.

Have you ever been disappointed in Jesus' response to your prayers? Did He not answer when you expected? One day you are thrilled with your relationship with Him and the next disappointed, even doubting His love, because you can't understand why He would allow a painful event to happen in your life. That's when we lock the bedroom door. We might pray, but it isn't with an open heart to pray His will or let the Spirit prompt us. We turn a deaf ear to His words of love.

Where do we see the groom outside knocking in Scripture? Revelation 3:20 - It is the voice of Jesus. Does your Bible have this verse as a cross reference? It should! (ESV does.) That is evidence that we are on the right track in our interpretation of this being about Jesus and His bride, the church. Let your heart receive the words with which He describes you: my sister, my love, my dove, my perfect one.

Song of Songs 5:3 (ESV) I had put off my garment; how could I put it on? I had bathed my feet; how could I soil them?

The bride is making excuses because she is upset that he has come home so late. "Was business more important than me and our time together?" She is in bed and would have to get dressed (perhaps implying that she was naked and waiting for His love), and her feet are clean, and she doesn't want to get them dirty (again implying she had prepared herself for him). Too late buddy! Not tonight! I'm going to punish you! Surely that has never happened to any of us.

What is your excuse when the Lord knocks? "I've got to get this done first." "I've run out of time." We have so many distractions that we let get in the way and rob us of that intimacy with Jesus in prayer. And sometimes we give Him the cold shoulder because our prayers weren't answered the way we expected, and we think we'd rather not talk with Him. Have you experienced the spiritual parallel?

Song of Songs 5:4 (ESV) My beloved put his hand to the latch, and my heart was thrilled within me.

She could hear her love trying to move the latch. In those times timber/bolt on the inside held the door shut. A hole in the door below the beam gave a key access. The key was a metal rod shaped just right to fit through the hole and by twisting it lift the timber. Her love was trying to get the door open. Anticipation made her heart begin to pound.

Song of Songs 5:5 (ESV) I arose to open to my beloved, and my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with liquid myrrh, on the handles of the bolt.

Finally she got up to let him in. It seems he put his finger through the key hole and tried to lift the bolt with his finger, only to leave behind the myrrh which was on his hands and is now on her hands. He had prepared himself as well. Then she must have realized she had been mistaken about his heart. Ultimately each partner wants the others love. We misread comments or situations, and both miss out on the intimacy we desire.

Song of Songs 5:6 (ESV) I opened to my beloved, but my beloved had turned and gone. My soul failed me when he spoke. I sought him, but found him not; I called him, but he gave no answer.

Opening the door she finds he is gone. Anticipation turned to disappointment. He left. Did he think she was rejecting him, that she didn't want him back in the bed with her? She started running down the street calling his name, but there was no answer. Disappointment now turns to dread. Where has he gone?

We experience a similar regret when we close our ears to the voice of the Spirit. When we need His comfort and reassurance, we sometimes find the heavens to be brass. We must first repent of the hardness of our hearts (1 Corinthians 7:9,10). In this song the man failed in that he did not give her what wives need. It is summed up as follows:

Time. The currency of a relationship; clearing space in your calendar for her says, "You are valuable to me."

Talk. This is how she connects with you. It is also a way she handles stress. Men, on the other hand, often take flight in response to stress (Peterson, "To Fight Stress").

Tenderness. It feeds her soul when she is nourished and knows she is cherished.

Touch. Non-sexual, affectionate touch is crucial to a wife. And if she only receives it as the pre-game warm-up to sex, she will begin to feel used, like a marital prostitute. (List adapted from Turnbull and Turnbull, "What Your Wife Really Wants") -Christ-Centered Exposition - Exalting Jesus in Song of Songs.- Of course Jesus never fails in any area of our spiritual need.

She failed to be what he needed:

His cheerleader. A man thrives on his wife's approval and praise.

His champion. A wife's respect and encouragement lifts a man's spirit and his sense of self-worth.

His companion. A man wants his wife to be his best friend.

His complement. A woman is necessary to complete a man. (Adapted from Turnbull and Turnbull, "What Your Husband Really Wants") found in-Christ-Centered Exposition - Exalting Jesus in Song of Songs.

Song of Songs 5:7-8 (ESV) 7  The watchmen found me as they went about in the city;they beat me, they bruised me,they took away my veil,those watchmen of the walls. 8  I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my beloved,that you tell himI am sick with love.

The watchmen catch her, and thinking she is up to no good, they beat her. But her love is so strong it does not deter her. She must find him, so she asks the waking daughters of Jerusalem that if they find him to tell him she is lovesick. It is a message or repentance.

Are there times when you felt prompted to pray, when you knew God was drawing you. You let the busyness of the day delay you time and time again. Finally, you go to pray and it seems the heavens are brass. What happened? You long for the comfort of the Holy Spirit, but He doesn't seem to be there (Job 23:8-10). The first persons you ask condemn you and leave you discouraged. You ask other believers to pray for you because your prayer life is suddenly lifeless. Is this not the analogy that we see here? Are these blows the blows of remorse for our past behavior?

Song of Songs 5:9 (ESV) What is your beloved more than another beloved, O most beautiful among women? What is your beloved more than another beloved, that you thus adjure us?

To your request they answer, "Why do you see this one as so special. Why are you so sick with love? In other words, "Is your relationship with Jesus that special? Is your prayer time that much more wonderful than ours? If it is that special, why do you ask us who don't have as great a relationship in prayer as you?"

Song of Songs 5:10-15 (ESV) 10  My beloved is radiant and ruddy, distinguished among ten thousand. 11  His head is the finest gold; his locks are wavy, black as a raven. 12  His eyes are like doves beside streams of water, bathed in milk, sitting beside a full pool. 13  His cheeks are like beds of spices, mounds of sweet-smelling herbs. His lips are lilies, dripping liquid myrrh. 14  His arms are rods of gold, set with jewels. His body is polished ivory, bedecked with sapphires. 15  His legs are alabaster columns, set on bases of gold. His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as the cedars.

She answers their question as to why she would adjure them regarding him and his superiority over all other men (Psalm 45:2). She describes how handsome he is to her: Radiant, ruddy, standing out among ten-thousand men, head of gold?, black wavy hair (very Jewish), blue eyed surrounded by bright white, cheeks like a bed of spices -mounds of sweet smelling herbs, lips like lilies/soft and smooth, arms like rods of gold set with jewels, a body like polished ivory adorned with sapphires. Legs like alabaster columns set on gold bases. His mouth the sweetest of mouths. Everything about him is desirable. That is why she longs for her beloved, her friend.

Does everything about Jesus make you long to be in His presence? He loves us with an incomparable and unconditional love. His grace is so unfailing yet its limits are there for our good. His mercy is so forgiving and challenges us to be the same way. His words transform us into His image. His faithfulness is completely dependable. He is the very definition of goodness. But He is also all-powerful to judge evil with all the justice it deserves. Who is like our God? None can compare. He is all wise and all-knowing. No one can give Him counsel. He is from everlasting to everlasting. And He loves us so much that He would die for us. Psalm 36:5-9

Considering all His glorious attributes, now what do you say when He knocks on the door and does all that He can to let Himself in to be with you. Will you make excuses to avoid talking with the King of kings, or will you jump up and let Him in to quiet your doubts with His love?

Song of Songs 5:16 (ESV) His mouth is most sweet, and he is altogether desirable.This is my beloved and this is my friend,O daughters of Jerusalem.

And how would you describe our Beloved. When you begin your prayers with adoration, what do you say to Him. Whatever I say or write here is not nearly sufficient to describe the wonder of our Beloved. He is love, the very definition of it, pure love, unselfish love, love that expects nothing in return, love that extends to the heavens, poured out without measure. He is gracious like no other. He is the source of grace, for we owe all to Him and yet fail so often to give Him His due. But grace covers us again and again like waves of the ocean. Wonderful cleansing grace of forgiveness that washes the grime of sin from us again and again and leaves us overflowing with Joy and gratitude.

His eyes are full of grace. His hands are dripping with grace. He is perfect peace for He is all -powerful and all-knowing. Nothing can disturb Him. He directs the movement of a trillion stars and every one of the billions of lives in this world. Nothing escapes Him. And He offers His own peace, unflappable and secure peace to us creatures who are so unworthy. I could go on and on, but that is for you to do in your prayer time. And to top it all off, this glorious, all-mighty, perfect one is our friend (John 15:15; Proverbs 18:24).

Let Him hold you and look into His eyes and tell Him how much you adore His beautiful attributes before you share the burdens on your heart and let Him kiss you with His words.



  1. How do you respond when desperate prayers go unanswered?

  2. What excuses keep you from prayer?

  3. Have you experienced those beatings of remorse?

  4. Why is Jesus so special to you?

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