Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Ah, I hear my lover coming! He is leaping over the mountains, bounding over the hills. My lover is like a swift gazelle or a young stag. Look, there he is behind the wall, looking through the window, peering into the room. My lover said to me, “Rise up, my darling! Come away with me, my fair one! Look, the winter is past, and the rains are over and gone. The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come, and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air. The fig trees are forming young fruit, and the fragrant grapevines are blossoming. Rise up, my darling! Come away with me, my fair one!” Song of Solomon 2:8-13(NLT)
The Song of Songs is a storyteller’s ripe field. You can just see the flowers blooming and sense that love is in the air! Can’t you just hear Julie Andrews and the Sound of Music that fills the hills with joy and daffodils? Young lovers everywhere!
Solomon is very specific to name this season as late March/early April, and since the mating season of gazelles is closer to November, there is much more here than poetic allusion to the primal mating characteristics of deer. This is spring, and it is the paschal season of Passover and resurrection!
The lover is calling to his bride, “Arise, my love”. The word has a lot of uses in Hebrew. Some authors[ii] suggest it is the awakening call of one who has been sleeping, or in a stupor. Solomon may have written this beautiful love call as an ode to his bride, but, for those of us who celebrate the resurrection of Christ 3,000 years after Solomon lived, there is an unmistakable connection with the one who calls us to stand-up out of our death stupor and be joined to the One who calls and enlivens us.
This is resurrection call!
When the lover calls His bride, it is to come away with him. This is the unmistakable call of God drawing time, space and eternity together, as He draws his beloved church into the blessed paradise Jesus promised the thief who was crucified next to him.
Paul carried this promise in his heart and shared it with the Thessalonian church:
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18(NLT)
Did you hear that as in a stupor? Or did you hear it afresh and anew? Voice of the archangel; trumpet call of God; caught up; these are the words of an invitation as the bridegroom calls out his bride.
This is our future, our destiny. This is not mating season; this is marriage calling!
Whether a Christian lies awaiting the call in the grave, or is still in the body when it happens, there is going to be a time when the bridegroom calls:
Arise, my love…the grave no longer has a hold on you[iii]