Rise Up, My Love (41): God’s Tender Embrace

Don MillerSong of Solomon 2:6 “His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me.” How quickly the bride’s spouse responds to her cry for “samak” (support) and “rapad” (spread about to protect)! His left hand supporting her head; his right hand spread round about her in embrace. No sooner has she uttered her need than he has met it. “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not” (Jeremiah 33:3).  Oh, that every husband might be as responsive to his wife’s needs… and that every wife might be as responsive to her husband’s loving embrace!

“His left hand is under my head.” What a privilege and joy to be held in the hand of him who loves us! Jesus promised, “I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:28).  Wow! And beyond that: “I will not forget thee.  Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands” (Isa. 49:16).  Can there be any support greater than being upheld by God’s own hand?!

“…under my head.” It is with our heads that we think, reason, will, and interpret feelings.  It is with our minds that we love, know, and decide. In all the confusion and frustrations of life…in all the decisions and actions…in all the heartaches and joys…he is there, supporting us, guiding us, loving us, upholding us. Weary soul, do not faint; rest your head in the hand of him who loves you, and “turn your eyes upon Jesus; look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace!” (—Helen H. Lemmel)

“…and his right hand doth embrace me.”  Oh, the volumes that could be written about the matchless right hand of God!  Let me comfort you with a few of the precious teachings of Scripture. “Thy right hand, O Lord, is become glorious in power: Thy right hand, O Lord, hath dashed in pieces the enemy” (Exodus 16:6).  Such is the omnipotent protection of the One who encompasses you with his right hand!  We should be fearless in his love and our hearts cry out like David, “Shew thy marvelous loving kindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them. Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings” (Psalm 17:7-8). His banner over us is love…his shield over us is salvation (Psalm 18:35)…his right hand embraces us, strengthening us (Job. 23:6), leading us (Psalm 139:10), and upholding us with the right hand of his righteousness (Isaiah 41:10). What a wealth of promises to bring comfort and security to the believer who has cried out for support!

“Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great” (Psalm 18:35). “…thy gentleness hath made me great…” In a meditation on the Song of Solomon, one cannot but notice the tender imagery of love making portrayed by the verse: “His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me.” Perhaps the most exhilarating aspect of God’s gentle embrace is that “in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Psalm 16:11). The Hebrew word for “embrace” is the verb habaq, which means “to clasp” or “to fold one’s arms as in idleness.”  Although the verb certainly includes Solomon’s gentle embrace of his bride, it could easily be interpreted to imply more extensive physical expression, as pictured by the positioning of the lovers.-5There is a hallowed hush about this verse. “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it” (Psalm 139:6).  Indeed, the beauty of this passage is so compelling that there were some traditions among both the Jewish and the early church fathers who suggested that no one should even read the Song of Solomon until age thirty. Others, such as C.H. Spurgeon, believed the song’s mysteries could only be understood by the spiritually mature: “Its music belongs to the higher spiritual life.”  One senses that he must take off his shoes before treading this sacred ground and hardly dares to breathe as he is ushered in to view this holy of marital holies. Mystery, yes, and a veil, for we still only see darkly rather than face to face as we view the joys of another.  But, the joys that are ours, we know, and we remember them.  The one striking thing that is revealed to us is the cherishing and gentle nature of the embrace, which so fully satisfies the bride.  May we learn from this sacred picture to ever embrace our spouses with holy tenderness!

(These pictures are not mine but were from forwards on the internet. The first one is also on Photo Bucket, but I have no clue who made the first one.)

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