Rise Up, My Love (109): The Fire of Christ’s Passion

Easter Fire in GermanySong of Solomon 4:9 “Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck.”

“Thou hast ravished my heart…” The Hebrew word for ravish is libabtini  and can be translated: “taken away my heart,” “given me courage,” or “aroused my passion.” Although the several usages seem quite diverse, they are all sublimely descriptive of the passion expressed here.

“Thou hast taken away my heart.” He is so much in love with the one object of his affection that he is ‘heartless’ to everything else! He has only one burning passion—his spouse—and the love he sees in one glance of her eyes so captivates him that he has no heart for the rest of the world. She is his unique chosen treasure (Exodus 19:5), and he finds that indeed, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21). His heart is with his cherished bride, and with her alone. His eyes are riveted on her. No wandering eyes; no wandering heart; no wandering affections! She has totally ravished him and taken away his heart. She is his treasure, and his heart is with her. What an overwhelming expression of devotion! People around a BonfireThe second translation is equally thrilling: “Thou hast given me courage.” There are numerous times in the Bible when people are told to take heart and be “of good courage,” but there is not a single reference to anyone ever encouraging Jesus in this way, nor is it ever recorded that God “took courage” in any situation. Christ is our mighty Savior who will charge into battle with “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” written on his thigh (Revelation 19:16). Did our almighty Savior ever need courage?

Yes. Once. In the Garden of Gethsemane. Luke records for us, “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44). There is not another recorded instance of a human sweating blood, but several of the largest mammals, including elephants, hippos, and rhinos—when they have exceeded their maximum stress limit—have been known to burst capillaries all over their bodies and ooze blood from their pores, given them a heart-breaking red sheen.

Such was the strain on our Savior. Did He need courage? As the Son of Man, I believe He did. Where did he get it? I believe this secret is revealed in the Song of Solomon: “Thou hast given me courage.” The passion he felt for his bride—what he saw in her eyes—gave him the courage he needed to endure the cross. (See Hebrews 12:2, “for the joy that was set before him” combined with Zephaniah 3:17, “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”) Huge Bonfire in GermanySo, we see that we are our Lord’s singular passion, that his love gives him courage, and now: “Thou hast aroused my passion.” No woman would ever sigh for a lover like the one from her favorite romantic novel if she fully understood this verse. The Song of Solomon is the most passionate romance ever written…and each of us is the “heroine!” All of these wildly erotic expressions are meant for us! If we could only understand our Savior’s love, all other loves and stories of romance would fade into insignificance! Why sigh over the ardor of another man’s passion when you can read about the passion of someone who loves you infinitely more?? Easter Fire copy“Thou hast aroused my passion.” Have you ever considered the nature of love’s passion? What is the drive above all drives that you feel? It is the desire to be one…to be united. The passion of romance is for two to become one flesh. Passion is the urgent desire to merge two separate beings into one entity. It’s the fire that melts two metals so that they can be melded together into one new substance. It’s the wild burning of two spirits and souls to ignite and become one great fire together…the feeling that what can be produced together is of greater value that than which can be produced alone…the sensation that the object of one’s passion is more precious than life itself, and that continued existence is somehow intertwined with absorbing and being absorbed by the cherished one until the two have merged into one.

This is passion—the overpowering, compelling emotion which drives the lover to become one with the object of his affections. Can you feel the heat of our Savior’s love for us? A heat that gave him courage to “march into hell for a heavenly cause.” An infinite energy that could not be consumed though all the fury of God’s wrath struck like lightening to devour a burnt offering. A love that saw in his beloved’s eyes something for which he was willing to suffer the agony of separation from the Father in order to unite his bride to himself…“That they also may be one in us” (John 17:21). Fire! (Germany) copy

(These pictures are from a traditional “Easter Fire” celebration near a small German village where Alan and I once visited.)


4 responses to “Rise Up, My Love (109): The Fire of Christ’s Passion

  1. Absolutely beautiful!!! Thank you for posting! When u get a chance, could u email me the name of the resource(s) you used to study Song of Solomon? If I had more time, I could easily read your blog for hours on end… Thank you so much for sharing. God bless. By they way, I praise God and thank you for your words of wisdom: “Why sigh over the ardor of another man’s passion when you can read about the passion of someone who loves you infinitely more??”

    • Hi!

      I am so glad you’re blessed by reading and that it’s helped focus your passion…a lesson I struggled to learn too!! Concerning books…I’ve read every book I could get my hands on over the years, but I’ll give you my bibliography as of about 2000 (my very favorite is the book by Spurgeon): Berry, George Ricker, Ph.D. The Interlinear Literal Translation of the Greek New Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1977.
      Brown, Francis, D.D., D. Litt. The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc. 1997.
      Carr, G. Lloyd. The Song of Solomon: An Introduction and Commentary. Downer’s Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1984.
      Chapman, Gary D. The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate. Chicago: Northfield Publishing, 1995.
      Cowman, L.B. Streams in the Desert. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1997.
      Criswell, W.A., ed. Criswell Study Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1979.
      Davidson, Francis. The New Bible Commentary. Great Britain: Billing and Sons Ltd., Guildford and Esher, 1953.
      Delitzsch, Franz. Commentary of the Song of Songs and Ecclesiastes. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1950.
      Gaebelein, Frank E. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Vol. V. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Corporation, 1991.
      Glickman, Craig S. A Song for Lovers. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1976.
      Gordis, R. The Song of Songs and Lamentations. KTAV, 1974.
      Green, Jay P., ed. The Interlinear Hebrew-Aramaic Old Testament. Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 1985.
      Grolier Inc. The Encyclopedia Americana. . Danbury: Grolier Inc., 1995.
      Guyon, Jeanne. The Song of the Bride. Auburn: The Seed Sowers, 1990
      Harley, Willard F., Jr. His Needs Her Needs: Building an Affair-proof Marriage. Grand Rapids: Baker Bookhouse/Revell Audio, 1995.
      Henry. Matthew. Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible. McLean: MacDonald Publishing Co., 1706. (Can’t find current date)
      Hirshberg, Arabic Etymologies. VT 11, 1961.
      Hocking, David and Carole. Romantic Lovers: The Intimate Marriage. Harvest House Publishers: Eugene, OR. 1986.
      Ironside, Harry A. Addresses on The Song of Solomon. Neptune: Loizeaux Brothers, Inc., 1973.
      Lockyer, Dr. Herbert. Love Is Better Than Wine. Harrison: New Leaf Press, 1981.
      MacArthur, John. The MacArthur Study Bible. Nashville: Word Publishing, 1997.
      MacDonald, William. Believer’s Bible Commentary. Nashville, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1992.
      McPhee, L.M. The Romance of the Ages. Grand Rapids: Gospel Folio Press, 1939.
      Murphy, Roland. Toward a Commentary on the Song of Songs. Catholic Biblical Quarterly 39, 1977, pp. 441f
      Nee, Watchman. Song of Songs. Fort Washington: Christian Literature Crusade, 1965.
      Origen. The Song of Songs Commentary and Homilies. Translated and annotated by R.P. Lawson. Vol. 26 of Ancient Christian Writers, edited by Johannes Quasten, S.T.D. and Joseph C. Plumpe, Ph.D. Westminister, Maryland: The Newman Press, 1957.
      Patterson, Paige. Song of Solomon. Chicago: Moody, 1986.
      Phillips, John. Exploring The Song of Solomon. Neptune: Loizeaux Brothers, 1987.
      Richmond, Gary. A View from the Zoo. Waco, Texas: Word Book Publisher, 1987.
      Smalley, Gary. Hidden Keys to Loving Relationships….get the specs yet….
      Spence, H.D.M., and Joseph S. Exell. The Pulpit Commentary. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1950.
      Spurgeon, Charles Haddon. Morning and Evening. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1994
      Spurgeon, Charles Haddon. The Most Holy Place. Pasadena: Pilgrim Pub., 1974.
      Taylor, J. Hudson. Union and Communion. Edinburgh: R. and R. Clark, Limited, 1929.
      Tenney, Merrill C., ed. The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Corp., 1977.
      The American Heritage Dictionary. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1992.
      The Encyclopedia Americana. Danbury, Connecticut: Grolier Inc., 1995.
      The World Book Encyclopedia. Chicago: World Book—Childcraft International, Inc., 1980.
      Torrey, R.A. The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit. New Kensington: Witaker House, 1996.
      Trent, John. Love for All Seasons. Chicago: Moody Press, 1996.
      Truth and Praise, Inc. Hymns of Worship and Remembrance. Belle Chasse, LA: Truth and Praise Inc., 1950.
      Webster, Noah. Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language: College Edition. Cleveland: The World Publishing Co., 1966.
      Wilson, William. Old Testament Word Studies. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1978.
      Young, Robert, LL.D. Analytical Concordance to the Bible. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1972.
      Zlotowitz, Meir, and Scherman, Nosson. Shir HaShirim. New York: Mesorah, 1977.

  2. Wow! Thanks so much for your list.

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