Rise Up, My Love (189): Responding to Rejection

Forget-me-nots at Giverny. France. 05.09.16Song of Solomon 6:1 “Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women? whither is thy beloved turned aside? that we may seek him with thee.” In discussing this last week, please understand that I didn’t mean to suggest we should never accept the comfort of human sympathy! God has given most of us human resources for love and fellowship. Most of us have human parents, and eventually most of us have a human spouse. These are wonderful “God-with-skin-on” comforters in pain…so long as we keep our priorities straight and recognize them as emissaries from God…not as a replacement for God!   Also, God often sends brother-to-brother, or sister-to-sister help.

God has given us some appropriate human resources for help, but he should always be first, and he will also be last. But, what about the times when our legitimate human support systems fail? What about the times when “I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me; refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul” (Psalm 142:4). For most of us, those times do come. For the bridegroom, that surely might have been the cry of his heart after his wife rejected him. What then? Then, turn again to God as David did! “I cried unto thee, O Lord: I said, thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living” (Psalm 142:5). Do not give in to the temptation to find an illegitimate surrogate relationship. If your parents fail you, turn to God and learn to love your parents in spite of their failures. If your spouse fails you, don’t just look for a new spouse! Turn to God and let him teach you how to love through him. If your friends fail you, don’t just look for new friends, turn to your truest, best friend, and let him make you the best friend anyone could have. Learn to love. Learn to forgive. Learn to persevere. Find your refuge and strength in God. Is that what the bridegroom did? Or, did the bridegroom turn aside with some other woman? Let’s read on and find out!

6:2 “My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.” What exactly does that poetic alliteration mean? I think there is no passage in all of Scripture that more beautifully pictures God’s heart of love and forgiveness towards us. The bride herself is his garden: “A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse” (Song 4:12). Where did the bridegroom go? He did not go to the arms of another woman. He waited for her to come to him. How did she find him? We’re not told, but it’s as if her expressions of praise…her witnessing to others of his graces… and the deep longings of her heart to find him transport her directly into his presence. Oh, dear friend, have you longed to find Christ again? Was there a time when your heart burned with love and zeal…until an hour came when he asked you to do something and you said, “No.” Did he slip away ever so quietly, without a fight or word of rebuke, but suddenly you felt yourself terribly alone and unable to find him again? Do you want to know how to find him again? “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord” ((Jeremiah 29:13-14). We will find him when we believe he’s worth finding. When we believe in him and search for him with our whole heart…when we’ve learned that nothing is as important to us as his fellowship…when we stop saying “no” to him and say “yes!” When we’ve laid everything on the altar—every hope, every dream, every object of our love…then we’ll find him again. We’ll find him when we’ve learned to confess Christ such that others long to find him too. When we become as impetuous as a torrent in our love…so that our hearts surge and swell like a flood, carrying along everyone we meet…then all our communion with him will be restored! Such was the force of the bride’s love. Her own life no longer mattered. All she wanted was him, and suddenly—she was with him again!

 

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