Song of Solomon 2:17 “Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved…” There is a luminescent spiritual pearl here too beautiful to leave hidden within its shell. One cannot dive down and pull up this verse without noticing its twin oyster: “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (I Corinthians 13:12).
Spiritually, we are living in the shadow lands where life and death, joy and pain are inextricably intertwined. Someday the silver cord binding us to this earth will be loosed; the golden bowl of our life will break, and we will fly away to heaven. “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:6-7). In that day, we shall see him face to face, and “we shall be like Him; for we shall see him as he is” (I John 3:2). Someday we will die, but we must not fear death! This is the glorious hope of the Christian: when the day breaks and the shadows flee away, we shall know the dawn of everlasting light and the unclouded enjoyment of his blessed presence forever! We must learn to grasp this priceless pearl by faith! Like Paul we need to learn, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent form the body, and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8).
Our ultimate physical death is the gateway to eternal life in the immediate presence of our Lord; our last great battle with pain brings the triumph of everlasting joy. Although God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather wants them to turn to him and live (Ezekiel 33:11), the Scriptures are clear that “precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Psalm 116:15). Why? Because when the bell tolls out our death on earth, the wedding bells will be ringing in heaven! Before Christ left the earth he taught us, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:1-3).
Herein lies the Pearl of Great Price—Eternal Life—Jesus Christ. Although death is our enemy, don’t fear death! Look beyond death and see the figure of Christ! See him standing with his sword drawn, ready to swallow up death in victory. “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (I Corinthians 15:54-57). He is our captain, mighty to save (Hebrews 2:10; Isaiah 63:1)!
“Until the day break and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved…” What does the bride say to her heavenly beloved? Until I experience the full light of everlasting glory, let me feel your presence. Reign in me fully; delight in me completely; may I always be moved and totally absorbed by your love.