The Bare Soul - February 19, 2012
God's Pulse

Song of Solomon 4:9 - You have made my heart beat faster, my sister, my bride; You have made my heart beat faster with a single glance of your eyes, with a single strand of your necklace.

Romance can be a wonderful thing. I am not talking about dating and much of the romantic involvement so prevalent in our modern culture. I am speaking about a romantic interlude between knowing someone and marrying that individual---namely courting. This term, while archaic to many, is God's manner and method to bring a man and a woman together in holy matrimony. We have lost much of the innocence around engagements because too little of the courting element is part of our societal expectations. However, I do know of a few couples today that when they say their wedding vows to one another on that glorious day will kiss for the first time. (This was never my experience. However, in hindsight, I wish it was part of my wife's and mine experience.) God wants romance to be a holy thing, unsullied by the world and their norms. The purer we can keep love between a man and a woman before they share their vows, the more their intimacy will mean after the ceremony.

God does not require something of us that He does not expect of Himself. God's perfect plan demands chastity and purity before our earthly nuptials. In the same way, the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, longs for His wedding day and the consummation of His love for the bride He purchased through His blood. The Song of Solomon is a wonderful metaphor of Christ's love for His beloved bride, the church. The first three chapters of this love poem declare the bride and bridegroom's love for one another on their wedding day. Their confessions of love have made many believers uneasy throughout the centuries, as many of the passages are noticeably erotic and sensual. However, let us take these in context. This holy matrimony is nothing more than God's perfect plan of fidelity before marriage. We are presented with statements such as the desire of the bride to be kissed by the king on their wedding day (Song of Solomon 1:2). The chastity of the bride is further remonstrated by the her declaration that her "perfume gave forth its fragrance" while she was at the wedding supper (Song of Solomon 1:12). What a glorious picture of Christ and His spotless bride that emits the fragrance of Christ to all! This is merely the setting that draws us as a private audience to understand the bride and especially the bridegroom's love for one another.

In chapter four, we see Solomon's love truly expressed in words for his bride. Our lead verse tells us how his heart rate is elevated by just a "single glance" of the bride's eyes. Can we then relate this to God's feeling about His bride the church? Some might question if Christ's pulse rate would change whatsoever looking upon the current state of His bride. However, we would be remiss if we did not understand how He looks well beyond our present state to the eternal perfection of His lovely bride. We have lost a true understanding of the heart of God if we believe He only views us in our present state. While the church of Jesus Christ, His future bride, is far from perfect, she is readying herself for that wedding day which inevitably will come. Even now, Christ's church is beginning to exude the aroma or the fragrance of Christ to a lost and dying world. However, we are far from what He desires in our present state. God through His Holy Spirit will continue to purge and cleanse His bride through the act of "holy courting." This wonderful process which the Lord is taking His church through is no where close to the intimacy He will one day bestow upon His beloved. Through every act of obedience and surrender to Him, we are making the church, His bride, ready for that day when He will reveal all of His love to us.

Does Jesus' heart beat faster for us as Solomon's pulse raced excitedly for his bride? I believe it does. Jesus Christ sees us as we are, yet He also sees us how we shall be through His omniscient foreknowledge. As His bride, we cannot rest on our proverbial laurels and not make ourselves ready for His appearing. Remember, five virgins were ready, yet five were not and their entry was denied by the Bridegroom (Matthew 25:1-13). We must continue to set our affections on things above, waiting for the Bridegroom's glorious appearing (Colossians 3:1-3). Is His heart beating faster when we gaze upward and inward toward Him? Not as profoundly as when He will one day return for a spotless bride, purified by our obedience and love. The "courting" continues until that day when He will intimately take us in His arms and never let us go! May we all long for that day, perfecting ourselves in holiness by humility and surrender to the Lover of our Souls!

Lord Jesus, we long for that glorious day when our hearts will beat faster and emphatically for You and You alone. Allow us to surrender more to You today, that our hearts would even now be Yours. Prepare us for that wonderful day when we shall be overwhelmed in joy and love by our Savior. In Your Name, the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen!

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

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