Partnering in Love
Last week we discussed how Bridal partnership is expressed through “instant obedience”. This week, we will conclude Chapter 7 as we discuss the Bride’s mature partnership with Jesus in Ministry. (*Much of the information here is from Mike Bickle’s notes on Song of Solomon.)
There I will give You my Love.
Come, my Beloved, let us go forth to the field; let us lodge in the villages. 12 Let us get up early to the vineyards…There I will give You my love. (Song 7:11-12).
Our field of service begins in our family, job, church and neighborhood. It is wherever God places us. We do not have to get on a plane to serve in the field. The villages speak of the small, out of the way areas where Jesus desires to build His Church. The Bride sees God’s value for unknown people and places, not just the big cities. She is willing to lodge or stay for a season even in a remote village (Song 7:11) Getting up early speaks of her diligence and urgency in the assignment that the Lord has given her.
The Bride experiences undistracted intimacy with Jesus in the midst of ministry. “There” is the place of selfless labor, the risks of faith, disappointments and mistreatment. She learns to love Him while serving others instead of losing her intimacy in the rigors of ministry. She runs effectively with Jesus in the fields and villages that He might receive His inheritance from them.
It requires maturity to walk in undistracted love for Jesus while in difficulty, persecution and disappointment. The Bride is walking in apostolic Christianity as outlined in Phil. 3:10 which calls us to walk in intimacy and ministry while embracing hardship. Paul loved Jesus in context to being mistreated in being sent to prison and while ministering to the jailer in Acts 16.
That I may know Him (intimacy with God) and the power of His resurrection (ministry), and the fellowship of His sufferings (hardship), being conformed to His death… (Phil. 3:10)
The Bride wants Jesus to enjoy the fruit of her labor.
The mandrakes give off a fragrance, and at our gates are pleasant fruits, all manner, new and old, which I have laid up for you, my Beloved. (Songs 7:13)
The mandrake fruit has a purple flower with a beautiful fragrance and symbolize intimacy with God. Barren women in ancient times used to use the mandrake fruit to enhance their chances of bearing children. It became known as a fruit associated with love and fertility because of the story of Rachel who while struggling with barrenness was told by her sister Leah to use mandrakes. The unspoken idea was that she might gain a higher chance of fertility (Gen. 30:1, 14-16). This is the only time outside of the Song that the mandrake is mentioned in Scripture. Even to this day the mandrake fruit in Jewish traditions is known as a fruit associated with love.
The impact of her ministry results in pleasant fruit. There is joy in knowing that the fruit of her ministry is pleasant to Jesus (Song 4:16). Having fruit at my gates speaks of it being before me.
The Spirit anoints us to bear all manner of pleasant fruit. Jesus spoke of drawing out of our treasury that which is old and new. This includes the proven truths from her past along with her former victories and experiences as well as the new and fresh ones.
Every scribe instructed…brings out of his treasure things new and old. (Mt. 13:52)
The Spirit gives us treasures from our life of loving obedience and faith that are laid up in heaven. We lay them up to give to Jesus. She laid up pleasant fruits for Jesus her Beloved.
Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys…(Mt. 6:20)
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