Last week, we looked at how the Bridegroom prophetically affirmed the budding virtues of the Bride. (Song of Solomon 4:1-5). He looked beyond her weaknesses and called forth what He knew was inside of her. Today, we will discuss the Bride’s commitment to spiritual maturity.
After receiving affirmation from her Beloved, the Maiden commits to seek after spiritual maturity by going with Him to the Mountain of Myrrh.
Until the day breaks and the shadows flee away, I will go my way to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of frankincense. (Song 4:6)
The mountain refers to those things that would hinder our journey to spiritual maturity. There are the obstacles in our lives that would keep us from walking in obedience to Christ. The Maiden responds with a “yes” in her spirit to seek after Him, no matter what the cost.
Myrrh was a costly and fragrant burial spice and speaks of Jesus’ death. Although the myrrh speaks of death, it is death only to our flesh. To our spirits, it is fragrant and alive. Jesus ascended his own mountain of myrrh when He went to the cross. We are called to “take up our cross daily and to follow after Him”.
Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. (Luke 9:23)
Frankincense or “incense” in scripture refers to prayer.
Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. (Psalm 141:2)
We climb the hill of frankincense in order to receive strength when we are faced with temptation. The more we pray, the more power we receive. The more we pray and fix our eyes on Jesus, the more we die to ourselves — to our own wants, needs and desires. By communing with Him in prayer, we receive the strength to resist temptation. The hill of frankincense is smaller than the mountain of myrrh. It takes just a little bit of prayer to move those seemingly large mountains in our lives.
The maiden makes a decision to leave fear and her comfort zone behind and go up the mountain. She refers to it as “my way”. Each of us has a unique path that God has put before us to follow. I cannot walk your path, and you cannot walk mine. I must go my way up the mountain, and you must take the path God has set before you. Each way to the mountain is unique. Each one of us will face our own unique trials and challenges as we go our way to the mountain.
The Maiden is committed to going up the mountain until the day breaks and the shadows flee away. God’s mercies are new every morning. Each new day brings new victories. But those victories will not be realized unless we commit to go with Him to the mountain. The shadows are areas of weakness or compromise in our lives. Therefore, we must commit to remain on the mountain until we have the victory, fighting the battle through prayer.
You are all fair (beautiful), My love, and there is no spot in you. (Song 4:7)
The Bridegroom refers to the maiden as “beautiful” 13 times in the Song of Solomon. He has called her “beautiful or fair” 8 times up to this point. “All fair” is translated in the NAS as “all together beautiful”. The maiden set her heart to go to the mountain by only saying “yes”. She had not yet gone. But He sees no spot in her and no area where she resists His leadership. Therefore she is ALL together beautiful. The Lord sees our willingness to go, not our weak flesh or immaturity.
The Call to Spiritual Warfare
Come with Me from Lebanon, My spouse, with Me from Lebanon. Look from the top of Amana, from the top of Senir and Hermon, from the lions’ dens, from the mountains of the leopards. (Song 4:8)
He refers to her as His spouse for the first time in the Song. With her fresh commitment to go with Him, she is now living from her heart as a Bride. (Over the next 4 chapters, we will see her love mature.) Jesus longs for a Bride that is equally yoked with Him in love and invites us to come with Him from the mountains of Lebanon (of spiritual warfare) and follow Him wherever He goes. He has called us to follow Him to the cross. (Luke 9:23)
The Maiden now obeys the original challenge to “go with Him to the mountain”. There, on top of the mountain, He gives us eyes to see from His spiritual perspective. If we look at our difficulties only with our natural eyes, we will lose heart. We must look to Him and with His perspective if we are to prevail in spiritual warfare. She is now a warring Bride, engaged in spiritual warfare and seated in Heavenly places.
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8 NLT)
There, on the mountain, she is given strength to war against the lion who seeks to devour her.
Next week, I will have a wonderful guest post as we discuss Chapter 5.