“I opened to my beloved, but my beloved had withdrawn himself and was gone.  My soul failed when he spoke; I sought him, but I could not find him.  I called him, but he gave me no answer.”

Song of Solomon 5:6

Anyone who’s ever loved knows the heartache of separation—especially in the spiritual realm; but we need never fear that our Lover will ever abandon or forget us.

Do the words of today’s Manna strike a chord in your heart, dear Pilgrim?  Has there ever been a time when the words of the anonymous bride of Solomon became your own?  If so, you know full well their meaning and the agony of soul from which they rise.

Most of us spend little time in the Song of Solomon.  And, assuredly, we seldom hear any messages preached from it in our churches.

Part of it is the explicit imagery expressed within its short eight chapters; however, we’d do well to spend some time in this intriguing love song of Solomon.  While it’s clear his latter life became quite immoral and idolatrous because of his having 700 wives and 300 concubines, this small book is a beautiful one.  It’s an allegory of Israel as God’s espoused bride (Hos. 2:19-20); however, it’s also a beautiful picture of Christ and His Bride, the Church.

In many ways it is a drama with three main speakers:  Solomon, the king. . .Shulamite, the bride. . .and a chorus (the daughters of Jerusalem.  Yet, intertwined within it is a beautiful love story that’s worthy of our hearing and quiet meditation.

If you’ve walked very long on the Pilgrim Pathway, you realize there are times you feel so close to Christ that you could reach out and touch Him.  And, then, there are times when today’s Manna succinctly sums up your feelings of loneliness.

Anyone who’s ever been widowed knows the sting of separation.  Anyone who’s ever been deserted or divorced knows the loneliness of an empty house and bed.  Anyone who “hungers and thirsts” after Christ knows there are times when our faith is so weak and our prayers so seemingly powerless that we’re prone to despair.

But, do not lose hope, Pilgrim.

Sometimes those feelings arise from secret sins that need confession and repentance.  But, other times those feelings of separation come when we’re right in the center of God’s will (e.g., Job, Jesus on the Cross, etc.).  And, it’s during those times when our “Beloved has withdrawn Himself. . .and we seek Him but cannot find Him. . .and we call on Him, but He gives us no answer” that we must make sure the “helmet of salvation” is firmly attached and the “shield of faith” is lifted high (Eph. 6:10-18).  Otherwise, we, like Asaph, will certainly feel “our feet are almost gone and our steps are well-night slipped” (Ps. 73:2).

Spend some time reading through Song of Solomon.  Allow the Holy Spirit to draw your heart to those verses that remind you of who Christ is and our utter need of Him.  Use those verses that describe your importunity and pray them back to God—for His heart is touched when we cry out to Him and He will come to us (Ps. 107:26-30).  Trust Him. Rest in Him. Love Him.  He’s near.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated November 27, 2009

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