"Listen! My Beloved! Look! Here He comes, leaping across the mountains, bounding over the hills. My Beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Look! There He stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, peering through the lattice. My beloved spoke and said, "Arise, My darling, My beautiful one, come with Me...." SOS 2:8-10
Risk; faith; trust; into the unknown….these words were haunting to the Bride. Up to this point in the Song, the Bride has enjoyed the rest and refreshment of her Beloved. She has been sitting under the apple tree (SOS 2:3), feasting on their love, and has embraced the solitude of the couple. She is under the banner of His love. But, she can’t stay there. We can’t stay there.
This makes me think of vacation mode. When Greg and I are on vacation, it is sun and sand and relaxation and shopping and feasting and embracing the joy of vacation. But we can’t live there. Every time we go to Florida on vacation we think, “Can you imagine living here with the beach and the sun every day?” But our daughter knows the reality. Katelyn lives in Florida. And she can’t sit at the beach all day. She is a teacher so she gets up each day and goes to work, just like the rest of us. The beach is a weekend adventure only. This is the reality of living in Florida. The vacation Florida is different than the “real life” Florida.
Verse 10 gives us the transition that is coming in the Bride’s life. Her Beloved calls, “Arise My darling, My beautiful one and come with Me”. Jesus’ call is for her to leave the place of comfort and partner with Him in places she has never been. He is asking her to join Him on the mountains~ to arise and step out in faith, trusting His leadership over her life in this new season. She has tasted and enjoyed his loving leadership in the resting season, now He is asking her to venture into new territory in their relationship.
Will she follow Him to this new place?
The Bride sees her Beloved as one who easily leaps over the mountains (mountains speak to adversity, challenges and problems). He moves like a gazelle (swiftly and effortlessly). Gazelles are beautiful deer who can run swiftly, up to 50 mph for long periods of time. They climb over mountains and hills gracefully. This is our Beloved. Jesus, as a gazelle, can leap over any obstacle with no problem.
He extends an invitation to His Bride to join Him on the high places. He calls her to come away twice in this short passage (vs 10 & 13). He is up on the mountain and His Bride is down in the valley. He longs for a partner to go with Him to new places. It is a divine invitation to the Bride. He wants her to learn and take risks with Him. He desires that she will lean totally into His leadership. There are things about Jesus’ leadership that we only learn on the mountains of difficulty. In order to grow, we must go.
Even with this new season of unknown, it is a season of singing (vs 12-13). It is full of fruitfulness. It is time for rejoicing in what Jesus is doing in her heart. It’s a new season. He is wooing her to join Him on the mountains. Will she go? Will she join Him in the new season?
Sadly the Bride refuses to come away with Him. She decides to stay in the valley. Her response to her Lover is this, “…Turn my beloved, and be like a gazelle or like a young stag on the rugged hills,” verse 17. Turn is the key word which means “the separation” in Hebrew. As long as He was with her in the comfort of their chambers she couldn’t stand to be apart from Him. But when the dangers of the mountains are before her, she comes to a decision of separation.
Because of her fear and immaturity, she is afraid to step out of her comfort zone and live by faith. She enjoyed sitting under the apple tree, but that is not where she is supposed to be. It is a new season.
What about you?
How many times has God called you to go somewhere or do something that was uncomfortable to you and you refused? You were unwilling to go because of fear or immaturity or not allowing yourself to get out of your comfort zone? How many times have you said “Turn my Beloved and be like a gazelle…”?
What we miss when we refuse to join Jesus on the mountains....as we continue to journey through the Song of Songs, we will see the consequences for the Bride's disobedience.
But even in her fear and immaturity, the Bride still knows that she is cherished by her Beloved. She cries out, "My Beloved is mine and I am His," verse 16. Oh that we would know our position in the Lord's heart, even in our immaturity. We are dark, yet lovely to Him (SOS 1:5).