The Shulamite was beside herself. Her Beloved had arrived unexpectedly, and she had delayed her response to His request for entrance. Now he was gone! She had looked everywhere for Him, but to no avail. No one would help her lovesick heart, either. The watchmen had mistreated her, and the keepers of the wall took her veil away. The only ones who would even listen to her cry for help were the daughters of Jerusalem, a group of ladies who might resemble a church choir of sorts.
Sure, they knew the Shulamite and her intense love relationship with her Husband Redeemer. They had accompanied her in festivals and sang the choruses of her songs: “We will run after you!. . .We will be glad and rejoice in you. We will remember your love more than wine.” Song of Solomon 1:4. But now, at this late hour, and knowing the many escapades she had been through, they were wondering, “What’s the big deal?” Their only response to the Shulamite’s desperate charge, “If you find my beloved…tell Him I am lovesick!” was, “What is your beloved more than another beloved?” Song of Solomon 5: 8, 9 (italics mine).
Life can do that to you. It can take away the most intimate, vibrant, and rewarding relationship and question its very worth. From romance to duty, lost love is everywhere. We can’t even remember why we got so excited in the first place and wonder, “Was it even worth it?” As a church, we can have solid prayer (watchmen), great order (wall keepers), and choirs that rock (daughters of Jerusalem), and not even be aware that there is no Beloved. We get so busy chasing evil out and finding false apostles that we have no time to care about where Jesus is.
Have we lost our first love?
Jesus said to the Church of Ephesus in Revelation 2 that they had everything in place and working well, but they had left their first love. They had fallen out of love with Jesus. He said, “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works…” Revelation 2:5.
Our first love. . .our first works. There is one thing that will awaken, help us find, and remember why we got married to Jesus in the first place: PRAISE! Descriptive, heartfelt, declarative, boasting—even desperate, if need be– praise, all about Jesus! Our Beloved!
The Shulamite grabbed her voice, wiped her tears, and began boldly declaring why her Beloved was like no other love. “My beloved is white and ruddy, Chief among ten thousand. His head is like the finest gold; His locks are wavy, and black as a raven.” Song of Solomon 5:10,11. But oh, she didn’t stop there; she gushed out a geyser of descriptive praise! Four more verses of large, bold, admiring praise. She ends with, ”His mouth is most sweet, Yes, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem!” Song of Solomon 5:16.
The daughters’ response: remarkable, but not surprising. “Where has your beloved gone, O fairest among women? Where has your beloved turned aside, that we may seek him with you?” Song of Solomon 6:1. From previous indifference to now agreement and passion, the daughters had come alive. The Shulamite had awakened their lost love. Desperate believers seeking Jesus, turning to face their challengers and challenges and praising the One they love, create faith among the hearers. Praise to Jesus creates hunger and desire in the complacent, and brings immediate response from the Lord! He is here!
The Shulamite knew right then where her Beloved had gone, but most importantly, she knew who she was in His sight. “I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.” Song of Solomon 6:3.
She had found her lost love! She had awakened desire in the hearers and become even more confident in her relationship with her Beloved. A seeking heart, through praise, will find the One desired. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you” Matthew 7:7.
The question now is. . .Who is YOUR Beloved?