E. J. Davis
In the last verse in Song of Solomon, we read, “Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices” (meaning the fragrance of love) – 8:14. Let us compare this statement “Make haste, my Beloved,” to the phrase found in the last verses of Revelation - “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly.” Then John responds, “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” Rev. 22:20
This last text is the interpreter of the first. Both express the deep longing of every devoted Christian for the appearing of our Lord. My thought is this waiting period we are experiencing in our life’s journey until the day the Lord appears to take us up to be with HIM forever.
We want to understand the true spirit and limitations of this Scriptural home-longing. It is not just a discontentment with life, its business nor its trouble and hurts. We admit we do become weary at times, but these distractions are only working good for us. We are learning to overcome and ever learning our Lord’s love for us as we would in no other way. We are learning to lean on Him more and more and our love for Him grows deeper and deeper.
We don’t want to be like Elijah lying under the juniper tree and crying, “Lord let me die, because I am not better than my fathers.” Nor like Jonah sitting under his withered gourd and asking Jehovah to take away his life because he suffered a bruised reputation as a prophet when God spared repentant Nineveh.
This kind of discontent (disappointed affection, unsuccessful business, the bitter consequences of our own mistakes and misdeeds, guilt, etc.) can be found which can lead to crying out like poor Job, “I am weary of life, I would not live always.” That is far from the spirit of Christ that is in us.
There is a true longing to be with Christ, expressed by all devoted believers. There is a ripening of the grain which makes the heads hang low and the mellow fruit ready to fall. Like Apostle Paul expressed in Phil. 1:23, “To depart and be with Christ is far better, nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.”
He had a sound and wholesome readiness and gladness to be with the Lord, yet without a tinge of morbidness, he also had a real preference to remain amid the toil of life for the sake of others and for the work of the Lord.
Under all this there is a heart ever springing heavenward. Such heavenly aspirations are throughout the Bible. Yet even this does not express the meaning of the saints’ longing for home. It is not so much a desire for even heaven, but a longing for the personal coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the resurrection.
II Cor. 5:1-4 – “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked (or unclothed). For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.” We expect to possess a glorified body like unto His. I Jn. 3:2, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” I often heard my husband, Jack express the desire for his glorified body.
The body shall rise in His glorious likeness, and death shall be swallowed up of life. This is very different from the expectation of death. When scripture admonishes us to be ready it does not mean we are to be continually looking for death, but prepared to meet Him when He descends to claim His bride, to watch for His appearance.
Such a desire is not only Scriptural, but quicking and inspiring. For the heart born from above reaches ever heavenward and the unspeakable blessings it will bring. That desire will not only relieve sorrow and pain, but bring about the maturity that God desires for us to have.
But the best of such desire is of course the hope of being with our Savior forevermore. The joy of the bride is the bridegroom, Himself. It will be blessed to see our loved ones, but that pales compared to being with our Beloved.
I like that line in one of our songs, ‘The bride eyes not her garments, but her dear Bridegrooms face.’ Lets read I Thess. 4:18 – “Comfort one another with these words…and they are Vs. 16-17, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
To be with Him is what makes it far better to depart. Rev. 21:23, “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” The Lamb is the light of the heavenly city and its glory. It is true we have Him now, but not as we shall then. We shall see His face and be in His glorious presence continually beholding His beauty. We shall commune with Him without restraint and partner with Him in His governing of the millennial world (learning and beholding the eternal results of redemption).
We think of what that day will mean for us, but do we think of what it will mean for Him, as He gazes upon the souls saved and glorified through His sufferings and love, as each bring their crowns and rewards and lay them at His Blessed feet. It is recorded in Song of Solomon 7:13 – “At our gates await all manner of fruits which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved.”
Are we longing for our Lord and His appearing? If not, why not? May we invest not in this earth, but commit all our interests in the consummation of our blessed hope, the appearing of our Beloved to take us up to be with Him forever.
Soon the waiting and longing will be over. Behold the Bridegroom cometh. Our home-coming draws nigh.
The last verse in the Bible – Rev. 22:21 – “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.” Until then!