My dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the secrecy of the steep place, let Me see your form.
Let Me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your form is beautiful.
Song of Songs 2:14 LITV
I don’t particularly like heights, but I love the view from the heights. I see so much more, including what I couldn’t see stretching out in front of me while hanging out in the lowlands.
A favorite memory is of taking the cogwheel train up the side of Pike’s Peak in Colorado while hitting between a 12 and 24 degree grade. A landscape-altering ride, and steep. It was worth hanging on to one’s stomach though. Once we hit the 14,000+ foot summit we enjoyed a plateau of firm footing. And…some hot coffee and cake donuts produced on those heavenly heights.
The best part – indeed, the reason for the travel up the mountain – was the view. On a clear day, you can see five states from up there, and we did. But what goes up must come down. We cogged, we conquered, we cogged back. But one thing we determined with certainty…
That is one majestic mountain. Firm, immovable, strong and towering. Like our Solid Rock in Whose clefts we may take shelter or find a hiding place.
But know this: just as the third law of physics applied to the cogwheel train trundling up and trundling back down the mountain, it applies even and especially here in our journey of ascent with the Lord. Newton’s law of motion states –
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
“The statement means that in every interaction, there is a pair of forces acting on the two interacting objects. The size of the force on the first object equals the size of the force on the second object. The direction of the force on the first object is opposite to the direction of the force on the second object. Forces always come in pairs – equal and opposite action-reaction force pairs.” *
It’s now time to revisit our friend the Shulamite. For all her reluctance, she models so beautifully (aka vulnerably and in your face) the issues with which we too are faced. I like her because I can identify with her. We’ve traversed similar territory with similar degrees of angst and attitude.
However, as the Bridegroom did with her, so He does with us. Before we move on you may want to revisit Selah V and take a deep breath. (I don’t mind hanging out while you go read and come back).
For the second time He has called His potential Bride to come away with Him (SS 2:13) that He might continue the process of separation; this time, separation unto Himself.
It is one thing to undergo being separated from the things of the world – the lust of the flesh and the eyes, and the pride of life (I John 2:16) that hinder our betrothal to Him. It requires another, deeper commitment of oneself to the further separation unto Him alone.
So here we stand at the border of Song of Songs 2:14.
He has brought her to a resting but defining place in the cleft of the rock. A place of security for the purpose of further strengthening her singular (dove’s) eye toward Him. His desire is to expand her personal knowledge of Him through a greater revealing of His Person. He has more things to speak to her about – expressions of assurance and words of instruction. He remains persistent in His pursuit of her while ever longing for her response of love for Him.
In every interaction in which the two of them engage, this third law of motion is playing out. The process of separation can operate by nothing less.
The call of action with which He challenges is to trust, engage, and follow on higher and deeper with Him. The equal and opposite reaction of the Shulamite and us – His potential Bride – often is to fear and flee into hiding. It’s humanity’s natural instinct – a throwback to the pairing of forces, both sinful and redemptive, enacted in the Garden when Adam and Eve fell to the deception of the serpent and entered into sin.
From then until now, humanity has been traversing the land of their lives. We are no exception. The difference in our spiritual ground is whether or not we invite and allow Him to alter our landscape. To do that, we must “arise and come away” with Him, where He first leads us out to the vineyard. Then He calls a second time to come away with Him, this time to lead us to the stairs of ascent toward His heart.
As we will see with the Shulamite, we rarely answer to the first call the first time, or the second call the second time. Nonetheless, He still calls even as He continues on, not wishing to leave anyone behind. There is no objection, failure, distancing, refusal, shame, guilt – you name it – for which the Solid Rock will be found less than. The force of His Love for His becoming Bride is stronger than death. (SS 8:6)
Yet, He will not overcome her with force, but rather will enable her to overcome as she allows herself to be overcome with His Love. Because, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Join me next time for part two as the Bridegroom loves on His beloved some more.
~ Gracefully Free
Shammahs Field LLC/Shammah Ministries is the biblical counseling, life coaching, and spiritual growth ministry entrusted to Wayne & Nancy Bentz. You can learn more about the resources they have to offer at shammahsfield.com and nancybentz.com.