“Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.” (Song of Solomon 4:16)
What is presented in our text verse is a vital truth that must be comprehended by the Bride, if there is going to be any peace and rest in the many tests and trials that God has appointed for His Bride.
In a physical sense, the Beloved is requesting the trying of his Bride; for he knows that this testing is necessary for the Bride to have confirmation within herself of who she is, because she keeps his commandments. This trial is also what is used to cause fruit to be borne on the branches. The Beloved also knows that this is what is necessary to conform her to the Beloved’s image; and in him causes her to make her request with assurance for her Beloved to come into his “prepared” garden and “eat” his pleasant fruits.
He makes his first request, “Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south.” The Bible reveals that the north wind, if cold enough, will drive people indoors. Proverbs 25:23a says, “The north wind driveth away rain…” And Job 37:9b says, “…and cold out of the north.” It can get so cold that men cannot go outdoors, but must stay shut up inside.
Job 37 also says:
(9a) “Out of the south cometh the whirlwind…”
(13) “He causeth it to come, whether for correction, or for his land, or for mercy.”
(14) “Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.”
For not only does the whirlwind (the storm) come from the south, also does the warmth:
“How thy garments are warm, when he quieteth the earth by the south wind?” (Job 37:17)
The figurative language of the cold of the north wind and the storms produced from the south wind depicts trials and testing to come upon his Bride; not to destroy his Bride, but to develop fruit and purity in her.
The Beloved’s second request is, “blow upon my garden.” This shows the wind is to blow specifically in “my garden.” It was designed and sent forth in his Bride for a specific reason.
In a spiritual sense, God is not a God of cruelty, but a God of love. For even though tests, trials, and tribulations produce troubles in our flesh and many times cause anguish in our minds; God’s Purpose is not to destroy us, but to conform us to Christ’s Image. The fruit that is produced in the tested and tried Child of God is patience, assurance, experience, hope, being not ashamed, perfection, entire, wanting nothing. (See Deuteronomy 8:1-8; Job 42:1-6; Romans 5:3-5; James 1:2-4.) These trials produce not destruction or defeat; but victory, peace, and rest, and leaning upon God’s Power and Sufficiency.
God has two main designs in His appointments of testing and trials and tribulations upon His Church, His Bride. The first design is “that the spices thereof may flow out.” The Seed is planted within the regenerated person; but that Seed (Christ) must be confessed and obeyed. Then the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), or the fragrance of this fruit, will flow out of the regenerated person; or be active in his life, in his works of faith (1 Thessalonians 1:3).
This is the process of sanctification in a believer’s life. The Chosen are sanctified in Christ in Eternity past; Eternal Sanctification (Ephesians 1:3-6; 1 Peter 1:18-20; Revelation 13:8c). They are sanctified (or set apart) in Christ’s Atonement on the Cross, Judicial Sanctification (1 Corinthians 1:30; Romans 3:24-25). And they are sanctified experientially in regeneration; Experiential Sanctification. Here they come to perceive their position in Christ at the point of the New Birth; evidenced by their confession (Romans 10:9-10).
However, there is a process of the development of Holiness and Separation in the Child of God that is progressive during his lifetime. (See Galatians 4:19; Romans 6:12-22; Colossians 3:1-25; etc.) God uses His Word; His teaching of the Word; and He uses chastisements, trials, tests, and tribulations to conform His Bride unto His Image. It prepares her for His visit in sweet communion with His Bride. It causes His Bride to make request of her Beloved, having been prepared by the north and south winds.
Next we see the Bride’s first request, “Let my beloved come into his garden.” Now she is ready (prepared) for His visit. Not only is she prepared and ready; she now calls for her Beloved.
In the spiritual sense, she desires Him (Christ) to come into His garden and see what the washing of His Word has done in her and for her. Now she has had a “will change.” It is a sad commentary on our earthly condition, but it is true – even though the flesh has been crucified, the flesh is still with us; not as our ruler, but as our deceiver.
When God’s Child is regenerated (born from above), she is given a new nature, made a new man, a new creature:
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
She has had a “will change” from walking in the flesh (Ephesians 2:2-3) to “…Here am I; send me” (Isaiah 6:8b). Now the Bride wills to follow her Beloved (Christ). Her desire is to please Him; to be like Him. She wants to be where He is; to win the prize; to have a Oneness with Him; to Behold His Glory (Philippians 3:7-14; John 17:21-24).
However, God refines this new will; He uses the north wind and the south wind to blow upon His Garden (the Church). It is not for God to see or know her; but for the Bride of Christ to know who she is and what she is commanded to be and do for His Honor and Glory. It is for her to be one with Him in body, soul, and spirit. It is for her to be ready for sweet, sweet fellowship with Christ in Truth (Who is Truth); and thereby be sanctified and made free (John 17:16-19; 8:32).
Christ’s Bride needs to learn to live in His Life while still on this earth. She will know of His Power, of His Peace, and of His Rest, as she partakes of His Promises. (See 2 Peter 1:1-4; Hebrews 4:1-11; Romans 5:10, 17). She will learn that God is true and every man is a liar (Romans 3:4). She will learn that in Christ, the Victory is done (1 John 5:4). None can separate her from God’s Purpose.
“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)
“Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.” (Romans 8:33)
“Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” (Romans 8:34)
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Romans 8:35)
The Apostle Paul even prayed:
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him” (Ephesians 1:17)
“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,” (Ephesians 1:18)
“And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,” (Ephesians 1:19)
“Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,” (Ephesians 1:20)
“Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:” (Ephesians 1:21)
“And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,” (Ephesians 1:22)
Christ prayed for His Church to be brought into a full understanding of His Glory (John 17:21-24), unto which they were ordained (Romans 9:23-24). When Christ’s Garden, His Bride, is prepared, He will come into His Garden.
The Bride’s second request is “and eat his pleasant fruits.” The word “eat” is figurative, representing the Beloved’s partaking of, or experiencing, the fruit (or the works) of the Bride (the prepared Love). The Beloved will become one with his prepared Bride. The nature of his fruit is described in the word “pleasant.” The word “pleasant” means agreeable, good, pleasing.
In the spiritual sense, it is a metaphor explaining the “why” (the second reason) of the north wind and the south wind blowing upon His Church, His Garden. It is to prepare her to receive His fellowship; and also for her to call for His fellowship. As Job said, “…I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” (Job 23:12b).
It is also that He may “eat” or actually fellowship with His Bride. That is, Christ may experience the fellowship with His “prepared” (cleansed and purified) Bride, His separated Bride, His single-eyed Bride; with her “pleasant” (pure, holy, honorable, righteous, loving, joyful, etc.), pleasing, enjoyable fruit (Galatians 5:22-23). This “fruit” is ultimately Himself, The Faith, living in us. It is His Fruit; Fruit of Himself.
There is no substitute for this process of Sanctification being nurtured and matured, even brought to glorification, in the Believer’s life. This process needs to be identified by the Bride, so she will know that when the wind begins to blow, and even in the midst of the storm, God is in control; and He is using it for her benefit. So that she might be prepared for Him to come in and fellowship with her as He eats of His pleasant fruit that the blowing of the winds has brought about.
When the Bride of Christ understands what God is doing in her life, she then can come to peace and rest in Him. She knows that He loves her; and it is for her good and for later rewards, which are so precious. These rewards of communion with Him are unspeakable and indescribable.
Child of God, are the Winds of God blowing upon you? Do you understand what is happening in your life? If not, be still and wait; you can’t change God’s appointments (Job 23:13-14). But you can come to peace and rest in His Promises, even in the midst of the storm. (Read Daniel 3, 6; Philippians 4:13, 19.) For you know Him who is in the back of the boat:
“And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” (Mark 4:39)
Therefore, lean not to your own understanding, but trust in the Lord with all your heart:
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)