We now look at Song of Solomon 5:6b, which brings us to the Third Step of Christ’s Plan of Recovery to bring His Bride to full fellowship, “but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone.”
The question comes, what is Christ meaning by this action? He knocks with His voice; He commands her to open the door; He leaves sweet smelling myrrh to remind her of the past fellowship in the Banqueting House. Now He withdraws Himself and is gone; He is nowhere to be found by the Bride.
The answer is found in the Bride’s next response:
“I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.”
The terms “sought him” and “called him” are indicative of the full effort of the Bride to find her Beloved. This reveals the depth of her desire for Him again; and it also reveals her determination to find Him. Her determination is because of His previous steps: first of knocking, commanding her to open; second of moving His hand by the hole in the door; and now by His withdrawal from her.
By Christ withdrawing Himself from His Bride, now that He had stirred her spirit to repent of her indifference and her rebellion to be stedfast; He causes several reactions in the Bride. First, it deepens her desire for His fellowship. Second, it causes her to know that she needs something else in her spirit to be changed, so she can have His sweet Fellowship again. Third, she realizes that it will take more than getting up out of her bed of indifference and opening the door (or the barrier) that was robbing her of His Presence. And fourth, it may even put fear in her that she is no longer in His Favor.
How many times have you (when coming back to Him) prayed to Him and called on Him, but “no answer”? His “no answer” had several effects on you. First, it caused you to repent and confess your faults over and over again; thinking maybe Christ had not heard you.
Second, it caused you to vow: “If He ever does answer me, this has taught me a valuable lesson. I don’t want this indifferent condition to ever overtake me again.” It causes us to make sure we are diligent in daily prayer, confession, and the study of His Word. It causes us to be alert to future signs of our flesh deceiving us in this area.
And third, it has caused you to go into the city in hopes of finding the answer in the word of the Watchmen.
Now we come to the Beloved’s Fourth Step:
“The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.” (Song of Solomon 5:7)
Verse 7 brings us to the fourth step of Christ’s recovery of His Bride to full fellowship with Him. “The watchmen that went about the city found me.” The Bride had experienced this once before (Song of Solomon 3:1-4). But in that episode, the Bride had only asked the question: “Saw ye him whom my soul loveth?” And it was just past the Watchmen where she found her Beloved.
But now, Christ is teaching a harder lesson to His Bride; for now her indifference and her rebellion to serve Him has grown to greater depths. Before, a little word directed her back to Him. But now it is a different story. Song of Solomon 3:1-4 was not over indifference and rebellion; but was a lesson in the value of the Watchmen in the City.
Now, she knows where to go for help to find her Beloved. But she has no idea what is in store for her from the Watchmen.
The “watchmen that went about the city”; God has ordained that His Bride have an elder to rule over His Flock under the Spirit of God’s direction (Hebrews 13:7, 17). They are in the City of God, even the Church (Ephesians 4:11).
They “found me.” This is the job of the Watchmen of the City; to preach His Word in power and demonstration of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:1-4). They are to instruct, exhort, rebuke, etc. the Sheep of God (Ephesians 4:12-16; 2 Timothy 4:2); not to destroy them, but to edify them and lead them to perfection in Christ; to encourage them to examine themselves and see if they be in the Faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).
“They smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.” This is the Ministry of the Holy Spirit by applying the Word of God to our spirits.
“And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:” (John 16:8)
“Of sin, because they believe not on me;” (John 16:9)
“Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;” (John 16:10)
“Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” (John 16:11)
The Word of God will smite your sin, your pride. It will wound you to make you see the depth of your indifference and rebellion. You have to face the root of the matter and dig it out by facing it, admitting it, and confessing it to Christ.
The veil is hypocrisy. The veil is a lie; the veil is self-defense. The veil is hiding your sin under the guise of love. Really the veil is covering the depths of your lack of full surrender, full submission, and full obedience to Christ. It is your outward talk; but it is covering your lack of selling completely out to Christ and crossing Jordan and fighting the giants in the name of Jehovah.
Many, many of God’s so-called sheep today are veiling their lack of total surrender and submission to obey Christ totally and completely, holding nothing back. Sometimes, the problem is partly the Watchmen’s fault for not preaching the truth; for walking in compromise; for being afraid of their faces; for not giving them the complete truth; and for not warning them of the enemy.
However, here in Song of Solomon 5:7, the Watchmen were diligent in carrying out their assigned position. Therefore, they found the Bride; they smote her, wounded her, and took away her veil.
The taking away of the believer’s veil is humbling. But it is necessary to bring about true repentance and true confession, which leads to full fellowship. When the Bride is exposed, then all excuses flee into the shadows; hypocrisy’s face is identified and slain; pride is placed on the gallows and hanged. But praise God, when the Bride gets to this point; she is down, looking up. She is now aware that there is still a culprit, called the “old man,” living in her soul.
But now, being stripped of excuses, hypocrisy, and pride; she is ready from hence forward to be on guard and to take heed wherein she stands. This knowledge is now in the Bride; that the flesh, where sin dwells, is always in the shadows, ready to deceive her on every step of the journey. She now knows that once she yields to her flesh, then she is carried into indifference and rebellion of God’s Will for her life. This knowledge will help her in the future to know who she is; and to know that without Christ and His Power, she is no match for her soul, or her flesh, that dwells within her.
In the Bride’s growth and maturity in her sanctification process; this stripping of all excuses, hypocrisy, and pride, brings her to know: never trust her flesh; never yield to unrighteousness. She now knows to never, no never, take a vacation from her assigned position on the wall, in the battle against unrighteousness.
But once the Bride learns this through the experience as described in Song of Solomon 5:2-7, she is no longer deceived in the power of the flesh; and she knows to always take heed wherein she stands.
When the Bride finally admits who she is; when she confesses her weakness and her need of Christ’s Power; she is headed back in the right direction.
Child of God, the smiting, the wounding, and the removing-of-the-veil processes are humbling and embarrassing. But once you come through them, you will never be the same (not worse, but better). For now you have shed (laid aside) some of the sins and weights that do so easily beset you. Now you are ready to run the race with patience that is set before you. (Hebrews 12:1). Never despise the chastening of the Lord; for those who are exercised thereby, it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness (Hebrews 12:11).