Beginning in verse 10a, we saw the Bride’s Beloved as her “Commander.” Then in verse 10b, we saw her Beloved’s “Command.” And now in verses 11-13, we see her Beloved’s “Consideration” as to the “Why” of his command to her. First, verse 11, the hindrances are gone: “For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.”
Here her Beloved is giving his Bride the “Why” he has commanded her to “Rise up… and come away.” We now see that there were hindrances beyond her control to rise up and come away to the “prepared place” with her Beloved. Her Beloved mentions two of these hindrances: the winter and the rain.
In the physical sense, the winters in the days of Solomon were days in which travel was shut down because of the cold weather. It was cold, raining, etc. The cold weather will drive a person to stay indoors to be protected from the bitter cold. The ground is frozen or muddy, not conducive to cultivation. Rain is also a great part of the winter season. Rain, as necessary as it is for life to go on, prohibits travel and decreases outdoor activity. The cold and rain deter much outside movement.
Also we must be reminded, in the days of Solomon, the roads were paths of dirt; travel was by foot or by beasts bearing loads. Therefore the cold and rain of winter were major factors for limiting outside activity, especially travel, or going anywhere of any distance.
But now the winter has passed; good weather has come. The weather is now favorable to travel.
In a figurative sense for the physical, her Beloved was saying, now all barriers (even excuses) have been removed. There are no uncontrolled hindrances on her part to keep her from coming away with him. It is not that the Bride could not see that the weather had changed, but she must wait for her Beloved’s time table. It eases her anxiety to hear her Beloved assure her; now is the time to come away. The Bride looks to her Beloved for leadership; he is her guide. She looks to him to know when and where and how.
So it should be in Godly marriages (and it will be). The man should be this kind of leader to his wife. He should earn respect and obedience by carrying out his position as her protector and guide.
In the spiritual sense, Christ is our Commander; He issues the Command to us as our Husband and Head as to when it is time to come away. We have been prepared by His Appearance and His Approach to us (2:8-9). We have been prepared in Revelation and Word and Witness by His Spirit to our spirit. We now hear His Command and we now know that the time is right. Therefore, we are given assurance and confidence that our Beloved has prepared the way; and now He says it is time to go.
Christ has said: For a time I had you at the Potter’s House, even on the Backside of the Desert (the winter and rain). I shut you in, wherein you would be still and receive My revelation to you and hear My still small voice as I communed with you. This Valley of Baca (or tears) has been good for you (Deuteronomy 8:1-8; Romans 5:3-5; James 1:2-4). It has conformed you to My Image. It has created in you a flaming desire and passion for My Prepared Place. (See John 17:21-24.) That is My Place to reveal My Oneness, My Perfection, Preeminence, Perception, and Power, and My Love, even “My Glory.” As a vessel of honor, you have been afore prepared to experience the Riches of My Glory (Romans 9:23-24).
Now it is time; the hindrances (the winter, the rain) appointed by Me are past, over and gone. Rise up and come away with Me to this Prepared Place.
Thank God for His training schools for our growing and maturing in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Praise Him for showing us our faults, our fears, and our doubts; and causing us to flee to Him. He causes us to lean upon His Sufficiency and not our own; to stand in His Promises and not our fear, our doubt. He has shown us to follow His Wisdom and not our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6); to live His Life of Power, Peace, Provision, and Protection in our life (Romans 5:10, 17; Philippians 4:13, 19).
Thank God for the Valley of Baca (or tears); for instead of becoming a hell to us, it has become a well to receive His Blessings in obedience. Here we have learned patience, which now leads to “experience” and “hope”; making us entire, perfect, and wanting nothing, except His Fellowship and Communion. It has caused us to be faithful to Him; single-eyed to Him; and loyal to Him. It has caused us to separate from all others; and to seek Him and Him alone.
Thank God, it has proved to us that we do love Him and desire to keep His Commandments above our own desires and goals (Deuteronomy 8:1-8).
Thank God, He has eliminated all our excuses and turned them into nothing; by revealing His Supply, as He did Moses with His Name and His Signs, and by giving him Aaron to speak for him.
Praise God, He has brought us through this test, this trial, this tribulation, this valley, this sickness, this darkness. He has brought us to surrender and submission; we are ready to obey Him at His Command. This is not to say there will not be other trials and tests. But praise God, this winter and rain are past, over and gone forever. Hallelujah!
Reader, if you can identify with this devotion, praise God. For God has brought you to a precious position of submission; ready for a sweet, sweet communion with Him. Therefore, praise Him for your limp, for your scars, etc.; because you have been healed in the inner man. Who cares about this physical body – for it is perishing. The important thing is that the inward man be renewed day by day unto His Honor and to our good, as we are made more and more into His Image. Amen and Amen.