Christ in the Song of Songs 2:8–17: The Invitations of the King

Arise, my darling.
Come away, my beautiful one.
For now the winter is past;
the rain has ended and gone away.
The blossoms appear in the countryside.
The time of singing has come,
and the turtledove’s cooing is heard in our land.
The fig tree ripens its figs;
the blossoming vines give off their fragrance.
Arise, my darling.
Come away, my beautiful one.

(Song of Songs 2:10–13 HCSB)

In this poem the Shepherd-King comes after his bride-to-be and invites her to come to him. He takes the initiative. He is the true seeker! In fact, his invitations are not one; they are many. And, he comes to her by his voice, by his word.

In the incarnation the voice of God was heard as “the Word became flesh” (John 1:14). Coming full of grace and truth, our Shepherd-King, our Good Shepherd, informs us that like Shulamite, 1) we hear His voice, 2) He knows us, and 3) we follow [come after] Him (John 10:27). Like Shulamite we are called to “arise and come away” (2:10, 13) to a new life with our Shepherd-King, the Lord Jesus.

In Hebrews 3:7-19 the author cites Psalm 95:7-11, telling the people of God to “hear His voice” and enter into the rest the Lord has prepared for His people. Repeatedly He emphasized that “today” is the day to respond in faith, not hardening their hearts. Indeed, their response to Him should be the natural thing to do because as Psalm 95:7 says, “He is our God and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.”

Jesus our Shepherd-King invites us to come to Him now, today, for rest in a garden of love, joy and fruitfulness made possible by way of another garden, the garden of Gethsemane. Coming to him in faith, we can proclaim for all to hear, “My beloved is mine and I am his (2:16). His voice, His word, is the only voice I want to hear. His voice, His word, is all I need to hear. Today, as I hear His voice, I will not harden my heart. Rather, I will let His voice put me at ease and bring joy to my soul, for my beloved Lord Jesus is mine and I am His!”