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Song of Songs: Day 3

Night of Separation Before the Wedding

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Today's Text: Song of Songs 3:1-5, 1 Kings 4:20-34, Isaiah 55:1-13

Text: Song of Songs 3:1-5, 1 Kings 4:20-34, Isaiah 55:1-13

Friends, we are so close to the wedding scene, the main event of this beautiful poem. But first, before he details wedded bliss, Solomon details the night before. After all, before the morning must always come the night.

Out of the entire Song of Songs, this passage might be the one I resonate with most. Many commentaries suggest this portion represents a dream Shulamith has the night before her wedding in which she is separated from her beloved. She resolves to get out of bed and seek after him. The repetitive language shows the desperation of her quest: “I sought the one I love; I sought him, but did not find him… I will seek the one I love. I sought him, but did not find him” (Song of Songs 3:1-2).

That frustration of knowing what it is like to be united with your love, and then being suddenly separated—it is anxiety-inducing. It is frightening. The night feels dark without him. You feel lost without him, and you are not at rest until you are in his arms again.

This, I would say, is what most of our time here on earth feels like—like the night before the dawn, the night before the reuniting. We feel afraid and lost and desperate. We feel like something—someone—is missing, and we begin this search until we find it.

Christ, our Beloved, has come and He is coming again. But until He does, the night feels long.

Something I like about Shulamith’s quest is how focused it is. She is looking for one person and one person only: her beloved. She doesn’t get sidetracked or distracted; she knows her heart only beats for one man.

I cannot say so much for myself. Though I know what I ache and long for is actually my Savior, I have often set off on quests in the wrong direction, believing maybe this relationship or that person’s approval is actually what I need. I spend money on what is not bread and my labor on what does not satisfy (Isaiah 55:2), instead of going to the living water that has promised me life. I get confused in the night and restless, and too often this results in seeking the wrong person, place, or thing.

Shulamith eventually finds her love, and when she does, she holds on to him and does not let him go (Song of Songs 3:4). Think about that. When your desperate nighttime quest leads you into the arms of Christ, and you recognize Him as what your soul has been longing for this whole time—as the redemption you are so undeserving of, yet so in need of—you do not let go. You cling to the cross and thank God that the night is almost over and the morning is near. You’ve been reunited with your love, your Savior.

For now, we cling to Christ in the night. His return has not yet come, but it soon will. And when it does, the final union between us and our Bridegroom will be even more wonderful and holy and beautiful than Solomon’s poetic words can capture. Until then, may we continue our quest in the night, and may it lead us to the arms of Christ.

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  • I find myself searching like shulamith for my bridegroom in the places that he is not. Not that God is not a part of the people or the places in which I am looking. But the most frustrating place I think I search for him is in my earthly relationship with a man. I search for the the things only my God can give me, the kind of love that God is longing to give me. I am then left disappointed by the imperfections in that man and the fact that he could not provide all that I needed. I do this with a boyfriend, with my dad. I am also left disappointed in God at times. I need to remember with my whole self that God is the one for whom my heart longs.

    • Gabby

      You should think about reading Levi Lusko’s book, “swipe right” I think it will bless your life! Can’t wait to get a copy. Look him up ..he’s a great pastor who God is using in a big way! God bless you :)

  • Really frustrated because the verses from song of solomon are not included in the reading, it is so hard to know whats going on in the devotional!

    • Zoe

      Are you reading on the app or website? As I see it, the verses are at the top and can be expanded if you click on them :)

    • Cheri

      Yep, that’s what I see, too. Just click on the verses at the top and it will open them in Biblia :-)

  • I have been learning recently what it means to eagerly await The Bridegroom, as I have been eagerly awaiting my fiances return from deployment. I have been in this ‘night of separation’ for months now and it can be very anxiety-inducing. This whole deployment process has been very difficult for me, but God is reminding me that while I’m in this season of waiting and preparing for my earthly wedding, I should also be preparing for Christ’s return.

  • Sarah D.

    I didnt think this study would be appropriate for me, since I’m a senior in highschool and am not in a relationship. But wow, this speaks so much to me. I constantly get confused, worried, and angry over the things of this life and the way of the world. I wish it could be different. I search in the gutter for things that will not satisfy. But thank you Jesus, that you helped me find you, the living water. I’m so undeserving, yet you call me worthy. Help me to hold on to You Lord for the rest of my life. Help others to search and find you Jesus. We need you so much. Show us our need for you. Show us how empty we are without you. Help me remember that nothing and no one comes close to you. You and you only.

  • what spoke the greatest to me was from isaiah, “let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts. let him RETURN to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” God continues to be faithful to us, allowing us to RETURN back to him ABUNDANTLY. I am so grateful.

  • I am with Katie, I’m curious about the 1 Kings passage, I know god gave him great wisdom but I don’t fully grasp what this passage is suppose to communicate to us alongside the other two.

  • What was everyone’s biggest take away from the 1 Kings passage about Solomons provisions? What should we be learning from this?

    • kim

      So we can ignore my previous comment but I did some searching and I think that this passage is suppose to convey that Solomon trusted god and his faith is what got him to where he is. I don’t think the provisions are as important as the fact that Solomon only prospered and was given great wisdom because of his faith in god.

      • Kelsey

        I think the list of provisions helps to emphasize the value of wisdom. He was rich and prosperous beyond measure, but more valuable than all of that was his wisdom.

    • Marissa

      I’m not sure what we should get from this, but since it was just background on who Solomon was and how great his provisions were, we can maybe compare it to the riches of Christ and how He will provide for us. Verse 25 says that Israel and Judah lived in safety; verse 27 says that nothing was lacking. Not sure, just an idea.

    • Cheri

      Maybe it’s supposed to be like Solomon’s author bio on the inside flap of the dust jacket of his book :-)

  • The verse today that struck me is Isaiah 55:10-11, and it’s come to my attention a few times lately.
    “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
    and do not return there but water the earth…
    so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
    but sit shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

    I love being reminded that God has a purpose for everything that He does, and every ‘word of His that goes out’ will accomplish exactly what He meant it to.

    • Kelsey

      I loved this line, because Jesus is the word and he accomplished the task before him: he saved each and every one of us, took the punishment for our sins, and will take us to the father as brothers and sisters. God’s word did not return empty, Jesus returns with you and me!

  • Yesterday I felt really sad and empty and I was afraid that I wasn’t even enough for God. So I asked Him to led me feel His love, and I did, I can’t explain how, but I did! He is really there for us and He loves us.

  • Keri McCue

    “…you do not let go. You cling to the cross and thank God that the night is almost over and the morning is near.” I love this visual, this comparison of her dream and our lives here on Earth. It’s so true, isn’t it? We are getting just a tiny taste of what it will be like with our Savior when He returns. So we must cling to Him! Sometimes I forget to cling to Him. Thank you for this reminder!

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • Churchmouse

    In another time I think I could have been a contemplative, fully satisfied to live in a cave somewhere, praying and communing
    with God. But here I am in this day and age by God’s divine purpose. If I could only stay inside my morning devotional bubble. Sisters, other people can be so irritating. And I also irritate myself! I find myself so near to Jesus in the morning and I then find myself investing time and money on that which inevitably doesn’t satisfy (see Is.55:2). This is the ‘night’ I live in. I will not give up my time with my God, that peace and acceptance found with Him, but I do want it to infiltrate the rest of my day. That is my prayer. My desire. Perhaps this tension will always exist -the pull between the heavenly and the earthly-until His return. Come Lord Jesus. Come.

    • valerie

      amen!
      that is my prayer as well…

    • cj8of8

      Amen.. You are in my head this morning. Thanks for writing my thoughts and I know our Lord Jesus will keep us and bless us and will be in us today and the next. He is so faithful to help us to do what He desires. We belong to our lover and His desire is for us.
      Be blessed

    • Amber

      This resonated with me so much. Praying this prayer as well.

    • Sarah D.

      Amen amen and amen

    • Tricia C

      Amen. I too have this struggle. I long for my Bridegroom’s return, but I also want Him to wait, as I desire for my children to come to know Our Wonderful Savior.

    • SB

      I feel the same so many days! I feel like in the mornings at my dining room table when I’m in communion with God, I’m safe, protected, satisfied. But then I walk out the door and the world slaps me in the face. Yes, I also want my mornings to infiltrate my noontime and my nighttime. I have to remember His presence is always with me, even as I walk out the door and face the day.

  • The verse that really stuck out to me in this passage was actually the line where it says “…do not stir up or awaken love until the appropriate time”. As a college student surrounded by friends and classmates in and out of relationships it’s hard to feel like you’re the only one who is alone. Even my boss told me she found the person she loves in college and hopes I do too. While my intentions are pure, it is becoming more and more difficult to hold onto Jesus as the true love of my life and give him control over my (hopefully) future relationships. I have found myself asking myself more often, “could this person be the one? Or this one?”. Asking that God remind me that his love is enough, and is a love that can sustain me for eternity. Thank you SRT for walking us through this beautiful love story!

    • Stephanie Woebbecke

      Oh girl, I felt the same way in college. A few weeks ago I turned 30 and have yet to find “the one”, but it has been absolutely incredible to watch The One relentlessly pursue me with His love! I don’t know if and when I will ever get married, but I am 100% certain my fulfillment comes from Jesus! Stay strong dear sister.

    • Eriana

      I’m in a similar place right now, feeling really alone as everyone else finds themselves in relationships, sometimes one after the other. I feel your struggle! This devotional today was perfect. Thanks for sharing.

    • Lala

      If it helps, I thought that I found the one… But today while I am glad that we had each other for a while, I know too that I am looking for more. It would be great to have a boyfriend (heck, a husband) but this relationship with God is the one that I’m pursuing right now. This relationship has built a different family for me — one that fulfills me in a way that I never imagined (and I’m the girl who wanted to raise a football team). Be you. Let others be others.

    • Marilyn

      Jet L and Eriana, most of us have been there. It may look like “everyone” is in a relationship or has already found “the one” for them, but it’s not true. You have your whole life ahead of you, so try to focus on your relationship with Jesus and finding out who you are as a daughter of the King made in God’s image. In the end, that’s where true contentment lies, whether or not you find that “certain someone.” Mostly, know that you are not alone!

  • Katalina

    Christ has His own way of leading you back to Him whenever we get sidetracked. I was lost for 6 years and just a couple years ago, I found Him and this year was the year I decided to TRULY find Him. God takes us on a journey that may not always be a pleasant one… but most of the time it’s because WE put ourselves on that path and God has no choice but to take us along it, struggles and all. But He’s with us every step of the way, even when we don’t feel like He is. And I’m proof in telling you that you always find your way back to the One you love and the One who loves you <3

  • Sarah_Joy

    As a recovering, well struggling, people pleaser this convicted me. Am I still looking for who will give me the love my heart ultimately desires? Or do I know that my Beloved is Jesus? That He alone loves me perfectly?

    Jeremiah 29:13, 14 “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord…” So thankful that Jesus holds His arms out to us regardless of our past. He desires us.

  • I am a new Christian and this has been my life until I found Christ – lost and always seeking. Thank you Set for this beautiful devotional xo

  • Today’s reflection is such a picture of what brought me to this study as well as where I am in my relationship with Christ. He has allowed me to feel that “night before” for a while now and by His grace, I feel like I have now gotten to the place where the Shulamite woman is: I need the One my soul truly desires and I am willing to admit it to whoever I find on this night. Praise God that He sometimes gives us clouds so that we can try recognize the difference between the darkness and the Light! This was such an encouragement to me. Thank you SRT!

  • Isaiah 55–Come! Simply come.

  • Thankful for this wonderful study on beautiful passages that are sometimes confusing to read on their own. Love these devotionals that accompany them as they have really helped my understanding!

  • This brought such peace to my spirit this morning. Thank-you.

  • ❤❤❤

  • This is just what I needed to hear. Love the reflections. Praying that my quest will lead me into the arms of Christ.

  • Beautiful

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