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“In the midst of the third section (3:6-8:4) the song takes a distressing turn. The Bride is in her bedchamber, when she hears her beloved knock on the door, asking to come in. She hesitates, because she has retired for the night and it is inconvenient for her to arise. When finally her desire for him overcomes her hesitation, he is gone. Her ‘heart leapt up when he spoke’ but her flesh procrastinated. There is a striking resemblance here to the words of Christ to the lukewarm Laodicean Church: ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock’ (Rev. 3:20).

When the Beloved is gone, the friends of the Bride encourage her to forsake Him and pursue another (vs.9). But she stirs up her own heart, and theirs, with a rehearsal of His many perfections (vss. 10-16), which leaves even these lukewarm ‘daughters of Zion’ anxious to pursue Him (6:1). At last, she finds Him, ‘feeding His flock among the lilies.’

When the Church grows drowsy in duty, and sluggish in heeding the voice of Christ, she risks His withdrawal from her. This happens when the Bride has ‘taken off her robes’ (of righteousness), for then she seeks her own comfort and ease. If Christ’s presence is withdrawn, there will be many who encourage the Bride to continue on in the service of another, but Christ will stir up her heart in the remembrance of His perfections, until she finds Him at last where she knew He would be-feeding His lambs.” (Comin, 215-216)

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