“What is your beloved more than another beloved, O most beautiful among women?, Where has your beloved gone,
O most beautiful among women? Where has your beloved turned, that we may seek him with you?”
(Song of Solomon 5:9, 6:1)
Many individuals’ souls cry out for the living God, but they don’t want to go through this messy jello we call ‘The Church” in order to respond to the longing of their soul towards the Maker.
The following post is something I wrote four years ago for my personal blog, but I’m tweaking it to share here. I’ve been meditating on and re-reading the Song of Solomon lately, and after spending time in corporate prayer with some individuals from my home church in Canada, I felt the contents of this old post come back to my mind and felt like it needed to be re-posted. We were having a conversation regarding some individuals we each knew and where they were in their relationship with the Lord, and how ‘sick of church’ these individuals were (and are), but for some reason they’ve visited with us or enjoyed fellowshipping with us on Sunday mornings.
We are all called to evangelize the lost
I want to take a passage of Scripture that’s not commonly taught from, and show what I feel evangelism really is. It’s not the “4 Spiritual Laws”, it’s not “Turn or Burn” and it’s not “loving them into the kingdom”, “friendship evangelism” or the “Romans Road”—each an example of methodology commonly used in various circles of the Body of Christ I’ve come across. I’ve encountered proponents of various evangelistic methods who tout theirs as the only valid way to share the Gospel. I think evangelism includes those things and some methods, but it’s not any of those things all by themselves. To borrow what the Psalmist said, it can be defined simply as “teaching transgressors His ways.”(Ps 51:13)
Somehow in the Body of Christ we complicate things so much, and I’ve even been asked things when attending social functions like “my unsaved friend so and so is here, can you talk to him because you’re good at evangelizing?” Something is wrong when every member of the Body can’t just share why “their beloved is more than another beloved.” Don’t we have a Lover to share about? People won’t shut up when they’re in love and have a new boyfriend or girlfriend, but Jesus, the true love of our lives who’s closer than a brother is hard to talk about?
I’m not isolating this passage all by itself and using it exclusively to say something, either. I just think there’s a different angle to our witness that’s demonstrated here than any of the varieties of methods or emphases out there.
The passage I want to submit to you for consideration is in Song of Solomon. Something needs to take place in our lives that causes us to get asked “What is your beloved more than another beloved, that you thus adjure us?“ (S.O.S. 5:9b) People don’t come to Christ because our church services are excellent. They don’t come because we stand on a street corner open air preaching–at least not in and of itself. If I could pinpoint my best method of evangelism, it’s spending time in the presence of Jesus and then sharing from that experience.
Taking too much time to give a backdrop of this book would take away from the point I’m getting at about sharing our faith, but this book is a love story/song, between a man and woman. This book would do a world of good in the believer’s life to read it if they want a revelation of who they are in regards to being the Bride of Christ.
However, it’s neglected for whatever reason by so many in the body of Christ for either lack of understanding the symbolism and allegory, or just plain hardness of heart–in some cases. I think this is one of–if not THE–most amazing book in the Bible, and next time you read Song of Solomon read the book of Revelation right after it as the ‘follow-up’ with bridal paradigms instead of end-times Left Behind kind of perspective, for Revelation is the story of the Bridegroom coming back for His Bride and in full force not letting anything get in His way and dealing with those that have messed with His lover—the Bride of Christ/The Church! But I’m digressing.
What is your beloved more than another beloved?
At this point in the narrative, the woman, the Shulamite, is seeking for her beloved, a type of Christ, who has left after an encounter where he knocked on her door during the night, in the rain, and she was lazy in answering it. There are interesting parallels and ramifications in that idea alone which I might explore in another blog entry—Jesus, the Gentlemen “leaves” when it appeared He was unwanted or unappreciated. But in searching again for ‘more of Him’, she asks her companions–the daughters of Jerusalem if they’ve seen Him, and that if they do, to give a message to Him for her that she is lovesick–to which comes the reply I’m struck by: “What is your beloved more than another beloved, O most beautiful among women? What is your beloved more than another beloved, that you thus adjure us?”
It is here in the next several verses that the Shulamite goes into one of her detailed and allegorical descriptions of her beloved. It is a fascinating read, and filled with symbolism which would make for another lengthy blog entry (or series) for another time–the notes in the margin of several of my Bibles are jam-packed with tiny writings about each of the ten features she describes about Him. I’ll post it here to wet your appetite to study for yourselves.
My beloved is radiant and ruddy, distinguished among ten thousand.
His head is the finest gold; his locks are wavy, black as a raven.
His eyes are like doves beside streams of water, bathed in milk, sitting beside a full pool.
His cheeks are like beds of spices, mounds of sweet-smelling herbs. His lips are lilies, dripping liquid myrrh.
His arms are rods of gold, set with jewels. His body is polished ivory, bedecked with sapphires.
His legs are alabaster columns, set on bases of gold. His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as the cedars.
His mouth is most sweet, and he is altogether desirable. This is my beloved and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.
(Song of Solomon 5:10-16, Emphasis mine)
When people look at our lives, and pay attention or ask us the reason for the hope that we have, what impression are they left with and what questions do they ask? Do they tell you “oh that’s good for you, but I have my own ideologies.” Or are they persuaded that yours is “the fairest among ten thousand”, and couldn’t be compared with any other ‘gods’ or idols, and reply “Where has your beloved gone? Where has your beloved turned, that we may seek him with you?”
You see, the Shulamite, lovesick for her Bridegroom King, merely shared with the daughters of Jerusalem what she knew. This response was a description of who He was to her, not a detailed theological discourse about why they should be saved. This maybe could be described as worship, for where the Son of Man is lifted up, all men (and women) are drawn to Him. People don’t come to Christ because our church services are excellent. They don’t come because we stand on a street corner open air preaching in and of itself, or because we hand out tracts on occasion.
I remember one of the most powerful times of which I led someone to the Lord, didn’t come because I was trying to evangelize her in the particular conversation we were having. This acquaintance instant-messaged me, and asked me how God has ever answered any of my prayers. Somehow after we moved to talking on the phone long distance (for I was in Pensacola, FL and she in Canada) scales were seeming to fall from her eyes and I was blessed to lead her in prayer to give her life to the Lord Jesus then and there–all from having an answer for why my Jesus is the Lord God and why some other god isn’t, which was the jist of her questioning before we got to that point.
We are not required to get a 5 year PhD in Bible College before we can share Christ with others! We are merely required to have a response for those who ask (1 Peter 3:15). That’s the only requirement, and if you’re saved, you qualify. It’s not the job of an evangelist to do it for us, but we are all called to restore that which is lost—whether it be a spiritual healing of seeing someone saved, or a physical healing from laying hands on the sick or whether it be deliverance and seeing someone set free from bondages in their life—we are all capable and required to do this ourselves.
In a courtroom setting all a witness is is someone who describes what they’ve seen or witnessed. Every believer has a testimony. Were you there when your conversion happened? Then you’re an effective witness. Don’t wait until you’ve read all the books Ray Comfort has ever written before you’re confident in sharing your faith. Just share who Jesus is to you and how He changed your life. There is nothing wrong with getting more familiar and effective at doing it, you know that we’ll never be perfect at anything, so give it a start now and then get better at sharing your faith as time goes on, but for the sake of a lost and dying world around you don’t wait until you’re good at it before starting.
Just be able to answer why your beloved is more than another beloved.