This week’s lesson from the Song of Solomon reminded me of a passage in Song of Solomon, chapter 5, that could be compared to Jesus knocking on the heart’s door of the church of Laodicea. Most of us are familiar with this passage in Revelation:
“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Revelation 3:20 NLT
We are familiar with Revelation, borrowing imagery from the Old Testament. Christ’s message in Revelation 3:20 is to His beloved church. Song of Solomon can be seen as a metaphor of Christ’s love for His church. In Song of Solomon 5:2-6 we find a man knocking at a woman’s door, and we all know a woman often represents the church throughout the Bible. Could this picture be a sad ending to the scene in Revelation?
I slept, but my heart was awake, when I heard my lover knocking and calling: “Open to me, my treasure, my darling, my dove, my perfect one. My head is drenched with dew, my hair with the dampness of the night.” But I responded, “I have taken off my robe. Should I get dressed again? I have washed my feet. Should I get them soiled?” My lover tried to unlatch the door, and my heart thrilled within me. I jumped up to open the door for my love, and my hands dripped with perfume. My fingers dripped with lovely myrrh as I pulled back the bolt. I opened to my lover, but he was gone! My heart sank. I searched for him but could not find him anywhere. Song of Solomon 5:2-6 NLT
“I slept, but my heart was awake,” many take to be a dream. The woman hesitates to open the door, and apparently hesitates too long, as by the time she opens the door, the dream turns into a nightmare as her lover is gone. The seventy weeks of Daniel 9, tell us God knocked on the door of Israel’s heart for 490 years. With the stoning of Stephen in A.D. 34 as a nation Israel closed the door on Jesus. In Matthew 23:37 Jesus seems to cry over Jerusalem as they closed the door on His love. If Laodicea represents the last day church, then we have examples of the 5 foolish virgins in Matthew 25:1-13, being locked outside the wedding. While a whore represents the apostate church in Revelation, a virgin represents Christ’s remnant people. (See Revelation 14:4). So the parable in Matthew 25 is about the remnant church, and five of them are foolish and locked outside of the wedding feast.
Let’s not be lulled into a fatal false sense of security. The dream which turned into a nightmare in Song of Solomon can be a wake-up call for us. In Song of Solomon the woman finds her lover gone after she left the door closed while she was sleeping. In Matthew 25,five virgins find the door closed because they slept. Belonging to the right church is not enough. If we are asleep in the remnant church, we might as well just be asleep anywhere. Sleeping in the remnant church won’t save you. While God loved and cherished His Old Testament church, they still had some pretty severe wake-up calls, like their captivity in Babylon, for just one example. While Jesus loves and cherishes His remnant last-day church, we too have had some severe wake up calls. The burning of the Review and Herald in 1902 for just one example.
The five wise virgins were not welcomed into the wedding feast just because they were virgins or the remnant church. They were welcomed because they woke up. They had their lanterns or Bibles, and they had their oil which represents the Holy Spirit. I am a 5th-generation Adventist. My family Adventist heritage goes back to the beginning of Adventism. My great-grandparents, who were 2nd generation Adventists were married in Uriah Smith’s home in Battle Creek. They would have met Ellen White had she not been in Australia at the time, but my great-aunt did meet Ellen White. Yet my Adventist heritage means nothing. Being 5th-generation Adventist does not get me or my family anywhere. If I am going to boast about anything, rather than boasting that I am 5th generation Adventist, I should boast that my family has always known and loved Jesus, probably well beyond 5 generations!
But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the Lord, have spoken! Jeremiah 9:24 NLT
Song of Solomon 5 is about a nightmare that could happen to us, but definitely does not have to happen to us. Let’s wake up now and answer the door to Christ’s call of love to follow Him.