Monday, November 16, 2009

A Song of Ascents and Ascending

In SOS chapter one the Beloved cries out and asks the Lover to draw her to himself and let them run together.
SOS 1:4a Draw me after you and let us run together.

But what does he do first?
SOS 1:4b The king has brought me into his chambers.

Did you ever notice that. She asks for one thing, and she gets something else first.
He doesn't start answering her first request until well into chapter two.


Well, it may have to do with the fact that the believer's rest is more important than the believer's activity.

The Lover fully intends to fulfill her request. But AFTER he brings her into a place of rest, healing, refreshing, and safety. Once this is accomplished, then he can move onto calling her to a place of freedom and strength, running alongside him.

SOS 2:8 Listen, My beloved! Behold he is coming, Climbing on the mountains, Leaping on the hills.

First thing, where is he? In a high place, higher than her.

SOS 2:9 My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Behold, he is standing behind our wall, He is looking through the windows, He is peering through the lattice.

Perhaps looking for her? Perhaps seeking her out? She sought him first. Now he seeks her.
Also notice the comparing of him to a gazelle, or young stag. Graceful, agile, strong, wild, and free.

SOS 2:10 My beloved responded and said to me, 'Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come along.

Okay, NOW he is answering her request to draw her after himself so they can run wild and free together.

SOS 2:11 For behold, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.
vs 12 The flowers have already appeared in the land; the time has arrived for pruning the vines, And the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land.

Why is he answering her now and not before? Because the winter of her oppression is over. The spring of her new found freedom has come. The voice of peace has come and silenced the voice of turmoil in their land and in her heart.

SOS 2:13a The fig tree has ripened its figs, and the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance.

Then he repeats himself and adds emphasis.

SOS 2:13b Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come along!

If she wants him to draw her after himself so they can run together, then when she's ready, that's what he is going to do.
He's drawing her outward and upward to a higher place.
Like the prophet who said that God makes his feet like hinds' feet and sets him in the high places. Habakkuk 3:19
Like the psalmist who said that God sets him securely on high. Psalm 91:14
Like the sage in Proverbs says that the path of the righteous grows brighter and brighter until the noon day. Proverbs 4:18

The Song of Solomon is a song of ascents, both poetically and in its call to the beloved church to arise and shine for our Light has come. And the glory of the Lord is risen upon us. Isaiah 60:1

God is calling us, drawing us to ascend to the place where He is. If we request that He draw us after Him so we can be free and run with Him, He will answer it. He may have to bring some healing first. He may have to bring security and peace to our hearts before we are ready to run at such an exhilarating pace. But we can be assured. As long as we cooperate with Him and His work within us, our winter will past. Our wilderness or desert experience will come to and end. Then we can run with all our might the race that is set before us.

The Song of Solomon is a song of ascending. The strongest call upward appears in this second phase. But when phase II ends, the call upward does not end with it. The call to ascend to the high place God has for us is alluded in the other phases as well.
But we are not done with phase II yet. There are more encouragements and symbolism in this song of ascent.


JaneDoeThreads said...


I added your blog to my blog,

been doing a lot of thinking on a lot of things, read Amos last night [love that book]. Anyway, it confirmed a lot of what I was wondering about, in my life and walk.

Anyway, I decided to write on 'struggling with negativity' because I feel that there isn't a lot out there in this regard, its always, God will heal you and well go on,

but for me, its not been like that--this removal of the negative things, but I've had to learn how to 'walk' through it in spite of, so maybe there is a reason for, I think there is, but I have no idea 'what'.

So how to learn 'love' when stuck in the mire of negativity, [and when circumstances are extremely negative and long term]. So anyway, for me, there isn't this 'high place' like this type of escape,

but maybe, taking a 'higher way' in living amongst the misery--without seeing any light at the end of tunnel [or even caring about it anymore], just doing what is 'right' because well,

its just the 'right' thing to do. This goes so contrary to American 'church' teachings, but in so many countries, where there is persecution, many sisters die without ever seeing any 'high place'. But they remain faithful...

and 'elevate' others to a higher place. (?)

just a lot to think on...something good for you today,

Peace, Jane

Mara Reid said...

Thanks Jane.
I've been busy of late. Good thing I wrote some of these posts ahead of time and set them up to post automatically or there would have been some serious quiet time here from me.

As far as SOS, I guess what you said, you know, about some/many women never being allowed to get to the place of being set securely on high, you are right.
Some women are not even allowed to live long enough to 'run together' with Jesus. The never leave the first phase. The phase of healing. Nor are they ever really allowed to get a full grasp on what the protection/shade of what the Lord is to them.

I hate to bring this up because the last thing I want to do is trigger you in any way.
I remember what you said about The Hidding Place being used against you.
But have you read Foxes Book of Martyrs?
Don't do it if it will set you up for a spiral downfall.
But let me tell you that what is common in the stories told in it was how God came in an mightily preserved the spirits of those being martyred.
He did not save them from death. But He did encompass them with His love, His grace, and His strength so that when they faced their death, they did so in such victory, it awed those martyring them.

May God pour out His love, grace, and strength on those women we can't get to fast enough to save.
May He bring us to a place of prayer for these women that they will be kept by His Spirit that if death and martyrdom is unavoidable that they may still hide under the shadow of His wings.

Note: My hope for these women expressed above in no way absolves us of looking for ways to save these women from such an end. It does not absolve us from doing what we can, like what you mentioned on the other thread, about not supporting consummerism etc. It does not absolve us from making known the horrible atrocities done to women in hopes to get it stopped.
All I wanted to say in the above comment was...

1. Many never get past Phase I in this song of ascents due to circumstances far beyong their control. But Phase I (healing of the soul/spirit) is available to them if they can only tap into it.

2. Knowing that God cares for His Beloved more than we could ever understand, including the parts of His beloved being destroyed by hateful men...
Knowing this helps us to not fall into despair, thereby throwing a stumbling block in front of us and paralyzing us so that we do nothing when we should be running with Him the race before us to do something about the evils in this world.

Oh, and thank for the rebellion to consummerism link. I will definitly be checking that out a bit more when I get more time.
And once I understand it better, perhaps I can pass on the word to the good people in my church who don't know any better.

JaneDoeThreads said...

"Many never get past Phase I in this song of ascents due to circumstances far beyong their control. But Phase I (healing of the soul/spirit) is available to them if they can only tap into it."

A couple of things,

one, there is martyrdom that is For Christ,

but women, suffer martyrdom BY THEIR OWN HUSBANDS, PARENTS, whom they Should not have to, etc. [and with the 'ties' with scripture and the glorification of marriage, esp as the 'analogy'] anyway,

that is a completely different martyrdom, and for women in those countries [where they are martyred also for being Christian] their realities and stories are not told By Christian 'men' in America,

they are glossed over, because IF the men in this country who refer to the men in other countries [and I do place some responsibility on the men in those countries as well] were to look at the 'similarities' of the EVILS, then they would have to do some serious self-reflection.

And THIS, this is the conflict I believe many women do have. I know a lot about the stories of martyrs, both in Christianity and also political [because there are both, and in This country even, we have political martyrs, the public just doesn't hear about them]. So martyrdom for beliefs, causes, for Christ,

doesn't bother me...[and with working in human rights advocacy nothing shocks me]. The fact is though,

women, by far, are martyred, not for Christ [or only for] but for simply being Women, and it is there, that there isn't much if anything scripturally For women--except 'loopholes', they are there, but the Bible is pretty much in male language, written for men. And this is where a lot of the problem is.

I believe that it diminishes somewhat the reality of the 'difference and causes' of women's sufferings to lump them in with martyrdom, as the church knows it, because it doesn't answer the questions, that haunt women.

And until those areas ARE probed into, sure, there simply can't be any 'healing',

how does one get healing for being martyred for her gender from the very one that she feels, is the Reason for her contempt? In many societies, this is the case--Christian societies included.

So for this reason, I don't refer to the stories of 'martyrs' in dealing with the pain that women tolerate [because they are women only] because they simply don't and can't relate [and the men, don't seem to give a damn to be frank--its a Monopoly, their martyrdom, another issue, another time, but I feel a lot of the 'stories' shared here in the west, are pure,

'vain glory' for MEN. [some of them, not all but a lot of them are]and I'm skeptical of many of them [those by Christian ministries].

What really angers me about a lot of the stories from like, Eastern Europe, for example, is how they always emphasize on the 'men' yet the women are only mentioned as 'mere wives', they really piss me off, then they go on and on about how much they suffer--

yet the women, have no voice. But now, if you get into some 'secular' material, gender studies, Then you hear about what the women have to say [and its down right pathetic that its like this], and its only in Western 'literature' about persecution that tends to be this way, therefore I'm just very leary of anything I read from the lens of MEN.

[continued below] Jane

JaneDoeThreads said...

Open Doors, and I do respect them, but they recently sent photos of a woman, her face beaten, about how horrible in Iran for believers,

and I couldn't help think, Yea, and most of your Wives here, look Just like that here at home...except, their 'torturers' are THEIR OWN HUSBANDS, FATHERS, PASTORS [SEX ABUSE], ETC.,

I yet to see these same martyred men stand up to the plate and fight and beg for fund for these women--domestic violence, so forth.

Not only that, but another reason I don't refer to 'martyrdom' materials, is that well, its just very different--One, is for the Glory of the Kingdom of God,

the other, just waste. Its for the Glory of Satan.

so I don't care to see my situ or millions of others as another 'martyrdom', because it isn't,

its instead, women being victimized by thug men, because of patriarchy. [and male entitlement and I believe, the whole Cinderella LIE]. And why I believe, that the road to healing, is number one,

dump the 'illusions' of suffering, that women have tolerated for centuries---its not martyrdom, its Misogyny. Two totally different things altogether.

So I think, to address the suffering women live with, we have to separate it from the glorification of 'martyrdom' because it just sends the wrong message,

yes, God does do a lot of miracles for those who are in prisons, etc.,

what is terrible though, is many women, live with abuse, tyranny, thinking its martyrdom, and yet, there isn't any 'relief' by far--and not only do they not get healing,

many of them, eventually just chunk Christianity all together, and Who can blame them? We for too long, have used as an umbrella for misogyny and male entitlement to abuse/mistreat/rape women, in Christianity, the martyrdom, when in fact,

its just sheer evil selfish men, who may be oppressed as Christians, but who turn right around and do the same garbage to their wives [and many in those countries Do] and all the while, thinking they are Entitled under God, to do so.

And we should in no way, give them any covering--I've confronted one ministry on it, they never even replied...that says, a lot...why, I don't now, believe just because someone goes to prison,

means they are more Christ like. let them show the Fruits, in HOW they treat Women, overall,

Then, Then, maybe, I'll give them credit where credit is due, NOT UNTIL THEN.



JaneDoeThreads said...

[conclusion, this goes with two replies above]

So, as to not leave it just there...what does a woman do then [for herself or for others]. After separating the 'misogyny' and 'subjugation' as different from martyrdom [I am blogging on this today btw, and will be adding to it, the similarities of the manipulation of women in Christianity [taking abuse as form of martyrdom] and the comparisons of that to the indoctrinating women in Islam to become eventually 'suicide bombers', because they are identical, just different means to same end.

I'll just share from my own experience. God lead me to the OT, and had me read verses in particular about the 'oppressed' who are weaker in stature or children, widows, etc. And I believe that the suffering women tolerate is more along those lines [and for some added persecution for their faith, but its Still a double and triple burden].

And it is here, that I believe, using scripture [or what God showed me], is where women have to see how God is 'intimate' with the oppressed [and how God hates the oppressor]. Sadly though, these scriptures are glossed over--and now I'm seeing them in the New Testament too. I will say, one thing though, as for women overseas, one thing they Do have, that we don't have [and we can thank the Christian andro-centric patriarch clergy-thugs for this] is a community of sisterhood, while there are women who are isolated, in comparison to the West, there isn't near the Isolation in suffering, that there is here, and therefore, there isn't the support or empowerment for women here, or solidarity, and that is why, in Christian 'capitalist' 'male-centered' nations, the suffering of women is literal hell on earth. [in Islamic societies its the same too, depending on type of social arrangement, economic that is, but even then, there is more solidarity it seems].

The most loneliest 'suffering woman' is that Christian woman, who suffers as a wife, daughter, mother [elderly abuse-neglect] within a patriarchal 'male entitlement' framework [and Jewish women, though Jewish women, due to segregation, tend to have a bit more solidarity among each other, that and Jewish men know what it is to be demonized].

And this is why Mara, I am passionate about separating 'martyrdom' from the suffering under Misogyny. The Bible is clear, about 'suffering ACCORDING to the WILL of GOD', and there I believe, lies the difference. Because it is not God's will for women to be abused just because of their gender [or the poor because they are poor, etc]. And until we move away from those 'justifications to continue to turn away, from--the church that is',

women will continue to find themselves looking for some reason to what they suffer--only to find, there isn't any.

Not only that, women will continue to 'put up with it'. While we cannot change the 'actions' of those around us, I do believe, from what I am learning, we CAN change, the internalizations of those actions,

but its not easy, and its surely not easy, within sadly, the mainstream [and typical] Christian 'culture'. [that has, in many ways, assimilated into a lot of the pagan culture].

[dangit--see below]

JaneDoeThreads said...

And I believe, studying OT and NT, that until we move away from the 'male centered nuclear' structure family, we will never find healing, or restoration of our souls, so to speak [in this life]. And the churches, with their 'women's ministries' are anything BUT women centered, they simply are Parrot token indoctrinations to coerce women to 'conform' to the wishes of MEN.

This is where I've been studying the differences of oppression of women in segregated societies compared to the nuclear 'male' centered, and I do see huge differences. One, of the biggest, is 'women's culture' has been COMPLETELY robbed from us, or what Radical Feminists call, Women's ONLY Space.

And what I found surprising, is that it was GOD, who formed that 'women's only space' to begin with, in the OT, in the Law, and it began with, the ceremonial cleansing.

[I'll be writing on this, soon, I hope, because it really goes into a lot of detail.]

Peace, Jane

Mara Reid said...

Jane, I've been considering your words and am not done thinking on them.
Time is not my friend right now as the holidays approach and things get crazy at both work and home.
I have further thoughts but am not done formulating them (because of this lack of time) so please forgive me that I've not gotten back to you sooner.
I will do so when I can.

JaneDoeThreads said...

not a prob, I'm also taking off from blogging due to holidays, I'm a 'tad' behind this year.

So if I don't respond or hear from you do have a good holiday season, with fond memories and remember,

don't stress so much--as we women tend to do during this time of year, spend the time 'enjoying' rather than forming the 'perfect' this and that, because by Easter, everyone forgets this time of year, LOL. And besides, upside down turkey, ain't that bad. [its actually better, one of my misfortunes, one year, lol]


Love, Jane