“(4) My beloved put his hand By the latch [of the door], And my heart yearned for him. (5) I arose to open for my beloved, And my hands dripped [with] myrrh, My fingers with liquid myrrh, On the handles of the lock.” – Sng 5:4-5 NKJV
These verses immediately follow the Bride’s question “(3) I have taken off my robe; How can I put it on [again]? I have washed my feet; How can I defile them?” – Sng 5:3 NKJV As we saw last time, the Bride had a different expectation of how this encounter with her beloved might unfold. When she heard his voice, her heart immediately went out to him (verse 6), then straight after, her mind began to ask the question, “but how?” And there you have it in a few verses: the ongoing wrestle between the heart and the mind we are all too familiar with. The Lord invites us to open the door to Him, our hearts are drawn to His voice, but then how quickly we question the manner in which we might come and ask ‘how?’ Isn’t this the malady of our frail condition, a window into our soul? Our minds resisting the quickened heart.
The response in these verses is typically paradoxical of our Bridegroom’s manner, we are given no verbal answer to the Bride’s question ‘how’, rather an action of profound meaning and significance, thus answering her concerns, but in a way she did not expect. For we read “My beloved put his hand by the latch of the door and my heart yearned for him”. Other translations have
“(4) My beloved thrust his hand through the latch-opening; my heart began to pound for him.” – Sng 5:4 NIV
“(4) My lover thrust his hand through the hole, and my feelings were stirred for him.” – Sng 5:4 NET
There was an opening in the door which gave access for the Bridegroom to place his hand through the hole to the latch and that’s what he did. He was on the outside, but when he thrust his hand inside, the Bible says her heart pounded for him, her feelings were stirred even aroused. What a fascinating account we are given here. Look what happened next (5) I arose to open for my beloved, And my hands dripped [with] myrrh, My fingers with liquid myrrh, On the handles of the lock.” – Sng 5:4-5 NKJV That myrrh wasn’t there before, but it certainly was now. It was all over her hands and dripping from her fingers, the handles of the lock were covered with it! That’s because the Bridegroom poured out liquid myrrh onto the handles when he thrust his hand through the opening, but why would he do that? Well, I believe it was His response to the Bride’s concern, ‘how can I go out with you into the night?’ (see QuickBite 64). Let me explain what I believe is happening here, and it’s all about the anointing!
Anointing in the Old Testament was the process of smearing, rubbing or pouring a specially prepared oil on someone’s head or an object to symbolise that person (or object) had been chosen by God to be made holy and set apart for a holy purpose. Exodus 30:22-32 goes into great detail about the anointing oil, describing precisely how it should be made and used for consecrating the priests, the tent of meeting, the Ark of the Testimony and all the other items in the tabernacle. One of the main ingredients to blend this most holy compound was 500 shekels (about 12lbs) of myrrh for every hin of oil (about 3.5 litres). So when the Bridegroom thrust his hand through the hole in the door, and smeared liquid myrrh over the handles, you could say that he anointed them. From this point on, for the Bride to see her Beloved, she would need to touch his anointing because she could not open the door without touching the handles covered in his myrrh. Now something very special happens when you touch an anointed object because whatever (or whoever) touches an anointed object they too will become holy (or separated) unto the Lord. Here’s what the Lord told Moses about the anointing:
“(29) You shall consecrate them, that they may be most holy. Whatever touches them will become holy.” – Exo 30:29 ESV
When the woman placed her hands upon the handles to the door, she touched her Bridegroom’s anointing and became holy (or separated) unto him. Before she could go out into the night in search of her lover she first had to be anointed as his Bride. This is true of us also. Beloved, there is an anointing in our hearts placed there by Jesus that when touched, it prepares us to go out to meet Him as His Bride. I know this is deep, but even as I write I am moved most profoundly at such a mystery being opened to us. When Jesus anointed the door by which He may enter our hearts, He also opened the way for us to enter His as His Bride!
The door is central to this passage in Song of Songs 5:2-7. It represents the interface between the two lovers, the portal between the Bridegroom and the Bride, through which either may pass in and out in pursuit of the other. In the well-known passage John 10 when Jesus taught He is the Good Shepherd, He also described Himself as the Door and rightly we associate this with salvation, but there’s more in what Jesus actually said;
“(9) I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.” – Jhn 10:9 ESV
In addition to salvation, we are presented here with the concept of going in and out through Him to find pasture. We’ll come back to Jesus as our Shepherd in a couple of Quick Bite’s time, but for now I’m highlighting Jesus is the Door through which we may enter in and out of our spiritual life. Yet this Door is like no other because we not only pass through but remain in also, and therefore whatever we enter through Him, we also enter in Him. Once again, we see this duality at work, not only is Christ in us, but we also are in Him, not theoretically or even theologically, but in a very real, personal and intimate way, a union made possible by the Holy Spirit of God. Now to reiterate from previous Quick Bites in this series, all of this takes place within our hearts. We are talking here of the inner spiritual life which is where our experience and foundation must begin before we are ready to encounter the world outside. (This is not new: first intimacy then mission, first relationship then assignment and the two are tethered, one should always lead into the other.) When we open the door to our hearts and allow Jesus to enter, we are receiving within us the One who is Himself the Door, and through this Door within our hearts we are being invited to enter. I see this as an inside out paradigm. There is a Door in us, that opens out into an infinitely larger space. Where will this Door lead should we enter? Well, I believe it will lead us to many places. The first time we passed through was upon salvation.
“(6) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – Jhn 14:6 ESV
Did you notice how we come to the Father? Jesus said it is “through me”. Jesus was the Door we passed through to come to the Father.
“(1) Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” – Rom 5:1 ESV
Again by coming “through” Jesus we have peace with God. And in Hebrews we are told
“(19) Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, (20) by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh,” – Heb 10:19-20 ESV
In all the ways in which we might pass through Jesus as the Door, whether for salvation, provision, peace or healing, there is one which only the Bride may enter. It’s there somewhere in your heart, have you found it yet? Have you searched for the Door leading to romance, you’ll know it when you find it, because like the Shulamite your heart will be enflamed when you sense the hand of Jesus has entered and anointed it with myrrh.