Rabbi Schneider - The Beautiful Fragrance of God
We're gonna pick right up today where we left off last week. Last week we saw that the Shulamite bride who's a shadow of the church, that had once felt so close to to the bridegroom king, that had felt so close to the king, had a bridegroom chamber experience with them, over time the feeling that she had for him, because of the the oppressiveness of life, because of having to go to work every day, having a day with family every day, having affair with the forces that we deal with in life every day, eventually she started feeling disconnected. She started to feel that the passion was lost. She started to feel that her lover was a stranger, and she called out him, "How can I reconnect with you"?
And Jesus responded to her. He told her to do three things. He told her, number one, to get back into fellowship with his people. Secondly, he told her begin to serve. And thirdly, he told her to learn to come under the authority of the shepherds, that he had put in place. We're going to carry on now, beloved, in verse number 10, as Jesus continues to speak to her. Jesus continues to affirm her, speaking to her feeling of rejection and shame, because she had not been attending, she said, to her own vineyard. Jesus speaks to her, oh, it's so beautiful. Listen what he says, "Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments". First of all in verse number 8 he said, "If you yourself do not know, most beautiful among women". He begins to woo her back. She had felt, "Oh, my gosh, where's my Jesus. I let him down". But you know, Jesus didn't see her as a failure. Jesus just saw her as one that was on the journey that needed to be strengthened. And as she called out to him, Jesus spoke so lovingly back, he called her "The most beautiful among women".
Look again in verse number 8, "If you yourself did not know, most beautiful among women". You know what that means to us? You're God's favorite. He said, "Most beautiful among women". God wants you to know that you're his best. That doesn't mean that somebody else can't be God's best too, but it doesn't take away from the fact that you're his best, you're his favorite, you're his most beautiful. That's the way God's going to make all of us feel, and he is in the process, beloved, of making all of us come into that Revelation even now. We pray, Lord Jesus, our beautiful bridegroom God: come and strengthen us in this Revelation.
So, first he calls the most beautiful among women, and then continuing on, in verse number 9, he says, "To me", this is how important you are to Jesus, beloved. Yeshua says there, "To me". Remember, the song of songs, beloved, it's a prophetic shadow of Jesus's love for his people, and of our discovery of our romantic love, and intimate relationship with him as his bride. Jesus says to her, "To me, my darling". Think of how personal that is. It isn't just that Jesus died for the world. He died for you. "To me, my darling, you are like", and then he begins to give the qualities that he sees in her. "You are so beautiful", he says. He's not just defining her by her failures, he's not defining her by her temporary struggles. He's defining her about who she is in him, who he's destined her to be, who she's going to become. He sees all that, beloved. He doesn't see us the way that we see ourselves, the way that others see us, he sees us in his eternal destiny.
He says, "To me, my darling, you are like my mare among the chariots of Pharaoh". Now, the chariots of Pharaoh were the most expensive horses that there were. These were horses, beloved, representing strength. And so, he says, "I see a new strength". You're like the chariots of Pharaoh, these were war horses. He saw her not only as one that was strong, but he saw her, beloved, as a warrior, and an overcomer. And that's what he sees in you too.
So, Jesus, I call out now that which you've deposited in these beloved ones that are listening right now, that hear my voice, Jesus, I'm speaking to your people right now, calling them out for Jesus, to see who they are in you. That they are warriors with strength, and that they are beautiful to you. Most beautiful to you.
So, Yeshua says, "To me, my darling, you are like my mare among the chariots of Pharaoh". You are strong, and you are a warrior, you are an overcomer, because I live inside you. And then he says to her, "Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments", and cheeks represent emotions. You know, when you smile, your your cheeks, you know, they get shaped up or when you're sad, your cheeks take on a different expression. So cheeks reveal the emotions. And so, what Yeshua is saying here is that, "Your emotions are lovely to me. I'm connected to you. You move me".
Remember, when Jesus was with Lazarus, and the family of Lazarus, when Lazarus died, and they began to cry and were hurting. And the Bible says, "Jesus saw what they were feeling. He was moved". He was moved in his spirit, began to weep. Jesus is connected to our cheeks, beloved. He responds to us emotionally. Jesus is emotional. Do you understand that Jesus has emotions, and he responds to your emotions, and my emotions? And so he says, "Your cheeks", are speaking about her emotions, "Are lovely with ornaments". She was beautiful to him. You and I, beloved, are beautiful to king Jesus, our bridegroom.
And then he goes on to say, "Your neck with strings of beads", he's speaking there about her Royalty, that we are priests, beloved, and children of God. That we have been called, beloved, to sit with Jesus in the heavenly places in Royalty forever and ever. So, Yeshua says here, "Your neck with strings of beads". And notice what he says in verse number 11, "We will make for you ornaments of gold". Notice that phrase, "We will... We will make for you ornaments of gold". What does it mean, "We will"? He's saying, "We're going to complete in you", the Godhead: the father, son, and holy spirit, "We're going to complete in you what we started in you. We're going to bring you to perfection. There's a call in your life to be conformed to my image, and I am going to do that. We are going to finish what we started in you. We are going to perfect what we started in you".
And the gold in this verse, beloved, refers to the character of God. Gold in the Hebrew Bible refers to the quality of God's nature. So, what is he saying here? He's saying to her, "We will make for you ornaments of gold". In other words, "I'm going to make you just like me. I'm not finished with you yet. I'm still cooking you. And by the time I'm done with you, you're going to shine like gold that's been refined in fire". That's who you are to Jesus. You're a lovely to him. He sees you like that right now, beloved. He loves you. You're on a journey. He's not just going to accept you when you're perfect, he loves you and is moved by you. He has feelings for you right now, even as he spoke about her cheeks being lovely. "We will make for you ornaments of gold with beads of silver". The beads of silver represent the redemption, beloved, that we have in Jesus.
Thank you Jesus for the call that's on our life, that you're making us like gold through the glorious silver of your salvation.
And then he continues on here, or the holy spirit continues on through the song. And it says this, verse 12, "While the king was at his table", now she's speaking. Yeshua was speaking to her, and he says, "I'm going to complete in you what I started in you. I'm going to make you like gold. You are Royal to me. You're going to reign on the heavenly places with me". And now she speaks back to him, and she says, "While the king", the bridegroom king God Jesus, "While the king was at his table, my perfume gave forth its fragrance". And so, in other words now that Jesus has come to her....
She says, "Where are you"? And Jesus comes and says, "If you don't know, my darling, you are so lovely to me, here's how to get back in fellowship with me: get back in to fellowship with my people, begin to serve, get back into proper relationship with the authorities, the pastors, the rabbis that I've set in place. Come under the authority of the house of the shepherds that I've instituted. And I want you to know how beautiful you are to me. You are so beautiful to me. You're like a chariot of Pharaoh. I say strength in you. I see a victorious overcomer in you. And you are Royal to me, your cheeks are lovely, and your neck is Royal to me. You are beautiful. You are my child. You are bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh, and you are destined to reign with me for all eternity".
He comes to her and he reveals us to retouches her heart, he floods her with this Revelation, it's overwhelming. And now she responds back to him, and she says in verse 12, "While the king was at his table, my perfume gave forth its fragrance". In other words, when Jesus spoke to her, when he revealed these truths to her, what happened was, beloved, her heart opened back up to him. Remember, a little bit earlier she had started to feel her heart grow cold, but now she's reconnected. Jesus has come back to her in mercy. And as he came back to her, beloved, in mercy, her heart opened back up to him. And so, listen what she says here one more time, "While the king was at his table, my perfume gave forth its fragrance".
I want to read now from the book of 2nd Corinthians 2, as it speaks here, beloved, about the fragrance of the Lord. Second Corinthians chapter number 2, speaking here of the fragrance of God. The Bible says that you and I, beloved, that our hearts open up to Jesus as he reveals himself to us in the same way. Once again, verse number 14. Second Corinthians chapter 2 verse 14. She just got done saying, "While the king was at his table, my perfume gave forth its fragrance". Listen what is written by the apostle Paul in second Corinthians chapter 2 verse 14, "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifest through us", listen now, "The sweet aroma of the knowledge of him in every place. For we are", get it, "A fragrance of Christ to God".
Verse 15, "We are a fragrance of Christ to God". What's the fragrance? That we're giving forth the knowledge of God. The fragrance represents the release, beloved, of the inner attributes. Even as the fragrance of a flower is the release of the internal properties of the flower. The internal chemicals and properties in the flower are manifest by the fragrance. So as she, as the Shulamite bride, who is a shadow of the church experience king Jesus and his love for, once again, her heart opened up to him, and gave forth her fragrance, all the beauty that was in her, because Jesus made her, created it in her image, and he lives inside her as is true, beloved, for you and I.
We are the fragrance of God in Christ. God looks at us as beautiful. The fragrance is beautiful. Where the fragrance of Christ, beloved, to God. That's a beautiful thing. And so, listen what she says, once again, "My perfume gave forth its fragrance". You're beautiful, you smell good to God. Let's continue on, verse 13, she continues and she describes how she feels about Jesus now that she's encountered him again. She says, "My beloved is to me a pouch of myrrh". Now, myrrh in scripture, it has multiple characteristics. Number one: it is a sweet smell to it, but it also has a bitter taste. So she said, "My Jesus is to me as a pouch of myrrh that lies between my breast all night". "My beloved is to me a pouch of myrrh which lies all night between my breasts".
Think about this: myrrh is beautiful, it smells very good, but it also has a bitter taste to it. Did you know that in the book of Matthew chapter 2:11, that the wise men, when Jesus was born, they presented to a myrrh. Myrrh beloved was a substance that was used when they anointed people for their burial. We read about that in the gospel of John, chapter number 19, that as they came to anoint Jesus for burial, in John 19:39-40, they anointed him, beloved, with myrrh. So, myrrh smells good, but it's also a burial spice or a burial fragrance, it has a bitter taste. The wise man, again, they came and they presented myrrh to Jesus at his birth. What's the prophetic meaning here? The meaning, beloved, is that Jesus gift to us, his beautiful gift to us, listen now, is that he died for us. Remember, myrrh is a burial spice, so when the wise man came and and presented the gift of myrrh at Jesus birth, they were saying how beautiful and how fragrant he was, but it was also a prophetic shadow, beloved, of the fact that the gift that Jesus was giving to the world was his death. It was a burial spice.
And so she said, "I hold my Jesus close to me all night between my breasts, and I remember his love for me, that he loves me so much that he died for me. That he loves me so much, he gave his life for me". And notice, she says that she remembers that, and she says, "My beloved is to me the pouch of myrrh which lies all night between my breasts". What does it mean that this pouch of myrrh was between her breasts all night? It means several things: it means number one, that she was thinking about her love or her bridegroom God and king, that had given his life for her, and she laid in bed at night. When you and I lay in bed at night, beloved, we want to be thinking about Jesus, we want to be thinking about his extravagant gift of love for us, we want to think about the fact that he lay down his life unto death for us. We want to hold his love for us, his love gift to us, which was his death, but on our heart as we're laying in bed at night.
Secondly, she held on to her love for her bridegroom God, beloved, in the night. It means like when she was going through difficult times, when it was the night time of life, when it was the night of the soul, was a term used in the middle ages, when someone was going through a hard time, when they weren't feeling God, when things were difficult, when God seemed far away, she remembered his love, and she got done saying earlier, and she held the memory of him. Between her breasts all night long. She wouldn't forget about him. And thirdly, beloved, what it speaks of "He is to me a pouch of myrrh which lies between my breasts all night", it means that when we're going through hard times, the night of persecution, the night of temptation, the night of loneliness, that we hang on, beloved, to Jesus during that night, and we see ourselves safely through that, by holding on and remembering his love.
She goes on to say, "How beautiful he is", in verse 14, "My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms in the vineyards of Engedy". Engedy in Israel is a very beautiful place, it has many different fragrances, and many different flowers. And when we're speaking about the fragrance of God here, beloved, some people have even had an experience where God has given them a supernatural ability to for a moment smell the beauty of God's fragrance with their physical senses. Maybe you know someone that's had that experience, maybe you've had that experience, maybe you're having that experience right now. At the very end of the song of songs we find that the bride groom king is coming down to the Shulamite maiden, get this now, from the mountain of spices. This speaks of Jesus coming from heaven, beloved, from the mountain of spices, clothed with all the beauty fragrances, beloved, of creation, and of the invisible realm of God's glory. That he is the beautiful one, and his beauty is displayed in every dimension, multifaceted.
So she's saying, "To me my beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms". Not just one henna blossom, but a cluster of henna blossoms, multifaceted, that there are so many beautiful faces to Jesus. When we look up on the beauty of creation, we see the beauty, for example, of a lone mountain by itself with ice at the top of the mountain. We see the beauty and the majesty, the glory and the power of God, when we see the awesome height of that mountain, and the snow peak on top of it. And then we see other facets of Jesus's beauty and his emotional nature, and we see little baby ducks that are swimming, and we see a whole 'nother face of Jesus.
Have you ever just seen a bunch of fresh-born little chicks that have been hatching? How beautiful that is! I was watching a candid camera the other day, one of the old reruns of candid camera, and the principles were calling these little kids, you know, about five-six years old into the office if they were late for school to see why the kids say that, why they were late. So they brought in this one little boy in the candid camera clip, and the principal said, "Why were you late for school today"? They just wanted to hear the explanations that these kids came up with. And the kids said, "Well", he said, "I came out of my house", he said, "And I saw a little squirrel", he said, "And I like squirrels and little animals. And the squirrel went into the woods, and I followed the squirrel into the woods. And that's why I was late for school".
But I thought it was so cute, because this little boy, he so appreciated God's creation, and the beauty of the little babies, the baby squirrels, and the baby birds, and the baby chicks. All these are part of the henna blossom of how beautiful God is. And we need to begin to look at creation, beloved, and see God's beauty and creation. We need to nurture an appreciation for this, when we see the beautiful pine trees, when we see the flowers. We need to get back in touch with God's beauty and creation. Some of you have got so disconnected from the beauty of God that's all around you, because you're so connected to your your cell phones, and your smartphones, and your computers, and you're so separated from God's love because of the stress of your work. We take authority over that, father, in Jesus name. We cut that off. And I need to encourage you, beloved, if I'm speaking to you now, get back in touch with the multi-faceted henna blossom of God's beauty in his creation. Reconnect.
She began to praise him, she saw God's beauty all around her. She said, "My beloved is to me as a cluster of Hannah blossoms in the vineyards of Engedy". And then she goes on, "How beautiful you are, my darling, how beautiful you are!" Jesus is speaking back to her, this is why it's such a beautiful song here, it's back and forth. She says to him, "You are like a beautiful cluster of Hannah blossoms", now Jesus, he's alive, he's real, he's working with you and I right now, he speaks back to her in verse 15. He says, "How beautiful you are, my darling, how beautiful you are! Your eyes", Jesus said, "Are like doves".
She was so focused on him now. Jesus said to her, "You are beautiful to me, my darling, how beautiful you are! Your eyes are like doves". A dove, beloved, is an animal. Remember the holy spirit came as a dove, but a dove is a bird. And the thing that's outstanding about the dove is, they don't have any peripheral vision, they could only see straight ahead. So Jesus was saying, "Your eyes are fixed on me now. How beautiful you are, you're not looking at with any peripheral vision". The other thing about a dove, beloved, is a dove mates once for life, she's completely loyal, a dove (he or she) is completely loyal to the one that they marry for life, and if the spouse dies they never marry again. Jesus said, "You have become so loyal to me now, you are so fixed on me now, you are like a dove. We are fixed together, and we are walking in bridal intimacy."