Rabbi Schneider - Why Do Christians Suffer?
I really want to encourage you, beloved one, to take this word very, very seriously. The Bible tells us that God is love. And the Song of Songs more than any other book in the Bible reveals to us the love of God in the emotional sense of the world. The Bible tells us through the Song of Songs how God feels about us. You see, the rabbis considered this Book the Holy of Holies of the Old Testament. I'm gonna pick up right now where I left off last week. I encourage you to get this entire series, but I don't have time to review today.
I'm picking up where I left off last week in the 16th verse of chapter number 4. In the 16th verse, we find that the Shulamite bride had fully yielded to Jesus, and she said, Lord, my life is not my own. Whatever you want to do with my life, you have my permission. Wherever you want to send me, wherever you want to bring me, whatever you want to do with me, whatever I have to go through, Jesus, I want to go with you whatever it takes as long as the end result is that you will fully be able to live your life in me and through me. See the Bible tells us through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. James tells us that we must go through various trials to take fully into possession our inheritance. This is what the Shulamite bride is yielding to in the 16th verse of chapter 4.
Hear the Word of God. She says to Jesus here through King Solomon. King Solomon is the prophetic type of Jesus. She says: Awake, O north wind, And come, wind of the south; Make my garden breathe out fragrance, Let its spices be wafted abroad. May my beloved come into his garden And eat its choice fruits. She's saying Lord, whatever you want to do with me; all I ask is that you'll fully take possession of my life and that the beauty of your fragrance might be wafted abroad through my life. In other words that Jesus, the world might see you in me. Now let me tell you, this is a radical prayer. To give Jesus full permission to do with you whatever he wants to do with you without reservation, this is a radical prayer. And you know what he's gonna do when you pray a prayer like that? He's gonna answer it. The Bible says if we ask him anything according to his will, that he hears us and will answer. Now I want to give some of you right now an opportunity to invite Jesus into your life, to do with you everything he wants to do so that he can fully, beloved ones, have his way with you.
So Father God, in Jesus's name, we bless you right now and we give you permission to fully have your way with our life. We know, Lord, that you're God and you can do what you want to do with us. But that Lord, you're waiting for us to yield to you, to say yes to you, to yield our will to you, to give you permission and to come in agreement, Father, with your purposes being fulfilled in our life. Father, with the Shulamite bride, we say together, Awake, O north wind, And come, wind of the south. Father God, that right prescription of challenges and trials that we must go through to be perfected in your love as well as experiencing your blessing and your fragrance. Whatever that combination looks like, Father God, we say yes, we're willing to go through it all because we want to be made strong. We want Jesus, the Messiah, to be fully formed in us. We want you to get pleasure from us because we have a yielded will to you. And we want you, Jesus to be able to display yourself through our lives so that others might encounter you through us. We say yes to you Jesus and to your purposes for our life. And everybody that's in agreement with this spoke Hebrew with me and said, Amen and Amen.
Beloved as she said this prayer once again, God answered that and he came in in a whole new way. So we pick up now in chapter number 5. Hear the Word of God. Jesus responds and he says: I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride; I have gathered my myrrh along with my balsam. I have eaten my honeycomb and my wine, or my honey; and I have drunk my wine and my milk. And then he said: Eat, friends; Drink and imbibe deeply. So Jesus said, when she yielded and opened, opened herself up to him like that, Jesus said, Jesus came and he said, I have come. I have come. And he said, and people actually can receive me through your life now. And so he said, friends, come and imbibe deeply through this one's life 'cause she's totally sold out to me, and I am able to live my life through her as a result of that.
So Jesus says, I have come. And when she confessed to him that she was willing to go through everything for Christ to be fully formed in her, Jesus came and you know what he did? He introduced himself to her, beloved one, in a way that he had not yet introduced himself to her as of yet. Jesus came to her when she gave him full permission to do whatever he wanted to do so that she could fully share his life. Jesus came to her and presented himself to her, listen now, as the Jesus of Gethsemane. And so as we continue this journey into A Baptism of Love, notice what happens in verse number 2. She said: I was asleep but my heart was awake. A voice! My beloved, knocking. And he heard Jesus coming to her, knocking at the door of her heart. And he said, Open to me, my sister, my darling, My dove, my perfect one! Get this now: For my head is drenched with dew, My locks with the damp of the night. Jesus comes to her as she's lying on her bed. She is sleeping but Jesus causes her to be alive in the spirit. And he says, open to me, and he presents himself to her as the one whose hair is drenched, beloved, with the dew of the night.
This is, beloved, a prophetic type of, get this now, the Jesus at Gethsemane. When Jesus went out to pray and he was all alone, getting ready to go to the cross, when all his disciples forsook him, this is how Jesus comes to her and he says to her, will you fellowship with me even in my sufferings? Remember Paul said that he gave up everything. He said, he suffered the loss, Paul said, of all things that he might know Jesus, get this now, in the power of his resurrection, get it now, and the fellowship of his sufferings. Paul didn't want to just know one dimension of Jesus. Paul wanted to know Jesus fully and this meant fellowshipping with the Jesus of Gethsemane, fellowshipping with the Jesus that was rejected by men, fellowshipping with the Jesus that felt alone, fellowshipping with the Jesus that hung on the cross and couldn't feel the Father's love.
Jesus is looking for a partner that will experience life fully with him. And he's knocking at the door of your heart, beloved one, right now and he's saying, will you let me in. Will you share my life with me? Will you partner with me even in the fellowship of my sufferings; even as I was in the world and was rejected by the world that I made? Jesus is saying to you will you fellowship with me in my sufferings and be willing to be rejected by men on account of your fidelity and faith to me? Jesus comes, beloved, to her as the one of Gethsemane.
And she began to search for him, she says in verse number 6. She said: I searched for him but I did not find him; I called him but he did not answer me. In other words, Jesus is allowing her, now get this now, to feel nothing. Even as Jesus was on the cross and he felt separated from the Father, even as Jesus was sweating drops of blood and he said Father, if it's possible let this cup pass from me, but not My will but Thy will be done. When Jesus didn't have all the positive feelings, when Jesus didn't have all the feelings of, of, of, of beauty when they were spitting on him and plucking out his hair, he's saying to us, will you partner with me in my suffering? And you know what, beloved? She was faithful to pass the test. She went through a time where she couldn't feel him, even as Jesus felt nothing when he was on the cross. Her friends betrayed her. The authority people in the city rejected her. She was faithful to Jesus through the rejection, through the suffering, through the humiliation. She was faithful to Jesus, beloved, get this now, when she felt nothing.
She said I searched for him, in verse number 6, but I did not find him; I called him but he did not answer me. She was willing to still praise him, to still tell him how much she adored him and she loved him, even when she didn't feel him, and even when she was being rejected by her peers. Will you continue to be faithful to Jesus by faith working in love, through the rejection of men, and during those season in life, beloved one, when you don't feel God? If you will, God's gonna come to you in a whole new way and he's gonna strengthen you, beloved, so that you're gonna walk with him in a whole new power. You see, anybody can feel the world's form of happiness when circumstances are good.
In other words, you get a house, you feel happy. You get a new car, you feel happy. You get a promotion, you feel happy. You've got the point. Anybody can feel happiness that's based on the world. But beloved, to have the type of joy that is stable, what has to take place is that we need to become strong inside. The Lord said to me one time, when you get strong, the Father said to me, then you'll be happy. And we only get strong by learning how to walk in faith and in love through difficulties. You see, if we only can walk in faith and show God love when we feel blessed, when circumstances are going well; if we can only respond to him positively during those times, it means that our faith is still weak. And as long as our faith is weak, we'll never really carry the type of anointing and the type of joy that Jesus wants to impart to us. It's only when we learn how to be faithful to God in love, when we don't feel anything, when circumstances aren't going ideally. It's only when we continue to walk by faith and love during those times that God can truly strengthen us with the type of strength that we're released through our life the type of joy that's not dependent on the world.
Jesus said, my joy I give to you not as the world gives. Will you pass this test? Maybe you're going through a difficult season in your life right now. Maybe it's circumstances. Maybe you're just going through some circumstances. Maybe it's your job. Maybe it's your finances. Some of you may be about to lose your home. Maybe it's loved ones. Whatever it is, many of you are going through challenging circumstances right now. God is asking you, will you continue to love me? Will you continue to put me first? Will you continue to walk by faith and love through obedience? The Lord's saying, if you'll pass this test, I'm gonna bring you to a whole new level of victory up the mountain. I'm gonna strengthen you with divine love so that my joy can be your permanent inheritance. I want to encourage you, beloved, what I'm sharing with you right now is deep, heavy truth.
Too many Christians in this day and age are weak and they're totally dependent on circumstances. And once again, as long as circumstances are going well, as long as they can just feel the worship music, they're doing great. But they have nothing in them many that sustains them through trials. But our faith is perfected, James says, through walking in obedience during trials. This is what Jesus is showing us here as we talk about the baptism in love through the journey of the Shulamite bride. She continues to love Jesus through this difficult time as she's partnering with him as the Jesus of Gethsemane, as she's sharing with him in his, in his, in his sufferings, as he comes to her as the one whose hair is drenched with the dew of the night, as Jesus was all alone in the Garden of Gethsemane right before he went to the cross.
And not only is she staying connected to him in her fidelity, but beyond that she continues to praise him and love him so much so that her friends think she's mashugana. They think she's nuts. They say why are you so crazy about him? Why do you put up with this? Why would you continue to love him so deeply and care so much when he puts you through all this, when he allows these things to happen to you? And when they challenge her, she says, you don't understand. My beloved is so beautiful. You have no idea. Verse number 10 of chapter 5, she says: My beloved is dazzling and ruddy, Outstanding among ten thousand. And she begins to say His head is like pure gold; His locks are like the clusters of dates. She begins to make Jesus, listen now, so beautiful to them. She praises him with such power. She releases such an anointing of how beautiful Jesus is into the atmosphere that you know what happens to them? They get converted.
She praises Jesus with such power, there is such an anointing in the way she praises him. She makes him so beautiful by the anointing of the Holy Spirit their response is going from being doubters and cynics, and they turn around after the anointing's released from her and they say, where is your beloved turned, in verse number, chapter 6, verse 1: Where has your beloved turned, That we might seek him with you? You have the power, beloved one, to make Jesus beautiful to people and to move men's hearts to come and seek him for their selves. By praising him, telling people how beautiful he is, telling people what he's done for you, telling people how much you love him, that will soften their hearts and bring them to Jesus often times, even as we see happening as the Shulamite bride releases praise into the atmosphere. And as a result, these daughters of Jerusalem or friends get converted. And they ask, well where is he? We want to go with you. We see there is something here that you have that's real. Where is he? We want to go with you.
Notice what she says, chapter 6, verse 2. She says: My beloved has gone down to his garden, To the beds of balsam, get this now, beloved ones, To pasture his flock. In other words, she said my beloved can be found, get this now, serving. He is gone down, she said, to pasture, in verse number 2 of chapter 6, his flock. And through the rest of the Song of Songs, as the Shulamite bride, who is a symbol of you and I, who is a prophetic shadow of what you and I should look like as Jesus's marriage partners, for the rest of the Song, she reveals to us that Jesus is a servant, and those that want to be connected to him in intimacy at the deepest level must also partner with him by becoming servants of his people and servants of God. So the daughters of Jerusalem say, where is he? She said, he's serving. He's serving his people. He has gone down to pasture the flock.
You know, much of the New Testament is written in this agricultural language as well. Jesus is what, the Great Shepherd. The kingdom of God is called a field. Many of the parables Jesus told about the kingdom are parables about the vineyard. So the same thing is happening here. She's using allegorical and parabolic language to express deep mysteries of the kingdom of God. As she partners with Jesus, Jesus just continues to love on her. He says to her in verse number 4: You are a beautiful, You are as beautiful, my darling, my beautiful one as Tirzah, which was the most beautiful city of the ancient world in the secular sense. It's kind of like going to Hawaii. And then he says, you're as lovely as Jerusalem, the most beautiful, sacred place, beloved, on planet earth. Jesus said, you are so beautiful. She had so given her heart to him.
I come now to verse number 5 of chapter 6, which is perhaps the most mysterious verse, get this now, perhaps the most mysterious. There's not even words for this. This is beyond the human mind's comprehension. Listen what Jesus says to her in verse number 5. He says: Turn your eyes away from me, For they have confused me. And I'm saying to you that Jesus was speaking to her, and some of you are saying there's no way. There's no way that God could say to a human being turn your eyes away from me for they have confused me. You know what? I understand why so many of you feel like that right now. I had such a hard time comprehending this myself. But years ago the Lord told me, I want you to focus on the Song of Songs. I've got something, the Lord was saying to me, that I want to unlock to you through this Book. And so for over a year I gave myself day and night to seeking out the mysteries of God in the Song of Songs.
The Lord revealed to me that it was a prophetic love song that shadowed his love for us. And what God is saying here is this, that he has voluntarily, get this now, placed himself in a position, get this now, where your love, my friend, affects him. Your love has the ability to move God. That makes you very powerful. You see, the Bible says that you can grieve the Holy Spirit. To grieve makes sad. In the same way, the Bible says, you have the power to grieve God's Spirit. You also have the power, listen now, to bring God joy and to move him. God is the most sensitive being in the universe, and he has voluntarily placed himself in a position where he is affected by your love. Don't misunderstand, God is the Creator and he's all-powerful, and he can do whatever he wants. But he has chosen to allow himself to be moved by your love. And he said to the Shulamite bride when she was so given over to him, he said, you, your love, he said, is overwhelming to me. You, my friend, also can move God's heart in the same way that you can move the heart of a human being that's a lover. God loves you with an everlasting love, and he calls you his bride. Jesus loves you so much, my friend. God loves you. You're his bride.