Rabbi Schneider - Encountering God
As we journey through the pages of the Song of Songs, what we find is, that it begins with the Shulamite bride, that's a shadow of you and I hungering for a kiss from God. "Kiss me," she said in verse 1 and 2, "with the kisses of Your mouth". She wanted so badly to feel God's presence in her life. She longed to experience His love. She wanted so badly to feel Him. You see this book talks about, listen, the emotional nature of God's relationship with us. This particular word, beloved, speaks to us of the fact that our God has emotions. You see it only makes sense that if you and I were created in God's image, right? In the beginning God created male and female in His own image, He created He them. We're created in the image of God and we are emotional.
So it only makes sense then, that if we're emotional then God must be emotional; because we're created in God's image. So this particular part of the Bible, the Song of Songs, communicates to us, listen now, the emotional side of God. And the book begins by the Shulamite bride, once again, who's a shadow of you and I, a shadow of the church, calling out. She wanted to feel His love in her life. She was craving a deeper sense of intimacy with Him. It begins with her crying out for this experience and it ends with her encountering this experience. So it begins with her longing for and crying out for it. And then the Lord brings the Shulamite bride, once again, who's a shadow of you and I, through this journey. Eight chapters, her going through this journey, her going through this walk into maturity where she finally has entered in, listen, what her heart has been crying out for.
So what you're gonna find I believe as we journey through the Song of Songs together, is kind of a template for what our lives are like as we grow in God. You're gonna see as we get deeper today even, that the Shulamite bride began with an experience. She had an experience, but then eventually she didn't feel God's presence like she once did. And what was happening there, is that the Lord was teaching her to walk by faith and not by feelings. But once she had become fully developed by faith and by obedience, she got to a place where she began to feel Him all the time. So it really shows us the road into maturity and the pathway to walk with Hashem, which is just the way of saying God in Hebrew, to walk with Him through Yeshua in a way that we feel His intimacy with us all the time. So I really want to encourage you, go back, watch last week's episode.
Let's continue. I'm just gonna read verse 1 and 2, which is where we were last week and then we'll continue today. God bless you beloved. It's fun to be with you today, because this is, this is such a, I'm telling ya, I remember preaching 13 messages on this book at one time. And you would think that I would have been exhausted after preaching 13 messages in a day and when I was done preaching 13 messages I wasn't exhausted. I felt fresher than I did when I began in the morning and I was covered with an anointing of beauty from the Lord, that was just spectacular. So I'm excited to be able to share this with you. Here we go. "The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's". There's the title of the book. Not the Song of Solomon, but Solomon actually names the book, it's the Song of Songs. And then the Shulamite bride, shadow of you and I, calls out to the Lord. She says, "May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth"!
I shared last week, this was a cry for intimacy. She wanted to feel Him. She continues here. "For your love," she said bottom of verse 2, "is better than wine". I spoke a bit about this last week, but I want to point out an additional fact. In scripture, particularly in the Hebrew Bible, wine is a symbol of earthly celebration. It's interesting that Yeshua's first miracle recorded in scripture is that He turned the water into wine at the marriage celebration. Wine is a symbol of celebration. It's a symbol of the finest thing that the world has to offer. So what she is saying here is that, "Your love God, Your love Jesus, Your love is better than anything the world can give me. Your love is better than all the money in the world. Your love is better than the biggest house in the world. Your love is more important to me," she was saying, "than anything else in life". She panted after God.
You see God comes to those that are panting for Him. God comes to those that are thirsty for Him. God comes to those that are craving Him. God draws near to the desperate, to the humble and that's the type of posture she was in as we begin here with her journey. And if you and I are gonna be filled with the fullness of the Lord's love, if we're gonna be full of the Spirit, we're gonna have to crave Him. Jesus said He spits the lukewarm out of His mouth. Jesus isn't looking for people, listen, that make Him a hobby. The Lord can't bless people the way He wants to, that have made Him a hobby. He has to be our passion. He has to be our lifestyle. He has to be the thing that's beating in our heart more than anything else. This is why Yeshua said, "He that loves father, mother, brother or sister more than Me," He said, "cannot be My disciple". In fact He even went farther. He said, "He that does not hate his own father and mother cannot be My disciple".
He wasn't saying of course that we should like hate our parents, but he was saying that, "If you have not separated your soul unto Me, where I am more important to you by far than anything else in life," He said, "I'm never gonna be able to give you everything that I want". Because He demands our whole heart.
So once again, this is a journey into divine love. It speaks to us how we can experience God and the first thing that we're seeing here, is that in order to experience what we're craving for, those of us that really want to know God, that we want Him to be our reality. He is reality, but we want Him to become our reality; that we're more conscious of His presence, of His shekinah, of the weight of His glory. We're hungry to experience Him more than anything else in life. And in order for us to enter in to this experience of fullness, the first prerequisite is we have to be panting, longing, and desperate and crying out for Him. He can't just be something that we have a little bit of desire for. That will not work. He has to be first and everything to us. "Seek ye first," Yeshua said, "the kingdom of God".
Let's continue on. Verse number 3. She's praising Him. "Your oils have a pleasing fragrance, Your name is like purified oil; Therefore the maidens love you". So first of all she's crying out. She's so desperate. I'm just hoping you can get it. I mean she's totally separated unto God. I mean she is so desperate, so hungry. "Kiss me with the kisses of your mouth". And then she begins to praise Him and she speaks how beautiful He is to her. Listen, "Your oils have a pleasing fragrance". You know she could have, have you ever met somebody? Maybe you have had this experience. I personally have not had it, but many people that are close to me have, where the Spirit comes and visits them in such a way that they literally have smelled or been able to smell the fragrance of the Lord's presence.
I know that kind of sounds strange, but you know we have these physical senses, right? We have ears and when the Lord speaks to us and we hear His voice, usually it's not with our physical ears. When I hear the voice of God speak to me it's a silent word. It's very distinct. I hear exactly what He's saying, but I don't hear with my ears. Somehow it's a silent voice. I can't even explain it, because it doesn't come from this world. It comes from the Spirit. So we have physical ears, but generally speaking, when God speaks to us it's not through our physical ears. It's by His Spirit. And so the point that I'm making is, that we have these senses. We have eyes and yet when we see in the Spirit it's not usually with our natural eyes, but the Lord will show us a vision. He'll just put a picture in our mind, something that we see inside our imagination and we're seeing in the Spirit. He's communicating to us.
For example, I remember many, many years ago before I was in ministry, when I was in business I was thinking about getting into this new business. And I was sitting on my couch one day praying, "Lord should I go into this business or not"? And all of a sudden in my mind a picture appeared and it was like a ball and a joint, like a knee bone going into our knee socket. And that way it's like I never thought about those type of things. I mean I never studied bones or thought about you know anatomy, but all of a sudden I'm praying to the Lord, "Should I go into this business"? And this knee ball goes into the socket perfectly. The ball of the knee went perfectly into the socket. And when I saw that I knew that the Lord was saying to me, "Yes, this business is right for you. It fits like a ball in the socket or like a hand in a glove".
And so I saw in the Spirit that day, but I didn't see with my eyes. I saw in the Spirit. So every one of our senses, our physical senses, has a corresponding physical sense. And in this particular verse, verse number 3, what we find is the Lord giving a spiritual sense to the ability to smell. So she's saying here, "Your oils have a pleasing fragrance".
I remember when I was in Israel not too long ago and I brought somebody with me. And we went to one of the sites there and this woman was overwhelmed. She just smelled the fragrance of the Lord. And several other people that I know well, that I trust, have had experiences when the Lord has come and they just smell this fragrance in the room. They said it just smelled so pure, so fresh, like a daisy, like a flower. And this is what the Shulamite bride is communicating here. She is so in love with the experience of the presence of God. First she tells Him, "I want You more than anything else in life". Then she begins to praise Him and tell Him how beautiful He is.
So Father God we just want to emulate what we're reading here in Your word. Father we just want to tell You how beautiful You are. Father thank You for making Your beauty known to us, even through Your creation; with the beautiful trees and the rivers and the waterfalls and the snow and the rainbows and the sun and the clouds and the birds. Father You're fragrance is so beautiful to us. We thank You for Your Spirit.
And then she goes on and she says, "Your name is like purified oil". The beauty of Jesus, it just communicate, it's as beautiful and as pure as snow. Have you ever been outside in the forest and seen the snow on the trees and the fresh crisp air? So pure, that's just a manifestation of who God is. You see God's invisible attributes and His eternal power are clearly seen through the things that He's made. Sometimes we miss it. Sometimes people go into nature and they see the purity of nature and the baby animals and the types of things that I just explained, the waterfalls; and what they end up doing, is they end up worshiping the creation. They worship the nature rather than the creator.
And so I love to go, for example, to Colorado. It's to me one of the most beautiful places on earth and I experience an impartation of the Lord just from being in His creation when I'm there. But I find that a lot of the people that I run into there, they're experiencing the beauty of God's creation. But rather than giving glory to the creator, they worship the creation. They say there's no God. But no beloved, God is so pure and you can begin to tap into that purity sometimes just by recognizing that when you're in His creation, taking a walk in the woods, or whatever other type of nature you like to go into. When you're in that type of a situation, you can recognize that what you're actually experiencing, listen, is an emanation of Hashem. It's an emanation of God. He created it and it's declaring His beauty.
You see the heavens and the earth declare the beauty of God. You can actually receive from God when you recognize that what you're standing in is His creation and He's in it. You see the entire creation is in the Lord. And so she, I'm just trying to help you understand here this type of spirit that she had when she said, "Your name is like purified oil," Just the purity of God. And so we can experience this, but we have to, listen, we have to give our imagination and focus to Hashem to experience Him. You see you could be in the most beautiful place in the world, but if you're not aware of your surroundings, if you're not aware of the place you're in, you can miss the whole thing.
Let me say it again. God is here. We can experience His reality. We can recognize how pure He is just by taking in pure air in the forest. But if we're not aware that He's here, if we don't give Him glory, if we don't make a conscious decision to recognize His presence here, we're gonna miss the whole thing. You could be sitting down across from somebody, they might love you to death, but if you're not aware of that person, if you don't regard that person, if you and I are so trapped in our own world that we can't tap into anything beside our self, we'll miss the whole thing. God is here and He's purer than the most purified air on the earth. He's right here right now. "Your name is like purified oil". And then she went on to say, "Therefore the maidens love you". In other words she's saying, "You're so beautiful, no wonder the maidens love You". I mean God is irresistible if we meet Him.
I remember a story that I read about in a book not too long ago from a missionary to India, Leanne Cinquenta, and how she came to the Lord. And what happened was, she was in her bedroom and she was sleeping. She had two beds in her bedroom and she woke up very early in the morning. I'm telling the story as best as I can recall it. So forgive me Leanne if I get any of the details wrong. As the morning was just beginning to dawn, she looked up in her bedroom. The light was just enough she could see. And in the other bed in her bedroom she saw that somebody was under the covers and it freaked her out, it terrified her when she saw that there was somebody laying under the covers in her bedroom in the twin bed there.
She slowly started to get out of bed, very quietly, to get ready to run out of the bedroom. And as she got to the door to make that final exit, there was like an irresistible draw in her that she couldn't even explain, to go back and pull the covers off whoever that was in that bed next to her. So she went back gently to that other bed, pulled the covers off, and as she pulled the covers off who was there lying in her bed under the covers? Listen, it was Jesus. And He sat up in bed. And she said there was all this, He was bloody. There was wounds on Him from everything that He had suffered at the cross. And she said, "It was pure love". She said, "Love was just pouring out of His body". And she knew that, that blood on His body was blood that had been shed because of His incredible love for her.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son". And that experience, when she saw Yeshua, when she saw Jesus bleeding and she knew that all that blood was because of His love for her and the sacrifice that He went through to pour His life out onto death; because it was focused love for her individually, purposefully, and specifically. It undid her heart. It completely changed her. It totally unwired her. I mean she got radically saved in an instant, just because she saw and encountered the love of God.
And so we read here, beloved, that she says, "Therefore the maidens love you". In other words, when she saw how beautiful He was, when she realized how much He loved her, it was like of course she gave her heart to Him. And so the Shulamite bride says, "This is why the maidens love you. You're so beautiful. You're so lovely". I mean if you're a person that gets touched by beauty, if you can only, if you and I could only see deeper into the beauty of Jesus, our hearts would voluntarily unfold to Him. In the day of God's power man is made willing.
And so next week I'm gonna continue here in verse number 4. It's one of my favorite most powerful verses in the Word of God. Listen, verse 4, "Draw me after you". After she sees Him, she cries out to Him. Here's her prayer. It's a twofold prayer. "Draw me after you and let us run together"! I want you to make sure to join me next week beloved. I'm telling you, I promise you if your heart is open, if you're like me, this book is gonna change your life. As I continue to minister to you week after week from the Song of Songs, I promise those of you that are at a place in your life where you're ready for God to do a new thing, God is gonna open your heart and seal you in His love in a way that you've not yet experienced.