Rabbi Schneider - Experiencing God in Hard Times
Are we fully convinced of how much God loves us? "His banner over me is love". Now, we are picking up where I left off last time, beloved ones. We're in the second chapter and we're in the fourth verse, the last part of verse number four. On the last broadcast, I talked about the first part of verse four, which says, "She was speaking here". When I say, "She was speaking," I'm referring to the Shulamite bride, who's a shadow of the church, a shadow of you and I. And she was saying to the King, who is a type of father, God and King Jesus, she was saying to him, "He has brought me to his banquet hall". In other words, she was sharing that God, who in the Song of Solomon, or the Song of Songs, was shown as King Solomon, but King Solomon was just a type of God. "He has brought me in to his banquet hall".
And so last time I spoke much about the fact that she was brought into a literal experience. It wasn't just something she believed in, she was truly experiencing the King's pleasure with her. She was experiencing his presence and his fellowship. And I put the challenge out as to what it is that God is after and what He wants to bring you and I into. I'm not going to review it all today for the sake of those that were with me last time, I encourage you to go back and get that teaching. I'm going to continue now. She continues there in the last part of verse number four, and she said, "And His banner over me is love". I think it's important for a moment to just dwell on this statement. "His banner over me is love".
I touched on this in season number two, but I just want to do it one more time before launching forward. I want to just point out the fact that the truth is many of us, I would say all of us to different degrees, are not fully convinced of God's love for us, and of how real and powerful it is. She had been brought into an encounter, she was brought into the banquet hall at the beginning of verse four, and then, as a result of experiencing God's love, she declared, "His banner over me is love".
Let me just say it again. In the literal, she was referring to King Solomon. King Solomon brought her into his banquet hall. But there is a poetic, futuristic, prophetic meaning behind it all. And the meaning is that God is revealing to us His relationship to us. He's showing us who He is, who we are to Him, and how He feels about us. So after being brought into this encounter, she came to the revelation that, "His banner over me is love". Now, this seems pretty point blank. I mean, this sounds like nothing new. It's probably rolling off some of our backs, like water off a duck's back. But as I have been saying, beloved, agreeing with something is much different than having faith come out from our soul, come out from our heart, take a hold of that truth, and then receive it and move into it. In other words, most people would say, "Yeah, God is love," but they're really not convinced that God loves them. They're not really experiencing it.
So what I am challenging you right now, and challenging myself, is are we fully convinced of how much God loves us? "His banner over me is love". We don't really oftentimes have a consciousness, it's not really in our conscious or even subconscious mind that God loves us. Oftentimes we feel alone in the world, or afraid because we're not convinced that God is really taking care of us. We feel like victims, don't we, beloved ones? Sometimes things happen in our life and we just feel like we become a victim. Maybe we got fired. Maybe someone stole something, or maybe we were mistreated. Maybe something happened to our son or daughter at school. And we're just in fear and we're in anxiety, and we just feel like we're kind of here in the world, fending for ourselves. But if we really knew, not only how much God loves us, but because He loves us, how active He is in our life, the Bible says if we really believe that, we'd have no fear.
John said in one of his letters, "Perfect love casteth out all fear". So I want to encourage you and I today, let's really believe. Not just say, "Yeah, God is love," but let's really take a hold of it, because saving faith is when we not just say yes to something, but when something from our heart, when faith jumps out of our soul, takes a hold of the word, and then brings it into ourselves. And it propels us forward in our relationship with God. That's when faith saves us. So I'm challenging you and I today, let's really take a hold of the fact that God loves us.
Listen, you may be going through something in your life right now. And it may not even have occurred to you that God is with you in what you're going through right now. You might not even be aware of it, that He's with you. You've just been in fear, you've felt like a victim, the victim of circumstances or people. But I want you to believe that God loves you, He's with you, there's a purpose for everything He allows to happen in your life. And I want you to have faith for his love for you, regardless of where you're at right now. Some of you are going through a season of darkness in your life. God feels far away. You haven't been convinced that God loves you. He doesn't seem near.
I want to encourage you, beloved one, right now, beloved child of His, to affirm with your heart, by faith, that He loves you, He's with you, He's working something good in your life right now. And oftentimes the things He wants to do in us and for us and through us can only be done in difficult times. Did you know that Paul wrote most of the letters in the new Testament when he was in prison? Sometimes it's only in difficult places that God can accomplish what He wants to do in our life. And sometimes we're in a difficult place not because God doesn't love us, but rather, beloved, because He does love us. He prunes every branch in Him that's bearing fruit.
Even Paul said that because of the abundance of revelation that was given to Him, to keep Him from exalting himself, a messenger of Satan was sent to Him to keep him humble, to keep Him from exalting himself. Paul cried out to the Lord, "Lord, take this suffering away". And God said, "No Paul. My power's going to be perfected in your weakness". And Paul got that revelation that God was doing something in his life as he was going through this hard time that could only be received by going through the challenge. And then Paul praised God for the challenge. So I want to encourage you, by faith right now, to repent before Father, before Jesus, say:
Father God, forgive me for doubting in your love, for doubting your love for me. Forgive me, Lord Jesus, for lacking faith. Right now I want to tell you that I love you. I repent for not believing in you. And I'm declaring right now, Father God, that your banner over me is love. And I'm trusting that even though this time I'm in right now is difficult, that you're with me, that you're doing something, that you're going to bring me out the other end of this thing, and that I'm going to be all the more gloriously and beautifully transformed because of it. Father, we declare today that you love us.
Jesus said, "Not a sparrow falls to the ground apart from the Father". So let's believe that whatever's going on in our life, God's with us, that neither height nor depth, breadth or width, nor any created thing can ever separate us from the love of God. And when you and I are fully convinced of His love and how active it is in our life, that we're protected by it and that he's always doing something, we are going to be free, because the truth, beloved ones, will set us free. So Baruch Hashem. We learn a we learn a great lesson in the Song of Songs, Shir Hashirim, the Song of Songs. I'm just so encouraged by the revelation that I received from this word Shir Hashirim, the Song of Songs.
Let's continue on. Verse number five. She calls out, "Sustain me with raisin cakes, refresh me with apples, because I am love sick". She was so in love with Jesus that she actually felt weak. Do you ever remember, maybe it was like a puppy love, something in your life, do you remember as a young person that you maybe felt so much love for somebody that it literally drained you of your energy? Love is a mysterious thing, and I remember puppy love when I was just a young boy. And I remember I was in seventh grade, I think, I was in seventh or eighth grade, and you walked down the hallway and then there was these different inlets from the hallway.
So the inlet where my room was branched off this way, and then right next to my classroom, there was another one this way. So you walk down the big hallway, then to the right was this inlet. You walk into the inlet and there was one classroom to the right and one classroom to the left. I was in the classroom to the right, but there was this girl in the classroom to the left. And I was so in love with this girl. I couldn't stop thinking about her, even though I didn't even know her. It was something I conjured up in my own head. I remember, I was walking into my room and I looked into her room on the left and I saw her, and I literally was so overwhelmed, I was verklempt, we say in Yiddish, I was just completely overwhelmed, I almost fainted. I mean, some kind of crazy thing I had in my head that caused me to feel such love, or whatever that was, for this girl that I literally got drained, so emotionally drained, I almost fainted.
Well, that is something like what the Shulamite bride is describing here. "Sustain me," she's about to faint, she said, "Because I am love sick". I mean, this for me just encourages me, and it lifts my spirits to think about the experience that I will be fully encountering in Yeshua. Now I'm entering it, little by little, every day, just like many of you. We're in a battlefield down here. The Bible says we're wrestling down here. Paul said, "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and forces of wickedness". And I used to wrestle, I was a high school wrestler, I got a small scholarship to wrestle in college. And you may or may not know this, but wrestling perhaps is the hardest sport in the earth. When you're wrestling, every single part of your body is being taxed. Your wind, your endurance, your breathing, your muscles. I mean, it is such an intensive sport. It takes everything out of you.
Well, there's a reason that Paul said that we're in a wrestling match against the forces of darkness. Once again, wrestling takes everything out of you. You have to use your endurance, your muscles, your speed, your skill, all of it. You have done wrestling a match, you're totally spent. Paul said, "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against forces of spiritual wickedness in heavenly places".
So my point is, beloved one, we're in a wrestling match on this earth. It's not pleasant all the time. Obviously we're not walking in some fairy land with the rose colored glasses on where all we're doing is experiencing bliss everyday. No, we're in a wrestling match down here. It's hard. It's painful. It's excruciating. But as we continue to pick up our cross, obey Him, even as Yeshua. The Bible says he was in prayer, one time he sweat drops of blood before going to the cross. That's how intense it was.
As you and I continue to take our call with the seriousness that it should be taken, focusing on Yeshua alone on the upward call of God in him. Yes, we're going to wrestle and it's going to take all our effort, but more and more we're being brought into a real love encounter. And one day it's going to be so overwhelming, what we're going to experience in His love. We're going to experience what the Shulamite bride here said; it was so overwhelming for her, she was verklempt. She was overwhelmed. She was going to faint. She was so exhausted emotionally because the love of God had so overwhelmed her and soothed her. And so that's where we're going. We take a little bit every day in this world of that into our life, we get a little stronger every day, just like the Lord told the children of Israel. He said He was going to bring them into the promised land, but not all at once, sayeth the Lord, he said, but little by little.
And so that was a picture for you and I today, for whom the Hebrew scriptures were also written. So I'm just trying to help you make sense of the fact that we're talking about experiencing these incredible feelings of God's love. But we want to balance that with the fact that life is hard and we're in a wrestling match down here. But one day, every tear will be wiped from our eyes, there'll no longer be sorrow or suffering or pain, and we need to keep our eyes on that heavenly reality, because it won't be long before you and I will pass from this temporary state that we're in while we're on this earth, in these fleshly bodies that are decaying, it won't be long till we're going to be, in an instant, transformed and experience the fullness of His goodness. But listen, there's one other point I wanted to point out in this verse before we move on. Listen to what she said here. As she was being overwhelmed by her experience and encountering the Lord, she said, "Sustain me with raisin cakes, refresh me with apples, because I'm lovesick".
So once again, she was feeling weak. She was feeling weak in her pursuit of the Lord and following God and experiencing God. And some of us are feeling weak right now, even today. We've been in a wrestling match with the powers of darkness, we need the Lord to sustain us. So she's saying, "Lord, sustain me with raisin cakes".
I want to tell you a true story that was so incredible it blew me away. Many years ago, when I was pastoring a congregation in Ohio, we had a guy and his young bride that were attending the congregation. They were kind of newer to the congregation. Such a beautiful couple, they were in their mid 20s probably, everybody loved them. And he was dying from a terminal disease. He looked good, but there was times that he was really doing bad, and his precious wife was taking care of him and they were coming to services and they were just an encouragement to the entire congregation because of their deep and raw love for HaShem, for Jesus. And one day they came, and I was teaching on the Song of Songs. And I went over this verse that I just got done sharing with you where the Shulamite bride, that's a shadow of you and I, cried out to Jesus prophetically, "Refresh me with raisin cakes".
This man that I'm describing, that was dying of this terminal illness, heard me teach on that on Friday night. And then he went home and he didn't tell anybody about it, it was just between he and his wife, and he got really ill after that message. And he was laying in bed and suddenly, on Wednesday, a few days after I preached that message, a neighbor came over to his house, totally unexpected, having had no communication with her about what I preached on. She knocks on his door, the wife opens the door, and what does she present the wife with? A raisin cake for her husband that was laying in bed weakened because of his condition.
And it wasn't long after that before he passed on to be with the Lord, but beloved, what a marvelous, sovereign, supernatural display of God's love. I don't know about you, but I've never got a raisin cake in my life and I'm 62 years old. And personally, I don't know of anybody else has ever got a raisin cake. So for this man to hear how the Lord loved him so much, and then him crying out to the Lord, "Refresh me with a raisin cake," and a few days later, the neighbor, having had no communication with him, shows up on his door post with the raisin cake. Beloved, if that isn't a beautiful display of Hashem's love, I don't know what it is.
I want you to know, as you continue to keep your eyes on Yeshua, as you continue to run the race for Jesus, He's going to surprise you. He's going to show up in your life supernaturally, and He's going to refresh you with raisin cakes. It might not be literally a raisin cake as described here, but it's going to be something that He's going to do in your life that you know is going to be from Him, it's going to be so supernatural, there'll be no mistaking it.