Marking Jewish Themes with Devotion
Sabbaths, Feasts, and More
“My beloved is to me a pouch of myrrh which lies all night between my breasts” (Song of Songs 3:13).
Recently, I relished a conversation with a young man. Preparing to travel the world to share the Good News, his face lit up when he spoke of his deep love for Yeshua and the lost. His passion inspired me. At the close of our chat, he told me that the Lord had shown him in prayer that he would someday become a martyr for his faith. I was impressed. But I grew slightly skeptical when the young man ended our dialogue by bitterly complaining about having no cell phone for the past 24 hours because it was in the repair shop. The inconvenience was just more than he could bear!
Somehow the message to become a martyr and the inability to deny oneself for a short period of time struck me as incongruent, almost humorous. I. Know. I was so judgmental! That conversation caused me to look at my life. In truth, I hate to go without comforts too, and I am asking myself how does my desire for amenities and convenience influence my ability to give my all–even to the point of death–for my Redeemer?
The greatest love story ever told is about the biblical Bridegroom and His Bride — Yeshua and the Body of Messiah. He romances her by love to the point of death.
A few years ago, I wept through a message on the pouch of myrrh in Song of Songs 3:13, “My beloved is to me a pouch of myrrh which lies all night between my breasts.”
Today myrrh is nothing more than an exotic incense – pungent, both bitter and sweet. Centuries ago, the ancients valued it as much as gold. It became useful medically, as a perfume and an embalming ointment. It became so precious, that the Magis carried myrrh on camelback as a prized gift to honor the new-born king, Yeshua.
I love the scripture, “Not that we loved Him, but he loved us and gave Himself for us…” Before we fall in love with Yeshua, we may hate the things of God. But He wins and changes our hearts by loving us first. Then He reveals just how deep and wide that love is — that He would die a brutal death to make us His own.
But there is more, a pouch of myrrh between the breasts of the Bride. As the Bridegroom embraces His love, the myrrh is crushed and the fragrance spreads. The bittersweet scent is pressed between them. This pouch represents the Bride’s suffering for the Bridegroom as well. The reality of death rests between them in their intimacy.
It means the Bridegroom has died for the Bride, but she will die for Him as well. The Bride carries the ointment of death and burial upon her heart.
Love is not true love unless both lovers are willing to lay down their lives for each other.
This revelation of true love between the Bridegroom and Bride changed me forever.
The highest symbol of love perhaps is the pouch of myrrh that is crushed upon embrace–the willingness to lay down our lives for love. It is bitter and sweet at once, and to the world, a fragrance is released — death to the dying and life to the living.
Upon further reflection, I see the scriptural basis for the impassioned young man’s desire. He declared to the world that he was willing to give all — even unto death! In the end, no one knows who will become a martyr, but we do know that we are all called to die — to take up our cross and follow Him daily. Each disciple must embrace a death of personal will enabling him to do the will of the Father. God gives grace for what He guides us to do at the exact moment we need it.
For more study…
John 15:13, I John 3:6, John 13:38
Work it out in daily life…
In your private time of prayer, ask God to show you how you can respond to His call to lay down your life for Him? Take steps to obey. It may mean spending more time in prayer or reaching out to your neighbors or colleagues in very practical ways. Journal your desire and progress. Find scriptures that enlighten God’s voice to you. When you are weak, God’s Word will strengthen your journey to lay your life down for Him. Personally, I am thinking it may be just plain good for me to give up my cell for a few days, just to make more time for things that are eternal!
@Bonnie Saul Wilks