A FURTHER CALL
At this time the Lord gives her a further call. The Lord calls her to leave the mountaintop of Lebanon, which was the mountaintop of His ascension. To leave the house in chapter two is right, but it hardly seems right to leave the mountaintop of ascension. It is not easy to get there; so once there, how could we leave? Not to stay in the house is undoubtedly right, but once we have attained to the mountaintop of the Lord’s ascension, it seems that we should stay there. But because this is still only an individualistic attainment, the Lord called her away.
I do not believe that any one of us would want to leave if we had reached such an attainment, but the Lord called her to leave. However, before this time He had never called her His sister or His spouse. Only now does He call her by such names. “Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse,…Thou has ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse…How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse!” (4:8-10). He called her away from Lebanon to go somewhere else. He called her from the mountaintop of ascension to come back to earth. Without coming down from the mountaintop of ascension, it is impossible to have a garden on earth.
This poetry depicts the Christian in the church life. A garden cannot exist in the heavens. A garden must be on the earth. Not long after the Lord calls her away from the mountaintop of ascension, she is a garden on the earth. “A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed” (4:12). This garden is not on the mountaintop; it would be difficult to grow so many spices there. The poetry here shows us that shortly after being on the mountaintop, she is on the earth as a garden.
DEATH AND RESURRECTION
There is only one way to be on the mountaintop of the Lord’s ascension, that is, by the mountain of myrrh and the hill of frankincense. We must learn to stay continually in the Lord’s death and resurrection. Today, many seeking Christians have the wrong concept. They believe they must fast, weep, pray, and wait on the Lord. In a sense this is good, but we can never force the Lord to help us grow. Growth requires days, months, and even years. To pray for a week is easy; even to fast for a week is easy; but to stay at the mountain of myrrh for five years is not easy. We could all fast and pray for a long time without any sleep, but to stay in the Lord’s death and resurrection for a length of time is not easy. Yet there is no other way to get to the mountaintop of the Lord’s ascension except by the Lord’s death and resurrection.
Calling on the Lord and exercising our spirit are indeed wonderful, but we all must realize that these spiritual practices are only to help us enter into the death and resurrection of the Lord. The more we call on the Lord, the more we should be entering into the death and resurrection of the Lord. It is only through the experiences of the death and resurrection of Jesus that we will be transferred to the mountaintop of the Lord’s ascension.
DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAIN
Once we arrive there, however, we cannot stay indefinitely. We would be content to stay, but the Lord would say, “Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions’ dens, from the mountains of the leopards.” By this the Lord is telling us that there are still the lions, the leopards, the enemy, and so many needy ones. We would have the satisfaction, but He would not. We would have the rest, yet He would mention the many hungry and thirsty ones. They do not have any rest and satisfaction. So we must go down from the mountaintop of Lebanon to the valley in order to grow a garden.
(Life and Building as Portrayed in the Song of Songs, Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)