I love the way God uses the things we know and the experiences we all have to teach us about life in the Kingdom. A farmer and his seed, an ant and his army, the joints and ligaments of our bodies, a builder and his home — the way a young man moves toward romance with his girl!
Solomon noticed it too – “Three things are too wonderful for me; four I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a virgin.” (Proverbs 30:18, 19 ESV)
The way Hebrew poetry works here is that the first three pictures (the eagle, rock and ship) lead up to the most “wonder-full” one — the way of a man with a young woman. Any of us men who have fallen in love knows exactly what the wise king means.
Remember the sensuous process of falling in love. The first touch of her hand that sent shivers up and down your spine, the sight of her new dress she bought just to impress you, the unforgettable taste of coffee as you stared over the table at her eyes, the soft fragrance of her perfume as she waltzed by and her flirtatious giggle when she laughed at your attempt of humor. As soon as you walked her to her front door, immediately after the goodnight kiss, you called her again from the car, just to hear her voice once more.
That, Solomon wrote, is too wonderful for words!
Just as marriage was designed by God to give us a glimpse of our ultimate relationship with Jesus, so is the romance between a young man and young woman. It’s such a great picture that God gave us the entire Song of Solomon to help us understand the wonderful love between The King and His bride.
There’s another love story, painted in picture form, long before Solomon was even born. It’s woven into the building of the mobile worship center called the Tabernacle. All five of our God-given senses, that are such an important part of romance, are included in the living illustration.
The Tabernacle, with all of its design and color, clearly shows worshippers the way to come into an intimate relationship with our God and King. Let’s walk through the three rooms and observe the specially designed furniture, piece by piece. The path to the glory of His presence is clearly marked with seven artistically created artworks.
As any married person knows, the first step in becoming one begins with sacrifice. If we’re not willing to die to ourselves, we’ll never reach the first step in a love relationship. In the Tabernacle, just inside the front gate, sits the Brazen Altar, where sacrifices are given every morning and every night.
Immediately following is the Bronze Laver, a picture of baptism, representing the sense of touch. In the Laver, the priests wash daily before entering the Holy Place.
Inside the door of that second, more intimate area, on the right is the Table of Bread, twelve loaves baked fresh every day. The bread is a picture of the sufficiency of Jesus, “the Bread of Life” (John 6:35), but also brings in our sense of taste. “Taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Psalm 34:8a ESV)
On the other side of the Holy Place, just a few feet away, is the solid gold seven-branched Lampstand. Jesus, the Light of the world, is in the Center and the other candlesticks are pictures of us, the Church. Our sense of sight draws us even closer to the Glorious Presence.
The fifth piece of art was richly evident as the Priest approached the Holy Place. Its fragrance, easily sensed by the approaching worshipper, fills the room! The Altar of Incense is a picture of our worship that rises as incense before the Lord. It comes just before moment we enter the Most Holy Place.
Then, as lovely as any tapestry ever created, hangs the Veil, richly woven with gold, scarlet, blue and purple. That’s the Veil which was split from top to bottom the moment Jesus died on the cross. The way to God was opened for every sincere worshipper on that day. No longer could only the High Priest gingerly come before God once a year on the Day of Atonement — now Jesus has become the Way to the Throne for any who desires to be part of the Bride.
Finally, our last and probably the most important sense, as in any love relationship, is to hear the voice of our loved one. As we approach the golden Ark of the Covenant, above which the Shekinah Presence of Majesty sits, we are most privileged to hear the Voice of God.
The mobile worship center was designed by the Creator Himself to bring us to the very throne of the King of kings. As worshipper David so eloquently wrote, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11 ESV)
The reason that David’s son, Solomon, wrote, “too wonderful for me, is the way of a man with a virgin”, is because in every healthy romance is a sensuous picture of our invitation to have an intimate relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! Approach Him with a broken and contrite heart, feel the cleansing touch of the Water of Life, see the Divine Light that emanates from his eyes, taste the bounty of his provision, smell the sweet fragrance of his presence, and listen moment by moment for his loving voice. In his presence is fullness of joy!