“If only I could show everyone this passionate desire I have for you. If only I could express it fully, no matter who was watching me, without shame or embarrassment.”
Song of Songs 8:1 TPT
Recently the Lord was showing me the connection of the lovesick Bride in Song of Solomon with the full expression of devotion seen in Mary of Bethany. Spikenard is the perfume that Mary poured over Jesus’ head and used to anoint His feet. Mary’s worship was a sign and act of extreme devotion and very costly offering, likely equating to a years wages (Mark 14, John 12). Spikenard is also mentioned in Song of Solomon, “As the king surrounded me at his table, the sweet fragrance of spikenard awakened the night.” Song of Songs 1:12 TPT & “While the king sits at his table [she said], my spikenard [my absent lover] sends forth [his] fragrance [over me].” Song of Solomon 1:12 AMPC. It is also later mentioned as an exquisite aroma within the Bride’s inner garden (her inner chamber / heart) that she prepared and stored for her Bridegroom King (4:13,14)
The Hebrew root word for Spikenard means to “shine” or “light up” as in a reflecting light. The light of the moon is reflected light from the sun, and is most brightly seen in the darkest hours of night. I find the parallels intriguing in that Mary anointed Jesus (the Bridegroom) just prior to the most difficult and darkest hours He and His followers would face, and He was the Light that overcame darkness. Perhaps prophetically the extravagant offering of spikenard “reflected light” was an aroma Jesus remembered while praying in the garden – for His Bride He drank that cup, knowing without enduring the cross He would never be in union with her and she could not fully reflect Him.
Jesus left this earth declaring He had to prepare a place for us (His Bride) just as it was in Jewish culture. Secondly in Jewish culture the time between the betrothal and the wedding was usually around one year, and significant to note it was one years wages Mary gave to Jesus in fragrant perfume – the perfume that prepared Him for the burial that would bring us life. It was customary the bridegroom could appear at anytime, day or night to his betrothed announcing the long awaited wedding ceremony had finally come. The timing was was a decision made by the father of the bridegroom, so the bride needed to be prepared. Once announced the bride and her bridesmaids would follow the bridegroom back to his fathers house. This coincides with the Ten Virgins parable in Matthew 25, and in the parable it was at midnight also known as the darkest hour when the Bridegroom’s voice was heard.
Extreme devotion will be a necessity in the Church as we prepare for the Lord’s return, however the fragrance of devotion so pleasing it will draw the heart of the Lord nearer still. This will be a time we must “count the cost”, though like Mary, Jesus said the memory of what she had offered to Him would be told throughout the world whenever the Gospel was proclaimed. As devoted lovers become more impassioned, this will cause another increase in the separation of wheat and tares in the Body, as this extreme devotion will agitate the hearts of the impure just as Judas was indignant over Mary’s extravagant offering. Despite accusers and many who will not understand this costly pure fiery love, the Bride will reflect His Light and increase in our longing and desire for Oneness with Him until His Glory covers the earth. Lovesick from the Bridegroom’s fragrant presence, we will reflect Him and become like Him with His fragrance and fruit stored within as a sacred gift.
This is a new season of “Longing”; we will grow here and plant by the river banks that run deep and wide, we are forging new rivers of worship and cleansing others that lead to the mountain of our God. There will be many assignments and seasons of change, but The New Longing will be one that will remain, a season that will be sustained by devoted love where we will mature and purify the Bride together until that long awaited day when the Father leans in with a smile that spans the heavens and whispers “Son, she has made herself ready”.