Contentment of the lady (Song 1:12-14)

In the previous poem, the lady had been searching for rest and we can see in verses 12-14 that she has found rest as she sits beside the king on his couch. She speaks about what happened as she did so, and then she describes what the king means to her. Probably she is giving this information to the daughters, her companions, as she shares her joy, perhaps even to encourage their commitment expressed in verse 11.

She mentions the fragrance that comes from the nard that she is wearing. Nard was an expensive perfume and again I would suggest that she would have received this from the king when she arrived (after all, some hotels give such things to their guests). So we could say that it is his fragrance expressed through her. The aroma of Jesus is the work of the Spirit in his human nature and he has given the same Spirit to his people in order that they will become like him. We can see that one application is that the believer affects the atmosphere in the presence of the King.

Then she likens the king to ‘a sachet of myrrh that lies between my breasts’. She carried this about with her all the time, no doubt to ensure that there was a fragrance about her permanently. Myrrh was a very powerful fragrance, capable of removing all other smells, we might say. So no matter what other fragrances the woman chose to wear, the one that she would notice and that others would notice would be the myrrh. She likens the presence of the king to the effects of myrrh. In other words, she is saying that the king is paramount. And is that not the way it should be in the Christian life? Whatever other fragrances we have, the one that should be most obvious and the one that others should notice is what we think of Jesus and what contact we have with him.

The myrrh was placed in a suitable location. It was near her heart, the place of affection, and it was close to her nose where she could smell it easily. The same is true of Jesus in a believer’s life. Where do we place him? He can be left as an example, or as a teacher. But is he the delight of our affections, and do we have him so near that we can sense his fragrances?

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