Because she has continually stayed under the Lord’s protection and has made Him her refuge and dwelling place, YAHSHUA will set her on high. He promises to be with her always and invites her to experience a higher and challenging level of relationship with Him. He says to her, Come, rise up, my love. Come away! Come, I want you with Me. Together we will climb the rocky steps up the hillside, for the winter of life is done and gone. A new season springs forth bringing life in beautiful colors. The birds sing the celebration of life; nature rejoices in unison by giving its fruit in the fragrant of its blooms. She accepts the invitation and climbs the rocky mountain with Him; they find a place away from all the noises of the world. There, alone with Him, without any distraction, she hears His voice saying, O my dove, in the seclusion of the clefts in the solid rock, in the sheltered and secret place of the cliff, let Me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. She responds by asking Him to take away the things that destroy the blossoms of their relationship; for the love she has for Him is tender, young and prone to fail. Desiring for it to last, she pleads with Him for help. In the seclusion of their encounter, He blesses her with power over her enemies. He gives her victory over all that comes against her and between her love for Him. He assures her of his presence to be with her always, deliverance, honor and a satisfyingly long and eternal life from eternity to eternities. He leaves her temporarily to prepare a place for her and promises His return for her when it is ready. Longing for Him, she cries, Until the day breaks and the shadows flee away, return hastily, O my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young hart as you cover the mountains. Her nights seem darker, and her days, longer, as her heart longs for her beloved. Faith strengthens and carries her higher and higher in her desire to please Him. Then she sings to Him, My beloved is mine and I am His!
The process YAHSHUA went through to redeem His bride was painful and difficult in the fact that He purchased her with the ultimate price – His own blood. He died and was raised to life and that sealed His action of redemption when He said, It is finished! Lost and confounded in our iniquities, carrying the sins of our forefathers and their consequences, we went far away from Him, just like sheep we were dumb and stubborn, doing our own thing. But His love pulled us out and gave us life through His own death. He purchased His bride with His own blood. Through oppression and judgment, His life was cut off out of the land of the living and life was given to all who would receive the gift of His life. He will see [the fruit] of the travail of His soul and be satisfied, for He bore the iniquities of many and set them free from the power of the enemy. He took all upon Himself to go through the anguish of hell, so we do not have to.
That beautiful day when God Himself became one with man, that is, without the influence of sin, neither with tendencies to do evil, the world experienced life wherever He went. Nature sensed His presence, demons knew Who He was and let all know it too. But man, to whom He came to redeem, did not accept Him for Whom He was. Meanwhile, He reached out and touched those who let Him touch them. He desired to fellowship with man from the beginning of time. Adam and Eve experienced the afternoons with Him in the garden when things were pure and sin hadn’t taken over their hearts. He even gave some of His disciples the privilege to see Him being transfigured and glorified at Mount Hermon. But when the vacuum of darkness enveloped men, the walls of sin separated them from God. Then man became confused and lost in their thinking, they chose many gods to satisfy their need for the only, true God. It is beyond me to think that our holy God desires sinful man to be close to Him, so much so that He purchased him with His blood, even when man was still grossly in their sins. He paid in full the price that we were to pay in hell. The sufferings that He endured to save men no one will ever experience, for no man is able to endure the world’s burden of sin.
After His resurrection, YAHSHUA came to the disciples who got distracted and returned to their way of life. He invited them to breakfast, having a fire, fish already been cooking for them to eat. This is a relationship that few of His bride is willing to adopt. A relationship that requires climbing through rocky and steep mountain, in the sense of challenging, rarely is practiced today. Most Christians prefer to listen to God through their pastor while sited in a comfortable pew under the comfort of the air-conditioner, that is, here in America. Climbing a little higher to be closer to Him is inconvenient. Sadly, not many people are willing to go through spiritual sweats. It requires commitment, endurance, self-denial and time away from their toys. With no time to sit at the feet of the Bridegroom, we then become simply mediocre and sickly believers.
Mary was willing to take time away from it all to sit at the feet of her Lord and was blessed greater than her sister Martha, who concerned herself with the cares of life. YAHSHUA said, Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her (Luke 10:42). She represents the believer whose determined purpose is to become more deeply acquainted with her Lord; who desires to know Him more deeply. We heard of Him, but we do not know Him personally. It is a fact we must face. Sometimes it takes a valley or a wilderness for us to sit at YAHSHUA’S feet, as it was the case of Job who suffered tremendously while going through his valleys and deserts. When God finally came to him, he confessed saying, I had heard of You [only] by the hearing of the ear, but now my eyes see You. Therefore, I loathe [my words] and abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes (Job 42:5-6). We can never get near our Lord without feeling our unworthiness and conviction. Psalm 91 is a proclamation of God’s secret place to be the believer’s most secure place from where victories and blessings and salvation will come. The believer can only receive them when abiding in Him. It is also a picture of a relationship between God and the believer. It connects with John 15 in the fact that the believer must remain in the secret place -the source of life, to receive life and be renewed, and to survive all the attacks from the enemy.
One can never testify of someone he does not know. Just being acquainted with a person does not qualify somebody to know a person. Many of us have been acquainted with the Lord YAHSHUA, but have never had a relationship that brings the manifestation of His presence in us. We can never say, “Under His shadow I delight to sit” because we practice religion and not relationship. In other words, we are proudly religious Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists or any other denomination, just like that of the Pharisees, Sadducees.
The Bridegroom’s invitation still stands today to all who will come to Him: Incline your ear and come to Me; hear, and your soul will revive (Isaiah 55: 3a). Wait and listen, everyone who is thirsty! Come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! (Isaiah 55:1a). It is a matter of a relationship with God, not religion. If you do not have a relationship with Him you will hear “I never knew you.” Meaning, you do not have a relationship with me. Therefore, I do not know you neither you know Me. Where do you stand today?