Song of Solomon 3:6-11
Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant? Behold his bed, which is Solomon's; threescore valiant men are about it, of the valiant of Israel. They all hold swords, being expert in war: every man hath his sword upon his thigh because of fear in the night. King Solomon made himself a chariot of the wood of Lebanon. He made the pillars thereof of silver, the bottom thereof of gold, the covering of it of purple, the midst thereof being paved with love, for the daughters of Jerusalem. Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and behold king Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart.
We broke this canticle down into 4 headings; verse 6 was the Procession, verse 7-8 are dealing with the protectors, which is what we will deal with today. Verses 9-10 deal with His Palanquin [Chariot] and verse 11 deals with the Potentate.
Reading about these protectors in today’s verses reminded me so much of our heavenly Solomon's armed guards and what they protect today and what they wield today. Notice where they are protecting, they are protecting the bed of Solomon. More than likely this was Solomon's chariot that is described in the following verses, not the sort of chariot you think of that a man stands upright in and only has room for himself, but a four-wheeled horse drawn carriage. This was large enough for him and his bride. What is being protected is the bed chamber of Solomon and his love. Here is another wonderful picture of the Church. The place where Christ dwells in our hearts, a place of peace and rest, at least it should be.
The union of Christ and his bride is a thing that must be protected. This calls for valiant men, not valiant in the world, not valiant in business but as these men where the valiant of Israel, the protectors of the Church of Christ must be valiant, that is they must be overcomers. These Ministers that watch in the night for our souls, that fight the good fight of faith, the requirements is that they are valiant, overcoming evil with good [Rom 12:21]. They are the valiant men of faith, for it is by faith that we can be an overcomer [ 1 John 5:4]. They are not novices in the war that we fight, neither are they ignorant to the wiles and traps of the enemy but they are "Expert in war." The only way a man can become an expert is by many hours of experience and these God appointed Gospel guards have been exercised in warfare. They have been attacked, they have suffered defeat, they have been victorious, they have battled for the souls of men in prayer, in the pulpit, in the highways and hedges. They have had grievous wolves come and attempt to destroy the flock, they have had those who fought under the banner of Christ to turn on them and fight against them. They have become experts in war. Next time you think your pastor is being too hard remember, if he is called and placed there of God, that he has had to become an expert in war. This war has made him cautious.
"Because of fear in the night." His eyes have been better adjusted to the darkness from years of night watches. He can see things coming that unexperienced eyes can’t see moving in the shadows of the night. Hebrews 13:17 describes these rulers in the church as "those that watch for your souls." That is the duty of the protectors, the pastors of His church, to watch. When they seem over cautious to you just know that God does not call novices, and there it is experience that has brought this cation. Experience and responsibility, knowing that he will give an account one day. [Heb 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.]
What are these men armed with? With the greatest weapon God could afford them. They are armed with the same weapon the King armed himself with, the same weapon Christ overcame the devil with in the wilderness when He was tempted, the same weapon that will proceed out of his mouth in Revelation 19 and in one fell swoop put to death all the enemies of God and His righteousness. What weapon is that? It is the sword of the Lord, which is the Word of God! Sharper than a two-edged sword, powerful to save, to judge, to give life and to take life. Solomon himself never sheathed a sword more elegant, more decorative or more costly than this. Men of God, He has equipped us with what we need to watch for the souls of men, to fight against the enemy when they would advance upon the Church of Christ, when things in the night would love to disturb the union of Christ and his bride we can unsheathe the word of God and it is powerful and effective to deal with men who would disturb, situations, devils, or any other creature of darkness.
If you have a Gospel guard on duty at your local church, then thank God for Him. He watches for your soul; his duty is to guard the union of Christ and that local body. Christ is in the church, and he is in the churches, "where 2 or 3 gather together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Christ is in the midst with his church and the pastor or pastors are standing on guard to watch. They stand and wield the sword as they preach, they make calls and give warnings. Thank God for valiant men of faith who are experts in war. Do you have this sort of guard standing at attention at your church? Sadly, many churches have a hireling standing guard at their church, others have unqualified novices and the state o the church is in decline because we have men who dress like women leading the church, men who act like rockstars instead of pastors. God help us! If your pastor is a sissified wimp, you are in danger! We don’t need contentious men, or brawlers but we do need valiant men, courageous men who will stand in the night watch. Lord make us these kind of men!