Who is this that comes up from the wilderness, leaning on her beloved? I raised you up under the apple tree…
I. THE CHARACTER OF A SOUL TRULY ESPOUSED TO CHRIST. He is one that is aye breathing to more and more nearness to the Lord, and a more intimate fellowship and acquaintance with Him. The soul espoused to Christ is one who is bending his course heavenwards, and has his back turned upon this world as a howling wilderness. He is one whose life in this world is a life of faith and dependence on Christ.
II. THE PLACE OF THE PRESENT RESIDENCE OF THE SPOUSE OF CHRIST; it is a wilderness, a very unheartsome lodging.
III. THE COURSE THAT THE SPOUSE IS TAKING, OR THE EARTH TOWARD WHICH SHE IS BENDING WHILE IN THE WILDERNESS; she is not going down, but coming up from the wilderness. And this, I conceive, may imply these things following.
1. That believers, or those who have really taken Christ by the hand, have, turned their back on the ways of sin, which lead down to the chambers of death.
2. That believers are pilgrims on the earth, and that this world is not their home.
3. A dissatisfaction with, and a disesteem of, this world, and all things in it; and therefore she has her back turned upon it, and her face toward a better earth.
4. That though she could find no rest nor quiet hereaway, yet she expected a quiet rest on the other side, or beyond the wilderness.
5. This coming up from the wilderness implies motion, and progress in her motion heavenwards.
6. This phrase of coming up from the wilderness implies, that religion is an up-the-hill work and way; for the, spouse's way here is represented under the notion of an ascent.
IV. THE SPOUSE'S POSTURE; she comes up leaning on her Beloved. It is the life of faith upon the Son of God that is here intended. And this expression of faith implies these particulars following.
1. The spouse's weakness and inability in herself to grapple with the difficulties of her way through the Wilderness; that she could never surmount them by the strength of natural, or yet of any created grace in her.
2. That however weak and insufficient she was in herself, yet there was almighty strength in her Husband and Head, on whom she leaned.
3. A blessed knowledge or acquaintance with the Lord Jesus.
4. The expression implies not only knowledge, but intimacy and familiarity; for we use to lean upon them with whom we are intimately acquainted.
5. This leaning posture implies Christ's nearness to the spouse; for we cannot well lean upon a person that is at a distance.
6. It implies a trusting, resting, or recumbency of her soul upon him, under all her weights and burdens, which she rolls over on Christ (Psalm 4:22; Matthew 11:28; Psalm 37:7).
7. It implies, that there is something in Christ that the hand or arm of faith stays and leans upon, as we come up from the wilderness. Sometimes faith stays itself on the person of Christ, as He is "Emmanuel, God with us"; sometimes upon His love, which passeth knowledge (Psalm 36:7). Sometimes it stays itself upon His name; for "they that know His name will put their trust in Him": sometimes on His mission, as the Sent of God, "the great Apostle of our profession"; it takes Him up as God's legate, His ambassador-extraordinary, sent to seek and to save that which was lost. It leans upon His general office as Mediator, for peace and reconciliation with God; upon His prophetical office, for instruction and illumination in the knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom; upon His priestly office, for reconciliation and acceptance; upon His regal or kingly office, for sanctification and deliverance from the power of sin and Satan.
Parallel VersesKJV: Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? I raised thee up under the apple tree: there thy mother brought thee forth: there she brought thee forth that bare thee.