Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For [he’s giving us the reason now], you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way...
What we learn about ourselves from this poem can be summed up in two words: Selfish and vulnerable.
We too are selfish
This is the first thing the bride would have wondered: Would I really have left the king I love standing in the rain because it didn’t suit me to get up and open the door? Am I really that selfish? We profess to love God, but too often we are unresponsive to him, preoccupied and self-absorbed.
Reading this story of a king who finds his bride unresponsive, the Christian mind naturally goes to Christ, the great King, standing at the door, knocking, and calling out to his bride, the church: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock” (Rev. 3:20).
The church sometimes responds, “We have need of nothing. Our lives are full right now; don’t call us, we’ll call you.” People who profess to love the Lord can still be very selfish.
We too are vulnerable
Perhaps the bride thought she could welcome the king when she needed him, but then retain her own private world to which he would have no access. Then she had the nightmare of being assaulted by the watchmen. The queen could never go wandering alone in the streets at night. She would always have the protection of the king’s royal guards.
Here’s what that says to us: You may think that you can come to God when it suits you and leave him out when you want to do your own thing. But without the Lord, you would be at the mercy of dark powers that are stronger than you.
The old hymn says it well: “I need thee every hour.” If we really believed that, we would be much more responsive to Christ, and we would walk much more closely with Christ than we do.
Which of these do you relate to most?