I sleep, but my heart is awake.
A sound! My love is knocking!
Open to me, my sister, my darling,
my dove, my perfect one.
For my head is drenched with dew,
my hair with droplets of the night.
I have taken off my clothing.
How can I put it back on?
I have washed my feet.
How can I get them dirty?
My love thrust his hand through the opening,
and my feelings were stirred for him.
(Song of Songs 5:2–4, HCSB)
A Hebrew person reading this text would have been surprised if not stunned by the rebuff of Shulammite to Solomon her king. They would also be amazed at his gentle pleading and request. Kings don’t plead; they demand. Kings don’t beg; they command. At least that is true of most earthly kings. No, this Shepherd-King, this lover, stands at the door knocking, asking his bride to let him enter that they might enjoy sweet communion and intimacy. Would the world ever see such a King with such power and grace all wrapped up in one man? Yes they would!
In Revelation 3:20 we see “the Alpha and Omega” (Rev 1:8), “the First and the Last” (Rev 1:17), “the Amen, the faithful and true Witness” (Rev 3:14), the KING OF KINGS AND THE LORD OF LORDS” (Rev 19:16) standing at the door of His Church gently knocking. What are the tender and pleading words that flow from His mouth? “Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hear my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me.” That precious invitation from the Great King is for you! It is for me! It is an invitation to be restored to a right relationship with your Creator (Rev 3:14). It is an invitation to be reconciled with your Shepherd King who has redeemed you by His blood (Rev 5:9). One greater than Solomon desires to enter into sweet, spiritual intimacy with His chosen ones. He stands at the door gently knocking. If I might paraphrase an old gospel hymn written in 1880 by Will Thompson,
1) Softly and tenderly Jesus is knocking,
Calling for you and for me,
Here, at the door, He’s waiting and knocking,
Watching for you and for me.
2) Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading,
Pleading for you and for me?
Why should we linger and heed not His mercies,
Mercies for you and for me?
3) Oh, for the wonderful love He has promised,
Promised for you and for me!
Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon,
Pardon for you and for me.