Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouthâ€”
For your love is better than wine. (Song 1:2)
There is no metaphor that more movingly expresses the depth of our longing to be kissed by the Lord than the first line of the Song of Songs. If we had ever deeply tasted of His love, we would feel this yearning because His is a love that tastes â€œbetter than wine.â€
Had the memory of that taste not been etched permanently in our heart, our understanding of His love would be limited to hearsay and conjectureâ€”a foundation too weak to withstand the seductiveness of wine.
God calls many in Christ His friend, but He has a distinct relationship with each believer. With a casual friend, Godâ€™s word is rare and revelation is scarce (1 Sam 3:1); with a close friend, even if he does not ask, God will hide nothing from him (Gen 18:17).
The Lord once heard Miriam and Aaron complain, â€œHas the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us also?â€ God therefore made it a point to let them know that He treated each prophet differently.
If there is a prophet among you,
I, the LORD, make Myself known to him in a vision,
And I speak to him in a dream.
Not so with My servant Moses;
He is faithful in all My house.
I speak with him face to face, [And I kiss him with the kisses of My mouth]
Even plainly, and not in dark sayings;
And he sees the form of the LORD. (Num 12:6-8)
God revealed Himself to Miriam and Aaron through a medium, whereas he spoke to Moses face to face. Although each prophet received the same words of God, their reactions were utterly different. Perhaps, this explains why loving and being loved are so unequal.
In the same vein, being told through a third party that you are loved and being told â€œI love youâ€ directly evoke the same message but different sentimentsâ€”the former provides an academic sense of â€œknowing,â€ the latter revives and brings joy.
In Song 1:2, â€œwineâ€ represents manâ€™s antidote for an empty soul. Wine itself is not a sin, albeit a temptation. Often, it is difficult to sense Godâ€™s love, regardless of our tears and supplication. Yet, to compare His love to the intoxicating effect of wine makes it too abstract, too elusive, and too feeble.
If we regard â€œyour love is better than wineâ€ as a comparison rather than a life experience, we will unconsciously seek contentment in other pursuits, such as that of art, knowledge, or physical activity, and wander away from the pursuit of a closer relationship with God. With time, the pleasures of wine will become a substitute for the beauty of Godâ€™s love!
We lose a sense of awe in Godâ€™s power when we receive something indirectly from Him. Only through intimate (mouth-to-mouth) instruction can we understand the mysteries of His word, fathom the wonders of His love, and cast off the shackles of inebriation.
Wine removes inhibition by stimulating the senses. There is, however, a limit to the amount of stimuli the senses can absorb. The cheerfulness induced by a small glass of wine can quickly deteriorate into the excesses of drowning oneâ€™s sorrow. If we are so unfortunate as to reach this end, we will spend our days enslaved by wine, vainly attempting to fill a cup that is never full.
Godâ€™s love pulls on our heartstrings and spreads around to embrace us. To preserve this wonderful feeling, we naturally develop loftier aspirations. The simple lyrics â€œOh, to be like Youâ€ becomes an expectation. When an individualâ€™s spirit and flesh turn crystal clear, that individual will have left the world far behind and become as one with the Lord.
For forty days and nights on Mt. Sinai, the Lord kissed Moses â€œwith the kisses of [His] mouth,â€ teaching him in the Spirit and making a covenant of love with him. Moses left the mountain with such a sense of peace and contentment that he had no idea his face was shining.
Oh my Beloved, how I long for You. May You return to receive and to deeply kiss Your beloved and Your church.