You are a [rock] garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain. (Song of Solomon 4:12)
You are a fountain [springing up] in a garden, a well of living waters, and flowing streams from Lebanon. (Song of Solomon 4:15)
This beautiful picture of the bride of Christ, again, has me thinking about the 'well', the 'well of living waters'. The bride is a rock garden enclosed. This brings to mind the images from a previous article 'Sing to the Well'. Singing (or speaking) to the well (Numbers 21:16-18) was linked with striking the rock in order for abundant waters to flow. Christ is this Spiritual Rock (1 Corinthians 10:4). The Rock and those who believe in Him have a well of living water that flows forth (John 4:14, 7:38-39).
The bride is a sealed fountain. In biblical times wells were sealed to both keep out dust and dirt and to declare ownership (Genesis 29:3). Similarly God has reserved us for His very own and protects us with the seal of the Holy Spirit.
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession-to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14)
Looking at Genesis 29, we discover that at this sealed well, Jacob meets his bride, Rachel. This really grabbed my attention because Jacob is a type of Christ and Rachel is a type of the bride of Christ. Rachel was coming to the well to draw water (Genesis 29:6). Looking at the cross references, Moses also met his bride Zipporah at a well, she also came to water her flock (Exodus 2:15-21).
Now my interest was really piqued. Several months ago, I was at a local church earnestly seeking the Lord on where to worship. What I was really questioning was if this was the right place for me. The sermon that night was on Isaac and Rebekah from genesis 24 - finding a bride for Isaac. Abraham's servant is sent to Abraham's native land to find a bride for Isaac. The servant arrives at a well outside this town towards evening, the time the women go out to draw water (Genesis 24:11)! The servant then prays this prayer:
Then he prayed, O LORD, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. May it be that when I say to a girl, Please let down your jar that I may have a drink, and she says, Drink, and I'll water your camels too-let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master. (Genesis 24:12-14)
Rebekah appears as an answer to this prayer even before the servant finishes praying (Genesis 24:15). She gives the servant a drink and waters the camels too (Genesis 24:19). In Rebekah we can see the following qualities of the Bride: She is from the 'family' (Genesis 24:48) She is a 'virgin' (Genesis 24:16) She is able to draw water from the well and water 'the flock' (Genesis 24:19)
The Holy Spirit seemed to be telling me that this also is the way I would recognize the bride of Christ. The place of worship I was seeking would be able to draw living water from the well and offer it not only to me, but to my family -- or anyone else that I should bring. The moment I realized this, it was as if the Lord reassured me that I had found what I was seeking - a place to drink and offer living water from the well.
John 4 contains a description of another woman found at the well. Interestingly it's Jesus who first asks her for a drink (John 4:7). This leads to a discussion of living water and prompts the woman to ask where this living water can be found (John 4:11).
Jesus answered, Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. (John 4:13-14)
During this discussion the woman recognizes that Jesus could be the Messiah. Is it a coincidence that when Isaac and Rebekah first recognized each other, Isaac had just come from Beer-lahai-roi (the well of the living one who sees me (Genesis 24:62-64, 16:14)?
Sir, the woman said, I can see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem. Jesus declared, Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth. (John 4:19-24)
The woman then goes and tells others, drawing others back to the well.
Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it? (John 4:29)
The word 'come' in the above invitation is the same word used by the Spirit and the bride to invite others to take the free gift of the water of life (Revelation 22:17). This makes me think that the above verses in John 4 paints a picture of a type of bride of Christ. Again this bride seems to be found going to draw water from the well. The Messiah or Bridegroom is also at the well and it seems to be here at the well where they recognize each other. John 4:23 also reveals another quality of the Bride - she will worship in spirit and truth. Wow! This again points back to images from a previous article 'Sing to the Well'. This article also reveals more qualities of the bride having to do with striking the Rock with a rod; these are collected below; a picture of the Bride of Christ: She is from the 'family' (Genesis 24:48) She is a 'virgin' (Genesis 24:15) She is able to draw water from the well and water 'the flock' (Genesis 24:19, 29:6; Exodus 2:15-21) She is found at the well, the bride & bridegroom recognize each other here (John 4)
The spirit and the bride say 'Come' -- come to the well (John 4:29; Rev 22:17) The bride worships in spirit and truth (John 4:23) The bride 'sings to the well' and water flows from the Rock (Numbers 21:16-18) The bride has a rod of authority given by the Lord (Isaiah 11:1-4) The bride uses the rod of her mouth to strike the Rock at the well (Isaiah 11:1-4) The rod is dipped in honey - God's word is in the bride's mouth and heart (1 Samuel 14:27-29; Psalm 119:103)
The bride is a rock garden locked up, a fountain sealed. A secret place hidden and protected belonging to God thru Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The bride is a spring of living waters welling up to eternal life. A beautiful place of communion and fellowship with the Lord is found at this well of living water. The bride and Bridegroom recognize each other here. Worship in spirit and truth occurs here. Water is drawn here by the Spirit and the Bride and offered to the thirsty. The Spirit and the Bride say "Come!"
Come! Come to the well and sing with joy Worship the Lord in spirit and truth Give to the Lord the glory due to His name Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness (Psalm 29:2) Under the shadow of His wings drink Drink the living water from the fountain of life The river of delights. (Psalm 36:7-9)
Come and abide in the secret place High upon the Rock Dwell in His house Drink in His presence Come and behold the beauty of the Lord (Psalm 27:4-5) The Bridegroom! Come! Come to the well of living waters!
Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. (Isaiah 12:2-3)
How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere! (Psalm 84:1-2, 4, 10)
The Spirit and the bride say, Come! And let him who hears say, Come! Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life. (Revelation 22:17)
by Karen Holland
is een prachtige tuin
waar het heerlijk vertoeven is,
en welriekende bloemen
en het betoverende gezang
van vrolijke vogels.