“…which hath a most vehement flame.” Song 8:6
Vehement is a word that you don’t hear very often these days! This word appears eight times in the Bible and carries the idea of intensity, forcefulness and/or passion. Three times it is used of the weather describing wind and water that exerted an incessant pressure in the storm. (Jonah 4:8; Luke 6:48-49) Twice it was used of Jesus’ enemies as they urged and provoked and accused him of many different lies in their hatred to see him destroyed. Once it was used of the Apostle Peter after Jesus announced that he would deny his Lord three times. (Mark 14:31) Peter and the apostles protested in the most fervent and impassioned terms that they could never deny Christ. In II Cor. 7:11 Paul speaks of a “vehement desire” in the same breath as indignation, zeal and revenge.
The indication in all of these passages is that of an ardent and powerful force that rises up from within and overwhelms all before it. Our verse speaks of “a most vehement flame” – not a candle or even a bonfire, but the flame of blast furnace or that of a raging forest fire pushed along by a mighty wind. The comparison being made is to that of our emotions!
In these last days of the church age, the wickedness and corruption of this world weighs heavy on the hearts of most believers. Weariness and discouragement are the norm – an intense, vehement passion for the things of God is rare indeed! Jesus said that “the love of many shall wax cold.” (Matt. 24:12) He accused the Laodiceans of lukewarmness, the Ephesians of losing their first love and the church in Sardis of having a name that they lived while actually being quite dead. (Rev. 2-3)
Some elements of Christianity today try to create a fake hype for Jesus by using worldly music and manipulating the atmosphere of the church service to play on the emotions of those present. Stimulating the flesh however can never produce a true passion for Christ. Like the unfaithful widow in I Tim. 5:6, many believers today live in pleasure outwardly, while being quite dead on the inside.
Are you passionate about serving Jesus Christ? Do you have burning desire to read his word, listen to that next sermon, pass out that tract and lift up your voice the next time the congregation sings? Do you still have that first love, or are you just going through the motions?
A most vehement flame needs plenty of heat, fuel and wind. If things have seemed a bit spiritually dead in your heart lately, how about seeking after God alone (Heb. 12:29) in the pages of his word (Jer. 20:9) after first seeking the power of his Holy Spirit? (John 3:8)
True revival will result in an unmistakable enthusiasm and vehement passion for Christ – but it can only be found by the one who is willing to deep dive into the word of God and seek for God alone. There happens to be an essential ingredient though to seeing this happen – the common denominator in the following verses if you care enough to look them up? II Chron. 15:15; Psa. 119:2 & 10; Jer. 29:13
Praise God for every believer who lets their, “this little light of mine” shine – but wouldn’t you really rather have a passionate love for Christ that burns as a most vehement flame?