(6) Who is this coming up out of the wilderness, like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all the merchant's fragrant powders?
The remaining verses of chapter 3 (verses 6-11) are describing our Bridegroom King as the safe Savior. Because of the depth of imagery used in these verses, we will break it down verse by verse, point by point.
Previously the bride rose up in obedience, out of her comfort zone, and chose to follow Him in ministry. Because she made that choice, He took the fear out of her heart. He not only took the fear out, but proved He is the one whose leadership she can trust.
Jesus spent 33 years on this earth as a man, leaving His deity to demonstrate His power over sin in this world; He was in the wilderness for 40 days, being tempted of Satan, but overcame it all. He experienced wilderness testing in the garden of Gethsemane and then again on the cross; but He came forth victorious in it all, proving to His bride she has nothing to fear and can trust Him completely. He truly is our safe Savior.
So it is Him, our beloved bridegroom, coming up out of the wilderness. The pillars of smoke speak of the glory and wonder of God, and He is perfumed, or anointed with myrrh which signifies obedience to death, and frankincense which is His intercession, or prayers for the bride. In Old Testament days, merchants handled fragrant, expensive powders in the marketplace and the fragrance of those powders remained on them wherever they went. This is an illustration of the fragrance of Jesus Christ to God as He embraced the cross. It is also a description of the bride in II Corinthians 2:14 "Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place."
So the bride is beginning to understand just how amazing her bridegroom King is! She does not need to fear following Him wherever He goes, because He is safe. His leadership is perfect. He is causing her to see herself as He does. She is being strengthened, becoming bold and confident; and all the while experiencing and understanding His great love for her! And the journey goes on...