In reply to the question, “Why would you gaze on the Shulamite?” the eager onlookers who beg her to return, describe her as they see her equipped for service.
They see her as the work of the hands of a skillful Workman, and call her blessed; they show that they are beginning to understand her separation to the Lord and her inability to please men and that she is the faithful servant of Christ. She cannot return unless she is sent!
The Lord has used his hidden one before. We have seen his joy over the precious fruit and rivers of living water — the spontaneous outflow of the abundant life. At that time, the maiden did not understand the conditions of his working through her and how she was to intelligently cooperate with him as a fellow-laborer. She is now of full age to receive the fullness of Christ, and she must know the solemnity of being called to work with God, that his fullest plans can not be hindered by her ignorance.
Through the words the princely people (or the daughters) use to describe the Shulamite, we can trace the characteristics of the prepared co-laborers and the conditions of effective service in cooperation with God.
1. Step by Step in the Spirit
The Lord looks at his Shulamite maiden and says, “How beautiful are your steps” (Song 7:1, margin). You see, she has returned to her dwelling place and is now seeking to walk “step by step in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25, Moule).
She is the creation of a skillful Workman who has recreated her in Christ Jesus. She is the creation of a skillful Workman who has recreated her in Christ Jesus. She no longer has to run back and forth — trying to figure out what to do and make plans for herself, because he has prepared a path of service for her. Not only that, the skillful Workman has also prepared the worker for the work.
The plans are kept in the hands of the Master Workman and by the skillfulness of his hands, he will guide her moment by moment in the path he has prepared. He will also continue to prepare her for each new step as she walks with him.
Many times I have used the example of giving directions to someone. Let’s pretend you are going to visit my house. I could give you the directions — “Go south on US-23, take the first exit after I-94, turn left, then go to the corner of Carpenter Rd. — you will see two gas stations . . . “. or better yet, I could go with you and right before each turn, I tell you to turn left or right. The Lord does not want to give us the directions, he will walk with us and gives us the directions as needed.
The maiden’s feet will be beautiful if she continues to walk with God, and she will find that the sandals he has given her — “the preparation of the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15), peace within and peace all around, keeping her fixed on him in perfect peace — to protect her from contact with the earth. All grace will flood her being, if she agrees to walk in the path he has prepared. Not going down to see the vineyards until she is directed to go. Just being content to do the next thing like a child being lead by their father.
2. Strengthened with Heavenly Food
“Your body is like a round goblet in which never lacks mixed wine. Your belly is like a heap of wheat fenced about with lilies,” the Lord now tells her. According to Fausset, the “wine of the New Testament is His blood” The wine and the wheat referred to her, remind us of the words of the Lord:
“My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him . . . the one who feeds on me will live because of me” —John 6:55-57
If she wants to grow strong in the Lord and in the power of his might, she can not lack the life-giving power of the Lord — signified by the wine. His flesh is the bread of life, and is the substance provided as “food for the new man“—suggested by the heap of wheat. If she does not want to be weak and sick, but in her weakness be made strong and become mighty in war (Hebrews 11:34), she must be taught by the Spirit to “recognize the body of the Lord” (I Corinthians 11:29-30) and to feed on him in her heart by faith with thanksgiving.
By feeding on and assimilating the real food and real drink day by day, she will find her food supplied in doing the will of God, just as Jesus did in the days of his flesh, as he met the needs of one sinful heart.
“His disciples urged him, „Rabbi, eat something.‟ But he said to them, „I have food to eat that you know nothing about . . . my food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work” (John 4:31-34).
3. Her Capacity for God
The capacity of the maiden is again spoken of under the figure of the breasts when he claims, “Your breasts are like two fawns” (Song 7:3). It is significant that the fawns are not said to be “feeding among the lilies,” as back in Song 4:5.
“There are two kinds of capacity.
(1) A capacity proper to the creature, which is small and limited.
(2) A capacity of being lost continually more and more in God.
“The melting process through which [the soul] has passed has taken from him all form (which compressed him within the rigid limit of his own capacity) and disposes him to flow into God, as water joined to it sources blends with it ever deeper and deeper. (This does not mean that he loses his nature as a creature, and that God could not cast him forth again—although this is what He will not do)” –Jessie Penn-Lewis, Life Out of Death
The maiden has been brought to be hid with Christ in God. As she abides in him as her dwelling place, she will be able to give out of his fullness to those in need, because she is no longer restrained in herself, or in her own affections. Paul told the Corinthians to, “Open your hearts” or “Make room for us.” There is room in her heart for all everyone Christ died, and as her capacity is continually increased by his hand on her, his fullness will flow into her, and through her, as she pours out to others.
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