(Song of Solomon 1:1-17)
“The song of songs, which is Solomon’s.
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—
For your love is better than wine.
Because of the fragrance of your good ointments,
Your name is ointment poured forth;
Therefore the virgins love you.
Draw me away!
We will run after you.
The king has brought me into his chambers.
We will be glad and rejoice in you.
We will remember your love more than wine.
Rightly do they love you.
I am dark, but lovely,
O daughters of Jerusalem,
Like the tents of Kedar,
Like the curtains of Solomon.
Do not look upon me, because I am dark,
Because the sun has tanned me.
My mother’s sons were angry with me;
They made me the keeper of the vineyards,
But my own vineyard I have not kept.
Tell me, O you whom I love,
Where you feed your flock,
Where you make it rest at noon.
For why should I be as one who veils herself
By the flocks of your companions?
If you do not know, O fairest among women,
Follow in the footsteps of the flock,
And feed your little goats
Beside the shepherds’ tents.
I have compared you, my love,
To my filly among Pharaoh’s chariots.
Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments,
Your neck with chains of gold.
We will make you ornaments of gold
With studs of silver.
While the king is at his table,
My spikenard sends forth its fragrance.
A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me,
That lies all night between my breasts.
My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blooms
In the vineyards of En Gedi.
Behold, you are fair, my love!
Behold, you are fair!
You have dove’s eyes.
Behold, you are handsome, my beloved!
Also our bed is green.
The beams of our houses are cedar,
And our rafters of fir”
On Whom Does God Set His Mind On?
As the title denotes, the Song of Solomon was written by Solomon expressing God’s great love for His people. When we look into the Song of Solomon, we can see the workers of God having received the remission of their sins. These workers are represented by the Shulamite woman. This Book shows us, just how much God loves His workers who have decided to unite their hearts with the will of the Lord and live for the preaching of the gospel. When God looks at His approved workers, they are so lovely to Him that He cannot hide His feelings.
It’s written in Song of Solomon 1:2: “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—For your love is better than wine.” This is what God is saying to His precious workers. God’s workers refer to those who are living according to the will of the Lord. In other words, it’s the hearts and faith of these workers that are pleasing to the Lord. For God’s servants to kiss the Lord is to unite their hearts with the will of the Lord. Having received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we the workers have united ourselves with the will of God and are now living amidst His love and blessings. In the Lord’s sight, it’s such people who bring great joy to His heart.
The Lord said His love is with all His workers who are carrying out His work by trusting in the righteousness of God. The Lord is saying that His love abounds in all who are carrying out His work. We should realize here that God especially loves those who have truly united themselves with His will. The righteous that have united themselves with the will of the Lord have put on His love and grace. Put differently, the brides of Christ laboring in the Lord’s vineyard have put on His special love. Those who have become the Lord’s workers are the ones who have received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and they are also the ones who have united their hearts with the Lord’s heart and His work. All the saints, young and old who have put on the Lord’s love have become His workers. These saints yearn to carry out the Lord’s work and follow in the footsteps of their predecessors in the faith.
What Kind of People Have United Their Hearts with the Lord’s Heart and His Work?
Those who have united their hearts with the Lord’s work and His will are those who follow the Lord’s will by denying their own fleshly thoughts. Such people are the ones hated by the people of this world for their devotion to the Lord’s work. In the Bible, the vineyard refers to God’s Church. Because God’s workers have been carrying out the Lord’s work being united with the will of God, they have been tanned. Yet, even though their skin has become tanned to a dark state, that is, their outward appearances have become ragged from doing God’s work; they are still beautiful in God’s sight. In other words, although God’s workers may look tattered in people of the world’s eyes, in the Lord’s eyes they are beautiful like the curtains of Solomon. This is the lovely warm heart the Lord has towards all His saints and workers in God’s Church.
When we look at the outward appearance of God’s workers in His Church, they look like soldiers in the battlefield. They look different from the people of this world, and that’s because they have the marks of Christ on their bodies. Like battle-worn soldiers, they have marks showing how hard they’ve been working to carry out God’s work. When we take a closer look at them, we can see that they are the true soldiers of faith. Their faith and their appearance all look beautiful. To most of us, these workers of God look beautiful in both body and spirit; however, not all of us see them in that way. In the eyes of the younger saints who have only recently come into God’s Church, these workers may look rather shabby. Such people who are new to God’s Church often say, “It looks like God’s Church is an assembly of the ragged!” The reality, however, is very different. In God’s sight, as well as in the eyes of the mature saints, God’s workers actually look beautiful.
These workers have been doing God’s work in His Church because they believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and as a result they have marks on their bodies showing this labor. I have heard countless times how the people of faith say just how beautiful God’s workers are, and I completely agree with them. This is indeed the case. Even though God’s workers may be darkened by the sun like the tents of Kedar while carrying out God’s work, on the inside they are beautiful beyond description. It’s just that God’s workers do not adorn themselves superficially as the people of this world do. In other words, they do not practice hypocrisy like the people of this world do. The reality is that when God’s workers are looked at from inside His Church, their lives are exceedingly beautiful.
The Song of Solomon Is All about Love
Here in today’s passage of Scripture, the Lord is explaining to us just how much He loves His precious workers. This Scripture passage is all about the love that’s shared between God and His cherished people. Amongst the saints are the workers living with their hearts united with the Lord’s love, and none other than they are God’s workers. These workers of God are all beautiful, for they are abiding in God’s Church and God is spreading His righteousness through them. God is saying that their lives are beautiful like the curtains of Solomon. These workers of God are thus saying: “Do not look upon me, because I am dark, Because the sun has tanned me. My mother’s sons were angry with me; They made me the keeper of the vineyards” (Song of Solomon 1:6).
Indeed, God’s workers are especially selected from the saints in His Church. These particular people are the ones hated by the world, and they are the ones following each and every will of the Lord by faith. Separated from the world and its religious hypocrites, they have been drafted by God to live as His dedicated workers. That’s why they are so faithful to God’s Church. Their outside appearance is being damaged from all the harmful sunlight that they have been exposed to while carrying out God’s work. Yet, even as this is happening to their bodies, they are still more than willing to live as God’s workers as long as they are loved by God.
God’s workers are indeed loved by Him, for in His sight they are living united with His will. Because they have kissed the Lord and devoted their entire lives to His will, they are loved by God all the more. This is why they look so beautiful in God’s sight. Before the Lord, there is no one more beautiful than these workers of God. What we should never forget is that our Lord loves God’s workers.
However, even these workers of God may forget His love from time to time. As a result, they sometimes can’t tell how much God loves them. Such people have fallen spiritually asleep. All too often we allow ourselves to be so preoccupied with our daily work that we can’t even feel the Lord’s love. But despite this frailty, the Lord still loves us unchangingly. Even if God’s workers may look like the tents of Kedar on their outside appearances, all worn out from doing God’s work, the Lord still sees them as the curtains of Solomon and loves them all the more. We should never forget the fact that God is cherishing His precious workers, taking care of them, and blessing them all. As the Lord told us, we must believe that He loves us.
Our faith in God’s love is very important to us that it’s like life itself. It’s a tremendous blessing for us to live by trusting that God loves each and every one of us. If you lack this faith, then you will end up falling into despair and leaving God’s Church even if you’ve been laboring for the Lord for a long time. In contrast, if you yourself believe that God loves you, then this faith will bring you a great victory. As God’s workers, as long as we have faith in God no matter where we are, whether in this world or in God’s Church, we will all be able to lead a life that’s approved by Him. Regardless of how we might look outside, we will be able to live in the brilliant gospel light of the water and the Spirit, amidst God’s blessings.
We believe that the Lord loves us, and that He loves all the other souls also. The Lord loves God’s workers as King Solomon loved the Shulamite woman appearing in the Song of Solomon. I can’t emphasize enough just how important it is for you to believe that God loves us all like this. God Himself said that He loves us even though we may look like the tents of Kedar, and this is indeed true if we look at it through the lens of our faith in the righteousness of God. This is how God sees His workers. No matter how we may think of one another, in God’s sight, there is no one in this world as lovely and honorable as those who have become God’s workers.
God is pleased by those who have set their hearts in preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit throughout their lives. God loves such people, and He is pleased the most by these dedicated people. Of all the saints combined, God loves the most those who have become His precious workers. When God looks at the righteous, there is no one lovelier than the righteous who have become His faithful workers. From a human perspective, God’s workers may not look any different. However, God’s perspective is different from ours, and His perspective is the opposite of our perspectives. To the righteous, God’s point of view is more important above all else. We don’t really care for any other perspective.
As we carry on with our lives in this world, it’s true that sometimes we face hardships while serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit by faith. But such hardships occur when our values and judgments deviate from the Lord’s values. Nevertheless, what is clear is that God loves us and He is with all of us who trust in Him. It’s on account of our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that God has anointed us to be His workers. Living with the realization that God loves us all is what makes it possible for us to wash away all our doubts about God, and it’s also what enables us to have the spiritual pride of the true faith. This faith empowers us to follow the Lord with spiritual pride.
Do You Want the Lord to Answer Your Prayers?
God loves us so much that as the Lord of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, He came looking for us. It’s important for us to realize here that even though we are always clothed in God’s love, there still are times when we end up forgetting about this love of God. So, it’s imperative for us to always be ruminating on God’s love as often as possible and restore our faith. How can we then love the Lord unchangingly and carry out His work faithfully?
The answer to this question is found in verse 1:7-8: “Tell me, O you whom I love, Where you feed your flock, Where you make it rest at noon. For why should I be as one who veils herself By the flocks of your companions? If you do not know, O fairest among women, Follow in the footsteps of the flock, And feed your little goats Beside the shepherds’ tents.”
This passage teaches us that the onus is on us to pray to our Lord. As we follow the righteousness of the Lord by faith, there are times when we face hardships and then we find ourselves praying to God asking for His help. If we really want the Lord to be with us in everything we do, then we ought to pray to the Lord by faith. When we pray to the Lord, He does not hide His face from us but manifests His righteousness to us. So, by revealing Himself to us His people, God shows us that He is with us and bestows His grace upon us. The Lord is always with His workers throughout their entire lifetimes as they devote themselves to serving the righteousness of the Lord. We seek the Lord’s help in every aspect of our lives. And when we pray, the Lord will be with us in everything we do. All of us must believe in this.
Those Who Want to Unite Their Hearts with the Lord and Carry out God’s Work Must Have Faith in the Righteousness of God and Live by This Faith
Because God knows all about our circumstances, He is only too pleased to help us. As long as what we do is fitting to God’s work and congruent to the Lord’s purpose, God will help us for sure. That’s what we believe. If we want to walk with the Lord and if we really want to unite our hearts with the Lord and follow Him, then we need the Lord at our side and we must have faith in Him. We must realize that the Lord is walking with us and helping us. We must know God correctly and believe in Him properly. Only then can we follow the righteousness of the Lord. And to do so, we must follow in the footsteps of the predecessors of faith, those who have gone before. Only when we do this can we preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to everyone, those who still have not received the remission of sins.
Some of the saints, despite trusting in the righteousness of the Lord and wanting to follow it are having a hard time achieving this because their future to them looks uncertain. Such people ought to follow in the footsteps of God’s workers who have gone before them. They need to cast aside their own private goals, trust in the leaders of the Church who are appointed by God, and carry out His work in His tent. When you follow the righteousness of the Lord with your heart being united with God’s Church, you will even be able to take part in God’s precious ministry.
In fact, you must realize here that if you try to follow the righteousness of the Lord on your own relying in your own strength, you will never be able to do so. That’s why all of us need to follow the guidance and faith of our spiritual predecessors. If you are having a tough time trying to follow the Lord’s righteousness, it’s all because the desires of your flesh are hindering you from following the Lord’s righteousness. Your own carnal desires are totally opposite to serving the righteousness of God, and that’s why you don’t have any confidence that you can follow the Lord.
However, if you have a shepherd guiding you, then you will be more than able to follow the righteousness of the Lord. That’s because you will receive God’s blessings when you unite yourself with the Lord by trusting in your spiritual leader. If you really want to kiss the Lord and live according to His will, then you must unite yourself with the God-established Church and its leaders. You will then be able to follow the Lord until the day He returns. Here, our Lord is speaking to us about the very foundation of faith.
Once We Attain the Righteousness of the Lord by Faith, We Will All Yearn to Follow the Lord
There is no one among the righteous who doesn’t have this yearning. It’s because you have the Holy Spirit in your heart; only if you have really received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that constitutes the righteousness of God. Every believer in the gospel of the water and the Spirit wants to follow the Lord’s righteousness by faith until the very end. But, how can we all achieve this? The answer is simple: We can all follow the righteousness of the Lord only if we abide with our fellow believers who share the same faith in the righteousness of God. And, we can follow the Lord’s righteousness only if we unite our hearts with our spiritual leaders guiding us to the Lord. That’s because we can find nourishment for our faith only from those whose faith is greater than ours. This is an absolute certainty when we look at it from God’s point of view.
Were you ever able to do God’s work even while your heart was still set on the world? Could you ever serve the righteousness of God wholeheartedly by yourself? No, I’m sure that’s not the case, for no one can serve the righteousness of God while his heart is still set on the world, or by himself. It’s completely absurd for anyone to try to serve the Lord in this way. In God’s sight, that’s just being arrogant.
That’s why it’s so important for all of us to follow in the footsteps of our predecessors of the faith. Only when we follow in the footsteps of our predecessors of the faith can we follow the will of the Lord. How could any of us think that we could still follow the Lord of righteousness without following the servants of God walking before us? Could we really live out our faith without any shepherd guiding us? No, not if we want to follow the Lord’s righteousness until the day He returns. All of us can follow the Lord only if we trust in the righteousness of God and unite ourselves with God’s Church.
Some people in God’s Church think that they are smarter than the rest. Still adhering to a certain value standard of this world, they pull out this measuring rod even inside God’s Church. As a result, they agree with the Church only if its guidance is fitting to their own standard and refuse to do so if it does not. If they still insist on their own standard and ignore the guidance of the Lord, then they are not really following the Lord; rather, they are just following their own desires. Far from being guided, such people seek to push around their shepherds according to their own wishes. They are really spiritual frauds, like Ahab and Jeroboam. But even such people must also unite themselves with their God-appointed shepherds and follow the Lord’s righteousness. No one in this world can follow the Lord without uniting themselves with the righteousness of the Lord and His Church. No one can follow the righteousness of the Lord alone without uniting one’s heart with our brothers and sisters in the Lord who are God’s own people.
In contrast, for all of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit wholeheartedly, God has made it possible for us to follow the righteousness of the Lord by giving us both the desire and the faith to do so. All the servants and saints of God have such a desire of faith. Therefore, if you really want to follow the righteousness of the Lord, then you must follow in the footsteps of the flock without fail, unite yourself with this flock without fail, and follow the Lord with the flock.
No matter what, all of us must find ourselves in this flock, live in unity with the will of the Lord, and follow the guidance of our spiritual leaders. Only then can we all live out our faith. Even if we all have some outstanding individual traits, none of us can follow the will of the Lord by oneself. Therefore, it’s absolutely important for us to obtain the true faith through His Church. It’s written in verse 1:8: “If you do not know, O fairest among women, Follow in the footsteps of the flock, And feed your little goats Beside the shepherds’ tents.” This is what our Lord is saying to us. We all have a sincere desire to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to the Gentiles, but if this is what we really want, then we must unite our hearts with our spiritual leaders. Only then can we never betray the righteousness of the Lord but follow it until the day He returns.
The Shulamite woman in today’s Scripture yearned to be kissed by Solomon, and in turn Solomon loved her with all his heart. This implies that we must have a sincere desire to unite our hearts with the Lord by faith. Even though we are full of shortcomings, we do have this desire to unite our hearts with the righteousness of the Lord and serve it faithfully. But, even if it is indeed true that we have such a desire of faith, have we really set our hearts before God to live in this way? Is this even possible?
Yes, any and every one of us can follow the Lord’s righteousness as long as we unite ourselves with God’s Church before the Lord. And the Lord said that it’s such people whom He loves. If you really want to follow the Lord’s righteousness until the day He returns, then you must abide in God’s Church and with your spiritual leaders. When the last moment of martyrdom is upon us, I believe that none of us will be able to embrace it alone, but if we abide with God’s flock and His spiritual leaders, then I have no doubt whatsoever that we will all be able to follow the righteousness of the Lord until the very end.
God said in Song of Solomon verse 1:8: “If you do not know, O fairest among women, Follow in the footsteps of the flock, And feed your little goats Beside the shepherds’ tents.” The “little goats” here refer to those who have not received the remission of sins yet. God told us to feed these souls beside the shepherds’ tents. That’s where we ought to devote our lives.
Perhaps there are some saints here troubled by their own thoughts and worried about the end times, but in reality, we have nothing to worry about. Those who have absolutely no lingering attachments to this world can embrace even martyrdom with joy. Although this may seem impossible in our flesh, we can all embrace our martyrdom gladly thanks to the Holy Spirit. That’s because the Holy Spirit living inside our hearts is testifying to us that there is a Kingdom prepared by the Lord. We can boldly give up our lives, for the Lord is calling us home from above.
The Lord is saying to us, “I love you.” How much does He love us then? He loves us beyond description, so much so that He has fulfilled the gospel of the water and the Spirit especially for us. The Lord, in short, loves us always and forever.
God Has Manifested His Love in Concrete Detail
When we turn to Song of Solomon 1:9, we see the Bible saying, “I have compared you, my love, To my filly among Pharaoh’s chariots.” Back in ancient times, Pharaoh was the most powerful man in the then known-world. Given Pharaoh’s power and wealth, we can easily imagine how beautiful the filly of his chariots must have been. Horses are magnificent animals on their own; and no doubt Pharaoh had the best and the most magnificent horses in the land pulling his chariots. The fact that God compared His saints to the filly among Pharaoh’s chariots indicates just how beautiful we look in God’s sight. That’s how lovely we the workers of God look in the Lord’s eyes.
It’s also written in Song of Solomon 1:10-11: “Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments, Your neck with chains of gold. We will make you ornaments of gold With studs of silver.” God said here that He would make us ornaments of gold with studs of silver. God has indeed prepared abundant blessings just for us. Verse 12 then continues on to say, “While the king is at his table, My spikenard sends forth its fragrance.”
This passage implies that while sitting in front of God, we are so fragrant and lovely that God cannot help but love us. And the Lord said that when He looks at us who are abiding in His heart, we are “a bundle of myrrh” (Song of Solomon 1:13) and “a cluster of henna blooms” (Song of Solomon 1:14). I’m not sure what henna blooms are; I’d have to look them up in a botanical encyclopedia. But I have neither the desire nor the time for this. Perhaps you can look them up for yourself. One thing is clear, however, is that even though I am not sure what exactly henna blooms are, they are no doubt beautiful. This means that when God looks at His workers, they all look exceedingly fair to Him. That’s how much God loves all of us carrying out His work in His Church. There is God’s Church on this earth, and there are God’s workers abiding in His heart. When God eventually pulls His Church out of this earth, He will then live with us in His Kingdom, all because we are so pleasing to Him. That’s how much God cherishes us and loves us.
All of God’s workers are very special in His sight. Although there are countless people on this earth, only God’s precious workers are His beloved brides. Even though this world is full of people, only those of us carrying out God’s work have been chosen to be the brides of Jesus Christ. We are the ones who have put on God’s special love.
How can we find God’s comfort then? We certainly can’t find it if we keep looking at ourselves through a worldly lens. While living in this world, it’s true that there are times when we feel physically exhausted, but even so, we are living being clothed in God’s love. It’s also true that sometimes we face disappointments in our lives, but we can always find comfort. Where, then, can we turn to find this comfort? Where can we restore our faith in the righteousness of God, recover our spiritual pride, and renew our faith to enjoy all the glory and splendor? All of this is possible when we believe that God loves us beyond words and that He has saved us without fail. As those who have received all the blessings of God, we ought to restore our pride of faith and be comforted by God whenever we stumble and fall into despair.
I always enjoy playing soccer with you, even though I’m not such a good player. I think I’m good enough to put up a decent fight when playing with our brothers, but to be frank; I enjoy it even more when playing with our sisters, since I can beat them quite easily. To be sure, though, this is no longer the case, as our sisters have improved their skills quite a bit and I’m finding it more and more difficult to keep up with them. But I still have a lot of fun whenever I play soccer with our sisters, although they and I alike make all kinds of mistakes and we all tumble constantly. You may then wonder why I enjoy playing soccer with our sisters so much when our game isn’t that good. It’s because they have dove’s eyes. They all look so beautiful because they are abiding in the Lord as His brides and doves. They look marvelous to me, to you, and to all the saints alike. Don’t you agree? All our sisters are indeed beautiful.
When do we the saints feel a great joy in our hearts? It is when we share fellowship with each other. We love our fellowship so much that just sharing a single watermelon makes us all happy and content. Of course, there is nothing special about having a watermelon together. Sure, a watermelon tastes pretty good especially in the summer, but it’s actually the fellowship that we enjoy the most. Although each of us is different in character, all of us are the Lord’s brides. So it’s wonderful to share fellowship with one another.
I feel so happy whenever I think about just how much God loves us. So I ask you to thank God, realizing the fact that God cherishes you also. I myself know that I have put on God’s love, and I believe with all my heart that I could not be any happier. Whenever I think about how God loves us so much like this, my heart is always comforted—today and tomorrow alike, even unto the day I face my martyrdom. When the day of martyrdom arrives, according to His wisdom, the Lord will give us the strength to bear it. Even now, we can see the Lord strengthening us according to His will, enabling us to carry out countless works for Him, and blessing us to bear abundant fruit.
In the days of the Early Church, over 3,000 people repented all at once and came to believe in Jesus as their Savior when they heard just a single sermon preached by the Apostle Peter. In these end times also, God is doing amazing things through His Church. Even though we are struggling now, the gospel of the water and the Spirit is spreading widely beyond our imagination to reach each and every corner of the world. God Himself is doing this through us. We can’t thank God enough for this. So, let us all realize and believe with our hearts that we are exceedingly lovely in God’s sight, and that He loves us with all His heart; let us have pride and faith; let us kiss the Lord; and let us follow Him with one united heart.