By R.C. Chapman
“Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where Thou feedest: where Thou makest Thou flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?” Song of Solomon 1:7
Lord Jesus, my soul loveth Thee! My heart locks Thee within it, as its precious jewel, and rejoices in Thee as those that find great spoil. Thou knowest all things; Thou knowest that I love Thee.
The flesh lusteth against the Spirit! The Canaanite yet in the land—the foe that I would slay and utterly destroy, but cannot; Thou, Lord, thyself, beholding the war, art moved with compassion, and sayest, “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).
I am bold to say, I love Thee, Thou gracious, glorious, and lovely One! And Thou, hearing me, dost approve my words. Thou art my portion, O Lord, and gladly will I lack anything to gain Thee. My thirsty soul desires no fountain but Thyself, and is full of longing to drink yet more abundantly. She crieth out for Thy pasture, O Thou Shepherd of Israel! Who hast infinite love towards all and each of Thine: Thy blood was their ransom, and Thou sittest upon Thy throne a Royal Shepherd.
Those that are departed to be with Thee abide in the light of Thy countenance; no shades of ignorance nor guilt hide from them thy face. Thou carest for us also, thy flock in the wilderness. Thou art unto us a shadow from the heat, the shadow of a great rock in this weary land. All our case is before Thee; to ourselves but little known—to Thee naked, and open—and great is our peace, perfect our safety. Thy power defends, Thy wisdom guides Thy flock; thou leadest them beside still waters, and makest them to lie down in green pastures (Psalm 23:2).
Truly this world is altogether a barren wilderness and a dry land. Alas! Then, my foolishness, that I should ever hew out to myself any broken cisterns! Oh! Why turnest thou aside, my heart? Wherefore stray from the pasture of Jesus? Lord, I call to mind my ways and am filled with indignation against myself, and commit myself afresh to Thy guidance.
O let me not be as one that turneth aside while Thy people follow Thee, hearing Thy voice, drinking the wine of Thy love! They are Thy companions; for is not she Thy companion who is Thy sister, Thy spouse, Thy fair one, thy dove, Thy undefiled! Thou dost grant her freest access to Thee, closest fellowship of the Spirit, such as angels admire, and standing by, rejoice to behold.
Then hear me, O my Lord, tell me where, in this noontide and fierce heat, Thou dost refresh Thy flock! Through temptations manifold, through persecutions and afflictions, I will seek Thee. Thy grace upholding me, I will tread any path where I see the print of Thy feet, for great is the prize I aim to win—it is Thyself! And losing all, but having Thee, I am rich, possessing all things.