By R.C. Chapman
“Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings,
your neck with strings of jewels.” —Song of Solomon 1:10
You, Lord, are wise in heart and tender! You know, in this our ceaseless warfare, our weakness, our drooping and fainting; and are skillful to encourage our hearts and revive our spirit.
The adversary’s fiery darts are sharp and dreadful; his power is great, and His cunning deep in stirring the filth of the flesh. You cannot, without him, reveal to us all foul things and abominations of the chambers of imagery.
The battle is hard and needs one exercised and by use become expert to hold and handle shield and handle sword and spear, to stand and hold on to fight.
Lord, Your eye is upon us! And while we see and feel the flesh and its motions, You behold Your Church’s beauty. Glorious her clothing! For in You, her husband, she is made the righteousness of God.
Our debt became Yours. You, the Son of God, made under the law, was made a curse for us, to be the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
Your beauty and Your glory, You mighty God and Prince of Peace! Are upon Your Church, and upon me, who boast of Your grace as one of Your redeemed. Your spouse is of fair countenance; for though once cast out to the hating of her person, and from the womb disgusting and hateful, You have washed her and worked and formed her anew; so now Your eyes rest forever upon her attractiveness, her “strings of jewels and her chains of gold.”
You always take the precious from the bad. We may confound the flesh with the Spirit; not so You. How great soever the deformity of the flesh, You cannot forget that we love You and delight in You whom man rejects, whom the nations despise and regard with disgust and hatred.
Oh, my soul! Your Lord calls you Hephzibah, for He delights in you, rejoices over you; He admires you, folds you to His heart, holding you up for the admiration of elect angels, who see His masterpiece in His Church.
Be you of good courage, for you have come to excellent ornaments; let His praise embolden you and make you strong and patient for battle. Only be a “worm” and “you will thresh the mountains” —Isaiah 41:15; so you will please Him who bought you with His blood and choose you to be a soldier, and who glorified by the great increase of your faith and love.
For what you have of the fruit of the Spirit, be thankful. Yet don’t count it as your attaining of anything, but while your gratitude owns the gift already given, do not turn away from Jesus, or boast in anything, save Christ and Him crucified. Oh, my soul! Be ever growing up into Him in all things.
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