By R.C. Chapman
“The fig tree putts forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.” (Song of Solomon 2:13)
My soul, how watchful is Jesus to mark any good thing in you! Whatever your growth in the knowledge of Him, be it much or little, whether He sees you as a fruitful branch heavily loaded with full ripe fruit, or a corn waiting for the sickle, or whether as yet there is nothing much to maturity, the work is the work of His own hands! He esteems it precious beyond heaven and earth!
“The king’s daughter,” says He, “is all glorious within”. (Psalm 45:13) She is created anew in Christ Jesus, whose image within her is the workmanship of the Holy Spirit of God. She sees herself comely, by the comeliness the Spirit has put on her; yet black, because of sin that dwells in her.
The eyes of her King and Husband, meanwhile, are fixed upon her beauty, and He says, in the gladness of His heart, “You are all fair, my love!”. (Song of Solomon 4:7) He labors to cheer her by His praises and admiration of His good work within her.
Lord Jesus! You have bowels of compassion never failing; You say, “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you”. (Isaiah 66:13) Upon the weak, the young, and the tender, You, like some nursing mother, give Your gentlest care!
Your lambs, Shepherd of the sheep, You gather them in Your arms; Your fainting, halting ones, You carry next to your heart: and You would have them to know, that all their sighing after You is sweet to Your ear; their groaning is not hid from You, and all their desire is before You! When their heart by power of Your Spirit is full of zeal and love, You smile graciously, with infinite humbling of yourself, I found no city to live in, I wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way.
In the good and set time You spoke to me, saying, “This is the rest where you may cause the weary to rest, and this is the refreshing”. (Isaiah 28:12) And how sweet are Your words: “Son, be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven you”. (Matthew 9:2) How precious in the sight of the Lamb of God! And How how glorious the robe of righteousness, hiding all my sin and pollution from the holy eyes of my Judge!
Then the lame man leaped as a deer, and the tongue of those who could not speak sang. In Jesus crucified, in You, my Lord, my soul found rest, and in the heart of Your love.
It is true, I still have griefs, and tears still stand in my eyes; but, Lord, I love my griefs and welcome my tears: for now I know You, my Brother born for adversity! And when, Oh, when are You so near, as when Your tender heart takes part in Your peoples’ sorrow! Nor would I trade my bitter cup (which my Lord’s love makes so sweet) for a world of carnal joys.
If I did not know You, I would have no place of rest for my soul; my every cistern proven broken. I’d have no faithful Friend such as You, almighty, all wise, unchangeable, to soothe my grief and bear my burden. But in all that dismal path I now see Your hand! I was under the curse, but your truth has made me free. (John 8:32) The winter is past, for I am in Christ Jesus: walking no longer after the flesh, but after the Spirit, the rain is over and gone.
I don’t grieve as I once did, for You show me Your hands and feet! You make me that I don’t mourn with terrors and hopeless sorrow, but for You whom I pierced, and for sin which made for You Your crown of thorns! I am troubled in the troubles of my brothers, and because of the transgressions of the wicked. Moreover, I ponder ; (Isaiah 25:9) and You will say to Zion,”Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away”. (Song of Solomon 2:10) How Long, Lord? You will hasten in in Your time.
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