R.C. Chapman’s S.O.S. 1:16

By R.C. Chapman

“Behold, You are fair my beloved; yes, pleasant: also our bed is green.” Song of Solomon 1:16


It moves my joy, sobered with sadness and grief for sin, to hear You, My Lord, commending what You see in me.  Your work and Your resemblance within me, I know, is lovely.  Oh give me wisdom to hear Your word of praise! Let me test my way with Yours, and I will be yet more depraved in my own sight, and yet more sweetly occupied with You!

You, Lord Jesus! Do fix Your eyes on me, that mine may ever be set on You, who gave Yourself for me, and also to me, and are my light and my salvation, my portion and my joy.  You see Yourself in me.  If You were not Jehovah my Righteousness, justifying and washing me in Your blood, I would have for ever dwelt in the shadow of death, and loved my filthiness:  therefore there is only one reason You should call me fair and pleasant, since in me You see Your own image.

You are my assurance; I was crucified with you, and made to sit together with my Lord in heavenly places. (Ephesians 2:6) This earth was your field to labor; in heaven you rest, having finished the work the Father gave you to do. Having suffered first You have entered into Your glory, which is ever new, and cannot fade—Your bed of green!  You are full of joy with the Father’s countenance, and at His right hand are pleasures for evermore.

I rejoice because all things the Father has are Yours, and I am joint heir with You. Therefore You say “Our” bed; the glory given You, You have given me!  I follow on to know the power of your resurrection and the fellowship of Your sufferings.  In you and with You my soul rests, ceasing from my own works; and dead to the law, I live; yet not I, but my Lord lives in me; so then to die daily is my work.

In this I exercise myself, knowing that sin uses that old husband, which held me in bonds; and I could bring no fruit forth except only the wild grape and dead works of the flesh, unless I had been dead to the law by the body of my Lord.

Oh teach me, then, to watch, and stand fast in You! Sprinkle me with Your blood! Let me ever abide at Your cross and triumph in the power of Your resurrection, sitting down and resting with You in heavenly places! So I will set foot on the neck of all enemies; so I will keep myself pleasant to You, and that wicked one will not touch me. I will be for my Lord—my Beloved—and nothing will divide my heart with Him!

 


[Language modernized in places by this site.]


 

 

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R.C. Chapman’s S.O.S. 1:12

By R.C. Chapman

“While the King sitteth at His table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof.” —Song of Solomon 1:12

Happy Spirits! Ye who banquet above with Jesus, we give you joy!  Your joy is ours, and our sweet company when ye quit our company, departing to be with Christ; we also see our Lord’s chariot, sent to bear us home, as it were at our very door!  “Tis but an hour or two of waiting; if He come not to receive us to Himself He will compose our body of humiliation to sleep; and pleasant our bed in the grave, while our spirits mount aloft, to join the Lamb and ransomed above.

Thou, Lord, hast proved me by taking to thyself many a lover and friend; but Thou preparest for me a table in the wilderness, Thou anointest me head with oil, my cup runneth over.  In the presence of mine enemies, my Lord will have me sit down with Him at His table.  Many are they which rise up against me; they would cut me off from meeting with my Lord: in His presence, and at His table, I am more than conqueror.

While by the power of my Lord I keep me there, that evil one toucheth me not.  My foolishness and my guiltiness are as a quiver full of sharp arrows in the hand of mine enemy.  Pride, unbelief, ignorance, are his sword and spear: my faith cries out, “The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth me from all sin” —1st John 1:7, and the victory is mine.  I deny not my debt, but flee to Thee—to Thee, my Lord and Surety! And behold the bond of the Law, the handwriting that was against me, nailed to the cross.  In Thee my great strength lies; and, as I hear Thy voice of invitation, of entreaty, Thy voice of power and love, the cords of mine enemies are as green withes—an host flees before me.

—before the presence of my Lord!  My apparel, I see, is meet for banqueting house and table—the robe of righteousness; the garments of salvation!  I am melted and self-abased as I enter and sit down.  Thou, Lord, dost gird Thyself and serve me! Thy flesh is meat indeed, Thy blood is drink indeed; and Thou fillest my soul with joy unspeakable and full of glory! Access to Thee, my Lord, emboldens me; for Thou hast all to give, and no heart to withhold aught that is good—and Thou art well pleased with my confidence.  Thou holdest forth the golden scepter, and sayest, What is Thy request? I answer, “Lord, that I may behold Thy beauty, sit at Thy feet, and banquet with Thee.”  So shall my lowly, contrite spirit be spikenard, fragrant and precious to my Lord.

 

R.C. Chapman’s S.O.S. 1:8: 1/2

By R.C. Chapman

“If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds’ tents.”  Song of Solomon 1:8

 

 

Thine heart, O my Lord! inclines Thine ear to hear.  Thou hast compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way.  Thou knewest no darkness of error; Thou wast holy, and art the same yesterday, and today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8)

Thou art our near kinsman; thy love and grace made the stoop; thou wast made flesh, and art the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high.  Thou lovest to show us the bosom of the Father, all whose counsels are in Thee fulfilled, and whose utmost glory is manifest in Thee.

Thou art my Prophet, thou Lamb of God!  I love to learn, because of the lesson, and because of the Teacher.  Lord, my soul hangeth upon Thy lips; I cannot know my path but by Thy light, nor pursue my way but as Thou dost sustain my feebleness and check my wandering.

My need compels me, Thy love constrains me, therefore I draw near; I boast no wisdom; I confess my foolishness, and Thou upbraidest me now; rather dost Thou commend me, for by my poverty Thy riches are manifest, and Thou delightest to show me all the lovingkindness of Thine heart.

Behold me, Lord!  The work of Thine hands—not Thy creature only, Thy new creature also, quickened when dead in trespass and sins, without will or power to take hold of Thee, to look unto Thee, or to touch even the hem of Thy garment.

Now, by Thy Spirit quickened and created anew, behold me, wrought by Thyself after Thine own image.  Forsake not, then, the work of Thine own hands! Thou wilt not leave me; Thine eyes look with joyfulness upon me, as with a heart above a mother’s; Thou, abiding in Thine own peace, dost consider me, and watchest over me with tenderness divine.

Thou dost in equal truth and love entitle Thy sister-spouse the fairest among women; each member fair and lovely in Thy sight, and I, among the rest, can say: “Though black, I am comely” (Song of Solomon 1:5). But, “Tell me, O Thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest” (Song of Solomon 1:7).  I know Thou hearest me; what then is Thine answer?  Hear it, O my soul; thy Lord, thy Beloved, bids the go thy way by the footsteps of the flock.

Hast thou dreamed a dream of a bed of roses and path of flowers?  Through much tribulation must thou enter the kingdom.  Start now aside; see the footprints of thy Lord.  Such was His cup as only He Himself could drink and drain, full of gall and wormwood of thy sin and curse: and now, thou art forever free.


Excerpts of Mercy

This is 1:8-1/2

1:1           1:4          1:5          1:6          1:7           1:8-1/2 —2/2          1:9          1:10          1:11          1:12          1:13          1:14          1:15          1:16

R.C. Chapman’s S.O.S. 1:7

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 1:7imageedit_3_5632647361

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.

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Excerpts of Mercy

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Richard Baxter

The Conviction of Sin

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Hugh Binning

Christ’s Righteousness

Christian Love: T.O.C.

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John Bunyan

Merciful Appeal to Sinners

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R.C. Chapman

Meditations on the Song of Solomon: T.O.C.

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Thomas a Kempis, Imitation of Christ, Ch. 1

Thomas Manton’s Merciful Appeals

John Newton “Benefit of Affliction”

John Newton “Those mistakes, blemishes and faults in others”

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Richard Sibbes Sweet Drops:

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9

Life of Faith: T.O.C.

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A New Enemy

There is not a very in-depth description of Abel.  Abel was the son of Adam and Eve, the brother of Cain, a keeper of sheep.  Abel came to God with and through the right offering.  He trusted God’s way of reconciliation, he was made righteous in God’s eyes.  Abel was basically the first Christian, or at least, obviously made known to us by God.  The offering and sacrifice He was trusting in was and is the same offering that all who are reconciled to God must be trusting in.  His trust was in the blood and righteousness of Jesus, though no doubt, this was not so clear to Him, as to us.  The blood and character of Christ so trustworthy and sure, overcame the boundaries of time as we know them, to reconcile and save all God’s children.  By faith, Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he had testimony given to him that he was righteous, God testifying with respect to his gifts; and through it he, being dead, still speaks. (Hebrews 11:4)

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Abel was killed by his brother, becoming the first persecuted and martyred saint of God.  He was hated, by his worldly brother.  The first example of a Christian was very displeasing to a person of the world.  Abel was credited with righteousness by God, He was made righteous by God. What was Abel’s reward for choosing and accepting the righteousness of Jesus? He found hatred, He found and experienced the hatred of his own natural brother.

I believe, God is making a strong statement in the way this all played out, and it’s placement in His written word:  Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. (2nd Timothy 3:12) and Blessed are those who have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.  Blessed are you when people reproach you, persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.(Matthew 5:10-12)  This is and should be a defining characteristic of the life of a lover of God, (Father, Son/Jesus, Spirit) a lover of Jesus. (our Loved One)  We will find the mercy, love, and blessedness of Jesus, of His Spirit, of His peace and joy.  We should expect also and question,(with concern) if we do not find hatred and rejection from the world, especially from the proud ones.

The world teaches us from our births to seek its approval and acceptance.  To seek its gold stars, smiles, and pats on the back.  This is a very difficult thing to turn away from.  We must not allow the enemy to mix this seeking of the world’s approval and acceptance with our seeking of our Loved One.  These are very much contrary motivations and can only be mixed at our loss.  Please don’t misunderstand me, in a certain sense we should seek to be as pleasing and considerate to all as much as we are able, however, this should be such a much lower seeking, and seeking birthed out of the so much greater seeking of God.  Meaning, displeasing others does not need to displease us as much as it does.

God promises us many things, He promises us He will be with us, we will find Him when we diligently seek Him, He will give us freedom and freedom indeed, He will give us life in abundance.  He also promises persecution, hatred and rejection from the world.  Let us not fear and avoid this rejection, persecution and hatred so much.  Let these things not quench the work of God within us, but rather grow even more God’s working and glory within us and through us.  May we be more diligent seekers of God, and everything He promises, even the things that are seemingly bad and difficult for us.