The Soul’s Progress
“I sat down under His shadow with great delight, and His fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and His banner over me was love” (Song of Solomon 2:3-4).
In these well-known verses we get an illustration of the progress of a soul in the knowledge and appreciation of Christ, and of that which He ministers to His own.
We first know Him as a refuge from the scorching sun. His shadow is our delight. In the midst of a barren, arid desert, where the blazing rays of the sun have fallen in well-nigh overwhelming power upon us, we find in Him our shelter. He could say of old, “Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” In Him the travel-tired found repose. And we have found our delight beneath His welcome shade. Fearing the judgment of God—trembling in terror as we thought of our sins—we have fled to Jesus and have found refuge. And there is room in that shade for every soul. His branches stretch far and wide. “All that are weary” are provided for and are invited. Feeling way-worn and oppressed, many have come and sat down beneath the shadow. Will not you?
But there is more, there is refreshment there. “And His fruit was sweet to my taste.” We are brought to enjoy all that which springs from Himself. Of his fullness we all receive, and grace upon grace. Not only are our needs met, but He ministers to us of that which is His own. Many of God’s dear people are kept back from the rich provision which is stored up in Christ, by uncertainty as to their position. They are in constant doubt with regard to being sheltered, and so know naught of the sweetness of that which Christ bestows from Himself. It is said that when the Queen of Sheba came to Solomon, she was given all her desire, and that Solomon also gave to her “of his own bounty.” God would have us know His delight in giving. He would make us possessors of all that His royal bounty ministers.
Then we find a yet further step. “He brought me into His banqueting house.” This speaks to us of the joys of association with Himself: He has been our shade. He has been our support. Now He will lead us to share with him the banquet which His own hand has spread. Led by himself, we are introduced to delights that we never anticipated or conceived of. His joys are made ours. The Father’s love in which He delights, is what He calls us to and enables us to delight in with Him. He has spread the feast, and we partake thereof in His company, and find our joy in that which gladdens His own heart.
But we touch the top stone in the final clause. “His banner over me was love.” He displays His delight in His people. He can say of the overcomer, “I will make them to know that I have loved thee,” and again in John 17, “That the world may know that Thou . . . hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me,” His love rests upon His own. They are delivered from every oppressor, every burden has been removed, and every fear dispelled. His shadow given refuge. His fruit gives refreshment. His banquet gives enjoyment. His love gives satisfaction, and that satisfaction shall never be intruded upon; it is eternal. May our souls know Himself better, and rejoice in His love more and more!
Scattered Seed 1908, p. 15