Song of Solomon i. 4
"Draw Me, We Will Run after Thee"
by John Dickie
In these words we again see the allegorical character of this most beautiful song. The "me" has a "we" in it. It is the cry, not of a person, but of a body, a body which is composed of individual members. But though the primary reference be to the body, yet all the comfort, warning, and teaching are quite as applicable to each individual saint. We must take care not to lose ourselves in the crowd. And we must equally take care not to overlook the body in our desires for our own personal blessing. Supplication in the spirit always includes supplication for all saints (Eph. vi. 18). For a truth, we are but "one body" though made up of "many members;" and God hath "tempered the body together" "that the members should have the same care one for another" (1 Cor. xii. 12, 24, 25). And so constantly must we desire the blessing of the whole, that even when, like David, we draw near on an errand so specially personal as the weeping confession of our own sins, not even then may we forget to raise our cry on behalf of Zion (Ps. li. 18, 19). "This is the true communion of saints," says Leighton, "that every believer hath a share of all the prayers of all the rest; he is partner of every ship of that kind that sets to sea, and hath a portion of all their gainful voyages." Let us be ashamed, then, of that spiritual selfishness that looks only on its own things; and let us cultivate that enlarged spiritual benevolence that really prefers Jerusalem above our own chief joy.
"Draw me" is the fervent cry of every believing soul. For the appetite of the new nature hungers and thirsts for the living God; yea, for the nearest, fullest enjoyment of His presence. And though this is in measure enjoyed by every believer, yet such is the distance at which remainders of unbelief and corruption keep the longing soul, that alas! we have often to cry out of the depths, "Draw me." Says dear old Rutherford, "I have a dwining, sickly, and pained life for a real posession of Him; and am troubled with love-brashes and love-fevers, but it is a sweet pain." And so, too, felt David, when conscious of distance, and conscious too of complete inability in himself to make that distance less, he could only lift up helpless hands beseeching help. "I am gone astray like a lost sheep, SEEK THY SERVANT" (Ps. cxix. 176).
The Hebrew word rendered "draw" means not only to draw to a place once for all as in Judges iv. 7; Ps. x. 9; but also expresses prolonged longing; as the drawing out of a long blast from a trumpet (Josh. vi. 5); "draw out" that is, continue "thy loving kindness unto them that know thee" (Ps. xxxvi. 10, margin). And such is its force in this verse. Not only "draw me" once for all, but keep "drawing me." For, alas! even after the first great pull which snatched us out of the fire, we still need as much as ever the constant drawing which keeps us moving heavenward, else our loitering feet would soon stand still; nay, we would soon turn back again to Egypt. Like lingering Lot, we need to be graciously taken by the hand and led in mercy forth. Oh, is there anything that could more mournfully indicate the total alienation of our natural hearts from the life of God, than this need of constant drawing? There is nothing whatever that we enjoy so much as we enjoy God's presence; our consciences approve of it, our whole heart delights in it. And yet how often, like M'Cheyne, have we to groan because of "bands both of iron and silk."
Without this heavenly drawing, not a soul would begin to follow Jesus, not a soul would continue to follow Him (John vi. 44). It is not enough that the feast of fat things lie spread before us; we need also to have the yoke taken off our jaws that we may eat (Hos. xi. 4). In all systems of man's righteousness, flesh and blood can do much, but in true divine life, flesh and blood of themselves can do nothing. Truly, truly, we are "saved by grace." Who does not feel as Brainerd felt, "Oh, if ever I get to heaven, it will be because of God's will and nothing else, for I never did anything of myself, but get away from God!" And here lies the sphere of the Holy Spirit's gracious work in the scheme of Divine mercy to fallen man. O Spirit of the living God, "draw me!"
But when He draws, we run. Our "souls follow hard after Him" (Ps. lxiii. 8). "When He enlarges our hearts, we cannot but quicken our feet" (Ps. cxix. 32). For love makes labour light, and the feet of love just as readily find out God's paths and just as surely run in them, as the feet of unbelief are surely to loiter in them or to turn aside. Let us then, with our whole hearts keep raising our life-long believing cry, "Lord, draw me;" and let us be equally careful to yield to the drawings graciously vouchsafed by hearty running. Alas! not many are running. Most are slumbering, many creep so very slowly forward as to make their progress scarcely discernible at all, a few are walking, but where, where are the steady runners? Run thou, and so run as to obtain. What a grief it is, that the children of light are, in the pursuit of divine things, so far behind the children of this world in their pursuit of worldly things! Set before the pleasure-seeker a new enjoyment, or before the scientific man some new discovery, and the attraction is felt to be irresistible. Why then are we then so loitering in our steps when our heavenly Father not only opens up to us unlimited scope for unhindered enjoyment and acquirement, but actually takes us by the hand to lead us into it? Nay, not to compare the church and the world at all; compare the saint with himself, and how distressingly more eager do we see many for earthly things than they seem to be for personal growth in grace and increasing devotedness to the Lord that bought them. Should we nor then earnestly cry for ourselves and for beloved ones round about us, "Lord, draw me, we will run after Thee?"
God's great object in all His dealings with us, is to draw us. O thou weeping Rachel! dropping thy tears into an empty cradle,-----God in tender love is drawing thee heavenwards: arise and run! O believer! long like Martha, careful and troubled about many things, but now standing dumb amid the wreck of thine earthly all, dost thou not see that the cords of a man, even the bands of love, are being fastened about thee to draw thy heart to a better portion----wherefore, arise and RUN. Ye hungering souls lean and withered, and ye know and mourn it, God is drawing you by your sharp heart-hunger to the land of plenty-----up then and run. Brethren and sisters everywhere, why loiter we by the way? Let us rise and run-----faster-----faster-----ever faster, looking unto Jesus as our motive and our pattern, till men around us wonder at our race, and some are stirred up to arise and join it, and with ourselves to lay violent hands on the heavenly kingdom!
"Earthly treasure, fame, and pleasure
Glorious name or richest hoard
Are but weary, void, and dreary
To the heart that longs for God.
Let me find thee, let me find thee,
am ready, mighty Lord."