R.C. Chapman’s S.O.S. 1:8: pt.1 of 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.

 

 

Excerpt from Meditations on the Song of Solomon, Kindle edition, Loc. 231

Excerpts of Mercy

R.C. Chapman’s S.O.S. 1:6

By R.C. Chapman

 

“Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun has looked upon me: my mother’s children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.” (Song of Solomon 1:6)


The entrance of Thy words, my Lord and Savior, giveth light; Thou art the Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4:2), and wherefore this? Because Thou art the Lamb of God, Thy blood speaks peace, purging the conscience.  To the mourner Thou sayest, “Be of good cheer,” and for such as cast themselves at Thy feet, Thou hasts looks of love, of pity, and condescension, which turn all sorrow into joy.

But, Lord, when Thou lookest upon me, I see and hate all within me which is mine. Thy work within me is good and lovely; but the flesh I loathe, with all its deeds, be they foul or fair.  My soul is self-abased as Thou shinest upon me—my faith knows nothing, boasts in nothing, but the Cross of my Lord.

The offence of the cross has not ceased; no sooner did I know Thee, and confess Thee, than I became a stranger to the sons of Hagar, who genders only to bondage, whose child I was by nature. Thy love drew me aside from the path of the worldling, whether wicked or devout; I became an offence to those I forsook, even those of my own flesh and blood.  And wherefore were they angry? Because in taking my cross I became witness against them by my boasting only in Thee, and counting all who are of the works of the law to be under the curse.

Thou knowest, Lord, their revilings were loud and bitter; their tongue was like a sharp sword; but Thou wast with me and I said, “Let them curse, my Lord hath bidden them” (2 Samuel 16:11). Reviled, I reviled not again; I was dumb, because Thou didst it.  They moved me not to anger; my bowels yearn over them; I besought of Thee, I returned blessing for cursing; and my prayer returned unto my own bosom.

They thought to turn me from following after Thee, but Thou makest the wrath of man to praise Thee; they did but drive me to Thee for wisdom and strength, for grace, peace, and joy. They, walking in their own pride, would be their own keepers, and would have me also abide with who are of the works of the law; but, Lord, my heart cries out, “Hold Thou me up, and I shall be safe” (Psalm 119:117); lead me, teach me to go, taking me by the arms; compass me about with Thy grace and glory; be a wall of fire round about me; gather me in Thine arms; in time of sorrow carry me in Thy bosom, and let Thy cross be my boast and song all the day.

In very deed all this Thou performest for me tenderly and faithfully. I know my safety; and this causes me to delight in Thee, and to cleave still more steadfastly to Thee, counting all things but loss that I may win Thee.

 


Excerpt from Meditations on the Song of Solomon, Kindle Edition, Loc. 174


Excerpts of Mercy

Meditations on the Song of Solomon: This is 1:6.

1:1           1:4          1:5          1:6          1:7           1:16

Chapman’s S.O.S. 1:5

By R.C. Chapman

“I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem; as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.” (Song of Solomon 1:5)

Lord! I am Thine—and in Thy blood I have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of Thy grace! The name Thou givest me is new and woundrous—a child of adoption and grace am I, and friend and brother of my Lord!  By the light of Thy grace I see that in me strange opposites do meet—beauty and deformity; all things good, all things evil—all things lovely, all things hateful.

Once, alas! I was in mind and heart altogether at enmity with Thee, and hating Thy name with yet greater malice than I bore to God’s holy law: now I know what once I was, not only by memory of the past, but I see a law in my members warring against the law of my mind; and what is this law in my members but enmity of the flesh bound in chains of grace. As for this my former man, his name is Legion: he is one, yet many.  Once I loved his abominations, caressed, admired them: and what conscience reproved, I could excuse, or hide, or justify.  Now Thou hast given me a law of the mind, a new man, that sees and hates the old.  And yet can I or any creature search out all the depths of sin that dwelleth in me?  Ah, no! But, Lord, I give Thee thanks that I was crucified with Thee, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that I might no longer serve sin (Romans 6:6).

Thou knowest, Lord, I hate with perfect hatred this host of inward foes; they rise up against Thee, and I count them both Thine enemies and mine. Chiefly, Lord, I hate and dread the pride and spiritual wickedness of the flesh, its worship, faith, repentance, prayers, and praises.  Oh, succor me! And behold the oppressions and treacheries of these foes within the city, which would bring me into captivity.  And Thou dost hear me; for Thou knowest Thy servant cannot endure lukewarm heart nor proud spirit; and in his hours of temptation thou knowest his custom—he crieth aloud to Thee, and Thou dost sprinkle his heart with Thy blood, and loose his bonds by Thy peace.

Thou showest him the power of Thy resurrection, and givest him to know the fellowship of Thy sufferings; making him to hate and loathe the flesh, while he walks at liberty with Thee. And, Lord, while to myself I take shame, yet I say with good conscience, “Tis no more I, but sin that dwelleth in me” (Romans 7:17, 20).  Morevoer, as I ponder the cunning and power of the foe, I say, “By grace I am saved” (Ephesians 2:5, 8). Thou, Lord, makest me to differ; of the same lump was I with the vessels of wrath.

Lord, Thou art my keeper, and therefore I am not consumed; and I rejoice and triumph, because while every thought and motion of the flesh is worthy of the curse, yet am I accepted and glorious in Thyself, my robe; my beauty is perfect in Thee, and Thy Spirit dwells within me, having fashioned me after Thine own image. Thou, the Holy One of Israel, callest me fair; the blackness of indwelling sin Thou hast no eyes to see.  Lord, I will speak to the glory of Thy grace: “I am black, but comely—as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon” (Song of Solomon 1:5).

 


Excerpt from Meditations on the Song of Solomon, Kindle version, Loc.149


Excerpts of Mercy

Meditations on the Song of Solomon: This is 1:5.

1:1           1:4          1:5          1:6          1:7           1:16