By R.C. Chapman
[Modernized by this site] For Original version: R.C. Chapman’s S.O.S. 1:8: pt.1 of 2
If you don’t know, most beautiful among women,
follow the tracks of the sheep.
Graze your young goats beside the shepherds’ tents. —Song of Solomon 1:8
Your heart, O my Lord! inclines Your ear to hear. You have compassion on the ignorant, and on those who are out of the way. You knew no darkness of error; You were holy, and are the same yesterday, and today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8)
You are our near kinsman; your love and grace made You stoop; You were made flesh, and are the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high. You love to show us the heart of the Father, all whose counsels are in You fulfilled, and whose utmost glory is manifest in You.
You are my Prophet, You Lamb of God! I love to learn, because of the lesson, and because of the Teacher. Lord, my soul hangs upon Your lips; I cannot know my path but by Your light, nor pursue my way but as You sustain my feebleness and check my wandering.
My need compels me, Your love constrains me, so I draw near; I boast no wisdom; I confess my foolishness, and you find fault with me now?; rather You commend me, for by my poverty Your riches are manifest, and You delight to show me all the loving-kindness of Your heart.
Look on me, Lord! The work of Your hands—not Your creation only, Your new creation also, made alive when dead in trespass and sins, without will or power to take hold of You, to look to You, or to touch even the hem of Your garment.
Now, by Your Spirit made alive and created anew, behold me, wrought by Yourself after Your own image. Do not Forsake, then, the work of Your own hands! You will not leave me; Your eyes look with joyfulness upon me, as with a heart above a mother’s; You, abiding in Your own peace, consider me, and watch over me with tenderness divine.
You in equal truth and love entitle Your sister-spouse the most beautiful among women; each member beautiful and lovely in Your sight, and I, among the rest, can say: “Though black, I am comely” (Song of Solomon 1:5). But, “Tell me, O You who my soul loves, where You feed” (Song of Solomon 1:7). I know You hear me; what then is Your answer? Hear it, O my soul; my Lord, my Beloved, bids me go Your way by the footsteps of the flock.
Have you dreamed a dream of a bed of roses and path of flowers? Through much tribulation must you enter the kingdom. Start now aside; see the footprints of your Lord. Such was His cup as only He Himself could drink and drain, full of gall and wormwood of your sin and curse: and now, you are forever free.
Excerpt from Meditations on the Song of Solomon, Kindle edition, Loc. 231[Language modernized in places by this site.]