Yoyo-ing between frustration about herself and others and feeling good about her self-impression and how others viewed her, had swung her one too many times in the wrong direction. She was worn out and had finally tired. It was about time.
The Shulamite was ready to listen…
“Tell me, You whom my soul loves, where do You feed; where do You lie down at noon? For why should I be as one who is veiled beside the flocks of Your companions?” (SS 1:7)
Something had clicked. I cannot keep this up. Look at You; You exude ‘rest’! I need what You have! Why should I continue in a secondhand relationship to You? I’ve lived in the shadow of those who tell me about You, but it’s no longer enough. I can’t go on this removed from You. What should I do? Where do I go? Tell me!
It was music to Shepherd Lover’s ears. He quickly answered with a word of instruction…
“If you know not, most beautiful among women*, go in the footsteps of the flock; and feed your kids beside the shepherds’ tents.” (SS 1:8)
It was time for her to search out those who truly know Him. To ‘go in the footsteps of the flock’ would lead her to those who would lead her not to themselves but to Him.
These were the ones who know His voice for they were walking with Him and growing in understanding of His ways. They had previously gone on this same journey the Shulamite was now embarking upon.
Shepherd Lover would not leave her without community but He would redirect her, for now they both knew what He had known all along. Neither her ‘place’ in the palace, nor the Daughters of Jerusalem could provide that for which she was hungering. Indeed, they had the same invitation being held out to them. Were they to respond, they too would singularly capture His attention just as the Shulamite had.
Sometimes we need to be reminded of what we have heard and know to be true. In reading this series or for that matter, reading the Song of Solomon directly from scripture, it could be easy to forget that the Shulamite portrays both genders. Remembering that ‘she’ is a picture of the Bride of Christ – both male and female – will help the focus to land squarely where it most needs to make impact. Which is in the soil – the terroir – of the heart of you and me.
I find amazingly beautiful in scripture the riches that come to light when searched out in the original Hebrew and Greek. One need not be a biblical scholar to study the Word and witness it come alive to one’s understanding. Holy Spirit stands at the ready to guide us into all truth. (John 16:13)
Song of Solomon 1:8 had the following gem of confirmation that this poetic book is not just a natural, sexually-charged exchange over eight chapters between a male and a female, between Solomon and the favored one of his harem. *women (most beautiful among) in this verse comes from the Hebrew enosh meaning mortal, people, person. It is not addressed simply to one of many beautiful females.
The meaning goes on to say that it is even the less-dignified of other descriptions of mortal or people!
Searching further, its root actually means ruddy (red or flushed in the face) which in the Hebrew is adam – mankind, common sort, of low estate.
Reaching all the way back to our earthy roots in Adam, our Bridegroom King is intent on bringing His bride full circle…
But we have this treasure in earthen (frail earthenware like terra cotta) vessels (implements, equipment; [specifically a wife as contributing to the usefulness of the husband]) so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves. II Corinthians 4:7 w/Greek annotations
I think this calls for another Selah moment…
In the footsteps of the flock,
Shammahs Field LLC/Shammah Ministries is the biblical counseling, life coaching, and spiritual growth ministry entrusted to Wayne & Nancy Bentz. You can learn more about the resources they have to offer at www.shammahsfield.com.
Photo: Shepherd and Sheep