My beloved is mine, and I am his; he grazes among the lilies. Until the day breathes and the shadows flee, turn, my beloved, be like a gazelle or a young stag on cleft mountains.
Song of Songs 2:16-17
Surely if there is a happy verse in the Bible it is this—"My beloved is mine, and I am his." It is so peaceful, so full of assurance, so overflowing with happiness and contentment, that it might well have been written by the same hand that penned the Twenty-third Psalm. Yet though the prospect is very bright and lovely—as fair a scene as earth can display—it is not an entirely sunlit landscape. There is a cloud in the sky, which casts a shadow over the scene. Listen: "Until the day breathes and the shadows flee."
There is a word, too, about the "cleft mountains," or "the mountains of division," and to our love, anything like division is bitterness. Beloved, this may be your present state of mind. You do not doubt your salvation, you know that Christ is yours, but you are not feasting with Him. You understand your vital interest in Him, so that you do not have a shadow of a doubt about being His and of His being yours, but still His left hand is not under your head, nor does His right hand embrace you. A shade of sadness is cast over your heart, perhaps by affliction, certainly by the temporary absence of your Lord, so that even while exclaiming, "I am his," you are forced to take to your knees and to pray, "Until the day breathes, and the shadows flee, turn, my beloved."
"Where is He?" asks the soul. And the answer comes, "He grazes among the lilies." If we would find Christ, we must get into communion with His people, we must come to the ordinances with His saints. Oh, for an evening glimpse of Him! Oh, to eat with Him tonight!
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.