A CONTROVERSY BETWEEN TWO PERSONALITIES
Do you see the discrepancy between the Lord and the seeking one? She intends to have rest and stay at home, but the Lord intends that she rise up and go away. The controversy between the two parties is caused by two different personalities. She is a person, and He is also a Person. Yet, He is a stronger Person, and He asks her to rise up and come away. Then she answers, “My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies. Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether” (2:16-17).
The Lord calls her to come away, but she does not care for His calling. She says, “My beloved is mine. He is for me. I just enjoy Him.” He asks her to rise up, but she says that He is for her enjoyment and satisfaction. He is the shepherd among the lilies, and she is one of the little lilies under His shepherding. She does not care at all for the Lord’s call. She only cares for her enjoyment. She realizes that she is the Lord’s, so she says that He is hers and she is His. She was enjoying the Lord’s shepherding, the Lord’s satisfaction, and the Lord’s rest. The picture portrays that she cares only for her own satisfaction. She does not care for the Lord’s will, intention, or goal.
But that is not all she says to the Lord. She also says, “Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.” This means that she is not ready or willing to go out with the Lord. So she tells the Lord to wait until the shadows flee away. She realizes some kind of shadow, some kind of darkness is between her and the Lord. So she tells the Lord to wait for some time, and then to turn back at the mountains of Bether. The word “Bether” means separation.
Then, in the following chapter the Lord disappears. “By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not. I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not. The watchmen that go about the city found me: to whom I said, Saw ye him whom my soul loveth? It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go…” (3:1-4).
The seeking one seeks the Lord, but she cannot find Him. Finally, she is forced to rise up and go after the Lord. Even though she says that she is not ready, and that the Lord must wait until the shadows flee away, the Lord will not go along with her. So He disappears, forcing her to fulfill His call to rise up and go away from her home. She goes into the street and does her best to find her beloved, but she cannot find Him. Then suddenly, the Lord is there again.
Do you see the picture? It is right that we should love the Lord, but we should not do it according to our way and our intention. Our will must be subdued to His will. Simply to love Him is not enough. Loving Him will cause many problems. Therefore we need the subduing of our will. The Person whom we love is the strongest One. He will never be subdued, and He can never be subdued. Therefore, we are the ones who must be subdued.
The Lord did not appear to her according to her way or her intention. It was when she was disappointed that He suddenly appeared. But when she found the Lord, she held Him and would not let Him go. This shows her strong character. She was still so strong to hold the Lord according to her way. This whole picture shows us one who has never been subdued. Yes, we love the Lord, yet we have never been subdued. To love the Lord is wonderful, but it also causes problems. The problems are solved only by our being subdued. We must be subdued and conformed to His personality, His will, His intention, and His goal. Otherwise, we will constantly have a controversy with the Lord.
The main problem with husbands and wives in their marriage life is the controversy between them. The wives love their husbands, but they love them according to their own way. The husbands have their way, and the wives have theirs. The wives’ will would never be subdued to the husbands’ will; so there are problems. This is why in a wedding the bride always has her head covered to show that she must be subdued.
There is no other way for us to take Christ as life except by loving Him as a Person. And if we would love Him as a Person, we must be subdued. This is the unique problem between Him and us. There is hardly another problem. The problem is that we are not willing to be subdued, and the Lord Jesus will never be subdued by us. He is humble, kind, and tender, but He will never be subdued. He is the Lord; He is the King; He is the Head. We need to be subdued. This is why I say that all of these exciting verses eventually reveal something that is quite disappointing.
Here is a person who loves the Lord, yet a controversy exists between her and the One she loves. Do you think that holding the Lord in such a strong way is good or bad? On the one hand it is good, because she is holding the Lord. But on the other hand, it is not so good, because she is too strong! The Lord would say, “Please give Me the liberty. Release Me. Don’t hold Me so strongly.” But because of her strong personality, she holds the Lord very strongly and tells Him that she will never let Him go.
LESSONS IN THE SONG OF SONGS
We love the Lord, but we have a stubborn will and a strong character, which are a real problem to the Lord. We seek the Lord, but we seek Him for our own will and for our own good. This is why in the Song of Songs the Lord must teach His seeking one some lessons. If we read this book carefully, we will see that at the end of the book she is so soft and submissive. Her character and personality are hardly noticeable. What she has is the Lord’s character and the Lord’s personality. Now she is really one with the Lord. There are two persons, but only one personality.
After we are attracted by the Lord’s beauty to love Him, we must learn one unique lesson—to be subdued. To take Christ, the living Person, as our life requires us to be subdued.
Simply to love Jesus is not enough. The Lord’s intention is that we take Him and experience Him as our life. There is no other way except to love Him and be subdued by Him. Then we will be one with Him, having one personality. We will be so soft and submissive to Him. In this picture, the lover of Jesus is exceedingly strong at the beginning, with such a stubborn character. Yet at the end, she is so soft and submissive. This is the lesson that we all must learn in order to really experience Christ as our life.
(Life and Building as Portrayed in the Song of Songs, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)