THE LORD GROWING OUT
Before the seeking one became a garden, she never grew anything for the Lord. There was much appreciation, enjoyment, and partaking, but she herself never grew anything. In chapter one, she appreciated the Lord as a bundle of myrrh and as a cluster of henna flowers. Then in chapter two, she enjoyed the Lord as the apple tree, and she was brought into the house of wine. She greatly appreciated and enjoyed the Lord. In chapter three, she was even perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, that is, she was permeated and mingled with the Lord. She appreciated the Lord, she enjoyed the Lord, and she was even permeated with the Lord, but she never grew anything to the Lord. It is not until she becomes a garden that she begins to grow something. “A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse…Thy plants are a paradise of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; henna flowers, with spikenard, spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices” (4:12-14).
Before she became a garden, she enjoyed the Lord as the myrrh, the henna flower, and the frankincense. Now she grows what she enjoyed, but it is no longer for her—it is for others. Now the frankincense is not for her satisfaction, but for the Lord’s satisfaction. The henna flower is not from the Lord for her appreciation, but it is grown out of her for the Lord’s appreciation. In the first aspect, everything was for her, but now everything is for the Lord and for others. At first it was something of the Lord getting into her; now it is something of the Lord growing out of her, because all of these things have been wrought into her, have permeated her, and have become a part of her.
A CORPORATE BODY
By the time she becomes a garden, it is no longer an individual matter. We can never satisfy others unless we are built up into a corporate Body.
We cannot grow the things we appreciate, enjoy, and with which we are permeated without being fully built up as a garden. This is why we need the second aspect of the Christian life, the corporate Body. This is what the Lord is looking for today. He is not seeking some individually spiritual and mature persons; He is seeking a corporate Body. Christianity has damaged the entire situation. We have all been spoiled by the wrong concepts. This is why we need the eyes of a dove. All the concepts we have received from Christianity need to be changed.
No matter what we received from the past, we must realize that the Christian life is not for the individual. The Christian life is for a corporate Body. Regardless of how high our attainment might be, though it be to the mountaintop of Lebanon, it should never be for ourselves individually. When we arrive there, the Lord will tell us to come down to be a garden on the earth. We cannot stay by ourselves on the mountaintop of ascension. We must go down to the valley to be built up with others and to grow all the things of the Lord with which we have been permeated. We need not only to take in, but to grow out. We must be a garden to grow something for the Lord’s satisfaction and be a fountain for others.
THE TURNING POINTS
In the next chapter, we will see another little discrepancy between this seeking one and the Lord. It is really difficult for us to go on with the Lord all the time. We cannot pursue Him day by day without knowing all the turning points. The Song of Songs is a short book, yet it covers all the turning points of our Christian life.
To be a crown with a tower of David is marvelous, but upon arriving at that stage we immediately need a turn; we cannot stay. We need a turn from that attainment to the mountain of myrrh and the hill of frankincense. After staying there for a length of time, we need another attainment. Because of the experiences of the Lord’s death and resurrection, we will be transferred into His ascension. We will attain to the mountaintop of the Lord’s ascension—an attainment higher than the former one. Then we immediately need another turn. From the mountaintop of the Lord’s ascension, the Lord will call us away to the valley to be a garden. We cannot be a garden on the mountaintop. We must come down to the valley where we can grow something.
Clearly, a garden is for growing things. When the seeking one becomes a garden, she begins to grow all the things she has previously enjoyed of the Lord, such as myrrh, frankincense, and henna flowers. All these were the very aspects and items of what the Lord was to her. She enjoyed and partook of all these things, and now she is growing them for the Lord’s satisfaction. In the foregoing chapters she enjoyed all these things, but in the garden the Lord Himself comes in to enjoy them. “I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved” (5:1).
These are the turning points, and they are also a real exercise in the submission of the will. We should never think we are so spiritual that we have no further need of learning to submit our will. We will need the exercise of the submission of our will until we get to the New Jerusalem.
(Life and Building as Portrayed in the Song of Songs, Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)