The Song of Songs, by Watchman Nee


Verse 9b says, "...that goeth down smoothly for my beloved, and causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak." [Translator’s note: See Darby’s New Translation. This part is spoken by the maiden.] The Lord’s speaking continues to the second part of verse 9. At this point, the maiden is able to continue where the Lord left off because she is so one with the Lord. The wine flows smoothly into her Beloved. This means that she and her Beloved have tasted a foretaste of this blessing. However, tasting this wine is not limited to the two of them. There are many others who are asleep who have tasted of this wine. Neither the word "asleep" nor the word "sleep" in 5:2 means something bad. The tone does not convey the sense that sleep is a bad thing. Moreover, the ones who are asleep are in the same position as the Beloved. Hence, the sleeping ones refer to those who are asleep to themselves. They have lost consciousness of themselves and are only living to God.

Verse 10 of chapter seven says, "I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me." Her attention is drawn toward who her beloved is. She has given up her obsession with herself. It seems as if she is willing even to lose her beloved if it would please him. She is only concerned with whether or not her beloved has gained her. She knows that she belongs to her beloved, and this is enough to satisfy her heart. The former grasping of the flesh is gone. In the beginning, the fact that she belonged to her beloved was a secondary thought. Later, it became her primary thought. She was unable to forget that her beloved was hers. Now, because of the depth of her experience, we no longer hear that her beloved belongs to her. Indeed, in our spiritual pursuit, the self is working constantly. Little do we realize that even in the matter of loving the Lord, there is the possibility of reserving a place for the self!

The matter now is not our pleasure, but His desire. We know that our existence is for the purpose of satisfying His desire. Our purpose for living is to be the object of His desire. We are to be the desired ones of the desiring One. The question now is not what we feel, what we gain, what we lose, or what our work is. What is of importance to us is that we are His, and His desire is toward us. This is all that matters.

When a believer reaches this stage, and when the self is dealt with in such a thorough way, he can begin to work with the Lord. Because he is so filled with the Lord, he can now initiate some work. Outwardly, it may look as if he is the one who initiates the work. Actually, it is the Lord within who is initiating the work. Since the union between the maiden and the Lord is so absolute, her movement becomes very dependable, and she can now speak the words in the following verse.

Verse 11 says, "Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages." "Let us go forth into the field." Now she is no longer acting alone, and the Lord is no longer acting alone. There is a joint work of "us." From this point on, we see the fellowship in the work. Since she is liberated from herself, she is also delivered from all narrowness and pettiness. Her focus is no longer on her meeting, her work, her church, or her group. Her attention is the field, the world. She has a world view, not just an "unworldly" view. She is interested in everything that happens in the world. She does not have a so-called work of her own, and she does not have a so-called region of her work. All of the Lord’s work is the sphere of her work. The whole focus is turned to the field.

(The Song of Songs, Chapter 5, by Watchman Nee)