Life and Building as Portrayed in the Song of Songsby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
At this point, someone asks again about the seeking one coming up from the wilderness. “Who is this who comes up from the wilderness, / Leaning on her beloved?” (v. 5). By this, we see that there are two wildernesses. We have seen, in chapter 3, the wilderness of our will. Here in chapter 8, we have the physical wilderness of the world. All the seeking Christians are going out of this world. I do not believe that anyone who is really seeking the Lord senses that he is a settler on the earth. We are not settlers in this world; we are pilgrims passing through.
No matter how long we live in Los Angeles, we are passing through Los Angeles. This earth to us is just a wilderness, and we are passing through. Here the seeking one is going out of the wilderness leaning on the Lord Jesus. In chapter 3 she was going out of that psychological wilderness as a pillar by herself. But now she is going out of the physical wilderness leaning on the Lord Jesus. This poetry depicts that as she is going out, she is one with the Lord Jesus.
We know that while we are waiting for the rapture, we are waiting for His coming. But this verse shows us that the Lord is not coming but going out with her. While she is going out of the world, she is leaning on the Lord. This clearly means that the Lord is going out of this world with her. We can well ask, “Is the Lord coming or going?” This is really difficult for our mind to comprehend.
We are waiting for His coming, yet He is going out with us. I can tell you that if He is not going out with us, we can never be waiting properly for His coming. If we would be one who is sincerely waiting for His coming, surely we need Him to go with us. He goes with us to meet Himself. He goes with us for His coming back.
We need not ask how this will happen. We know by our experience. While we are waiting for His coming, we are not going out of this world by ourselves. If we are, we will never go out! If, on the other hand, we are those who are really waiting for His coming, we will deeply sense that we are going out of this world leaning on Him. “O Lord Jesus, day by day I am going out with You, and You are going out with me for Your coming back.” It may not appeal logically to our mind, but it is a fact.
The Lord Jesus is a wonderful person. He is going out with us, yet He is also coming. He told Nicodemus that while He was on the earth, He was still in heaven (John 3:13). He came from heaven, and then He was on the earth; yet, while He was on earth, He was still in heaven. All those who are really waiting for His coming are one with Him. Therefore, they are going out of this world, not by themselves but by Him. As we are going with Him, we realize that the “going-out” strength is not ours. We do not have the strength to go out. The going-out strength is simply Jesus. We lean on Him, and in a sense He bears us.
When the question is asked concerning the one going out of the wilderness, the Lord Jesus answers: “Who is this who comes up from the wilderness, / Leaning on her beloved? / I awakened you under the apple tree: / There your mother was in labor with you; / There she was in labor and brought you forth” (S. S. 8:5). The Lord answers that she is the one He awakened under the apple tree. We know from chapter 2 that the apple tree is the lovely and nourishing Christ. It was there that He regenerated her.
Who is this one? This one is simply a sinner, regenerated by God’s grace in Christ. We should never consider that we are so high or wonderful. We must always realize that regardless of how mature we are, we are simply saved sinners. We are just under the lovely and nourishing Christ, regenerated by the grace and life of God. We should never forget what we were in the past. Before regeneration we were a fallen, corrupted, and deadened sinner. But one day God put us under the apple tree; He put us under the nourishing Christ and regenerated us.
No matter what position we may have in the church or how mature we are, we should never boast of it. Rather, we should always remember what we were. Our estate is still just a sinner saved by grace; this is all we are. For such an impression to be given in chapter 8 is very meaningful. If it had been given in chapter 1, it would not have been so significant. But here at the very consummation of her Christian life, the Lord reminds her that even now she is nothing. She is just a sinner saved by the grace of Christ. This is the answer the Lord gives concerning the seeking one.
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