Life-Study of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songsby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In Song of Songs 2:83:5 the lover of Christ is called by Him to be delivered from the self through her oneness with the cross. This is the second stage in the experience of the lover of Christ. Three critical words help us to interpret this section: cross, self, and introspection.
The cross is signified by the clefts of the rock and the covert of the precipice (2:14). These are places of safety, but they are rugged, and few would be willing to go there. The clefts of the rock and the covert of the precipice surely signify the cross as the place of safety for fallen man. The safest place for us to be is the cross.
Although the self has no figure in Song of Songs, according to Christian experience it is manifested in the second stage. In the first stage, the lover of Christ pursues Him, receives help in the fellowship in the inner chamber, and enters into the church life, where she experiences transformation. She enters into the rest and enjoyment of Christ for her full satisfaction. Then the self rises up, and the lover of Christ begins to care only for being perfect. This is the self.
The self is very subtle. In Matthew 16, after the Lord Jesus unveiled the way of the cross for the accomplishment of God's economy, Peter showed his love for the Lord by saying, "God be merciful to You, Lord! This shall by no means happen to You!" (v. 22). Peter thought that was his own word. Actually, Peter spoke from his self, which had become one with Satan. The Lord Jesus rebuked Peter saying, "Get behind Me, Satan!" (v. 23a). Then the Lord spoke about denying the self (v. 24). This reveals that the self is the satanic humanity; it is man possessed and usurped by Satan. As a result, man in his fallen humanity cares only for himself. Because everyone is for himself, selfishness is seen in all kinds of relationshipsbetween husband and wife, between children and parents, between employers and employees.
We should not think that we can become so spiritual that we no longer have a problem with the self. Even a lover of Christ, one who yearns for Him, seeks Him, and gains Him, is still troubled by the self. We still have a part of us that is fallen and satanic, and this part will remain with us until our physical body is redeemed, that is, until we will have been redeemed to the uttermost from the old creation. This was the situation even with the apostle Paul. He had received so many visions and revelations, yet he realized that he was still in the fallen humanity (2 Cor. 12:7). Although we also are still in the fallen humanity, we should not live in it and we should not live by it. As an elderly believer in Christ, I can testify that the older I become, the more bothered I am by the old creation, by the fallen, satanic humanity.
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