Evening, June 19, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“My beloved is mine, and I am his; he pastures his flock among the lilies. Until the cool of the day when the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of Bether.” — Song of Solomon 2:16-17
Surely if there is a happy verse in the Bible it is this—”My Beloved is mine, and I am his.” It is so peaceful, so full of assurance, so overflowing with happiness and contentment, that it might well have been written by the same hand which penned the twenty-third Psalm. Yet though the prospect is surpassingly fair and lovely—earth cannot show us anything superior—it is not entirely a sunlit landscape. There is a cloud in the sky which casts a shadow over the scene. Listen, “Until the cool of the day when the shadows flee away.”
There is a word, too, about the “mountains of Bether,” or, “the mountains of division,” and to our love, anything akin to division is bitterness. Beloved, this may be your present state of mind; you do not doubt your salvation; you know that Christ is yours, but you are not feasting with him. You understand your vital interest in him, so that you have no shadow of a doubt of your being his, and of his being yours, but still his left hand is not under your head, nor does his right hand embrace you. A shade of sadness is cast over your heart, perhaps by affliction, certainly by the temporary absence of your Lord, so even while exclaiming, “I am his,” you are forced to take to your knees, and to pray, “Until the cool of the day when the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved.”
“Where is he?” asks the soul. And the answer comes, “he pastures his flock among the lilies.” If we would find Christ, we must get into communion with his people, we must come to the observances with his saints. Oh, for an evening glimpse of him! Oh, to dine with him tonight!