Draw me, we will run after you: the king has brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in you…
The maiden who speaks has been separated unwillingly from her beloved, after whom she incessantly mourns; she is kept in the king's chambers, the apartments of the women in his palace at Jerusalem. They ridicule her swarthy look, and she tells how her half-brothers had been unkind to her, and had made her work in the drudgery of the vineyards, beneath the scorching sun. Those about her wonder and scoff at her persistent affection. The story may be taken as telling of the Christian soul, its trials and triumphs.
I. ITS TRIALS. The Christian soul may be:
1. Unwillingly deprived of conscious enjoyment of her Lord's presence. How often in the psalms do we find the complaint of the Lord being "far from me," of the failure to realize his presence and his love! And how often the same thing occurs now! Our sun is hidden behind a cloud, and the soul grieves over her absent Lord.
2. Despised. This is another though a less trial. The child of God is a poor kind of creature in the world's esteem, and it is not slow to let the believer know and feel its contempt. And with many this is a terrible thing. Not a few who would lead a forlorn hope and do any deed of daring that required only physical courage, will shrink and quail beneath the world's scorn.
3. Persecuted and ill-used also, as she was who is spoken of here. So, too, is it and has been with the Christian soul. And often a man's foes are they of his own household. Our Lord told us it would be so, and so they have found it; but have found also, as here, that he knows how to sustain his servants in this trial,
4. Mockery likewise has to be reckoned with. For though ver. 8 tells a truth which has very real and blessed. meaning in regard to the soul's way to God, yet it seems to us to have been spoken mockingly, bidding her to whom it was spoken track the footprints of the sheep if she wanted to know where her beloved was, if she would persist in being so foolish. Such is the force of the words rendered, "If thou know not." They are contemptuous, and contain a sneer. But "cruel mockings" have been the lot of Christ's people in all ages, and when we have to bear them we are not to be surprised "as if some strange thing had happened" unto us. But these verses tell not of trials alone, but of -
II. ITS TRIUMPHS. For:
1. Her soul still clave unto her beloved. (Ver. 4.) And so, notwithstanding the Christian soul may be by one cause or another held in captivity and "walk in darkness," yet it will all the more cry out after him whom it loveth, and remember his love more than any of the joys of earth. Thus the very design of her adversary is baffled, for her heart beats true to Christ still
2. She is certain that Christ delights in her. Those about her may despise her because she is "black," because she seems contemptible in their sight. But she knows that the Lord looks upon her with different eyes, that in his sight she is "comely." Others may think what they wilt, but his estimate is everything to her, and that is as she would have it be.
3. She desires and obtains yet more of happy communion with him. (Vers. 7, 8.) Often is it with the faithful soul that as the frown of Christ's foes and her own deepen, the light of Christ's countenance shines on her more steadily, brightly, and fully than ever. He drew her (ver. 4) by her need of his grace, and she ran after him, seeking that grace and finding it.
4. She knows that her present for of hardship and trial is not her true portion. "Why should I be as one that is veiled?" (margin), that is, one despised and despicable. She knows that such portion is not hers.
5. She cannot be moved. She is conqueror. So will it ever be. - S.C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee.
WEB: Take me away with you. Let us hurry. The king has brought me into his rooms. Friends We will be glad and rejoice in you. We will praise your love more than wine! Beloved They are right to love you.