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thorns and thistles make burdensome   translation of verse 8 suggests that she
        work. Before Solomon, her best efforts   should “go out for herself into the flock”
        brought only perspiration and pain (Gen   to personally learn the paths, the character
        3:17-19). Spiritless and worn by the curse,   of his sheep. Tear the fresh grass they eat
        she could never find good and fruitful   in your hands and smell it on the air. Step
        labor alone. Such is the case for anyone   carefully and watch the weeds and thorns
        looking back to life before the call of Jesus   they avoid. Know when they are thirsty
        Christ. Before His gifts and His guidance,   and mark the water. Notice how they act
        our righteousnesses were as filthy rags.   in rain and in sun. Beloved, do you wish
        The imagery is very personal, “But mine   to grow and take up responsibility in His
        own vineyard have I not kept” (SoS 1:6   Church? Then be among His people. All.
        KJV).                                 The. Time. Follow their footprints and
          Wisely, she turns to seek reassurance in   walk with them. Immerse yourself in the
        him. She is not grasping for just anyone   flock of God.
        to  meet her needs,  for  only “the one   She wants  to know  the work of  the
        her soul loves” could provide what she   vineyard is good, right and lasting, too.
        desires (1:7). She wants to be near him,   Her love points over green fields toward
        beside him with a fruitful heart. Are we   his shepherds’ tents. Do you see them
        any different today? The imagery of a   on the hill, against the breeze, clean and
        shepherd and his flock is no coincidence   inviting? “Dwell near them,” he advises.
        here, for both the Lord Jesus and the   The allegory holds true. Do you long to
        apostle Paul use the same pictures to   know you are doing the right things and
        describe the followers of Christ and the   that your good works for God are not in
        Church (Joh 10:1-18; Act 20:28). “Where do   vain? Then be alongside His shepherds.
        you pasture your sheep?” she questions.   Observe your leaders in the local church.
        What do they feed on, and how are they   Talk with them, spend time with them
        nourished? Tired of the hot sun overhead,   and learn from them. Feed with purpose,
        the young Shulamite asks where her    and pasture on their words. Value their
        love rests his flock at noon. She will not   experiences. To grow in Christ and to
        seek her own way or stay veiled at a   know  Him  more  requires  a  following
        distance (1:7 HCSB). She wants to know   heart, out among the flock and learning
        his way. These are worthy questions for   beside the shepherds’ tents.
        younger Christians today too. We might   Each one added to the Church starts a
        ask the Lord pointedly concerning our   new love story with Jesus Christ. A love
        responsibilities in the Church, “How do I   that starts with the desire to grow and to
        grow?” and “How can I know?”          know more of our Lord starts from a good
          There is no waiting. As soon as she   place. Solomon’s flocks and shepherds
        asks to know more of the things he holds   waited for his bride – their wisdom was
        dear, Solomon responds. The answers do   hers to enjoy, their experiences hers to
        not come from rules or rote, and there   gain. So likewise, with full and fruitful
        are no schedules found among them, for   hearts, let us follow Him deeper into the
        love is not a list. To grow with the flock,   vineyard where next we’ll consider their
        he advises her to spend time with the   engagement, and a glorious bride awaiting
        sheep and walk in their footsteps. A literal   her bridegroom’s soon arrival.

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