“Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?” (Song of Solomon 1:7)
The fourth segment of our look at the love expressed in Song of Solomon comes from verse 7, “Tell me...” This plea from the woman to her lover reveals that she views him as her shepherd. It is the shepherd’s duty to lead the flock to green pastures to eat and also to rest (Psalms 23:1-2).
Being a part of his flock, she wondered why this place of food and rest was not known by her. “For why should I be as one (one that is veiled) that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?” Her question to her husband is, “Tell me … where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon.” Why should this knowledge be hidden from me? For I need to be fed and I need rest.
Every wife needs this from her husband. She needs to be instructed by her husband in the Word of God by word and by example in the home area (1 Corinthians 14:35). This feeding of the Word of God will meet her every need. She will be full of Christ and will then come to rest in Truth.
So it is with the Church. There is a deep desire to be led to green pastures and to be led by the still waters; and the Church knows that this can only be fulfilled by the Good Shepherd, the Chief Shepherd, the Great Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ. But many times, there seems to be a veil over the understanding of where and when Christ feeds His Word to His flock. Many ask, “Why is it this way? Why do I not understand as other do? What is the problem?”
The problem is the same as the wife’s lack of understanding as to where her husband is feeding the Word of God. The answer lies in the words, “for why should I.” “I” is the problem. The problem is not the husband giving out the Word, or of Christ teaching His Word of revelation, but the problem is with the woman, or the Church. Either she is not listening to her husband; or she may be seeking wisdom from the wrong source. Or perhaps she is too busy and not focused on what her husband is teaching her. Or maybe she is hanging onto past teachings or past preconceived ideas.
Whatever the problem is, she needs to surrender, submit, and obey His instructions as to her position as wife (Ephesians 5:22-33). She needs to be still and listen. And she needs to be instructed as to the position of the husband, especially in teaching and living spiritual matters in the home, and to his responsibility to do the same (Ephesians 5:22-33).
The lesson to see in our text verse is the desire of the wife to be fed and to rest, but where and when is veiled to her. She knows the “who,” the shepherd of the flock. She knows she is of the flock. She knows her need to be fed and to rest at noon. Therefore, she goes to her husband and makes this plea, “Tell me…”
This desire of a woman began in the Garden of Eden after the fall. “…and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” (Genesis 3:16). This is not primarily a sexual desire, but a desire that God placed in a woman’s nature to look to her husband for leadership and guidance in Truth. It has nothing to do with a woman’s intelligence, but with her God-ordained position as a wife (Ephesians 5:22-33). It means she is subject to her husband. God designed the husband to type out Christ, and gave him the authority and the responsibility to rule (guide and lead) his wife. This is God’s order in the home (1 Corinthians 11:1-3).
This is revealed very plainly here in Song of Solomon 1:7; this God-implanted desire of the wife; and also of the Bride of Christ, the Lamb’s Wife, the Church of the Living God. Thank God for the wife’s desire. Thank God the Church desires to be fed and to find rest in Christ, her Husband. This reveals that there is a true relationship, a true union, between husband and wife, between Christ and His Bride. The desire is the evidence of this union.
Sisters in Christ, thank God for this desire in you for Christ. This does not mean you are inferior to your husband. But it reveals that you know the Shepherd; that you know the “Who” and that you have deep desire for true fellowship with Christ (Philippians 3:7-14). And it reveals that you are aware of His Responsibility to you. You also know that Christ will answer your plea (1 John 5:14-15). Keep seeking; God will answer your pleas. Practice this process in your home. God will bless it.
Every saved man that is married needs to know this desire is in his wife. He needs to understand that his wife loves him above all others, and she needs his teaching and assurance and the peace that flows from his teaching. The husband also must be sensitive to the wife’s lack of understanding where he feeds and where she can find rest at noon.
But on the other hand, the problem in our text is not the husband’s, but the wife’s. The question comes, how can the wife be so blind as to the where of feeding and rest? The answer lies in a lack of understanding her position to her head; a lack of his position as head to wash her with the Word (Ephesians 5:26). She may be too busy with the philosophy of this world as a wife’s duties and position in the home. She may be career-minded instead of God-minded in her position in the home (Titus 2:4-5; 1 Timothy 2:10-14).