(Part 5 of 5)
In the New Testament the Lord set “feeding ministries” (Ephesians 4:11, 1 Corinthians 12:28, Acts 20:28). Notice in Song of Solomon 1:7 that the Shulamite didn’t ask, “Who is doing the feeding today?” Rather, she asked where the King fed. If you pick and choose whom you want to listen to, your love is out of order (the Corinthians did that, and Paul called them carnal in 1 Corinthians 3:3). The Lord is not short on food, but He is short on responsible feeders. Incidentally in Acts 13:1 the teacher was next to the prophets. In 1 Corinthians 12:28, Paul set the ministries in their order: “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues” (KJV). The teaching gift is a revelation gift.
In the 1800s, Spurgeon was preaching on one side of London, and another famous preacher by the name of Joseph Parker was preaching on the other side of London. Many wealthy Londoners would hop in their horse-drawn carriages and race from one preacher to the other. They never stayed for the whole sermon; they just tasted the sermon to see who had the best point and the best thought. The next day in Parliament they would discuss who delivered the best sermon. They were dubbed “sermon tasters.” Paul called such people carnal (1 Corinthians 3:3). If you are just a “sermon taster,” your love is out of order.
The flock needs to rest at noon (Song of Solomon 1:7). People do get weary. In some churches the believers leave the service more tired than when they came into the service. Many churches are not at rest today. God ordained rest in Genesis 2:2-3. He sanctified rest and blessed it. When you look at the meanings of these words you will find that rest was the day the bride came in to be ministered to by the Lord. David in Psalm 23:2 says, “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures” (KJV). The word “maketh” also means “to bring into balance.” W. Phillip Keller in his book A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 teaches that sheep will not lie down until they are free from fear, friction, hunger, and parasites. If you are full of fear, you are experiencing a lot of friction, you are spiritually hungry, and you are oppressed by devils and by people your love may be out of order. Unhappy sheep will not rest. Out-of-order love produces anxiety, fear, anger, and turmoil. Jesus said to His disciples, “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while” (Mark 6:31). He could have added, “If you don’t take time to rest you will come apart.” The Shulamite also avoided the mistake many make today, that of following personalities. If you follow personalities instead of God and His truth, then your love is out of order. The Shulamite wanted the King, not His companions (personalities). The Lord’s companions (ministries) are important too, but we are exhorted to follow Jesus. In the book of Revelation the ministries are in the Lord’s hands. The Shulamite was also saying, “Why should I come under the covering of someone without a revelation?” Why should you?
In closing, the Shulamite was exhorted to turn aside and to follow the footsteps of the flock. He was giving directions. Shepherds will guide you and fit you for palace living. She was guided to the shepherds’ tents. She was to come under oversight. If you throw off oversight, your love is out of order. Lucifer tried it and was cast out from God’s presence. Don’t be afraid of those who watch over your souls (Hebrews 13:7,17). The “shepherd’s tents” also speak of placement: “But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him” (1 Corinthians 12:18, KJV). When love is in order you seek for quality. The Shulamite knew that her need was also the need for knowledge. God doesn’t want the believer to be ignorant. Ignorance is not the will of God for the believer. Adam was not created ignorant; he was created an intelligent being. In Acts 2:42-47, the first thing the Holy Spirit structured in the church was teaching; the Holy Spirit was not going to leave the church illiterate. When love is in order you will delight in the Word of God, like king David did. In verse 8 the Shulamite saw the need for right paths, for direction. Wrong direction brings confusion. Psalm 25:10 reads, “All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth.” First mercy, then truth. When your love is in order, God shows you the path, your path… the path that He makes for you. Out-of-order love leads you down the wrong path. He also exhorts you to follow the footprints of those who made it. This talks of proven places, of experience, of testimony. “Walk in proven places,” God is saying. When in order, love will create this desire in you. Paul teaches that the older believers are to be examples and teachers of the younger believers (Titus 2). Psalm 92:12-15 talks of older people bearing fruit (alas, today they are often cast aside). Note also that verse 8 says, “Feed thy kids”; i.e., take responsibility. When love is in order, we do not run from responsibility. We accept it, and we become accountable. Christians should be the most responsible people in the community. When love is in order you learn accountability and responsibility.
Did the Shulamite listen? Yes. Verses 9-17 tell the story of discipline. Her roughness disappeared. She was compared with a horse under training. First, the training bridle of iron, then the golden bridle. The training bridle was for discipline, the golden bridle for spoken instruction only. You know your love is in order when you move by the voice of the Lord. Is your love out of order? This is what the Spirit is saying today… “Get your love in order.”
Pastor George Belobaba
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