Self Examination

The Song of Solomon 6:11-12, “I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley, and to see whether the vine flourished and the pomegranates budded. Or ever I was aware, my soul made me like the chariots of Amminadib.”

In the Song of Solomon 6:11-12 we find the Shulamite, after coming to Solomon’s garden and expressing her love for him, returning to her garden to see how it fares. We have already noticed, in the previous chapters and verses, the beauty of Solomon’s garden. Having now such an outstanding standard by which to judge her own garden, the Shulamite looks to see where her garden may be improved.

We find several examples in the Bible of times when responsibility was given to man concerning a garden. In Genesis 2:15, it was Adam who was placed in a garden to “dress it and to keep it.” His failures brought death upon the entire human race. In Proverbs 24:30-34, Solomon tells of the “vineyard” and “field of the slothful.” “I went by the field of the Slothful and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo. It was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man” (meaning thy want and poverty will come quickly and irresistibly). In Matthew 21:33-46, the Lord told a parable about a “certain householder” and a “vineyard.” This vineyard is referring to the vineyard of Israel and how they were blessed of the Lord, but failed to serve Him faithfully. In each of these examples we find a vineyard/garden, a responsibility given, and the failures of man.

Question? How is your garden? Not the field beside or near your house, but your life. Paul in 2 Corinthians 13:5 called on the disciples to “Examine yourselves…” The Lord, with His precious fellowship and revelation of scripture has given us the perfect standard by which all things are judged. The plumb line (Amos 7:7) has been given to us from heaven. How do we measure up? The answer? We have lots of work to do. No matter where we are in our growth and learning in God’s grace and truth, as the Lord spake to Joshua “there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed” (Joshua 13:1). The Lord’s word is sufficient to teach us what’s right (see 2 Timothy 3:16 “doctrine”); what’s wrong (“reproof”); how to get right when we are wrong (“correction”); and how to stay right when we are right (“instruction in righteousness”). The conviction of our soul causes us to want to do better (Acts 2:37, “…pricked in their heart…”). That we may be like the “chariots of Amminadib” (being swift and zealous in our efforts to enjoy the fellowship of the Lord, the King of Israel). In the year 2021, I pray He will bless me in my efforts to do better. Praying that He would bless me to glorify Him with my life. 1 Corinthians 6:20, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

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