The Watchmen of the City

The Song of Solomon 5:6-7, “I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer. The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.”

The Song of Solomon chapter five begins with Solomon waiting for his beloved Shulamite in a familiar meeting place. He loves her and has waited many hours during the night for her to arrive and spend time with him. After hours of waiting and getting his head wet with the dew and small drops of rain, he goes to find her. When he comes to her house, he finds her asleep in bed. What happened? Did she forget? Did she deem her time of rest more important than a time for them to be together? Was she just too lazy to get out? Was she concerned about getting her hair wet with the small drops of rain? We do not know for sure, but we are able to interpret that she missed a time of fellowship with the one she loved.

After Solomon comes to her door and places “sweet smelling myrrh” on the handles, the Shulamite, awoke. After she sees the sweet ointment on her hands and smells its beautiful aroma, her heart begins to long to see her beloved. She knows she has missed an opportunity to spend time with him and now she arises from sleep to find the one she loves.

In chapter 3:3 of this Spirit inspired Song, we are introduced to the “watchmen that go about the city…” In this portion of the Song, the Shulamite looks for Solomon and it “was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth:…” The “watchmen” knew where to find the King of Israel and seem to have assisted the Shulamite with some directions. When examining our study verses, she finds a much different response from the “watchmen that went about the city…” In our study verses we read the “they smote me, they wounded me;…” During this episode I’m sure she thought, I wish I had just met Solomon in the garden. If she had just risen from sleep and met Solomon earlier, she would have never experienced this time of discomfort.

When I was just starting to try to preach, my daddy told me a story told him by an older preacher when my daddy was about my age. The older preacher said, “Once there was a man who owned a plow horse. After a day of plowing, the farm owners son was leading the horse back to the barn. The son looked up and saw his dad coming toward him and the horse with a bucket of grain for the horse to eat in one hand and a rod in the other. The son said, “If I were the horse, I wouldn’t know what to expect, food for a good days work, or a rod for not plowing straight furrows.” The dad admitted the scene could have been confusing, but the days work declares which the horse would receive, which was a bucket of grain for a good days work. Confused yet? Now back to our study verses.

The “watchmen” of the city reminds me of the minister of the gospel. The Lord directs his mind and puts things on his heart to preach. Sometimes his words are a comfort in directing you to our Solomon. But yet there are other times when, because of our own shortcomings, his words are filled with correction. Honestly, I’ve walked out of Church when I felt the pastor directed and guided me to a closer fellowship with my Solomon, the Lord Jesus Christ, and I have had times when his words smote my heart because of my own failures.

Hebrews 12:6, ‘For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth,…” The good news about these times when the preacher corrects us is, it only happens because the Lord loves us (and the preacher should preach those things in love). Our hearts should be comforted that the Lord loves us, and if He loves you, He will love you forever and ever and you will be with Him in heaven one great and glorious day. The pastor also loves you. The Bible teaches us in Proverbs 27:6, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend;…” As I look back in my life, I’m thankful a pastor, being used by God, loved me enough to preach the truth to me, even if it wounded my heart.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, none of us are perfect. We all come short of being what we should be. I think we can all agree with that statement. But I think we could also agree that we can all do better. The Lord’s grace is sufficient to help. The Lord’s Word (reading it and listening to it preached) will correct us in those times of need. Conclusion? We should all strive to be better each and every day of our lives. And I will end with Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Amen!

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