Whither is Thy Beloved Gone

The Song of Solomon 6:1, “Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women? whither is thy beloved turned aside? that we may seek him with thee.”

Isaiah 55:6, “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near” and Proverbs 8:17, “I love them that love me: and those that seek me early shall find me” are two verses that come to mind when considering the subject of seeking the Lord. Both have convicted my heart at different times during my life and both are very precious to me in my study of God’s Holy Word. Romans 3:11 teaches us that unless one is born again, “there is none that seeketh after God.” So then, the person who is seeking God is already born again and their efforts in seeking fellowship with God are the fruit of eternal life that they have by God’s grace.

In our study verse, after the Shulamite has answered the questions the daughters of Jerusalem have asked (5:9) about Solomon, they now show forth a willingness to search for him as well. Two things in our study verse stand out to me. First, the effect her description of Solomon has had on the daughters of Jerusalem; Second, the words they use to describe her.

In chapter four we read the beautiful words that Solomon used to describe his lovely Shulamite, but we find nowhere in the Song where she uses the same to describe herself. Here, in our study verse, it’s the daughters of Jerusalem that call her the “fairest among women.” Her beauty was not something she boasted of with her own lips, but it was something another said of her. This occurrence reminds me of Proverbs 27:2, “Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.” The Shulamite’s beauty and the precious words which she has used (5:10-16) to describe her beloved Solomon has stirred the daughters of Jerusalem to desire to seek him with her.

The lesson in this portion of God’s Holy Word finds application with us today. The way we appear to others, in a life of obedience and devotion and the way we speak about the Lord and His Church will have an effect on others who might seek the truth. If we who claim to love the Lord and are members of His Church cannot live a life of obedience and love for our Beloved Savior, how could we ever convince another to seek after Him Whom our soul loveth. If the language of our lips are those of common conversation when we talk about the Lord and His Church, why would anyone else become excited to “come and see.” In John 1:45 Philip said to Nathanael, “We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write,…” Nathanael’s response? Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” “Philip saith unto him. Come and see.” The interaction between these two has been used for generations in teaching the encouragement that one may have on another in seeking fellowship with the Lord. I cannot help but think that Philip’s enthusiastic words and attitude had an effect on Nathanael’s willingness to listen. Another example of this principal is found in Acts 16:23-34. After Paul and Silas were cast into jail for preaching the gospel and doing good, they prayed and began to sing (verse 25). The Lord caused a great earthquake, the doors were opened and the lights of the prison went out. The keeper of the prison was sore afraid, thinking those he had charge over had escaped, and thought to kill himself. Paul called to him saying “Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.” The Lord had manifested Himself with Paul and the others and there was no better place they had rather be. The jailer’s response is one that has stirred argument through the years. His words? “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” I will confess, I really don’t know all this man was thinking. His level of scriptural knowledge does not appear to be of a profound level. But this one thing can be gathered; the joy and happiness that he witnessed of those inside the prison was beyond anything he had. The keeper of the prison had his freedom. The keeper of the prison did not have shackles on his hands and feet. Yet Paul and Silas (the others) who were shackled had more happiness and joy than he did. In my own words this man was basically saying or asking “what can I do to get what you have?”

Brothers and sisters in Christ, would it not be a great blessing for someone to witness how you live and talk about the Lord and His Church to the degree they would ask you, “Where do you go to Church?” My precious daddy used to say, “If we are not excited about the Lord and His Church we cannot expect anyone else to be.” “Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women? Whither is thy beloved turned aside? That we may seek him with thee.” Amen!

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