"Rest at Noon."

Canticles 1:7.

This song, though primarily applying to the earthly bride, Jerusalem hereafter, guides us now as to the Church, the heavenly bride, who is now on earth, and to those affections proper to her; and hence it is suited to each of us individually.

And this verse in the song speaks so plainly for itself that little need be said. It ought to be the heart's language of every Christian. "Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest." The heart desires to know the place where Christ finds that which satisfies Him - where He feeds. Where does He find this, if not in the company of the saints today? On earth He said He had "meat to eat which ye know not of." In the Psalms again we read of Him speaking as a man on earth: "My goodness extendeth not to thee [to the saints, the excellent of the earth]. In them is all my delight." And again, in Prov. 8, "My delights were with the sons of men."

Is your heart then occupied with what we have here - the desire to know where the Lord finds His delight now? It is in the company of His people. (Matt. 18:20.) But surely, if so, He desires also to find His food, His refreshment, in us individually; and one asks the question, to be answered by each of our hearts, "Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest." Can I, can you, be content that He finds no refreshment in our company? Are we content to get through a single day, or hour, apart from communion with Him - giving Him in us no refreshment?

Secondly, the verse goes on, "Tell me where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon." The heart desires to know this also; for if the Lord finds His portion in us (the Lord's portion is His people), He will give us also to rest in Him. The love of the bride and Bridegroom, though differing, is a reciprocal love. "We love Him because He first loved us." He gets nothing from us to satisfy Him; but He gives ten thousandfold more to us, to satisfy us. Noon is the time of the day when the sun is highest. And to us, when the trial is bitterest, the way all hedged in, the desert a trackless waste of sand, without a shadow in it to shelter us, HE causes "His flock to rest at noon." As we read also in chap. 2: "I sat down under His shadow with great delight." And when do you want a shadow? It is when the sun is high in the sky. Is Jesus then this to you? Have you found in Him, not merely your Saviour, but your rest (the rest to your souls of Matt. 11). No rest can the flock find but with Him, in His company. But we want to know more of this for ourselves as individual Christians, one plodding on under one difficulty, and another under another, but Jesus - the One to whom each of us can come and say, "Thou whom my soul loveth" - Jesus, enough for ALL the difficulties I find in my daily path, and more than enough - REST for me in them all.

And if He give me "rest at noon," if I find the place where He maketh His flock to rest when the sun is highest, what about His care of the flock, and of me, during the other hours of the day? for the day is all the time the sun shines. If I am thus with Him, and prove Him in that part of my little day when I wanted Him most, what a path is that of a Christian! Here on earth I am learning that Christ desires always to be in my company, and to have me consciously in all the rest of what the knowledge of His presence and company with me can and do bring. Again I would ask myself, and I would ask you, Have we found this place in the midst of the desert of this world? A desert indeed; but the heart which has known Jesus in all its cares thus can say, "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul, He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake." Can you say this? The Lord guide your heart into it more and more. H. C. Anstey.

If failure comes in, you must not give up all for lost, but thank God that you have a connection with Christ in God, which your failure cannot touch. Satan cannot check the living water that flows forth to me in spite of all I am in myself, enabling me to be "up and on."

In the death of a believer, I only see the expression of the love of Christ opening the way to a place where the soul can be present with Himself.

Ought we not to be able to say of a believer, that the way he lives to God, delights the heart of Christ; and that the way he lives to Christ delights the heart of God?

G. V. Wigram.