Song of Songs
Every other Tuesday, we will look at selected verses from Song of Songs. To study more of the Book, participate in our online Bible study starting next week.
In this verse the maiden explains why she has neglected her own vineyard--the garden of her heart.
1:6 Do not stare at me because I am dark, because I am darkened by the sun. My mother's sons were angry with me and made me take care of the vineyards; my own vineyard I have neglected.
Being "darkened by the sun" refers to those things she did apart from God's direction. In the previous book Solomon had written, "nothing was gained under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 2:11). The phrase "under the sun" means "apart from God" and emphasizes that life without God has no meaning.
Instead of seeking His pleasure, she had been driven by others' expectations. Perhaps her mother's sons (her Christian brothers) took full advantage of her zeal and overworked her. In her desire to please them, she became sidetracked and allowed her own vineyard (the garden of her heart) to suffer.
Still, she realized she could not blame others that she had grown cold. Cultivating her own vineyard was her daily responsibility. Now she is weary of merely doing what others expect instead of passionately pursuing Jesus.
We can easily be distracted from our devotion to Jesus while doing things that Jesus is not asking of us. Like Martha, others may expect us to help with their project and misunderstand us when we don't sense God asking us to join their efforts.
The enemy loves to get us so busy in legitimate projects that we find no time for intimate fellowship with the Bridegroom of our heart. The fruit we bear will be fruit of the flesh and not of the Spirit. We may find we are working for Him but without Him.
Think on these things
Do you participate in activities because of others' expectations rather than out of love for Jesus?
Which of your priorities take time away from your pursuit of Jesus?
How will you reorder your priorities to cultivate your own vineyard?
Are you more of a worker for Jesus or a lover of Jesus?
Fire Seekers Prayer Focus
Ask God to reveal anything in your routine that could be described by Solomon's words:
"When I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 2:11).
Pray that God's people will not neglect prayer for lesser things.