“If you do not know,
O fairest among women,
follow in the footsteps of the flock,
and pasture your young goats
beside the shepherds’ tents.”
—Song of Songs 1:8
The Lord’s answer is very particular—He tells her to live under the authority in the church. If the Lord is the great Shepherd of the sheep (Heb. 13:20; 1 Pet. 5:4), the brothers are also the shepherds to whom the Lord has given responsibility (1 Pet. 5:2). If the Lord builds up the church (Matt. 16:18), so also do the brothers (Eph. 4:16). You cannot look down upon them, thinking that they are just “other children of my mother.” Don’t place them on the same level with yourself. You have to see that they are the shepherds appointed by the Lord.
When you say, “O daughters of Jerusalem,” you are joyful to be among them. But when you say, “My mother’s sons were angry with me,” you are complaining about the Lord’s arrangement. The Lord seems to be saying, “Don’t think that you can be independent and do your own thing just because you have your particular burden, commission, and vineyard. You still need to pasture your young goats by the shepherds’ tents. You cannot carry out something independently from the brothers.”
We have to learn that every shepherd has his tent. The Lord allows us to work, but He does not allow us to work individually and separately. To work properly for God, we need to unite under the shepherds’ tents. We cannot try to carry out our burden independently according to our own way and opinion. We have to learn to bring our burden to the brothers, bringing to the church what the Lord has committed to us. Then we will really be able to take care of others. We should pasture our young goats by the shepherds’ tents.
Adapted from The Journey of Life, pages 146-147.