The End of the Wilderness Path

The terminal of our earthly pilgrimage is suitably described in the Song of Solomon, chapter 8 and verse 5, saying—"Who is this that cometh up out of the wilderness leaning on her beloved?" Some believers have a deep realization of this being near for them, when they will be "with Christ—which is far better." (Phil. 1:23) Our text describes the manner in which the pilgrimage should end by leaning on our Beloved!

1. It is the edge of the wilderness—In looking back over the pilgrimage past, the wilderness character of this present world is vividly real, more so than in the previous years of life’s journey. The soul is more keenly aware of the spiritual barrenness of this present scene of earth, that it is—"a dry and thirsty land where no water is." The poetical words of J.N. Darby have expressed to us this fact, saying —

This world is a wilderness wide
I have nothing to seek or to choose,
I’ve no thought in the waste to abide;’
I’ve nought to regret or to lose.

2. It is a time of complete dependence—In weakness the soul is "leaning on her Beloved"—leaning on the everlasting arms! In earlier days we leaned upon Him lightly, often relying on our own strength, but now, in conscious weakness the heart hears Him say—"Doest thou not know, hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, Jehovah, the creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not nor tireth" (Isaiah 40:28) His strength alone upholds the soul!

The path where my savior has gone
Has led me up to His Father and God—
To the place where He’s now on the throne,
And HIS strength shall be mine on the road.

3. It is a time of deepest love—The Beloved and His love is more magnified to the soul. The musing of the heart is —"I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine!" (S.S. 6:3) Surely HIS love becomes greater at the close of the pilgrim path for is it not true—"Love is as strong as death…many waters cannot quench love, neither do the floods drown it." (S.S. 8:6,7) Praise God that death cannot quench His love! His great love conquered death at Calvary with a mighty victory. Now He holds the keys of death and of hades. (Rev. 1:18) Therefore, at such a time as this His "perfect love casteth out fear." (1 John 4:18)

With Him shall my rest be on high
When in holiness bright I sit down—
In the joy of the love ever nigh—
In the peace that His presence shall crown

4. It is a time of promotion— "Up" and "Out" of the wilderness for ever! What better direction can there be? The Beloved will escort me all the way! When the rich man of Luke, chapter 16, died—he was buried." What a tragic end! For when Lazarus died—He was "carried by the angels." What blessedness! One went down—the other went up! Yet for us, better than being carried by the angels at our departure, we shall have the Beloved Himself taking us home at the end of the wilderness path! Thank God for angels and their ministry to the saints; but how much more precious for the believer to know the Beloved Himself will take us to Himself when He comes for us!

And Saviour, ’tis Thou from on high
I await till the time Thou shalt come
To take one Thou hast led by Thine eye—
To Thyself in the heavenly home!

J.N. Darby