Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon;
He entrusted the vineyard to caretakers.
Each one was to bring a thousand shekels of silver for its fruit.
My very own vineyard is at my disposal;
The thousand shekels are for you, Solomon,
And two hundred are for those who take care of its fruit.
Song of Songs 8:11-12
There is a shift in speakers between verse 11 and 12. We were hearing the voice of the narrator telling us about the arrangement the King has with those who steward His vineyards.
Last week we talked about the fact that the Lord expects us to be fruitful. In verse 12 the bride is speaking and we’ll learn how she feels about the king’s demands.
If you remember the center piece of this Song, right at the end of chapter 4 and the beginning of chapter 5 the Shulamite gave her garden over to the Shepherd King.
Awake, O north wind,
And come, wind of the south;
Make my garden breathe out fragrance,
Let its spices be wafted abroad.
May my beloved come into his garden
And eat its choice fruits!”
Song of Songs 4:16 (emphasis mine)
This is the point where she goes from thinking in terms of her garden to understanding that all she has belongs His. [You might like this post.]
Today, in similar fashion, she still thinks of it as her garden because it is her charge. But she doesn’t begrudge the King his payment. Not only that she pays others to come and harvest in her garden.
You see, working in the Lord’s harvest pays well.
Now you’re thinking I’m really crazy. How many missionaries, itinerant ministers, pastors and other full-time christian workers can live on what they are paid.
OK – I don’t want to discuss who should get paid for what in the church structure—let’s not jump in that puddle today.
What I want to consider is how abundant the harvest is.
If she was just trying to get by, and pay the taxes—the thousand shekels—due, she certainly would not have labor’s working in the field with her. She would find a way to get by through her own sweat and blood.
But that’s not the case here.
She has enough to meet her own needs.
She can give that which is required of her, and does so gladly.
She has abundance to the extent that she has to hire help to bring in the harvest.
Why such success?
When you give yourself to kingdom living—kingdom occupation—you’ll find the fruit of the kingdom abounds. [Tweet This]
I know that at the top of the page I talked about jobs that are commonly considered “full time christian work.” But any work done by a citizen of the kingdom is kingdom work. There is no such thing as secular in the life of a subject of King Jesus. If He is your Savior, then He is your King, your Boss, your Master, your Lord. Oh, and He is also you Husband, the Lover of your soul, your Friend, and your Brother.
As to the abundance the bride finds in her/His vineyard, David puts it this way:
How blessed is the man who
does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
Psalm 1:1-3 (again, emphasis mine)
Do you see it? When you give yourself to the kingdom—yoke yourself to the Lord—you’ll find you work fruitful.
We serve a Great King!
Since our prosperity does not always fit the world’s scale of success, we often don’t recognize the abundance. If we keep our eyes on their prize, we’ll likely miss ours.
The simple solution is to keep our eyes on Jesus.
Don’t tire of the good work He has called you to and created you for.