“Do not look upon me, because I am dark, because the sun has tanned me. My mother’s sons were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept.” (‭Song of Solomon‬ 1:6 NKJV)


The Shulamite found herself in an undesirable position.  She experienced rejection from her family, being placed outside and exposed to the elements. She was left alone to care for their vineyard.   To increase her consternation and perplexity she says, “my own vineyard I have not kept”(SOS 1:6).

This is truly one of the mysterious ways God deals with those who are truly called of the Lord.  They are often called FROM their job or natural vocation TO serve in His vineyard.  In other words, His jealous love over them will mean first a sense of isolation from that which is comfortable and familiar.  It may even seem like they are somehow being “punished” through their isolation.  And yet, in the purposes of God, their isolation is the beginning of the process unto promotion. They have been proven and are counted worthy caretakers of His vineyard.  We see this time and again with His servants in the scriptures; Moses was separated for forty years on the backside of a desert.  Joseph spent thirteen years in isolation in Egypt before being called into Pharaoh’s court. Elijah was called by God to go and hide himself for three years before he was revealed to be God’s voice in the midst of Israel’s spiritual confusion under King Ahab and Jezebel’s reign.


What do you do when you are in a season of “down time” or secluded in the Lord’s vineyard.  Be faithful and learn the lessons that the season (and gift) of hiddeness has allowed. For example the Shulamite has some wisdom to pass along. “Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes.” (Song of Solomon 2:15 NKJV).   It is not the big foxes that ruin the vine of your future calling.  Rather it’s the “little foxes” that pull at the tender vines in order to eat the maturing grapes on the vine.  

God looks for those who will be faithful to care and watch over His vineyard. The little foxes are often the seemingly “innocent” things allowed in to spoil the intertwining fellowship and fruitfulness of God’s vineyard (personally and corporately).


The Lord Jesus teaches us the secret of abiding fruitfulness and fellowship. “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser…Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing…You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another. (John 15:1, 4-5, 16-17 NKJV)


The Shulamite captures the King’s heart by her beauty and the singularity of purpose. Everything changes. Fruitfulness occurs where there was seemingly nothing to display for her efforts. “Solomon had a vineyard at Baal Hamon; He leased the vineyard to keepers; everyone was to bring for its fruit A thousand silver coins. My own vineyard is before me. You, O Solomon, may have a thousand, And those who tend its fruit two hundred. You who dwell in the gardens, the companions listen for your voice— Let me hear it!” (‭Song of Solomon 8:11-13 NKJV)

They were being called not merely to celebrate the King’s lush vineyards but the Shulamite’s vineyard as well.  So it is true, God’s love for us and our response of love toward God, our King, will produce great spiritual fruitfulness in our life and vocation.   King Solomon honors the Shulamite by asking her to share with others the secret of her fruitful vineyard.  His companions are ready to listen to what she has to say.   So, too, today there are those who are eager to hear from those who have been prepared to make known the secrets of the fruitful vine of His Kingdom.

 (c) Copyright 2015, Walter Fletcher Jr.  All rights reserved.  This article may be copied and shared free of charge provided that it is not sold or altered in any way from its original content.  Please address all correspondence to:


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