April 5, 2011
Wooed, Won, and Wed
“My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely” (Song of Solomon 2:14 NIV).
Friend to Friend
In the Song of Solomon, we meet a King who is riding though his kingdom and spies a young maiden working in the fields. Suddenly he is captivated by her beauty and smitten by her form. Her hands are stained with grape juice of the vineyard, her skin is tanned from the mid-day sun, and her clothes are soiled from the dirt of the field. But the King sees beyond all that. While the King is enthralled with her beauty, she begs him not to stare at her. She does not feel worthy of such attention.
No matter what she thought of herself, the King was mesmerized and wooed her to become his bride. For centuries, commentators have noted a parallel between the Lover and the Beloved and Jesus and His bride. The Shulammite maiden in the Song of Solomon represents you, and in the words we discover just how much Jesus loves us. You may blush a bit, but listen to a few of the passionate pursuer’s words about the woman of his dreams. Soak in his description of her beauty.
- Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings, your neck with strings of jewels. (1:10)
- How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves. (1:15).
- Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens. (2:2)
- Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from Mount Gilead. (4:1)
- Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn, coming up from the washing. Each has its twin; not one of them is alone. (4:2).
- Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon; your mouth is lovely. Your temples behind your veil are like the halves of a pomegranate. (4:3)
- Your neck is like the tower of David built with elegance (4:4)
- Your two breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies. (4:5)
- Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb my bride; milk and honey are under your tongue (4:11)
- How beautiful your sandaled feet, (7:1)
- Your graceful legs are like jewels, the work of a craftsman’s hands. (7:1)
- Your waist is a mound of wheat encircled by lilies. (7:2) [This is my favorite verse. A mound of wheat, mind you, not a flat plain!]
- All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you. (4:7)
This woman’s betrothed adored her rosy cheeks, her long neck, her black flowing hair, and her ruby lips. He adored the fact that she had all of her teeth, shapely legs and small breasts. He even thought her poochy tummy was adorable.
But what did she think of herself? Not very much. “Do not stare at me because I am dark,” she said, “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” (1:6).
She felt inferior to others because she was darkened by the sun. To be tan in those days was not desirable. Women went to great lengths to shade their skin from the scorching sun. This woman, however, was very dark. Because she was forced to take care of her brothers’ vineyards, she had neglected to take care or herself. But amazingly, in the end, she began to see herself as her bridegroom saw her. Oh, that we would do the same.
Is the Song of Solomon our song? I think so. Jesus, the lover of our soul, looks at us and thinks we are absolutely beautiful. However, we tend to look in the mirror and see our flaws. I read a quote once that said when a man looks in the mirror; he focuses on his best features. When a woman looks in the mirror, she focuses on her worst. I don’t know how men see themselves, but I do know that most women focus on their negative features instead of their positive ones. We need to look into the only mirror that matters, the Word of God, and He thinks we are beautiful. I keep a card in my Bible with the following prayer: “Lord, help me see myself as You see me, no matter how beautiful it is.”
The Shulammite maiden in the Bible and Cinderella in our childhood story book, both had difficulty seeing their beauty. Cinderella mistakenly believed her beauty was dependent on her dress and perfectly arranged hair. The Shulammite maiden mistakenly believed her beatify was dependent on fair skin and a tidy appearance. But in both scenarios, the Prince knew differently. Jesus sees our true beauty and is captivated.
Jesus desires to hear our voice and see our face. Both are His delight. “My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely” (Song of Solomon 2:14).
Dear God, help me to see myself as you see me. Thank You that Jesus, the lover of my soul, has wooed me and won me. How I long for the day when we are wed. I am His and He is mine.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Over the next week or so, go back and read the Song of Solomon. Put yourself in the Shulammite woman’s place and catch a glimpse of how the Groom longs to see your face.
Write these words on an index card and put tuck it in your Bible.
“Lord, help me see myself as You see me, no matter how beautiful it is.”
I’d love to know how the words of the Song of Solomon stir your heart. Let’s chat at www.facebook.com/sharonjaynes.
More From the Girlfriends
Today’s devotion was taken from Sharon’s new book, 5 Dreams of Every Woman and How God Wants to Fulfill Them(a new revised version of her previous book, Dreams of a Woman). This book is for every woman whose life hasn’t turned out like she dreamed it would … and I think that includes most of us. Can you risk the hope that God still has dreams for your life? That He hasn’t forgotten you? Place your hand firmly in His--take a deep breath and begin the exciting journey to a place you thought you’d never find: the dream God planned for you all along. Let’s dare to dream again!
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