Today we step into this love story in the midst of a conversation between two groups of on lookers.
At the end of Song of Songs chapter 6 we find the Bride’s followers - those in the body of Christ who are drawn by her devotion to and love for Christ - in contention with those who love their status quo - the comfortable saints who are convicted and even angered by the deep devotion of the Shulamite.
Those who would have her put out ask, in effect, “What do you see in her?”
Chapter 7 begins with a description of the Bride from those who admire her.
Many who comment on the Song put these words in the Groom’s mouth, but Mike Bickel (who got me started on this path) points out a number of strong reasons to discount this idea.
The most striking is in the way they identify the object of their admiration. She is called the “prince’s daughter.” Each time the Groom speaks of His bride in the song, it is in terms of endearment - My Beloved - My Dove. He never addresses in such distant terms.
He speaks to her, not about her. When He speaks of her beauty, He speaks into her life. We will see that even in this context - defending her before her accusers - He will speak (later in the chapter) directly to her before them.
It puts me in mind of a wedding ceremony. He only has eyes for her, and when He speaks of her, He does not talk like she is not in the room. Though there are many assembled and listening to what is going on, His eyes never leave hers. He hold her hands in his looks deep into her eyes, and affirms her.
Another striking distinction comes from the content of this description of her beauty. Her defenders - admirers bring ten observations of beauty, but they start from the ground up.
They start with her beautiful feet - a clear reference to her evangelistic efforts (we’ll dig in to this more next time.) They start with what she does. They begin at her feet move up.
When the Lord describes her in Chapter 4:1-5, He begins with her head and moves down.
His perspective is a heavenly perspective.
He sees not as man see.
They see her deeds, He knows her heart - her devotion - her single minded passion for Him.
They look at her ministry.
He looks at her intimacy.
Come back next week as we begin to look at each of these marks of maturity as observed by her companions, this ‘Beauty from the Ground Up.’
Don't be a stranger