He pastures his flock among the lilies. ~ Song of Songs 2:16

Earlier in the Song our Maiden asked the Shepherd King where He pastured His flock, and He gave her some specific instructions.

Today, she has learned something specific about Him, and I think you are going to love it.

Let’s talk about the lily. The lily points to purity and beauty.

Jesus speaks of this purity in the Sermon on the Mount when he compares the lilies of the field to Solomon.

Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these. ~ Matthew 6:28-29

His first instruction about where He feeds his sheep had to do with finding community, basically follow the sheep prints down the trail to where my shepherd helpers keep the flocks and hang with them there.

We saw at the beginning of Chapter 2 that she was realizing her own purity before the Lord. Her self-perception has shifted from dark but lovely, to I am a lily of the valley.

O Church, you need to hear this. Because of the blood of Christ, and His work in you, you are no longer the dark but lovely maiden; you are the lily of the valley, the rose of Sharon in His eyes. Your passion for Him translates to true purity. Your hunger and thirst for righteousness leads you to a deep mercy and a completely satisfied pure heart. [Tweet This]

So where does He feed His flock? Among the lilies. Notice we have moved from a lily to lilies. You are His passion-flower, but there are others. There are other pure lilies in the field, and passion for Him draws them together, where they feed at His wonderful table.

Sometimes that feeding is in His chamber; some times it is in the presence of your enemies.

The idea here is that those who love Him will grow in their passion and purity as they band together.

You say, how will I find those of like passion?

Let your passion show, and it will draw others.

Let your passion show!

Ben NelsonSee you again soon.

Ben

If you are like me, you have probably sung worship songs that call Jesus the “Rose of Sharon.” There are those who consider this verse to come from the Shepherd Kings voice.

Nevertheless, I believe this is actually our maiden speaking here.

I am the rose of Sharon, The lily of the valleys. (Song of Songs 2:1)

For the second time our maiden speaks about herself.

The first time she made a declaration of who she was back in Song 1:5 she said she was “Dark but beautiful.” Dark because of the effects of living “under the sun,” in the world’s system, beautiful through what the Lord was doing inside her.

Here we see her declaration has altered. As she hears the words of her Savior over her life, her own perspective of herself is shifting.

We have these beautiful flowering bush/tree plants in our yard. They are called “Rose of Sharon,” but I don’t actually think this is what she is calling herself today.

She is talking about a rose from a place called Sharon. Below is a description of this land called Sharon from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia:

shar'-un
(1) This name is attached to the strip of fairly level land which runs between the mountains and the shore of the Mediterranean, stretching from Nahr Ruben in the South to Mt. Carmel in the North. There are considerable rolling hills; but, compared with the mountains to the East, it is quite properly described as a plain. The soil is a deep rich loam, which is favorable to the growth of cereals. The orange, the vine and the olive grow to great perfection. When the many-colored flowers are in bloom it is a scene of rare beauty. (See More Here)

Now when she looks in the mirror she sees the rare beauty she has become. And what brought her to this place of unmatched beauty? It was the loving words and care of this Shepherd King.

rose bud 2The Rose is like the international symbol for Love. She no longer views herself as alone. She is one who is in love, and has a lover. It changes your whole perspective. When you are in love, you can’t feel like a loser. You are on top of your game.

Next she says she is a lily of the valley. Again, I believe she is talking about a lily growing in the valley rather those beautiful spring surprises that pop up along my driveway every April.

A lily speaks of purity, and her lover chimes in with:

Like a lily among the thorns, So is my darling among the maidens. (Song 2:2 NASB)

He sees her purity, and points out that it separates her from her peers. She no longer is one of the many grey and dusty “tents of Kedar” (1:5)

Ben, what does all this have to do with me?

When we get up close to Jesus, we can hear His words over us, and we begin to get His perspective on our “all things new” life.

This is a huge reason we need to become worshipers.

I recently heard Kris Vallotton say: (I paraphrase here)

  • Thanksgiving revels in the things the Lord has done for us.
  • Praise revels in the who the Lord is.
  • Worship revels in the presence of the Lord.

This last one, a response to the Lord’s call in Psalm 27:8 “Seek My face” is where we begin to see what the Lord is doing in us.

Sometimes Christians get hung up on how much work the Lord has left to do, and we beat ourselves up. But spending time in the presence of the Beautiful One will open our eyes to the beauty He is creating in us.

And not just beauty (rose) but even purity (lily.) His intention is not for us to feel like failures unable to ever conquer our temptations, but as we press into intimacy with Jesus, we gain the ability to walk as He walked.

BenPress in today!

See you next week.

Ben