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Behold, you are fair (beautiful), my love! Behold, you are fair! You have dove’s eyes. (Song of Songs 1:15 NASB)

This is one of my favorite concepts in the Song of Songs, this idea of dove’s eyes.

What do we know about doves?

First, they say doves are [i]monogamous. Not all birds are monogamous. Doves connect and stick with the same bird “till death do them part.” Some even migrate together, but at the very least they spend mating season together.

photo credit: AlicePopkorn via photopin cc
photo credit: AlicePopkorn via photopin cc

What Jesus sees when He looks into the eyes of our maiden is a faithful partner. This is great because she has yet to demonstrate anything that resembles faithfulness, but it is credited to her account on day one of their relationship. The same is true when you enter into a covenant with Jesus. The moment you step into relationship with the Shepherd King, you take on His faithfulness. He is able to present you faultless before His Father with exceeding joy. (That’s a great place to shout.)

Let’s think a bit about the dove in scripture.

Noah sent a dove from the ark as the water was receding. He sent the dove out 3 times. The first time it went out and returned – it found no resting place. The second time it went out and came back with an olive branch. Finally it went out and found a place to live.

Here is a picture I saw tonight as I re-read the account of Noah's dove. In Genesis 1:2 we see the Spirit of God hovering over the water, with nowhere to light. In Mathew 3:16 we see the Spirit of God descending over the waters of Jesus’ baptism. The dove stays for 3 ½ years, but returns again to the ark, this time with an olive branch, that branch from the root of Jesse (Romans 15:12,) the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6.) Finally a short time later, accompanied by the sound of a mighty wind (Acts 2:2,) He again hovers over the earth, and this time He stays – the earnest of our inheritance. (Ephesians 1:13)

So our girl ventures out of her place of safety and tests the waters, and she finds the olive branch of Jesus’ faithfulness.

photo credit: Bill Gracey via photopin cc
photo credit: Bill Gracey via photopin cc

Finally, and this is my favorite, they say doves have unique eyes. Dove’s eyes have a single focal point. They effectively have no peripheral vision.

Here you can understand this one thing is attractive to the Shepherd King about our maiden, her unflinching gaze toward Him. When she looks at Him she sees nothing else.

So it is with you and I. As the old chorus by Helen Lennel goes

[ii]Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Misty Edwards has written a wonderful song she calls Dove’s Eyes (click for a link to a YouTube of her singing it.) The lyrics are my prayer today. Will you join me?

===

I don't want to talk about You like You're not in the room
I want to look right at You I want to sing right to You

I believe that You are listening
I believe that You move at the sound of my voice

Give me dove's eyes

Give me undistracted devotion for only You

Misty Edwards

===

BenThanks for coming today.

See you next week.

Ben


[i] http://www.ask.com/wiki/Mourning_Dove

My Beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms In the vineyards of Engedi. (Song of Songs 1:14 NASB)

Ok – here we go again with these cryptic references to things and places we don’t know.

Let me start today with another “I’m no scholar” disclaimer. I will say that there is great value in scholarship, so please don’t take my admission as any dishonor to the scholars in our midst. Not at all!

That said – here is what I understand:

Engedi was famous for it’s gardens and vineyards. They were mature and well maintained, and famous far and wide for their beauty and sweet fragrances.

Here is the thing – the beauty and fragrance of her Lover point to the fact that unlike her first encounters with religion  - (remember the bucket brigade?) – which were burdensome and full of stress, when she actually gets up close to her Shepherd King it is a sweet fragrance and beauty that can only be compared to this world famous garden.

Throughout the Song we are going to view the vineyard as the personal spiritual life of the believer. As she gazes on Jesus, she sees that a relationship of this kind is nothing like religion.

Sadly, it is all to easy for the most rigorously spontaneous of us to fall into religious patterns, and lose sight of the fact that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

O beloved, there is such a wonderful freedom and blessed joy that comes with our yoking ourselves with the Lord Jesus.

I pray the Spirit that anointed Jesus for the liberation of each of us would set you free today.

Breath deeply of the fragrance of freedom today.

Ben
Come back next week.

Ben

My Beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms In the vineyards of Engedi. (Song of Songs 1:14 NASB)

Today I am going to take a little time to point out a progression in the life of the believer that we are going to follow through the Song of Songs.

It has to do with the focus of our relationship with the Lord.

Our Maiden began the last two statements about her beloved with the phrase “My Beloved is to me…”

Many, if not all of us start here, focusing on what the Lord has done for us. Oh, and by the way, we are in good company, It is, of course, David who tells us “forget not all His benefits” (Psalm 103:2)

How much of our worship has to do with what the Lord is to us.

Let me say again, this is not a bad thing, but it is not the end. There is a higher form of love. And our maiden is going to change.

Consider these other 3 verses spread across the Song.

My beloved is mine, and I am his; He pastures his flock among the lilies. (2:16)

I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine, He who pastures his flock among the lilies. (6:3)

I am my beloved’s, And his desire is for me. (7:10)

Do you see the progression? As her relationship with Christ matures, her focus slowly moves away from herself, and onto Him. [Tweet This] It is no longer what Christ offers her in their life together, but what she can offer Christ.

Check it out:

  • My Beloved is to me
  • My beloved is mine, and I am his
  • I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine
  • I am my beloved’s, And his desire is for me

Do you see the move from self-centered to Christ-centered life?

Christianity is a continuum for sure, and we are all on a journey. I believe you will love the transformation you will see in our Maiden, and if you will lean into your relationship with the Shepherd King, I believe you will love the transformation in your own life.

BenLet’s walk this out together.

See you next week.

Ben

While the king was at his table,
My perfume (spikenard) gave forth its fragrance.
(Song of Songs 1:12 NASB)

I don’t know about you, but when I read this line I cannot help but think of the woman – Mary – who crashed the Pharisee’s party and washed Jesus' feet with her tears, and dried them with her hair, and then broke open her alabaster box of ointment and lavished it on the Saviors feet.

Mary therefore took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. (John 12:3 NASB)

I know that there are markers in each account that might make them seem like more than one story, but I choose to blend them into one telling.

The story of Mary washing Jesus’ feet is the essence of the transformed life.

Mary has a history, probably a woman of the night, demon possessed, and given over to sin. She may well have been the woman caught in adultery.

But there is more to her history than her past. (I like the sound of that) [Tweet This]

She was forgiven! Her past sins were unwritten, blotted out.

Those in the room with her could not see it. They still saw the loose woman.

But that woman no longer existed.

Now, in the shell that used to hold a whore, there was a worshiper.

The heart that used to shut down for a one night stand, was now a heart that poured out a life savings, wasted, squandered, lavished upon the feet of one man, her heart forever His.

Have you known this transformation?

Do you know this love?

Throw yourself at the feet of Jesus and hear those words whispered to your heart – Your sins are forgiven, go and sin no more.

BenThanks for reading today.

See you next week.

Ben

Related articles:

The scent of Jesus

One Act of Worship

photo credit: Fergal of Claddagh via photo pin cc

 

Because of the fragrance of your good ointments, Your name is ointment poured forth; (Song of Songs 1:3 NKJV)

What is fragrance?

What does it do?

Here’s the thing. When our Song speaks of fragrance it is not talking actions. Not the visible actions of a Shepherd King, but rather the invisible features of thoughts and emotions – His passions.

When we talk about God and emotions we (the Church) have a strange box for God. We feel like God has this amazing joy when we are born again, and He spends the rest of our lives angry with us.

There is even theological argument out there that says that God does not change so He cannot have emotions.

This is all so messed up. We are created in the image of God, emotions and all. If we learn nothing else from the Song of Songs, it is that we have an emotional Father.

There is however action in this verse and we don’t want to miss it. The fragrant ointment is poured forth.

Here we see the internal essence of Jesus, His thought life, His emotion, His passion, poured out by the declaration of His name. Last week we looked at His name, but today I want to draw your attention to this idea.

As His name is declared, His passion is revealed. [Tweet This]

Observe:

When He said His name was JEHOVAH-TSID-KENU  "The Lord is our righteousness" He was demonstrating His passion to make you the righteousness of God in Him.

When He said His name was JEHOVAH-SHALOM  - Our perfect peace - He was demonstrating His passion to come as the Prince of Peace and demolish all that stands between you and peace with God.

When He said His name was JEHOVAH RAPHA  - I am the Lord Your Physician or I am the Lord Your Healer – He was demonstrating His passion to heal you to the uttermost.

Interestingly enough Paul talks about fragrance too.

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. (2 Corinthians 2:14-16 NASB)

The fact is, as our life declares by word and deed the name of Jesus, His passion is poured forth on our circle of influence, and it has an impact. It may draw some to Christ, and it may push some away. In any case when you stand for Christ your life will no longer be neutral.

Do you need that ointment poured forth in your life today?

Do you need that healing balm, that peace that defies understanding?

Let the name of Jesus wash over you even now. Declare His name out loud over your circumstances today.

If you are sick say out loud something like “I am yours Jehovah Rapha – the Lord who heals me”

If you are stressed instead of blessed – declare “I am yours Jehovah Shalom”

Hey – we are not talking magic words, or secret formulae here. But there is power in the name of Jesus.

That’s good, isn’t it? Share what you learned, or what fresh revelation you received, or even what made you mad here today. Has declaration of His Name changed your reality?

Come back next week for more of the Song. Believe me, we are just scratching the surface here.

Ben

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