SONG OF SOLOMON 2:1: “I am the rose of Sharon, And the lily of the valleys.” NKJV
OBSERVATION: Is my love for Jesus marked by the beauty of simplicity? Do I find myself standing in awe of Him, lost in my thoughts about Him, joyfully seeking His face? Is the Cross of Christ as wonderful and powerful to me today as it was the first day that I met Jesus as my Savior and Lord?
The first verse of the Song of Solomon, chapter 2, stands alone in the text in most divisions. It does not seem fitting as a statement for the Shulamite woman, or for her beloved shepherd. However, as the Song of Solomon has long been seen as an analogy of the relationship between Christ and His Church, it seems fitting as an expression of the wonder and beauty of Christ.
“I am the rose of Sharon, And the lily of the valleys.”
I am not familiar with the rose of Sharon or the lily of the valleys. I have read what some commentators have said about them. However, I have never seen them. Yet, there is one thing that I have seen and admired – the Texas bluebonnets. Each Spring we would wait with anticipation as the roadsides, fields, and hills were filled with the beauty of the Texas bluebonnet. It would pop and bloom in some of the most unusual places. Yet, its beauty stood out among all the other Texas wildflowers.
This reminds me of the beauty of salvation and our Savior. His grace pops up in some of the most unusual places, and in some of the most unusual lives. Yet, to everyone who is called and chosen, His grace becomes a thing of beauty that is a wonder to behold. The transforming power of Jesus Christ is one of the most beautiful testimonies of the truth of the Gospel and the power of the Cross.
Years ago I was going door to door in order to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with our neighbors. I will never forget one encounter I had during this time. I was met by a young man I will call Bob. Bob met me with great enthusiasm. He invited me into the home. He listened intently to what I was saying. And, when I gave an invitation to receive Christ, Bob prayed with me.
As I shared and prayed with Bob, I could see someone else standing down the hall. His name was Arnold. Arnold stood there and listened, but did not enter the room. After we were done praying I asked him to come into the room. When Arnold came into the room I could see that he had been in a bad fight. His face was swollen, his eyes blackened. He seemed to linger in the shadows out of shame. I invited both of them to attend a home Bible study I was teaching.
The next week Bob and Arnold came to the Bible study. Over the next few weeks, Bob quickly lost interest and stopped coming. However, Arnold continued to come. Week after week Arnold came. He received Jesus Christ as His Savior and began to grow into a wonderful disciple of Jesus Christ. Arnold worked with his father in an Auto Body Shop. He began to share Jesus with his family and soon they too received Jesus Christ. The beauty and simplicity of Jesus Christ shone brightly from his life.
Years passed by as they quickly do. I was now pastoring another church and I had lost contact with Arnold. I was involved in a car accident and my car needed some bodywork. I decided to take the car to Arnold’s body shop. When I drove in Arnold recognized me and greeted me with a grin from ear to ear. He told me how the Lord had called him into the ministry and that he was now studying to be a pastor. The beauty and simplicity of Jesus Christ continued to shine in his life.
Why did Arnold continue in the faith and Bob quickly abandon his? While I cannot judge Bob’s heart, I can tell you what I observed. Bob loved the initial excitement of a new experience. However, he never really fell in love with Jesus Christ. He never cherished the beauty and simplicity of His cross and His grace. Arnold, on the other hand, continued in his love relationship with Jesus. He continued to grow and no doubt is still serving him today.
Paul warns the Corinthians of what can happen if we abandon the beauty and simplicity of our love with Jesus Christ.
- “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!” II Corinthians 11:3-4 NKJV
It is hard to imagine, but the Corinthians had become bored with Christ, and were clamoring for the next new thing. They were setting themselves up to be deceived. Satan is just waiting to pick off those who are always looking for the next new thing. However, Paul knew that there was nothing more wonderful than knowing Jesus Christ and His love. Our call to grow in His love can never truly be satisfied. It will carry us from moment by moment, day by day, year by year, until we enter into our eternal destiny and purpose in Christ.
- “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19 NKJV
Lord, this morning I give You praise for the simplicity and beauty of Your love and grace. May I be strengthened each day as I seek You. Kindle my desire, to know You and Your love, which surpasses all knowledge. And, as I do, fill my life with all of Your fullness and beauty. Let me never grow tired of the simplicity that is in Jesus Christ my Lord.
“I am the rose of Sharon, And the lily of the valleys.”
In Jesus Name!