How does the maiden describe her Shepherd King the wonderful Bridegroom she has married?
Let’s break it down:
My beloved is dazzling and ruddy,
We looked at dazzling last week – but suffice it to say His holiness and purity are overwhelming.
Ruddy – today we might say – ruggedly hansom. The biblical example is the young boy who would be king – David.
So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is he.” – 1 Samuel 16:12 NASB
Outstanding among ten thousand. This is a superlative. He is not just wonderful – He is above all others.
But just in case you are not getting the picture – she tells her lady friends – let me give you all of it, all the wonderful details of my dazzling husband.
His Head is like the finest gold – Head speaks of leadership, and gold of His divinity. So here we see Him as the divine ruler – of the increase of His government there shall be no end! What other man could walk up to a few fishermen on the shore of a lake working at their trade and simply say “Follow Me.”
They say, if you think you’re a leader, turn around – see if there is anyone following. If not, you are just out for a walk. Every time Jesus turned around, the crowds grew.
His Locks are wavy and black as a raven – His hair, or His dedication is full and youthful. Long full hair was a sign of health and vigor. And the Hair itself points to dedication. In ancient Israel, when you found a man with long flowing hair, he was likely a Nazarite. A Nazarite was one who made a vow for a time and dedicated himself only to God. During the time of his dedication, he would not drink wine or do anything that would compromise his clean status. He also would not cut his hair, or take a razor to his head.
His Eyes are like doves – The Lord, just as He has remarked about His bride, has a single focus.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:1-2 NASB
How easily we are distracted from the race we run. Though Jesus walked a road rugged road, He never faltered. He eye was fixed on the prize.
You can read more about the dove’s eyes here.
His Cheeks are like a bed of spices – Cheeks act as a window to our emotions. I think sometimes Christians have this idea that Jesus has a very narrow range of emotions. We picture Him rejoicing when a new believer comes into the kingdom, and then angry with our failures every day. But this is not the lover our maiden describes. She mentions spices to indicate the full range – the variety – of His emotional life. We read of our Savior that He is a “man of sorrows.” (Isaiah 53:3) We know He was anointed with the oil of gladness above His companions. (Hebrews 1:9) He was full of compassion (Matthew 15:32) and He wept at His friend’s funeral, even though He was getting ready to wreck the whole event. (John 11:35)
His Lips are like lilies dripping liquid myrrh – From His lips flow the words He uses toward her. Jesus said:
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. – John 6:63 NASB
His affirmation of her in verse after verse has captured her heart.
We have talked about myrrh several times. It constantly points to the high point of His love for us – the day He would lay down His life for ours.
His Hands are rods of gold set with beryl – The hands of the Lord imply his actions or movements in this world, or in our lives. We see the beauty of the Lord expressed by His loving care for us in the day to day of our lives. We need to be thankful people who notice the hand of the Lord in our circumstances. He is so gracious to us and so full of love and compassion toward us, and often we miss it because his movements are hidden in the mundane.
His Body is carved ivory inlaid with sapphires – Body is also translated belly, pointing to His inner being. Jesus said of us in the KJV, “out of your belly would flow rivers of living water” speaking of the Spirit of God living in the believer. Here we are seeing the tender compassions of the Lord for us, flowing out His inner most being toward us. These compassions are compared to ivory, which in the day was rare and costly, and in this case carved, and so beautiful. His compassion for us it white and pure, beautiful and costly. Over and over in the gospels you see comments in the life of Jesus like – He had compassion on the multitude, or “He looked on Him and loved Him.”
His Legs are pillars of marble set on bases of fine gold – In ancient times legs were the number one means of transportation. We have already seen His legs in action in the song:
Listen! My beloved!
Behold, he is coming,
Climbing on the mountains,
Leaping on the hills! – Song of Songs 2:8 NASB
Though Jesus is described as being seated on the throne at the right hand of His Father, we know Jesus as the one who goes and does.
In Jesus we see the will of God on legs – the will of God carried out for all to see. His desires for us, His compassion, all “walked out.” Jesus is the legs of the Godhead.
In Jeremiah the Lord tells us:
I will hasten my word to perform it. – Jeremiah 1:12 KJV
Then in the Psalms we see
He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions. – Psalms 107:20 NASB
God sends help and it comes in the form of Jesus.
They are pillars of marble, beautiful and strong. I like the way Mike Bickle puts it: “The point is that God’s ways are strong, lovely, permanent, established and orderly.”
His Countenance is like Lebanon – The face of the Lord God looking on us with favor. When David prayed, “Lord lift up the light of your countenance upon us” (Psalm 4:6) he was saying Lord, shine down blessing like the sunshine on my life. David was looking for the manifest blessing of God in his life. Let your favor shine on me. Favor is a critical key to living the victorious Christian life. It’s not that we can get favor by our better behavior, but that we realize the great favor that God is always willing to lavish upon us.
God’s favor can make all the difference in the world. It is interesting that our girl here is walking in a place where the favor cannot be felt. (“Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone” as the song goes.) She is walking in a dark spot, and can’t feel the favor of God, but still thanks Him for it in that place. She knows she has the favor of God and will speak of His favor even in a place where she cannot sense it. This is a huge breakthrough for her.
His Mouth is most sweet – His mouth speaks of the intimacy they share. We see here that even when she is not walking in that intimacy she knows it is there. She has not heard His voice, but she is still remembering those intimate times. Some of us, when we don’t sense a touch from the Lord’s hand on a regular basis, we forget the sweet times we had before. The tender times she had with Him are what drives her to seek for Him again.
He is altogether lovely – That pretty much sums it up. Everything about her man is beautiful. David say it this way, and I think perfectly depicts the heart of the bride here:
One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD
And to meditate in His temple. – Psalms 27:4 NASB
When I read this declaration from David, I ‘get’ why David was the apple of God’s eye. He totally got this bridal paradigm. He walked totally in love with God, trusting that he could approach God from any place he was. If he was depressed, he could tell God about it, and if he was angry, he let God know that too. He trusted God, not only with his circumstances, but also with the movements of his heart.
Song of Songs 5:10-16
He truly is the fairest of ten thousand. Won’t you follow Him with me?
Walk in the light today.
Wonderful! We shall behold Him face to face in His glory…. soon