Song of Solomon 1:5-6
(5) I am dark, but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon. (6) Do not look upon me, because I am dark, because the sun has tanned me. My mother's sons were angry with me; they made me keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept.
Have you ever felt rejection or shame; sensing you were undesirable and nobody could love you? Maybe you felt you just didn't fit in...you weren't skinny enough, tall enough, didn't know enough? Maybe you have felt intimidated around a certain crowd because, in your mind, you weren't as good as them. You couldn't talk like them, dress like them, or you weren't as confident as they appeared to be. I have felt that way many times, mostly in my younger years. I think we all have at one time or another.
This is exactly what the bride of Christ, in these two verses, is saying. In the first few verses of Song of Solomon, she is overwhelmed with the love of Christ & wants more of Him, so these two verses almost seem like a paradox. But in actuality, she is now focused on herself, and what she sees is not at all the way He sees her. These two verses are an introduction to her spiritual crisis.
Have you ever felt like you were in a spiritual crisis? You're not alone! We have all been there. When she says I am dark but lovely, she sees the weakness in her flesh, making her 'dark', but she also confesses she is 'lovely' to God. She knows that her intentions are to sincerely obey her Lord, but there are weaknesses in her human nature that she has to deal with.
The key in a time of spiritual crisis is to know where to run! The bride does not run from God, but to Him. During times of spiritual crisis in our lives, the enemy would like to keep us in shame and rejection, and build a stronghold in our lives that would hold us in this shame, unable to open up to God and allow His love to heal and free us. But the bride of Christ has learned to lean into Him during these times, and draw her strength from Him.
The tents of Kedar were grayish black tents that were sprinkled among the landscape of those days, as compared to the curtains of Solomon, which were bright white and found in the holy place of the temple. She is comparing her sinful human nature to the inner beauty of her love and heart obedience to and for Him. Can you relate? I can!
In verse six she is asking the others not to look at her, because she feels the shame and guilt of her spiritual failures. She states the sun has tanned her. In other words, natural life has darkened her. We have all been born into that natural weakness of sin because we have the Adamic nature, but God!! Through Jesus our Bridegroom King, we have been delivered from that.
Lastly, there are those in the church (the mother's sons) who, because of a religious spirit, will not be happy with someone who is sold out to the Lord, and zealous for Him. Instead of spending time with Him, they will insist that person work. This work (vineyards) refers to your active life, outward & external things, either in or outside the church. This is where the danger comes in (my own vineyard I have not kept). The bride realizes that she has left her first love, and has traded her commitment to put Him first, to serve and please others.
The bride of Christ has made a commitment to her Bridegroom King, and that commitment to Him will come before anything else. This is what makes her the bride. In the natural, the Bible talks about the woman being a helpmate for her husband. So it is with the bride of Christ. It is the first commandment; to love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. That means putting Him first in everything. Even during a spiritual crisis...