(1) Behold, you are fair [beautiful], my love! Behold you are fair [beautiful]! You have dove's eyes behind your veil. Your hair is like a flock of goats, going down from Mount Gilead.
One of the most powerful ways to affirm a person is through praise. Proverbs 16:24 says, "Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones." Our words can tear down, and our words can build up. Think about this for a moment....the times you have been torn down with words, and the times you have been built up. Words are very powerful. "Death and life are in the power of the tongue." (Proverbs 18:21) I have experienced, as I'm sure all of you have, the death and life of words spoken over us.
As we start our journey through the song today, let's quickly review what has happened in the previous two chapters. The bridegroom had been 'wooing' His beloved with His words of affirmation, but there came a time when He wanted her to rise and go with Him. This rising up was a call for her to step out in greater maturity and follow Him. But she wasn't ready. Because she chose not to go, she went through a 'crisis' of sorts, where she was not able to find Him in the familiar places. It forced her to make a choice. She eventually rose up out of her complacency, out of her comfortable place, and sought Him until she found Him. Even though it took a certain amount of spiritual growth for her to rise up and go, she is still far from confident of who she is, and who He has made her to be. This is where our story resumes today.
The bridegroom King breaks the silence, and His words are like honey to her ears. He tells her she is beautiful, not once, but twice. This is a powerful affirmation of, once again, how He sees her. He calls her His love. Remember she is still in an identity crisis, and uncomfortable in this new place; but this is where He has brought her. Can you relate to this scenario? I surely can! I have been here many times! It is the cycle of life, especially if we are His. He will always demand more, but in that demanding is the ability He gives us to 'go there.' But it does require us to 'come out of ourselves' and get in line with His agenda. This is the price to be His bride.
The Lord then affirms some of the characteristics He sees in His bride. Remember He is looking at her in full maturity, not where she is now. He will always affirm us this way. We may see the imperfections and shortcomings we are presently in, but He will relate to us on the basis of who we are becoming.
To have doves' eyes behind the veil speaks of her dedication to Him, her faith and the revelation to see and understand things, along with the wisdom (behind the veil) to know when to speak things and know when to hold them. This is actually an act of humility, to be able to hold things that God has given you, until the opportune time to speak them out.
He then affirms the beauty of her hair, although in today's language, a flock of goats doesn't sound very attractive! But in the days of the Song of Solomon, a flock of goats were viewed as stately and majestic in their walk. That is how the bridegroom sees His bride, walking in dedication to Him, moving in Godly wisdom with dignity and divine order. Her hair also speaks of her spiritual covering and submission, which is also part of her beauty. There is something very beautiful about a woman who is submitted to her husband. Not a doormat, but Godly submission that comes from mutual respect and honoring one another, understanding the role that each plays.
Next week we will look at the bridegroom's continuing affirmation, all the while understanding the bride is being strengthened once again in this new place. It is His way, and it is perfect!