Preserved Words Bible Studies a Part of First Love Ministries Guest Post Series
Song of Solomon
I am black… and Comely…
Song. 1:5-6 I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon. Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me:
my mother’s children were angry with me;
they made me the keeper of the vineyards;
but mine own vineyard have I not kept.
Now, I must ask you… have you said to Jesus… Draw me… yet (1:4)? Do you think He ever gets tired of it? Do you think Solomon ever did, from her? There’s a great message in this neglected and feared book! Have you decided to tell Jesus more, that you love Him, and give Him praise, and want to spend more time with Him? I pray you do!
Now, these two verses typify the enigmatic nature of this book. But, let me just offer some thoughts, please.
If we are looking at this book, and then making some applications to our relationship with Christ, then this will really be powerful study. I pray it is! Now watch.
She had been treated really bad by her brothers. They made HER work out in the hot burning sun, and cared not for HER, or for her appearance. (This old world does that to us, too! So does the devil. It is all the old sin nature and this old world has! But, we’ll get to that later here.)
She saw nothing in herself! She never thought she was beautiful… to anyone. “I am black,” she said. To have that sun-burned skin, in the Middle East, then, was a disgrace. People like that were considered peasants, and laughed at, and spurned. They were not invited to parties, or palaces. They were laughed at! They were common folks and looked down upon. She knew that, and she wondered at the love for her, by this handsome, strong shepherd man! And, she SAID she was not pretty… out loud.
No illusions on her part, as to her being worthy of the love of the king! No bragging, on her part, even a little or even inside. HE was altogether lovely to her. SHE didn’t see in herself ANYTHING, from the OLD country, that was attractive, or with anything that merited HIS love! This was a humble, honest little girl! But… personally…
Folks, God didn’t get a prize when He got me. I was a drinking, partying, drugging, smoking, cussing, black sinner, and there was NOTHING lovely about me. There was NOTHING attractive, to a King! NOTHING. I was BLACK with sin, and BLACK with death waiting to happen, and SEND MY SOUL TO HELL…. but Jesus! Listen, Jesus did not step up and throw a dart, and accidentally hit a balloon and win a cupie doll. He came to die to save a black sinner, and HE made me “comely.” HIS clothes made me look better. HE loved me IN SPITE of my blackness! Solomon did her, too! See the powerful picture yet? Now watch this…..
Go back and read the verses again. She said, “I am black, BUT comely… (emphasis added)…” She saw herself in her wedding dress, and saw HERSELF… in that wedding dress. Let your mind wander here. Shout a bit, it’s encouraged!
She saw her old black, wrinkled, self, and then that dress she had been outfitted in, and what a sight. THAT is why she said, “I am black, BUT comely.” She had been taken out of rags, and given a beautiful white wedding dress, that she didn’t deserve, NOR could afford to ever buy. What a message. I’m not lovely of myself, or BY myself, she said, but my soul, this beautiful wedding dress. She also was saying that in his love, she was lovely to him.
Now, I want you to read Rev. 7:9 & 19:8-14. And, let me ask, do you think she ever went back to her old rags? Do we see anything here? What would Solomon have thought, or felt, if after giving her all those new clothes… she went back to the rags of the old life?- Rags of this world?
What a powerful message… in this overlooked book!
Now, another thought. She never told anyone that she deserved that dress, or anything he gave her. She never acted like it around him, or got puffed up and ignored him. She never acted like she got those clothes on her own, or acted like she was better than anyone, OR HIM. There is nothing in this true story to ever indicate that. Her heart attitude was love to him, and humility, and praise… out loud. This is a picture we all need to gaze at! Not sure I have to comment here, but I will. Jesus didn’t get a prize, when he got me! (There must be an echo in here!)
But, let me say here that her skin was permanently blackened. Damaged. I’ve seen people who have been out in the sun, for most of their lives, and that is the case here! The sun of this world will scorch you and scar you, yes it will! This is a picture of the old nature, too, that will not be laid down until the rapture OR the grave! But, oh HE LOVED that little girl, ANYWAY. Sound like Jesus?
Now, I want to ask a question. Are we seeing any of this personally? Do we remember that we, like that girl, deserved nothing from the King?- But GOT from the King grace?- and clothes of righteousness? At what cost?
Listen, Jesus had bloody clothes before the cross, and was stripped naked ON the cross, and TOOK on Himself ALL our BLACK sins, SO THAT… we could be GIVEN new, fine, white linen clothes! We cannot ever, mentally, or physically, go back to the old rags He took us out of! Nor, should we want to. Let’s see Him differently, from this day forward. And, let us see OTHERS differently, for God is not willing that ANY should perish. If you would see some of those inmates, before God gets a hold of them, you would faint. But, my friends, you should see them after! It’s a sight! A MARVELOUS sight! I’ve seen men with blackened skin, with tattoos all OVER them, WEEPING, and HOLDING THEIR BIBLE up, and PRAISING Him, and PRAYING to Him, AND WITNESING TO OTHERS about Him. My, SOUL! NEW CLOTHES… FROM THE KING’S OWN TAYLOR! GLORY!
Now, the tents of Kedar, were made from old, black, goats hair. This is a picture of our old nature. (I was an old blackened goat long before I got old!) But, she was made lovely in the clothes the king gave her. She was like his own curtains. When someone calls me an “old goat,” I say yep, I am, but this old goat… IS IN THE KINGS CLOTHES, and ONE DAY…….! She said, she was both. Black… but “comely” (beautiful). See it in V5? Aren’t we?
Now, I briefly want to think about application of “my mother’s children were angry with me.” I thought about the fact that my mother conceived, and brought me forth in sin (Ps. 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.) Not being mean about this, but speaking spiritually. We never get anything good from the sinful old nature, we got from our mother, and it is angry with us, and will kill us if it gets a chance. It will make you the keeper of IT’S vineyard, to your death, too! And, when saved, if you don’t get away from it, and cultivate the new man, and the new nature, it will keep YOU in neglect of YOUR vineyard (look at Prov. 24:30-34; field= life; vineyard= heart.) How IS your vineyard… I mean heart?
I want us to progress in this study, to a place where we care about how the Lord Jesus hears us, and sees us, from the heart, as we move away from self, and into praise mode WITH Him, out loud, more and more. Solomon cared greatly for her, but he cared even more, to hear her words of love back to him. Don’t you think Jesus Christ does, too?
That little girl NEVER went back to her old lifestyle… or wanted to! He changed her. New clothes. New life. New food. She knew what she WAS, and how he changed her. That little humble Shulamite girl, sure had it right!
Lesson 09, Addendum
Now, I want to go on with something for a moment if I may. Do we, do I, come at this thing in a personal way?- humbly and with a thanks for what He did for me, AND then take it to others? I say again, she never got haughty or proud. She never lived with her chin and nose in the air. Never. There is a lesson there, I think.
I believe that if we remember where Jesus Christ has brought us from, and remember what we were, AND that He STILL CAN clean a person up, AND that He WANTS to, it will change our whole life, and witness to others.
We have been in churches where we felt like we were a lower class, and felt that others thought themselves better than us. They had an air of, “I’m better than you, and don’t you forget it. God got a prize when He got me. I’ll tell you what is wrong in your life, too, and you better change things to the way I am, brother.” There was a haughty spirit, a proud spirit, and a “snooty” arrogance. We left. This little girl, in Song of Solomon NEVER got that way. I pray I never do either… but the old flesh, is a rascally old snake.
I say again, I was a black old sinner, in a death wish life, with sin all over me, headed to the grave and hell, and Jesus Christ came, and in mercy, and grace, and love, that I NEVER deserved, took me into His chambers, in new clothes, and gave me new, good food, and saved me, and He wants to do that for others, if I will but remember! Others are just the way I was, and Jesus Christ, the King, can clean them up just like He did me! Do I see it this way? Do I see others as being in a life that is headed for where I was headed for, and then take the Gospel to them FROM that viewpoint? Would I not be so very thankful if He uses me to get the life changing Gospel to another who is black, and damaged, and lost? Do I see the joy of a broken heart… for others, in the condition I was? What a joy in this life!
Now, our little church is not that way, in any way. But what I’m saying is, that we need to check ourselves from time to time, and we need to take a spirit of compassion and care for others, from the standpoint of where He has brought US from, and witness that way. That Shulamite girl NEVER could have gotten of there, but the king came, dressed as a lowly shepherd… and loved her! How bout you?
We are missing out on life’s greatest joy, as we are in Christ, when we refuse to take, or are afraid to take, that yoke of compassion, and care, and heart concern for others who are lost. We lose out on the joy of rejoicing with them when they are saved and changed, too.
Lord Jesus, I WAS black, and I WAS dressed in filthy rags, and I NEVER had a chance to GET OUT of that death, and YOU came into my life… Oh Lord, LET me, HELP me, GO to LOST people ALL AOUND me, HUMBLY, and remembering where You brought ME from, and changed ME, and take that to OTHERS, in the heart hope that they will accept You into THEIR heart,
and trust YOU, and be saved and changed, too!
Oh, Lord, give me a vision of the lostness of man, and the sinfulness of sin in their lives, then give me Your Spirit’s heart for them, and take them the Gospel of light and life,
remembering my lost-ness at one time, remembering all You did.
Never let me get haughty, or proud, or snooty.
O LORD, THANK You for the wonderful burden for lost souls. Thank You for the yoke of witnessing, and caring… and weeping over their lost condition. Keep that yoke on me, for outside that yoke, on me, I will never be that right vessel of witnessing,
and take to them in tears, the truth they need.
Oh, Lord Jesus, make ALL of us to SEE this,
and take YOU to everyone around us!
And, help us do it with compassion!
Thank You… for that yoke and burden!