by Paul Benson
There is often a nagging question in the back of a person’s mind: “What is the purpose of life; why are we here?” Is there anyone who could honestly say they have never wondered that? Ask a hundred people and you might get a hundred differing viewpoints; but I believe that in order to get a proper perspective we must view the matter through Eyes from Above.
I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. 2 As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. Song 2:1-2
The Beautiful Lily
The Song of Solomon in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible is an amazingly tender and passionate narrative nestled in among the other books full of law and judgment and warfare. It is a love story given to present to us an allegory showing God’s love for mankind, and His desire to restore the fellowship with them lost through man’s sin in the Garden of Eden. An allegory showing Jesus to be a Groom eagerly awaiting the day He will be joined to his adoring Bride.
In Song of Solomon 2:2 we find the words: “As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.” What a remarkable portrait these words from the writings of Solomon paint for us! The symbolism is quite rich here as we look at the attributes of this lily. The white is representative of purity; and in this case it symbolizes the righteousness of Jesus Christ that clothes the believer through their faith. The delicate scent of the lily is the prayers, love and faith which proceed forth from the heart of the believer, and come up as a sweet fragrance before the throne of God. That the lily is soft and yielding to the touch speaks of the Christian heart yielding to the will of the Father.
Picture if you can a flower garden in which you see a lovely white lily hemmed-in by a patch of dried-up thorns. A beautiful soft white fragrant lily surrounded by cruel and worthless thistles and thorns. What a stark contrast these words of the Bible bring our way! And how relevant to the meaning of life this passage becomes when we realize this harsh contrast is given to show us how God views a heart of faith in the midst of all the hard and unbelieving hearts of this world. To the Lord a believer is as the lily among thorns!
But what of the thorns? What do thistles ever do besides spread their seed to bring about more thistles? When I think on these things I remember a time when part of the property behind my mother’s house had to be dug up to fix the septic system, leaving an area with no grass remaining. It seemed like almost overnight the thistles had sprung up and overtaken this part of the property. And they grew quickly and multiplied. You did not walk through this area, but around it, lest you suffer some serious damage to your body.
But if there had been a lovely flower growing in the midst of those thistles, I think my mother probably would have been willing to suffer the consequences involved in rescuing that flower, and transplanting it to her flower-beds up in the front yard of the house. She sure loved her flowers! (and we all loved her. I miss you Ginger.) I wonder if maybe that is how this world seemed to Jesus; like walking through a once beautiful garden now over-run with briers and thistles. In His love for us, and desire to rescue us, He walked among the ‘thorns’ of this world; and in return they pierced His hands and feet.
My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies. Song of Solomon 2:16
As this allegory continues it seems to indicate that God somehow gets a kind of nourishment from His relationship with the believer: He feedeth among the lilies. Jesus, as He was teaching the people one day, told a parable of the sower. This parable ends with the Owner of the field reaping a crop from the midst of a field overrun with weeds, and receiving that crop into his barn. That harvested crop represents the believers of this world. The lilies among the thorns
The Bible says God will someday gather the wheat (the believers) into his barn (the weeds don’t fare quite as well). There are not adequate words to describe the eternal bliss that will be the reward for those who have, through faith, had their sins cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. The reward for those who have placed their confidence in the work done for us on the Cross of Calvary. Wouldn’t you rather have the course of your life bring you to the place of being viewed by the Lord as something nourishing and desirable to Him rather than being an unbelieving ‘thorn’ in His garden? I sure would! My name is Paul but you can call me a lily if you want to; I wont mind a bit.
He’s looking in!
The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills. 9 My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice. 10 My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. Song 2:8-10
Here, in our final excerpt from this beautiful allegory, we see a young hart (buck), in all of His magnificent splendor, gazing intently through the window into the garden. What do you suppose that hart wanted in that garden; something sweet and good to eat maybe? God is looking in on this world, and He is looking for lilies! Where do you fit into this eternal equation? What do you think God sees when He looks in on this thorny old bramble-bush of a world? And just what does God see when He looks in on you? I hope He sees a heart that is full of faith in Jesus Christ and the sacrifice he made to save us. I hope he sees a heart that cherishes God’s Holy Word. Because then, to Him, you will be that precious lily among the thorns!