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Paul J. Bucknell
“I am the rose of Sharon, The lily of the valleys” (SOS 2:1).
A) Our Self-Perspective Changes
Our perspective of ourselves often changes when we see how other people value us.
This happens most clearly when a man and woman begin courting. In this case, Solomon's eye upon the young maiden caused a radically new perspective of herself. Much like a mirror, another person's positive view of our lives validates and strengthens one’s life purpose and meaning.
B) The Crisis of High Self-esteem
There has been so much talk about high self-esteem in this generation. Much of this is totally rooted in secular philosophy. There is the good mixed with the poor. It was right to understand the exacerbated problem of children raised in families with criticism instead of with love. The proposed solution, however, is to tell only positive things to children about themselves.
Truly this has created a generation of braggarts. They think much of themselves and rarely possess that which others have praised them for! Galatians 6:1 says our view of ourselves should be right. In other words, we should not think more or less of ourselves than is correct. God does not want us to magnify or lessen our view of how He has made us. We are to get the proper perspective and get busy living up to that.
Boy-girl relationships often zoom from high ecstatic states to being dashed down upon the rocks. We are saddened how so many youths have so little affirmation built into their lives from their families that they would treat the words from a lover as everything. We have to face the facts, though. When growing up many do not gain a proper perspective of their lives.
C) The Preciousness of Love
This maiden worked in the royal vineyards. Her view of herself totally changed when the King began to court her. He saw great value in that maiden.
What is it in a man-girl relationship that causes such radical hope to alter a person’s view of oneself? You have, like me undoubtedly witnessed these alterations, summarized by the phrase, “He (She) loves me!” What is it that happens? Is this something that God has created? If so, how does God use the relationship between the courting man and woman?
In this case, one significant person that loves and cares for a person can possess great effect on another. (Maybe this is why when the relationship is broken up the fall is so far.)
This is a picture of how God showed His love to His people through Jesus. “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). When we understand the Lord’s love for us, we see ourselves in light of His love and despite much criticism of the past, God’s love energizes us by helping us see ourselves through His love for us. This is the touch of God’s grace.
2:1 ¶ I am the rose of Sharon, The lily of the valleys.
2 Like a lily among the thorns, So is my darling among the maidens.
3 ¶ Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest, So is my beloved among the young men. In his shade I took great delight and sat down, And his fruit was sweet to my taste.
4 He has brought me to his banquet hall, And his banner over me is love.
5 Sustain me with raisin cakes, Refresh me with apples, Because I am lovesick.
6 Let his left hand be under my head And his right hand embrace me.
7 I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, By the gazelles or by the hinds of the field, That you will not arouse or awaken my love, Until she pleases.
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