This week the girl describes how she feels unworthy of her shepherds love and how her words show us how unworthy we are of God’s love.
Photo from Pixabay.com
Song of songs 1: 5
“I am so black; but [you are] lovely and pleasant [the ladies assured her]. Oh daughters of Jerusalem, [I am as dark] as the tents of the Bedouin tribe Kedar, like the beautiful curtains of Solomon.” AMP
“I am so black;…”
Picture this: Your child has just come in from a long day of playing outside. Despite the fact that you have told them a dozen times not to play in the mud, the child still went ahead and played until he was covered completely in that nasty, black mud. This is the picture that the girl is drawing when she uses the word black. But this blackness reached deeper than just externally.
Sin stains us.
As Paul says we were children of darkness, but when Jesus died and we excepted that payment in our hearts, His redemptive blood washed us and made us new again; virgins once more in Gods sight.
“But you are lovely and pleasant.”
Do you remember back in the Intro the characters called the Chorus? This is the first appearance of these unique individuals. Notice they speak a contradicting statement to the girls statement?
There are two ways of looking at this part:
When people come to realize that they are black and sin-filled the world instantly comes back with the reply “no you’re not.” The world refuse’s to admit that it has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. As Jesus says, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” John 15:18NIV
The NIV puts it in a very cool way: “Dark am I, yet lovely”. The girl listens to the lies the world says and it creates a torn feeling inside her heart. She feels black and yet she appears beautiful.
But there is a second way of thinking about this part:
2. We were black, but redeemed by Christ, therefore the chorus is reminding her that she has been redeemed and has been made beautiful in Christ.
“Oh daughters of Jerusalem, [I am as dark] as the tents of the Bedouin tribe Kedar…”
I always think that this is such a great illustration of our sin-filled state. A Bedouin tribe are a group of people who wander around in the desert. They have no lands, no permanent buildings, nothing to call their own except for the things on their backs.
They have nothing!
What does that remind you of?…us maybe? When we were sin-filled, we had nothing. As Ecclesiastes says, “Vapor of vapors and futility of futilities… all is vanity”– Ecc 1:2. Or as Paul says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”– Rom 6:23NIV We wandered around like the Israelite’s did in the desert, dwelling in our own wretchedness.
Through this illustration, the girl is referring to the way she was before the shepherd washed her clean.
Notice that she specifically mentions the tents in which they dwell? She is comparing herself to inanimate objects; the actual tents in which they dwell. Because, by referring to the tents and not just the people, it shows clearly that sin had penetrated us, even to the very place where we lived everyday of our lives.
Sin is not a once and a while mistake, but has been burned into the core of everything we do. It is something we lived in and continually went back to, time and time again.
“Like the beautiful curtains of Solomon.”
Think about what curtains really are. They are beautiful, usually big, hung around windows, beds, or in front of doors. They are used to hide things so people don’t see in.
Now think of what I just said, only imagine that the object being hid by the curtain is sin. It makes sense doesn’t it?
By referring to the curtains, she is referring to more than just sin, but how we often want to hide our sin. That the very act of us hiding our sin is black and wretched, making what we use to hide it from view equally horrible.
So lets face it, our sin is black!
I know that this topic has probably been a little uncomfortable to think about. Thanks for making it to the end! Sadly, we are sinful and we need to experience the depth of our wretchedness before we can understand the depth of Gods love.
Sin lies in everything we do and with out Jesus we are lost.
God is the one who has to reach to us first because of our sinfulness.
We were sin-filled and are sinful… The girl is no different than what we were before.
Why have I written sin-filled instead of sinful in places? I have nothing against the word sinful, its just that we have rubbed away some of it’s meaning. When we were sinful, we were sin-filled; every inch of our beings was covered in sin making us worthless. But when Jesus chose to save us and love us, He cleansed us and made us God-filled. We still have sinful behaviors or tendencies at times, but we are not sin-filled anymore, but God-filled.
Sin is something we try to avoid talking about because it is uncomfortable. However, as much as it is uncomfortable, it is important! I say again, without understanding the depth of our wretchedness, we cannot understand the depth of Christs love.
But we also should not dwell on our sinfulness so much that it removes the joy of Christ’s salvation (Ps 51:12). Don’t fall into the trap of self pity, but live in the abundant life that Christ has given us through His redemption and love today!