Dove’s eyes

heart-81207_640Songs of Solomon 1:15: He: Behold, you are beautiful, my love; behold, you are beautiful; your eyes are doves.

The book of Song of Solomon is a poetic expression of love between a man and a woman. And as the theme of love goes to the core of our being as humans; it book has the power to resonates with us in a deeply moving way.

As the most love-explicit book in the bible it has something to tell us about the relationship between Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:22-33), the bride/wife of Christ, in which the highest level of intimacy is expressed. It is viewed as a prophetic reference to, and depiction of, that relationship.

The beautifully crafted words speak to the eternal marriage of Christ and the church, that ever-evolving, multilayered and multigenerational relationship, the very definition of oneness. The culmination of this age will witness the marriage ceremony; now we are betrothed. The book is full of words communicating emotions, the man for the woman and the woman for the man.

The focus verse (the man speaking) showcases the high level of devotion and fidelity that the church has for Christ as his bride, or should have. Paul exploring the theme of Christ and the church as man and wife said that Jesus is coming for a bride that is without spot or wrinkle, for a glorious church. It will be a church that moves in sync with him, having eyes only for him.

But it may seem that now many things are contending for the attention of Christians. Writing to the church in Corinth, he said he was feared lest the devil had beguiled them as he did Eve, to move from the sincerity and purity of devotion to Christ (2Corinthians 11:3). He prayed for the church in Galatia that Christ may be formed in them (Galatians 4:19), i.e. affection for him, knowledge of him and life in him may blossom again in them.

In another place Paul claimed that the church being immature will be tossed to and from by every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:10-16) and so will not be able to steady her eyes on Jesus, as the fulfilment of her deepest desires, with knowing and pleasing him as her primary drives. Then the accurate knowledge of Christ will fill us and we will more effectively represent him.

The dove’s eyes are symbol of openness, lack of pretension, transparency, unreserved affection, commitment, single-minded devotion. That is what Jesus meant when he said that we should love the Lord our God with all our hearts, might, soul and strength, without holding back in any way and for any reason (Matthew 12:30).

Dove’s eyes also speak of desire. The psalmist says: what do I desire on earth apart from you and who do I have in heaven but you, oh Lord (Psalm 73:25).

Loving attachment to the Lord is the way to attain the highest level of freedom. In his presence is fullness of joy and on his right hand are pleasures forever more (Psalm 16:11). The Lord is that Spirit and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty (2Corinthians 3:17). That means seeing him as Lord, and submitting to him as such is liberating. That seems contradictory. One may ask: how can submitting be liberating?

This is because it is in connection with him that all our possibilities/potentials are realised. As our passion controls us (lord it over us), we can either be controlled by healthy passion or destructive ones, by higher or lower ones. The best passion is the passion for God, it does not harm but enhances. To have him as Lord mean to run on the fire of his passion, and that is liberating, it liberates the potentials we have, liberates us into our ultimate purpose in him.

We are made in his image, our highest joy lies with him. We came from him and in him we live move and have our essence (Acts 17:28) and we cannot fully live apart from him, from his control.

Now when the world has turned away from him, it breaks his heart. That is why it makes perfect sense that Jesus comes into the world to make the sacrifice to redeem us. It makes perfect sense that the God of love will go the distance to reach us, his love reached our spirit reviving us, and his love got to our soul by the force of his word, transforming it. And his love gets to our body with his healing.

In the prophetic word of Isaiah (chapter 53), he mentioned how the redeeming work of Jesus affects us. He said he was beaten for our transgression and by his stripes we are healed. His loving touch gives healing for our body, his loving words healing for our soul; his loving presence transforms us on the inside.

As mentioned earlier, Paul said he has betrothed the church of Corinth to Christ and he does not want them to be moved from the standpoint of the sincere devotion to Christ. He does not want their eyes to shift to the law as some of the preachers are want to make them to do.

He told the Colossians Christian that they are complete in him (Christ) who is the head of all principalities and powers (Colossians 2:10). He said that we have died to the law (in Christ), so that we can be married to another which is Christ (Romans 7:1-6), and Christ should now be our focus, not the law.

He said those who still wanted them to still pay attention to the law, wants to glory in their flesh (Galatians 6:13). They want their own glory, not the glory to God.

John the Baptist described himself as the friend of the bridegroom (Christ) (John 3:27-30) whose business is to make the bridegroom look good, help to direct the attention of the bride to the groom.

He said he must increase and I must decrease. He says he rejoiced hearing the voice of the bridegroom; his joy is when the bridegroom manifests to the bride. He told some people that the reason he did what he did, baptising people in water was so that Jesus can be revealed (John 1:31).

That is the purpose of preachers, like Paul like John to help the church set her affection on Christ, the beauty of his person, the glory of his name, and the power of his presence.

 

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