“My beloved is mine, and I am his; he feedeth among the lilies.”Song of Solomon 2.16
If I had to be left with only one book of the Bible, and I was not allowed to retain the Book of Psalms, I believe I would keep the Song of Solomon. There are many books which plumb the deep intellectual wells of theology and thought, but the Canticle of Canticles (such is the song’s old name) presents to us a glorious picture of what it means to be loved of Christ. Secularists regard this poem as nothing more than a collection of love songs, but we who are in Christ “have received…the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God” (1 Cor. 2.12). The particular line in focus here is “My beloved is mine, and I am his; he feedeth among the lilies.”
My Beloved is Mine
All that Christ is, all that he has done and will do, belongs to his church. We may consider this from three aspects: he is ours in his person, he is ours in his work, and he is ours in his benefits. As to his person, he is ours in terms of his deity and his humanity. He is our God, not a strange god that is foreign to us and against us, but ours. He is for us in all the power and splendor of his divinity. The One through whom the world was made is our God. He is our kinsman redeemer, bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. He is our brother and our king, who shows compassion to us. He is our covenant Head, who stands in our stead before the tribunal of God.
As to his work, he is ours in terms of his work done on our behalf and his work done unto us. He is our Redeemer, who buys us out of bondage with the abundant riches of his merits. He is our Advocate, who pleads for clemency on our behalf. He is our Mediator, who stands in between us and God to bring reconciliation. He is our Propitiation, who takes our guilt upon himself and discharges the wrath of God for us. He is our Righteousness, who clothes us with his own white robes of purity. He is our Shepherd, who leads us beside still waters and makes us to lie down in green pastures. He is our Physician, who heals our maladies and weaknesses. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith. He is our all in all, sufficient for every need and want. He is completely beautiful, completely glorious, and completely ours.
As to his benefits, we are co-heirs with him, and all that inheritance which is his by right is ours by union with him. Just as a man’s wife become the joint partaker in her husband’s inheritance, so also do we become partakers of Christ’s inheritance upon our union with him. We share in his resurrection life. We are blessed of God and have favor with him because he is pleased with Christ, and we being in Christ are thus pleasing unto him. We are the children of God, not by right but by adoption, because Christ is ours. We are more than conquerors because Christ our Captain has overcome all our enemies.
I Am His
In our union with Christ, we no longer belong to ourselves but we belong utterly to him. Whereas once we walked in reckless rebellion against God for the sake of self-autonomy, now we are, like the apostles, slaves of Christ. This slavery is true freedom, for we were created in such a fashion that our greatest joy comes only through glorifying God. We may consider this from two aspects: we are Christ’s in our persons, and we are Christ’s in our works.
As to our persons, we are the handiwork of God created in Christ Jesus. His Spirit is molding and shaping us into his image in order that he might present us holy and blameless before his Father. We owe our very being to him, not only our first birth but also for our second birth, and we were created for him. We are his Bride, the figurative wife of his delight. We are his Clay, whom he is forming and crafting into beautiful pottery that puts his glory on display. We are his Sheep, who follow after him and know his voice. We are his Patients, who rely on him for healing and for comfort. We are his inheritance, given unto him by the Father for the splendor of his majesty.
As to our works, we are created anew in Christ Jesus for those good works which he prepared for us that we should walk in them. Our striving ought to be striving to seek first his kingdom. We are his Helper, the help meet for him as the wife to the husband; helping not in our might but in the strength which he supplies. We are his Worshippers, who sing joyful songs of praise and adoration to the Lion of Judah. We are members of his body, carrying out his work here on this earth. We are his Ambassadors, who go about proclaiming the good news of his gospel. All that we do ought to be done for his glory and his namesake.
He Feedeth Among the Lilies
To understand this metaphor, we must go back to verse two of chapter two wherein the Bridegroom says, “As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.” Christ is among his church, which is to say that he is present with us. He promised that he would be with us even unto the end of the age, and so he is. Though physically we are separated from him, yet spiritually we are continually with him. And not only is he present with us, but his delight is in us, as signified by the word “feedeth.” So Matthew Henry, “he takes as much pleasure in them and their assemblies as a man does in his table or in his garden.”
His delight in us comes from the beauty which he by his mighty arm has wrought in us. To the Lord Jesus, the lily of the field is the most glorious of flowers. He says in the Sermon on the Mount, “And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these” (Matt. 6.28-29). We are the lilies of his planting, in which he delights.
Do you know the intimacy of union with Christ? Can you say that he is your beloved? Is he your all in all, your exceeding great reward? It is so easy for us to allow the shiny trinkets of this world allure our hearts, but only Christ is beautiful. He is God alone, and there is none like him. Cast away your idols, and bask in the joy of the light of the glory of Jesus Christ.
Are you a lily of the grass? Does your life magnify the name of the Son of God? Too often the thorns and thistles of this life grow up around us and try to choke the life out of us. We must repent, and look to Christ and live. We are to bear fruit meet for repentance. If we are our beloved’s, his Spirit which dwells within us will cause to bear much fruit. So take heart, and be a lily of delight for the Lord.