Rise Up, My Love (94): Getting Your Teeth Cleaned and Straightened

Smiling LipsSong of Solomon 4:2 “Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which came up from the washing; whereof every one bear twins, and none is barren among them.” Teeth speak of maturity…the ability to chew and digest spiritual meat…to meditate on thoughts of the imagination, understanding, and memory. An infant has no teeth and must be fed on the “sincere milk of the Word” (I Peter 2:2)…but the bride has come of age.

“Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep.” Sheep graze; they can often discern what is good for them and choose the tender grass, just as the mature believer can discern that which is good and pure, and has learned to “think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

A flock of sheep that are “even shorn, which came up from the washing” have recently been clipped and washed. Shearing and washing removes all the dirty, ragged outer growth, leaving the sheep in fresh, white wool, soft and lovely again. “Wash you, make you clean…though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:16,18). Our hearts can be like wool that has been freshly sheared and scrubbed and is as white as snow!

In the Old Testament, wool was symbolic of the natural man, and the priests were not to wear wool in the temple service (Exodus 28). The thought of sheared sheep brings to mind the spiritual analogy of trimming away all natural zeal and the weight of self-life. The ragged coat of the sheep grew in response to the harsh cold of winter, but their thick coats gathered dirt and burrs and became a haven for lice and insect infestation.  How human! Often, in the cold of adversity, we grow protective walls of “self” to keep us from the pain of the world’s buffeting, but those walls weigh us down and become embedded with the barbs of sin and callous indifference. How we need the spring of revival in our souls, when all the ragged wool is sheared away, leaving our hearts tender, vulnerable, and clean once again!

“Whereof every one bear twins, and none is barren among them.” This refers to the beautiful symmetry of his beloved teeth: straight, as perfectly symmetrical as identical twins, with not a single one missing…like a lovely set of matching pearls half hidden in the mouth: even, sparkling, moist, and white. Are our spiritual teeth so lovely for the Lord? Are they straight and strong? Are we able to chew  through the toughest “meat” of the Word and digest it properly? Are our spiritual “teeth” symmetrical? Are we balanced in our understanding of doctrine? Are we able to judge righteously and truly? Are any of our spiritual teeth black? Have we allowed any of our teeth to rot away by indulging in too many sugarcoated bits of vain philosophy…or have we broken any of our teeth on the bones of cleverly devised fables? Are any of our teeth barren…gone… missing altogether because we gradually allowed a blind spot of decay to destroy an entire tooth of discernment?

If our spiritual teeth are crooked, in disrepair, or missing, we should go straight to the Master Dentist and get some repair work done! Have you ever needed braces? I didn’t as a girl, but in my forties, my teeth began to shift, and so I had to wear braces for over a year…and a retainer at night ever afterward! Braces are definitely no fun. Every few weeks, the orthodontist shifts the position of the teeth, and each new tightening puts constant pressure on the teeth to change their position. Doesn’t our dear Lord do that for us…work with us over time to make us change position until we are straight and upright? Isaiah 40:4, “the crooked shall be made straight.” And, then, if we want to keep straight, we always have to keep putting on the retainer of God’s Word…through every trial of night!

But, what a pleasure to have straight teeth! I am so thankful for the privilege of going through the pain to straighten out my teeth. Aren’t you thankful for dentists who care for our teeth…who drill out the cavities in rotting teeth and make crowns for broken teeth? Yes, it hurts, and yes, it costs, but what a blessing to have good teeth! So it is spiritually. We must get those braces of doctrine on to straighten out our teeth! We must stop indulging in a poor spiritual diet that will rot away our teeth of discernment. We need to stop chewing on the bones of the world’s thinking that will chip and break our teeth so that we have no “bite” left to defend ourselves from the spiritual foes who would devour us. And, we should pray that our spiritual dentist will make our teeth beautiful for him, so that when he beholds us, he will say, “Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep!” With strong, lovely teeth, we will be able to chew on spiritual things and exclaim, “My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord” (Psalm 104:34).

(Picture from the  website of Dr. Blum, dentist, found by googling “white-teeth-smile”)

 

5 responses to “Rise Up, My Love (94): Getting Your Teeth Cleaned and Straightened

  1. I can’t figure out why I can always like your posts but it is very rare that I’m able to post a comment. I seem to always get this message : Sorry, this comment could not be posted. This is what I was trying to comment today. I’m thankful that my spiritual straight teeth are free and need only regular maintenance. My physical teeth will never be straight or white because the cost is much too high. I’m just thankful that I have been able to keep my natural set and have not had to pay for fake.

    Cell: 616.581.8321 / Email: jane@insiteskill.com / Office Assistants LLCWhat I do What I think Learn about me LinkedIn Twitter I can’t change the world, but I can make a difference one attitude at a time.

    Date: Sun, 20 Jul 2014 16:32:13 +0000 To: jane@insiteskill.com

    • Thanks for sharing all this, Jane! You have a radiant smile, and I’ve never noticed your teeth much. Mine are getting yellow with age and fillings…few of us can keep our teeth the way we’d really like them…but I’m with you! God can give us clean, white, straight spiritual teeth. Praise God for that. “Though our outward man perish, our inward man is being renewed day by day.”

  2. mostsublimesong

    Hi Kathi, What you wrote was music to my ears and tasted very delightful. Let me add some spice. So here is what I see in addition. Yes, she is mature by now and can chew on meat, not like the hebrews in 5:11-14. She is coming up out of the wilderness in Chapter 3. Israel was tested in the wilderness and so was Jesus. Jesus overcame the devil in the wilderness right after God announced Him as His Child at His baptism. (Babe, Child, Young man, Strong young man, Father) She is a young woman/man by now or becoming one 1 John 2:13, the rate of her growth in this phase depends on how well she can wash her teeth. She has to do this 1000 times with the shield of faith. Compare Eph. 6:16 with Song 4:4
    “On which are hung a thousand shields,
    All the round shields of the mighty men.”
    Each time she believed a truth by faith she earned another shield. She must do this 1000 times before she becomes a strong young woman with the Word of God abiding in her 1 John 2:14. The truth replaces the lie and therefore our teeth are coming up from the washing. Jesus when tempted and used Truth to fight the devil in the wilderness as the example for the young man to overcome the evil one and become strong. The young man has overcome the evil one 1 John 2:13 I see Chapter 3:6 to 5:1 of the Song to be the young man phase of the Christian. It is helpful to know what phase the person is in so that we know who to give meat and who to give milk like Paul did to the Hebrews. Unfortunately as a babe and child I chewed on meat for over 12 years and didn’t grow much at all, yet God worked it out for my good and His Glory.

    • Thanks for adding, not only spice, but meat to this meditation! Blessings!!! (Sorry I’ve been slow to respond at times. I’ve had kids and grand kids visiting from Italy for the past couple of weeks.)

  3. Pingback: Studying Chapter 6 of the Song of Songs – "Song of Songs"

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