Song of Solomon 4:3 “Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech is comely:” Lips like a thread of scarlet—what a beautiful picture and a precious thought. When someone has pale lips, they are either frightened and faint, or else they’re ill. Red lips speak of just the opposite! They are a sign of boldness, strength, and health…and they are very beautiful. Universally, red attracts attention to itself. Red reigns over the rainbow. Stoplights are “arrest me red.” The hummingbirds and butterflies love red flowers best and draw deeply from their nectar. So here, we see the bridegroom attracted to his lover’s beautiful red lips and drawing deeply from her honeyed words: “Thy speech is comely.”
To be beautiful on the outside is one thing, but to be beautiful on the inside is quite another. The bride’s speech—that which comes from within her— is lovely too. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matthew 12:34). The bridegroom was not only attracted to her physically, but he was drawn to her inner beauty of character, as expressed by her speech. Physical attraction complemented by genuine respect is the perfect recipe for a satisfying love relationship.
Lips display the emotion and will. How do we first judge if a person is happy or sad? By a smile or a frown. Hannah’s lips were moving as she prayed in the temple, although her anguish of heart was so deep that no words were spoken (I Samuel 1:13). The heart has a language that only God can understand, but even that which cannot be uttered is often seen on the lips.
It has been said that “the will kisses with affection that which it loves.” The will is declared through the speech. Job declared: “My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit” (Job 27:4), but that instead: “My words shall be of the uprightness of my heart: and my lips shall utter knowledge clearly” (Job 33:3). May our will be as steadfast to kiss with affection the truth at all times!
God “desires truth in the inward parts” (Psalm 51:6); He also directs, “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt” (Colossians 4:6). Listen to the graciousness of our beloved’s lips! Of him it was proclaimed, “Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips” (Psalm 45:2). May grace be poured into our lips as well, so that our hearts overflow with praise of our Beloved! “Because Thy loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee” (Psalm 63:3).
Of what do you suppose the bride spoke? No word of self, for we have just listened to her speaking. All her thoughts and words were of the one she loved. Her lips praised his grace, beauty, and glorious majesty. Her lips were “like a thread of scarlet” telling a story of her great admiration for her beloved One.
There is a thread of scarlet running all through the Scripture: the theme of redemption through our beloved one, Jesus Christ. Rahab bound a “line of scarlet thread” (Joshua 2:18) from her window, and it was through that thread of scarlet that she and all her household were saved from the destruction of Jericho. From the promise to Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:15) and the blood of Abel’s lamb (Genesis 4:4), to the sacrifices of bulls and rams, to the declaration of John: “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), to the Lamb in the midst of the throne in Revelation who “shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters” (Revelation 7:17), the scarlet thread of redemption is the cord that binds all of the Old and New Testament Scriptures together.
“Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet.” Oh, that our lips might like a thread of scarlet, washed in the ruby red blood of the Lamb, bright with boldness to declare the marvelous redemption and beauties of our Lord and Lover! “There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel” (Proverbs 20:15). May it be the prayer of our hearts that our lips are a precious jewel to our heavenly bridegroom!
“Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things” (Proverbs 23:16).
(Picture from London Beauty Review)