Rise Up, My Love (196): Submitting, Not Because You’re Overpowered, but Because You Love

Rose RedSong of Solomon 6:5 “turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me.” Last week, I made several assumptions about this verse; this week I want to support my thinking. First, why do I think love must be what he sees in her eyes? Well, some will say, “Of course that’s what he sees! What else is even an option?”

The comment immediately preceding His request for her to turn away her eyes is, “thou art beautiful…terrible as an army with banners.” What do the banners say? She answers that herself in chapter two, verse four: “His banner over me was love.” The banners she wears are his banners…the banners of the love of the Son of God! The strength he sees in her is his strength…the strength and glory of God the Father.

The force of energy and light shining out from her eyes is nothing less than the radiant energy of God the Holy Spirit. God has developed in her the beauty and likeness of her maker—a fitting “helpmate” for the bridegroom, but an awesome power. Stop and consider the import of this moment of time suspended in space. Does it remind you of another time and another place where God had created and exalted another being to a position of magnificent light and beauty? It reminds me of Lucifer, “Son of the Morning,” who rebelled against the God of Heaven. Could it be that in that split second of time, Christ saw in his beloved bride the potential for her to chose evil rather than good…to become a traitor to God? Could it be that he felt his own heart so overcome by love that he felt temptation? He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness; could he have also sensed the temptation of the first Adam…to surrender to his wife’s will? “Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me.” The word for overcome is translated as “agitate” in the LXX, “disturb” in the Hebrew interlinear, “overwhelm” (NIV), “hold captive” (JB), and “dazzle” (NEB). It is found elsewhere only in Psalm 138:3, where it is rendered “make bold,” in Proverbs 6:3, where it speaks of “making sure” a friend, and in Isaiah 3:5, where it says “the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient,” or—as translated in the The Interlinear Bible, “the boy will be insolent against the elder.” Other commentators speak of the word being used to mean “make spirited” or “bewitched.” In each instance, there is the strong flavor of influence over another, and such influence could certainly be used for either good or evil.

The husband is in the position of power; the wife is in the position of influence. When the power of influence begins to overwhelm the person in authority, the person in the position of influence must make a choice: to attempt to truly overcome, or to look away as a sign of submission and surrender. Do not look at me anymore, lest I be tempted to love you more than I love my own Father. Turn away your eyes as a sign of willing submission. My heart is overwhelmed; you must love me and surrender to me of your own volition, because my love for you will not permit me to force you. Do not tempt me to surrender my will to you, for I love you as I love my own soul. You must become one with me, not I with you, in order that we may both be one with the Father. Choose to yield. Choose to submit. Don’t tempt me to yield to you, for you are not yet one with God for eternity, and therefore you still carry the potential for evil. Don’t rebel. I see your strength…it is in your love…love I gave you…but it pulls me like a magnet.

Turn away! Don’t draw me into yourself. Let me draw you into myself…in his time…which will be therefore into the perfection and will of God the Father. Could that be? I don’t know. I do know that it happens between a man and a woman. Could it happen between Christ and his bride?

The whole book of the Song of Solomon…in a deeper sense…reflects the entire earthly journey of a marriage as well as the spiritual pilgrimage of a believer. In a healthy marriage, the husband nurtures the wife until she becomes a powerful and appropriate…either “helpmate” or equal-rival. There comes a time in every marriage when the wife must choose—of her own volition—whether or not to surrender to her husband. For some, that is a choice they make each day, just as we must reaffirm in our hearts our desire to serve God each morning and moment of our lives. But, in a more global sense, the choice to submit is made initially at the altar when the woman becomes a bride, and then again at some point in the marriage…usually during mid-life (and typically as part of the mid-life crisis), after the husband has learned to truly love and admire his wife at a much deeper level. At that point the wife must choose again to surrender her power and yield to her husband’s will. There must come a time again for repeating, “Not my will, but thine be done.” Of course, ultimately both the husband and wife need to submit their wills to God’s will, as we are taught in Ephesians 5:21, “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God” (so that God’s will is accomplished, not our own).

4 responses to “Rise Up, My Love (196): Submitting, Not Because You’re Overpowered, but Because You Love

  1. And that is exactly what happened to us. This post is so meaningful to me. Thank you for this.

    • So glad to hear that it rang a chord with you and was helpful. This happened in my life too, so maybe it’s a pretty universal dynamic. (?)

  2. Hi Sister, dearly beloved of God. I always love reading your posts, such passion is admirable! On the topic of eyes. I think her eyes got off Him temporarily in 5:2-3 then back on him in 5:10 and then her doves eyes stayed laser focused on His Love all the way to 6:5. And yea, they don’t leave Him for the rest of the Song! Nice how you used the previous verse to tie things in better!
    This is a tough verse! Clearly Christ doesn’t want us to take our Doves eyes off of Him, He gave them to us to keep our focus on Him. In this sense it would be sin to turn away.
    This is a tough verse so I could be wrong here. I tend to think that we so much want to please Him and especially her after neglected to answer the door in 5:2-3. She kept her eyes on Him all the way to 6:3 where she is holding joyful felt communion again. She was feeling so sorry for taking her eyes off of Him, out of love she stayed so focused that He compliments her with a phrase that would communicate Him being overjoyed with her passionate love and focus on Him. She may have been feeling abandoned and needed to know that He more than approved of her love, which grew to the point of her fully giving herself to Him in the previous verse “I am my beloved’s.”
    The withdrawing of his presence cause her heart to long and desire for Him more, she grew in desire for Him, gave herself up completely to Him all the while keeping her eyes focused on Him and therefore overwhelmed, dazzled, and held captive by her love he uses an expression of speech that communicates that He is overjoyed! “turn your eyes from Me they overwhelm Me.” Mainly because we underestimate how much He enjoys our Love to Him. So an expression is used to help us get the “feeling” that we pleased Him greatly. This is what we want, He died for us and we so intensely want to please Him and now He lets her know his being overjoyed in her love that is more delightful than wine. Holding union and communion in Love. She delights to please Him and He is pleased with her love so He lets her know it with an expression of speech that communicates that He is more than happy with her, so that we get the idea that He really is happy and delighted in us, His Tirza, we are His delight.

    She is more mature now, she is answering His every call, no matter how late at night and she is willing to suffer now. Not like back in Song 5:2-3. By keeping her eyes fully on Him.

    So I think the whole phrase “turn your eyes from Me, for they overwhelm me” is an expression to get us to think that He is actually pleased with us beyond what we usually think or imagine. His appreciation for Her is great! Wow she gets a compliment that goes for 6 verses!! Chapter 1 she gets 2 verses, chapter 4 is all praise but 2 verses. But in Chapter 6 the compliment is less verses than Chapter 4 but far more glorious and intense in 6:4-9

    I do believe that at this point she is abiding then she can ask what is consistent with His will and He will give it, of course we don’t want to have desires for Him to do something against His will and tempt Him to do evil. That is impossible James 1:13 “for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.” Obviously she is not tempting Christ to do evil. He is complimenting her, trying to encourage her to keep going your doing extremely well, press on. And by the way let Me compliment/praise your faithful doves eyes “they overwhelm, dazzle and hold me captive”

    I think you got the recommitment to the husband later on in life again exactly right. Notice the difference between
    Song 2:16 “My beloved is mine, and I am his;
    He pastures his flock among the lilies.”
    Song 6:3
    “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine,
    He who pastures his flock among the lilies.”
    Most commentator say and I agree that she is more mature in 6:3 than in 2:16 because she says first “I am my beloved’s” in 6:3 whereas she said it last in 2:16.

    Take what is right and chew on it but spit out the bones, your teeth are pretty symmetrical, proportionate and work in harmony to get just the right nourishment out of feasting on His Word.

    George Burrowes, whom I usually get some good information from says that her doves eyes focused on Him and His doves eyes on her “so filled His heart with intense affection, as to unheart him, unman Him”
    What this means I have no clue, What do you think?

    • Thanks for sharing all these thoughts and ideas. You may be exactly right. I just know that I usually want someone to look deeply into my eyes, not turn them away. If I turn away, it’s because I’m resisting being drawn in. I’ve never asked anyone to turn away from me, because it almost seems like it would be a rejection, and I never want to hurt anybody’s feelings. So, I was just trying to figure out what it might mean from what I know about myself. I don’t/can’t actually think like a man, so I was just trying to imagine what might motivate a man to ask his wife to look away, and the only thing I could think of would be his requesting her to look away for some instinctive reason. If he was just overwhelmed by her love, why didn’t he simply look away? Did you ever have “stare downs” with friends when you were a kid? The one who looked away first was the loser. If you don’t want a fight with a dog, look away. Looking at someone asks for engagement.

      On the issue of what George Burrowes meant, either he’s referring to what I thought (that he needed emotional space for their mutual good so he could retain appropriate leadership), or I am also clueless. Not being a man, I’m not sure how a man is “unmanned.”

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