Rise Up, My Love (200): The First Grace—Humble Submission to God

SS 200:08.21.16Wouldn’t you like to know what kind of a woman receives universal praise, both from God and from other women? Wouldn’t you like to become such a woman?

Song of Solomon 6:9b, “The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.” Here is the same group of women as that discussed in the preceding verse, the pool of all the world’s most beautiful women. Solomon has surveyed them and found that his bride is the most wonderful of all. Even more astonishing is the response of the other women. From the youngest, most innocent daughter of Jerusalem, to the mightiest queen and most desirable lover, the king declares that they praise her also. Have you ever known any group of women to give universal praise to another woman? This is unheard of, and yet, it happened!

What is it that they find so praiseworthy? Notice that what the king praises her for here has nothing to do with outward beauty! Song of Solomon 6:9a, “My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her.” Look at the list: she is his dove, his undefiled, and her mother’s only child. Let’s study each description individually in hopes of learning how to delight our Savior and earn the respect and praise of others.

“My dove.” Indwelt by the Holy Spirit, she has become meek, mild, gentle, sensitive, and obedient. Have I ever told you about my son Jonathan’s Java doves? When Jon was a boy, he bought a pair of snow-white doves to train for teaching biblical principles through the use of illusions and “tricks.” The doves were the tamest birds I’ve ever seen, and he trained them to lie perfectly still, hanging upside down from his finger as if they were dead. He could put them inside his coat and they would remain perfectly silent and motionless until he pulled them out. They would even let him gently extend their wings one at a time and they would neither tuck their wings back nor would they fly away. They just sat as still as an ivory statue. They were incredible birds.

Now, I’m not suggesting that our Lord wants us to be as motionless and mindless as trained Java doves can appear to be…but he truly does want us to be as trainable, obedient, and patient. He wants us to be willing to wait silently inside his “breast pocket” until he pulls us out. He wants us to appear dead to self…to be able to live the crucified life! He wants us to be able to let him extend or draw in our wings without the slightest ruffle of our pinfeathers…without our flying away or pulling back into ourselves.

Has a human ever been as obedient as a Java dove?  Sorrowfully, I confess that I certainly have not. Oh, may the Holy Spirit, blest heavenly Dove, so indwell us that we may be praised by others for our gentle submission to the will of God. “Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done” (Luke 22:42). If we learn this, we will have developed a truly meek and quiet spirit, and this will earn the praise of our Lord…and even those around us.*

(*Obviously, this doesn’t work 100% of the time. Jesus was perfectly submissive to the will of God and yet incurred great wrath and jealousy from many of the religious leaders of his day. Even as Jesus suffered persecution for being obedient to God, “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” [2 Timothy 3:12].)

 

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