Rise Up, My Love (203): The Power of Light over Dark

Sunrise over EuropeSong of Solomon 6:10 “Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?” “Who is she that looketh forth as the morning…” The participial form of the Hebrew word for “looketh forth” connotes the idea of looking down on something, like the rays of the sun shining down on the earth, and suggests a sense of superiority…not that the bride felt superior, but that she truly was superior.* The bridegroom saw in her one who possessed the glory and strength of a newly dawning day.

Tell me, have you ever observed the power and majesty of the dawning sun? Have you ever watched for the sun to rise—not just for a few minutes from early morning light as you rise to work—but from the black of midnight to the light of day? To watch for the day is an awesome experience. For years, our family traveled down to Florida together each spring in our “low-flying blue cloud” (which was a 15-passenger van). It took about twenty-four hours door-to-door,Setting Sun and my husband traditionally drove late into the night until he couldn’t stay awake any longer. I’d go to sleep when the sun set behind the hills of Kentucky and then try to wake up in the pitch-blackness about 4:00 a.m. and drive through the last of the Carolinas and across Georgia. (By the way, I am not recommending this! Also, our firstborn would try to stay awake and keep Alan company, and our second-born would try to wake up early and keep me company.) As I left the hills behind, there was often a patchy fog hovering over the roads and swampy fields of Georgia. The stars would be bright above the fog, but the roads were eerie. Oncoming cars appeared like strobe lights through the guardrails of the divided highway, lighting long shafts of fog that danced in ghostly shapes. It was overwhelmingly dark and silent. I’d spend much time in prayer, trying hard to stay alert and waiting earnestly for the dawn to come and breathe new life into my tired body. Slowly the black would turn to midnight blue, and gradually the stars faded.  Black White Sunrise, EndThe change from night to day is not like a battle between evil and good, where sometimes the “bad guys” are winning and sometimes the “good guys” are winning. It isn’t back and forth at all. With an absolutely steady but almost imperceptible slowness the blackness of night gives way to the power of light. Midnight blue pales until it loses all color, and in the whiteness of pure light, the sun lifts her head above the horizon as the last traces of shadow flee. Such is the indomitable power of light over darkness. It always makes me think of God, who is Light, and his certain victory over the powers of darkness. Sun Coming out from Behind CloudsDarkness flees before light, just as surely as the night gives way to the dawning day.  “Who is she that looketh forth as the morning?” Who is she whose appearance is as commanding…as radiant and glorious…as the rising sun? Look at this one who scatters away evil with her look as surely as the rising sun scatters the night! What does it say at the end of the verse? “Terrible as an army with banners.” The bride, whose love for God has taught her to fear death no longer, comes forth in the power of the Holy Spirit looking as indomitable as the rising sun and as awe-inspiring as an army prepared for war. Why? To fight her Lord’s battles.  Bird in SunConsider this verse in the light of Job 38:12-13: “Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the day spring to know his place; that it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?” God asks Job, “Are you the one who causes the daylight to come and shake out evil like a woman shakes dust out of a blanket?” The bride, like the dawning day, arises in majesty and strength, scattering wickedness before her just as a good king is to purge wickedness from his kingdom. The bride is awesome and powerful…a fitting helpmate for her groom. And, like him, she will come forth “conquering and to conquer.”

(*Explanation from Carr, G. Lloyd. The Song of Solomon: An Introduction and Commentary. Downer’s Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1984. p. 150)

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