Life and Building as Portrayed in the Song of Songs, by Witness Lee


After having the eyes of the dove, she becomes a lily. “As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters” (2:2). In the Bible, a lily signifies a life lived wholly by faith. The Lord says in Matthew 6:28-30, “…Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” A lily is one of the Lord’s seeking ones who lives on this earth, but not by this earth. She lives by trusting in God; she does not put her trust in this earth. By such a faith, she becomes as pure as the white lilies. Such are the pure ones who live by faith in God. Not only did the Lord Himself consider the seeking one here as a lily, but even she herself recognized that she was a lily. In 2:16 she says, “My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.” She was one of the lilies, and among these lilies the Lord was shepherding His flock.


The turn from the doves’ eyes to the lily indicates a further improvement. Now she not only looks unto the Lord, but also has a practical faith in Him. She not only has lost her natural strength and confidence, but she also has real faith in God. She has put away her trust in her horse’s strength, and now she has a living trust in God. She not only has the eyes of a dove, but also the pure faith of a lily. Hallelujah! What a picture! After becoming a lily, she becomes a complete dove. “O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret of the steep places, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely” (2:14).

All the improvements and all the stages of the growth in life can only come as we are taking Christ as our Person. We must love Him, appreciate Him, and learn more and more to live by Him. Then we will progress from the horse to the doves’ eyes, then to the lily, and eventually to the complete dove. In these stages the seeking one was continually dealing with the Lord. She was learning to take the Lord as her everything, and by this she was growing and improving. There was a continuous transformation from the horse stage to the dove stage.


But, this is not the end. A dove is lovely and gentle, but not of much use. After the dove stage, there is a long period of time between 2:14 and 3:6. The portion between these two verses shows a lapse of time has occurred. There is the cleft of the rock, the secret of the steep places, the myrrh and the frankincense, with all kinds of powders of the merchant—all poetic figures describing the death, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord.


The cleft of the rock signifies the cross. Christ was the cleft rock smitten for us (Exo. 17:6; 1 Cor. 10:4). Hence, the cleft of the rock signifies His crucifixion, and His crucifixion is just our cross. We must remain in the cleft of the rock; we must stay in His crucifixion. The Apostle Paul was always experiencing the death of Christ. He said, “I am crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20). He also shared that he was “always bearing about in the body the putting to death of Jesus,…For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake…So then death worketh in us…” (2 Cor. 4:10-12). This is what it means to be the dove in the cleft of the rock. Only a long period of time in this experience can bring us to the next stage.

Here we need a practical illustration. Suppose I am staying with two brothers. To live together is wonderful, but sometimes it is also horrible. They have their personality and natural make-up, and I have mine. We are all different. Suppose my personality offends this brother’s personality. What shall he do? He must say, “O Lord Jesus, keep me in the cleft of the rock; keep me at the cross.” By this the Lord will be able to work something into him. In all our different situations, we must stay in the cleft of the rock. “O Lord Jesus, I am crucified with You.” To be crucified with Christ on the cross is to stay in the cleft of the rock.

(Life and Building as Portrayed in the Song of Songs, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)