NATURAL, WORLDLY STRENGTH
We need to look at all eight figures in more detail. A horse in the Bible always signifies strength and speed (Psa. 33:17; 147:10). These are horses used for the Egyptian king. “I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh’s chariots” (1:9). These horses signify natural strength in a worldly way. The Lord’s seeker is using her strength to seek the Lord. In verse 7 she prayed, “Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon.” She prayed for the Lord’s feeding and for the Lord’s rest. And the Lord answered her in verse 8: “If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds’ tents.” She followed in such a strong way that the Lord praised her saying that she was like a company of horses in Pharaoh’s chariots. This is good, but good in a natural, worldly way. You are seeking the Lord, but you drag the world behind you. In your seeking of the Lord, others are impressed not with the Lord, but with something of Pharaoh. You are not carrying Solomon, but Pharaoh.
Many of the young people in the churches are really seeking the Lord. Yet they pull “the chariots of Pharaoh” with them. Something from Egypt, something from the world, is being pulled behind them. It is not something evil, but something of Pharaoh. Sometimes it is quite stately and royal, yet it comes from the world. The young people are attracted by the Lord, and they are loving Him, but they are still “the horses in Pharaoh’s chariot,” pulling something of the world. They are not like Solomon’s palanquin, carrying Christ.
Are we really seeking the Lord? Then whom are we carrying? Are we carrying Pharaoh or are we carrying Solomon? If we are bearing Pharaoh, we are a horse used to pull his chariot. But if we are bearing Solomon, we are a palanquin, a vessel for him. Solomon is contained in this vessel. For the horse to carry Pharaoh, there is no need of a vessel. But if we would carry Solomon, we must be a vessel, a container, as his palanquin.
GROWTH BY APPRECIATION
After the Lord’s first appraisal of the seeking one, she enjoyed the Lord more and more, and she appreciated the Lord. Between 1:9 and 1:15, there are several verses showing how the Lord appreciated her and how she appreciated the Lord. She said, “A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts. My beloved is unto me as a cluster of henna flowers in the vineyards of Engedi” (1:13-14). By these appreciations of the Lord there was the growth in life and the transformation of life. Real appreciation of the Lord always brings the growth in life and the transformation of life.
The next figure used by the Lord to describe her is the doves’ eyes. “Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes” (1:15). She was worldly and natural, but now she begins to have spiritual insight and spiritual concepts. The dove signifies the Spirit (Matt. 3:16). The doves’ eyes signify the insight, the understanding, and the realization of the Spirit.
If I were to speak with some of the young people about their hair, they would be offended, no matter how much they love the Lord. This is because they still hold a natural concept about their hair. But if they were to appreciate the Lord more and more, this appreciation would give them a spiritual concept and the insight of the Spirit. Their horse’s eyes would be transformed into doves’ eyes. Then they would look at their hair, their sideburns, their mustaches, their eye glasses, and their tee shirts in a different way. I know that today’s young people are fond of all these things. They have their natural concepts, but this is like having the wild horse’s eyes. But the Lord Jesus is so real. He can convert our sight. He can change our horse’s eyes into doves’ eyes. The more we appreciate Him, the more our eyesight will be transformed.
The doves’ eyes are the spiritual insights that come from continually gazing on the Lord and putting our trust in Him. We no longer trust in our natural horse strength, but now we trust in Him. When the seeking one’s eyes have become the eyes of the dove, she has lost her confidence in her natural strength. She has turned away from her natural strength to the Lord and is continually looking unto Him. By her appreciation of Him, she receives the heavenly concept and spiritual insight. Now she has doves’ eyes to see things in a new way. She has not yet become a full dove, but she has the eyes of a dove. At least her concept, her insight, and her looking unto the Lord are like the eyes of the dove.
(Life and Building as Portrayed in the Song of Songs, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)