THE LORD’S APPRAISAL OF THE SEEKING ONE
Now we need to see a little more in these chapters. In all of the above verses, the Lord Jesus appraised the seeking one in a certain way.
A Company of Horses in Pharaoh’s Chariots
The first appraisal is in 1:9: “I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh’s chariots.” The horses here signify our natural strength. She is so powerful, but natural and worldly. Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, had the strength that belongs to the world. Some are so strong and powerful, but in a natural and worldly way, like a horse in Pharaoh’s chariot.
Then in verse 15 of chapter one, the Lord speaks of the eyes of a dove. “Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes.” Now the seeking one is making some improvement. When she first sought the Lord, she was as strong as a horse. But now she has gradually learned to look upon the Lord with doves’ eyes.
After this, the Lord likened her to a lily. “As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters” (2:2). The Lord speaks of a lily in Matthew 6 as one who lives on this earth, not trusting in his own strength, but upon God’s mercy. At first she was as strong as a horse, naturally. However, now she no longer trusts in her natural strength, but she trusts in the Lord’s mercy. She is just a lily trusting the Lord for everything.
From a lily, the seeking one continues to improve to become a dove. “O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely” (2:14). First of all she only had doves’ eyes, but now she is a dove. Which is more powerful, a horse or a dove? And which would you rather be? I believe that most of us would like to be a horse that is so powerful and full of strength. A dove is small and not so powerful. But to go on from a horse to a dove is a real improvement. I hope that in the local churches there will be many doves and not so many horses. I am afraid that there are too many horses in the churches. All of the horses must be transformed into doves. In the Bible the dove is the sign of the Holy Spirit. When the Lord was baptized, the Spirit descended upon Him like a dove. If we are really in the spirit and one with the Spirit, we will be like a dove. There will be the real improvement.
A Pillar of Smoke, a Couch, and a Palanquin
Between the dove and the next stage, there is a long period of time. I do not know how long a time it takes, but I do know that this period of time between Song of Songs 2:14 and 3:6 is not short. Here we see something wonderful: “Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all the powders of the merchant? Behold his bed [couch], which is Solomon’s; King Solomon made himself a chariot [palanquin] of the wood of Lebanon” (3:6-7a, 9).
What a change in the seeking one! Now she comes up from the wilderness, not as a horse, neither as a dove, but as a pillar of smoke. It is smoke, yet it is a pillar, something so solid. Who is this one perfumed with myrrh and frankincense and with all the perfumes of the merchant? The question was asked about her, but the answer is made concerning King Solomon. Who is this one? This is Solomon’s couch, a place of rest during the night. The seeking one has improved so much that now she has become the Lord’s rest. Who is this one? She is Solomon’s resting place, and she is Solomon’s chariot. The word “chariot” is not the best translation. The best translation is the word “palanquin.” This is a carriage which is carried by men for traveling during the day. The couch is for resting at night, and the palanquin is for moving during the day. Who is this one? She is the resting place of Jesus and the moving carriage of Jesus!
This is really quite deep. It is far more than just the banqueting house. It is not the shade of the apple tree, but the couch of Solomon and the carriage of Solomon. Who is this one? She is just the resting place of Jesus, and she is the carriage of Jesus for His move on this earth. She has become the very expression of Jesus, and by this expression Jesus moves on the earth. During the night, she is His resting place, and during the day, she is His very expression for His move on the earth. Now she has really learned to take the Lord as her life. His personality is now her personality, and His expression is her expression.
(Life and Building as Portrayed in the Song of Songs, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)