The Ministry of Beautification (Song 1:10)

In a discussion of differences between men and women, I once heard a comical depiction of men and a “cave” that they sometimes emotionally and mentally retreat into.  There is apparently nothing in this cave, which is exactly how they like it, and women especially aren’t allowed (although they try), because if they did get in they would take one look around and begin decorating it with pictures, rugs, and curtains! :-)
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Women generally do love to decorate, whether it’s their homes, their men, or themselves.  I used to think it was a natural feminine trait, but I’m rethinking this, knowing more than ever that deep in the heart of the woman, i.e. the Bride of Christ, there is a desire more powerful than to decorate.  It is to be decorated.

A gift that communicates

decorate2…O my darling companion, I see you, I see you as my mare among Pharaoh’s chariots.  How comely your cheeks are, and your neck, for ornamentation!  We will make for you braided garlands of gold, studded with silver.  ~Song 1:9-10

I have to admit something.  I’ve been affected by the meaning of Solomon’s note to the Shulamite in vs. 89, including the provocative image of her being His courageous mare.  But it’s here in the King’s plan of giving her beautiful things to wear that I, as a woman, am especially captivated.  There’s something about a gift of jewelry that communicates being special and desirable.  In fact it’s an innate need in all of us to feel this way, and regardless of gender there are thoughtful or costly gifts, given at just the right time it seems, that have a way of acknowledging we are “seen” and loved by someone.  These gifts do more than just make us feel good; they also bond us to the giver!

Blank canvases

There is a striking passage in Ezekiel 16:8-13 about the “desolate woman” who the Lord finds abandoned and lying in her own blood.  He causes her to live, and when it’s “her time of love” He becomes intimate with her, makes a covenant with her, and washes her clean.  He then arrays her with clothing and jewelry.
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There is a beautiful picture to be seen here. The Cross is evidence that there is no need for any of us to win God’s love.  Jesus Christ became one with us on our worst day, and it is in this condition that we were “comely” (i.e. perfectly inviting) for the robes and ornamentation of His righteousness and beauty.  We don’t have to do anything for these gifts!  The King is fully competent to provide for His Bride in every way, and He reminds her over and over again of this so that she can live a life of humble, joyful receiving, and from this have enough overflowing to then give.

“Decorate one another”

Pursue love and desire gifts of the Spirit, especially to prophesy.  The person who speaks in tongues builds their self up, but the one who prophesies builds up the Ekklesia.  They speak to others for strengthening, encouragement, and comfort.  1 Cor. 14:1-4
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Some of the readers here may know Jay Ferris who was given as a spiritual father to many (and still is).  Before he departed the world he had a particularly lucid moment when he dictated a list of random phrases, many from the Song, that were in his heart to expound on.  One of them I didn’t fully understand.  It was, “We are all His beauticians.”  Now in light of Song 1:10, “We will make for you jewelry,” it makes sense.  The embellishment that is implied in this passage is intricate and many-faceted (likely filigree), and Solomon would have employed goldsmiths to help him; i.e. skilled jewelry makers who had the ability to create what was in his mind to create.
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Personally I can relate to being on the receiving end of this prophetic and beautifying service.  In many ways I feel like a new person because of validating and life-giving words that were imparted to me in relationship. Not words about who I am or might be someday by doing more or measuring up, but by someone looking into my heart and seeing me as Christ sees me.  These are gifts that will last forever!
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A word fitly spoken is as apples of gold in settings of silver.  Prov. 25:11
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Has the Lord given you a heart to passionately love the Bride of Christ?  Beyond her desolation and stigma do you feel her deep worth and value?  Seek to give what you have been given.  We may be the Bride of Christ, but if we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we have the heart of the Bridegroom as well.
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In Love,
Pamela
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¹  1 Pet. 4:10

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    • Vinny on 02/13/2014 at 10:54 pm
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    Pam every time you share what the Lord has given you you present her beautifully ! What a gift. Thanks for sharing. The Lord delights in you and some of us are more than a bit fond of you as well.
    Majestic like one of Pharaohs mares but no longer yoked to his chariot in Egypt…….But Free :-D
    PS: Jay didn’t sound lucid to me before he went to sleep I only now sort of get him :-D Luv and miss ya Jay !

    1. I understand, lucid when and compared to what? :) I love you Vinny, thx for your comment.

  1. “‘I bathed you with water and washed the blood from you and put ointments on you. I clothed you with an embroidered dress and put sandals of fine leather on you. I dressed you in fine linen and covered you with costly garments. I adorned you with jewelry: I put bracelets on your arms and a necklace around your neck, and I put a ring on your nose, earrings on your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. So you were adorned with gold and silver; your clothes were of fine linen and costly fabric and embroidered cloth. Your food was honey, olive oil and the finest flour. You became very beautiful and rose to be a queen.”

    I think that it’s impossible for us to ‘see’ ourselves as Christ see us. This adds great weight to the need we have of gathering with one another, and esteeming one another out of reverence for Christ. As we do we are given ‘eyes’ to ‘see’ the stunning beauty of a fellow saint, and are prompted to express this with “words fitly spoken”. In this rich environment Love flows like living water. In this we gain a deeper and lasting understanding of who we are ‘in’ Christ.

    “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

    When I see you, I see Christ in you, and you’re beauty is breathtaking.

    1. Jim, this comment of yours, particularly this part, is profound,

      “I think that it’s impossible for us to ‘see’ ourselves as Christ see us. This adds great weight to the need we have of gathering with one another, and esteeming one another out of reverence for Christ…”

      If this is true, then it’s like that mirror analogy we used once. There just aren’t any in the Kingdom! Christ in you becomes the mirror for Christ in me, and visa versa.

      You are right, this does put great weight on our gathering close. And you know I don’t mean “close” as in ‘meetings in living rooms’, either :)

    • Marsela Sava on 02/14/2014 at 2:48 am
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    How Christ delights to unfold His thoughts of love toward his own! And more, to let us into the secret of things which God has prepared for those that love Him, things that eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither entered the heart of man.
    The Bridegroom not only expresses His present delight in His bride, but lets her into the secret of all the glory that is purposed for her. ” we will make you ornaments of gold with studs of silver” This to me is the crown she shall yet wear.
    There is the present comeliness Christ sees in His people, for as He is, so are we in this present world, and there is the future glory in which the saints will be displayed when the marriage of the Lamb is come. Beautiful are the saints in His sight now, but the crowning day is coming by and by.

  2. Marsela,

    Your comments always resonate within me, thank you for sharing!

    1. Yes, Marsela, thank you. I also did not see that Ezekial 16 also mentions a crown until reading your comment:)

  3. Dear Pamela
    Yes, when Jesus looks at us He sees us as perfect, pure and beautiful, yet, we are often (actually most of the times bleeding like in the verse of Ezekiel) from the brokenness of the world, wounded by the world and most often from the religious world. He gently nurses us back to health until we are a radiant bride who has been prepared to meet her Groom. But there is still the little foxes that we need to catch that just love to spoil the vineyard. I think my foxes were and still are mostly the straw man of “self”. We groan in these bodies like Paul and cannot wait to be clothed one day with our new perfect spiritual bodies that is totally without sin.
    Blessings XX
    Mia

    1. I understand the struggle you speak of, Mia. Thank you for articulating the heart of the Lord to nurse us. I have seen this heart in His saints.

    • Ana on 02/16/2014 at 12:00 pm
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    Beautifully written!! I can’t add anything. Thanks Pam for the nuggets that God reveals to you and
    you so willingly share with us!! Just beautiful!!

    • Lisa on 02/18/2014 at 7:36 pm
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    I’m reminded of 1 Thessalonians 2:19, “For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you?” Jay wrote about the crowns that we lay in front of Jesus as people. (Is it not you?) To the extent that we give of ourselves – pour ourselves into – allow ourselves to become intimate with in Him – allow others to pour into us: we place these crowns – these people – these relationships – at His feet. It truly is joy unspeakable. And from what I can sense, the only joy in the Kingdom of God – relationships the way the Father, Son and Holy Spirit do relationships.

    1. Beautifully said Lisa! Thank you:))

  4. They will know us by our love for one another. Christ, our life!

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