In the Eye of Christ
I have been studying verse fourteen of the second chapter in the Song of Solomon from The Passion Translation, which reads:
For you are my dove, hidden in the split-open rock. It was I who took you and hid you up high in the secret stairway of the sky. Let me see your radiant face and hear your sweet voice. How beautiful your eyes of worship and lovely your voice in prayer.
Since other translations do not render that verse in quite the same words, I went to the commentaries to see what they had to say about it. Many of them communicated that indeed, the writer was referring to praise, worship and prayers when he said “…let me see your face, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet and your face is lovely.”
But one line in particular from Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible caught my eye and my heart as I was reading his comments. He said concerning the last phrase of verse 14:
“…and thy countenance is comely; fair and beautiful, and therefore need not cover her face, or hang down her head, as if ashamed to be seen, since she was in the eye of Christ a perfection of beauty.”
So many books, articles, and sermons have been written about how God sees us through the blood of Christ, that to Him we are as Christ. Hooker said “Such are we in the sight of God the Father, as is the very Son of God Himself.” We are growing in our comprehension of our righteousness in Christ, but every now and then, we get a deeper glimpse into what that really looks like in the eyes of our God.
And we are beautiful.
Doesn’t it seem that our souls long to be beautiful? Our culture exalts earthly beauty and men and women alike will spend great sums of money to feel better about themselves in comparison to others. I think there is a God given longing for beauty that goes far, far deeper than we might recognize, and it is the desire to be pleasing in our Father’s eyes.
I personally believe this desire is the result of God being at work within us, “implanting within you the passion to do what pleases him (Philippians 2:14 TPT).” Rather than being spiritually offended at ourselves for wanting to be beautiful, we can ask the Lord to sanctify that desire and to lead us into the beauty He has in mind for us.
Our salvation is the beginning of our beauty for the Lord has cleansed us from all unrighteousness and made our sins “white as snow (Isaiah 1:18)” through the blood of Jesus. That, in and of itself, is a glorious beauty, but as we have often experienced, there is “an infinity to explore” (Eugene Peterson) when it comes to the depths of what God has in His heart for us.
We also know that imitating God (Ephesians 5:1) brings a beauty to our lives about which the Bible gives much detail. As “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4) we are empowered to express the life and godliness of Heaven’s culture in this world with the effect of displaying God’s glory as light in the darkness (2 Corinthians 4:6).
Doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God (Micah 6:8) is always a good standard by which to assess our imitation of Him. It is what He is looking for in us, and while these things are considered good works, we understand that we are not saved by good works. They are, as my husband often says, an expression of our salvation. It is God’s beauty and kindness working through us tangibly, and in the process, it makes us beautiful.
Worshiping the Lord in the beauty of holiness (Psalm 29:2), both the Lord’s holiness as well as our holiness (which comes from Him), is an experience that none of us want to miss during our lives. I believe He wants to lead us into such encounters with His presence that we come away from our time with Him with our faces radiant as did Moses from his encounter with God on Mt Sinai.
Our “eyes of worship” are beautified as we gaze upon His holiness from our holiness in those moments. People will often take notice that we have been with the Lord after times like that, just as the rulers, elders, and scribes did concerning Peter and John in Acts 4:13.
In a sense, we could say that our beauty in Christ is a witnessing tool that God uses to catch the attention of the lost. Because of that, we always want to yield our perspective to God’s perspective, particularly if we have trouble seeing ourselves as beautiful. Being “the perfection of beauty” in the eye of Christ is a testimony to the world of His desire for interaction with mankind, that none should perish and that all should come to know Him.