Song of Solomon2:1

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I am a meadow flower

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from SHARON,

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a lily

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of the valleys.

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I was given beauty and placed amid the beautiful places LAID OUT by God; my beauty has the power to gladden even in times of abundance.


1: “meadow flower”

Although there are 7 species of roses that do grow naturally in Israel (according to Unger), this word, often translated “rose,” is most likely a reference to something other than our rose—maybe to the narcissus, or the autumn crocus. There are two types of narcissus that grow in that region. Because of its use in conjunction with “Sharon” (known for flowery beauty), I believe it was a flowering plant known for its beauty, its fragrance and possibly its usefulness in providing essential oils. It could be a reference to simple beauty, which also fits the Song well. Simple beauty still has power to refresh and inspire.


Sharon was a coastal plain noted for its flowery beauty, and as a garden spot (i.e., a place of natural beauty). The word means “plain” and probably came from the word for “spread out,” which makes me think God carefully arranged it, laying it out like one would do with a table.


The lily found in Israel is not quite the same as the lily found in America because the American kind does not grow naturally in Israel (according to Unger). We cannot be sure which plant this is, but most scholars seem to think it was a type of lily or iris. This word comes from a root word which means “white, to be bright, to bring cheer and to be happy” (Davidson & Strong’s). The color was considered regal and bright, with brightness being a key part of its meaning. We do not think of white flowers as regal, but apparently people of that day did. The word was also used of musical instruments, causing us to conclude that the flower and the musical instrument had a similar shape and brought joy. Thus we think the flower in mind has a tubular, or trumpet-like shape. It is thought to have been a plant with a bright white flower that had a tendency of coming up in the fields and providing a smattering of brightness to the plain-looking fields. For all these reasons lilies were a symbol of regal beauty that adorned places that were otherwise ordinary, thus bringing cheer to those that saw them. We could call them a floral serendipity.


Valleys were known as places where water and vegetation could be found, and they were often contrasted with the more arid open country around them. Thus valleys became a symbol of production, fertility, and abundance.

Like a Meadow Flower

She does not flaunt her beauty, neither does she deny her beauty, rather she understands that all the attractive and captivating qualities she possesses come from the Lord. She sees those qualities as a blessing and as tools to be used for good not evil. How desperately our culture needs a proper perspective on beauty.

Sadly, the church in America needs this message just as much as the world. Many “Christian” women dress just like the women of the world. This may be because they don’t know anything else. They have absorbed so much of the advertising, and so many movies and TV shows, that they think such styles of dress are just part of living in America. And they would definitely not want to look out of style.

However, there may be more to this issue than first meets the eye. Some women participate in a competition to see how many men’s heads they can turn. That is obviously contrary to the way a Christ-following woman should act. But there appears to be another competition going on, one in which a woman tries to see how many other women she can make feel insecure because she has something to offer (her body) that is better than what they have.

If Christian women dress suggestively in order to compete with other women and show their stuff, they need to take some time for a soul check. If they allow God to shine His spotlight of truth on their motives I believe He will show them that participation in such a competition does not honor Him, it does not help the Christian men in their life keep their minds pure, it does not strengthen their marriages, and does not provide a good example for their children. Many Christian women have participated in this competition, yet when their daughters reach a certain age they fear their daughters will get pregnant before marriage because the scraps of clothing they wear may be sending the wrong message. Go figure. This competition should have no part in the life of a woman who claims to be a follower of Jesus!

The security and stability that a woman naturally seeks will not be found in outdoing the competition by trying to show that her body is better than that of other women. Security and stability are found in a healthy relationship with God and a healthy relationship with her husband. So keep that show for the bedroom.

This spontaneous beauty contest is now a fabric of our culture because of a general misunderstanding about what beauty is. This misunderstanding is largely due to the influences of TV and movies, which emphasize exclusively the outer beauty, to the exclusion of inner beauty. Tragically, the church has bought into this false perception of beauty right along with the world.

Some women feel they cannot compete in this beauty contest, so they lapse into despair, depression, and even self-destructive behaviors. They fail to see that God looks at what is on the inside, and if there is beauty on the inside, it will spill over onto the outside. Failing to see that God accepts them just the way they are, they refuse to accept themselves. By accepting the world’s definition of beauty, the church has contributed to this problem instead of being part of the solution.

I have heard that not one photo that appears on the front of a woman’s magazine is published without being altered in some way. A mole is removed (or added), the legs are made thinner, the complexion is enhanced, the lines are made more curvaceous, etc. etc. Think about that; even the models that spend their entire lives trying to look perfect so they can appear on the front of magazines are not perfect enough for the standard of beauty that our culture now accepts. The American concept of beauty has become completely unattainable, unreachable, unnatural, and unhealthy. Such a standard should be rejected by everyone.

The bottom line is this: the closer a woman is to God the easier it is for her to accept herself. A strong relationship with God will help her not be unreasonably hard on herself.