The complements are flowing in this section of The Song Of Solomon and the lover begins by saying
“…how handsome you are, my lover!
Oh, how delightful you are!”
(The Song Of Solomon 1.16, NET)
Having previously extolled the character of her beloved (1.3) here the lover praises his appearance. As we talked about yesterday, there is no shame in the attraction we feel towards others (what we do with it counts).
The lover proceeds to liken their growing relationship to things around her that are strong and secure (v.16b-17) and then seems to be hit by another wave of self-doubt (cf. v.5):
“I am a meadow flower from Sharon,
a lily from the valleys.”
(The Song Of Solomon 2.1, NET)
Much has been written about the origin or species of the particular meadow flower from Sharon, but the point seems to be that the lover feels that yes, she has some beauty and worth, but none more than is common to humankind. Describing herself as a lily from the valleys is to say that she is commonplace: nothing out of the ordinary. It seems that self-doubt and low self-esteem are never too far from the lover.
Into this speaks the beloved. He reaffirms his view and says that
“Like a lily among the thorns,
so is my darling among the maidens.”
(The Song Of Solomon 2.2, NET)
Rather than being a lily from the valleys the beloved says that his lover is like a lily among thorns.
Feeling ordinary, commonplace, and self-defeating is something that we can all struggle with and, like the lover here, we need someone to correct these less-than-excellent thoughts. No matter how you are currently feeling about yourself, know that in the eyes of God you are spectacular;
You are made in His image to reflect His nature and character – Genesis 1.27
You are fearfully and wonderfully created – Psalm 139.14
You are wanted, desired, and pursued – 2 Peter 3.9, Psalm 53.2, Genesis 3.9
You are loved beyond human measure, both now and forever – John 3.16, 2 Corinthians 5.21