God’s people are beautiful people. No matter their color, caste or nation, wherever they are, they are and ought to be beautiful people. They are beautiful, not by their outward appearance, but by the inward appearance that comes from understanding God’s desire. O, how one can describe these beautiful people of God by the qualities that God desires to see in them! They are Christians. When it is not by their outward appearance, by which the world constantly describes its people, then it is by their faith, righteousness, penitent life, wisdom and justice. Outward appearance consists of the things that we are already aware of, since the world constantly reminds us of its form. It is brazen and deceptive. Christians having the understanding of God’s desire quickly react to its form, since they themselves at one time were under its shadow. Hence, they constantly run away from being under its shadow. It is at this point that their inward appearance begins to fully form and conforms to God’s desire. Just as the world cannot withhold from exhibiting its brazen and deceptive form, these Christians too will not be able to hold back their inward nature; hence, appear beautiful. “How beautiful you are, my darling, how beautiful you are! Your eyes are like doves behind your veil; your hair is like a flock of goats that have descended from Mount Gilead” (Song. 4:1). When God’s people attain to this description, the world with the description of its people cannot ignore them.
It is often said that the language used by Solomon in this poem (book) is graphic in nature. On the contrary, it is rather decorative marked by the Holy Spirit for the describing of God’s desire for His people. How else can man fathom the beauty that God desires in him which was present before his fall? Before sin entered into man and woman they were perfect; perfect both on the outside and the inside. There was neither blemish nor spot in them; they roamed freely, lived in all liberty and brought joy to the Lord. When sin entered into them, they lost their perfection and death entered them, both for the body and the soul. Now, the Spirit has chosen that language in Solomon to exemplify the purity present in man before his fall so that every person of God is required to decorate himself with that purity to once again live with Him. For this reason also, comes the usage of eyes like doves and hair like flock of goats. Did we Christians decorate (beautify) ourselves for Him? Just as a woman desires praise for her beauty from her man, so too must the church desire praise from God for its inward appearance.
God’s people are a called out people for the purpose of being innocent. This, Jesus reiterates by calling men to be like a dove i.e. innocent regarding sin. If believers eyes are like doves, their innocence regarding sin must been seen from the veil, which is Christ. Did not Jesus say that the eye is the lamp of the body? When our eyes are pure, our whole body is pure and the veil, behind which we are kept, protects our innocence. In other words, Christ stands before us proving our innocence to the world, since He has caused it in us. Hence, the world is made to regard our innocence, which we possessed from understanding God’s desire. This understanding is like the hair, which is like the flock of goats that came from mount Gilead i.e. strong. Mount Gilead became a right place for feeding the exceedingly large livestock of Reuben and Gad, and the livestock thrived well. When the flock came down the mountain, they appeared well fed. Even so, the believers’ understanding, when he or she is tended by God. For this understanding is the sole reason for our innocence regarding sin; it makes us beautiful. We cannot hold back from exhibiting our inward appearance.
Since, Christians are for this reason the called out, they are to examine themselves for the purpose being God’s people. The men of old have done this and often corrected themselves to be fit for God’s house. They were not ashamed to confess their sins and rebellion before God, whether privately or publicly; and they were heard. “We have acted very corruptly against You and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses” (Neh. 1:7). For this reason also, Christians ought not to be ashamed to confess their sins and rebellion, since in Christ they will be made pure. He will protect us, since our understanding to confess is well nourished by His desire; thus, making us innocent. Our eyes which are the lamp of the body become clean and full of light. But, why do many Christians cannot return to God? They lack the understanding of God’s desire. If one is not innocent concerning sin, his eye is impure and the whole body full of darkness. Such people will not have the protection of Christ. For this reason also, the world is unable to see Christ before them. When Christ is not seen, they are the ‘namesake’ Christians. God has no use of such people for His kingdom. These will be left out. Though they had been called, they were not the chosen. And many will be that are left out. “In that day the LORD of hosts will become a beautiful crown and a glorious diadem to the remnant of His people” (Isa. 28:5).
The remnant is like the doves and their innocence regarding sin was seen by the world from the veil, which is Christ. These have performed their duty in that they demonstrated Christ day and night. They have not given into immorality, greed, bribery nor any form of lust. When they fell they stood up, since they were not ashamed to confess their sin before the Lord. They valued their heavenly place as more precious than their weaknesses. They are the beautiful people of God. But, to those who do not value Christ and His heavenly promise more than their sin and weaknesses, do not be a stumbling block to others. If you indeed do not desire to return to the Lord, do not speak for the Lord. Do not speak concerning the Lord. Do not teach your trade, which is of the flesh, to those who believe in Him. Do not implant in them the doctrines that are against praising God and His dwelling among believers. Do not falsify the work of the Holy Spirit and do not gather unholy things in the name of the Lord. For the Lord has once before warned His people saying, “Though you, Israel, play the harlot, do not let Judah become guilty; also do not go to Gilgal, or go up to Beth-aven and take the oath: ‘As the LORD lives!’” (Hos. 4:15).
O, what a pity that many are still reluctant to receive the Lord! How impossible has it become for them to believe in the Lord! Since they do not believe, they also are rejecting the understanding that God desires in them. Just as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west every day, these too have become repetitive with their attitude toward Christ. They desire to be known as God’s people, crave to speak of Him, but only according to their thoughts that produced heinous doctrines. They have lost the sense of the purpose in praising God. Why do these churches do not receive Him? Why will they not receive the purity that He is willing to offer? Because, they are unwilling to become holy; for becoming holy means they are to forsake their sin, and overcome their weaknesses that are offering them a reason to worship God. Yes, they desire to worship God only by the standards they laid for themselves. These are like the Samaritans that did not desire Christ, because they were presumptuous of themselves. “But they did not receive Him, because He was traveling toward Jerusalem” (Luke 9:53).
Are they not worshipping the Lord? Do they not speak of Him? Yes they are, but they have not yet opened their hearts to act in response to the gospel of Jesus that produces the spirit of unity. Though they are now worshipping God, they are doing it apart from the substance that pleases God. If they are to be the beautiful people of God, they have to become one with those who are of the faith. For this to happen, they are to believe the gospel just as it was believed in the past and is also now being believed. But instead, if they desire for the faithful to join them, it is vanity. For the holders of the true faith go from strength to strength, and not to weakness and failure. For this reason, when the gospel was preached to them, they willingly accepted it. “A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul” (Acts 16:14).
It only begins with one good attitude of ours to become the Lord’s beautiful people. It is to listen. Listen to the word being spoken to you. Listen to the encouragement its gives you. Listen to it and receive understanding. When you listen to it, it will bring forth from you the kind of conviction that will fill you with the promise. When you sincerely open your heart to the Lord, those teachings that are not of Christ cannot enter you. But, let there be no malice or another desire in your heart. Then, He will let you search until that time when you will find to listen and be saved. This is the work of the Lord, the Father and the Spirit, and they will not forfeit it. The gospel is Their means to reach you. This is the sign that you have listened to the right word of God – “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation– having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:13). This seal makes you the beautiful of God.