“The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament show His handiwork.”
– [Psalm 19:1]
The creative arm of this blog has grown, and as a result the new “Lily of the Valleys” site launched today. It is a place to share art, and a place to share testimony, but at its core, “Lily of the Valleys” is an expression of worship. The idea first sprouted during a walk in one of the city parks. Looking at the ducks, pigeons, trees and flowers, I saw the beauty, intricacy, modesty, and splendour of God’s creation. Even in those things we deemed “ordinary” and “common”, God’s marvellous work was seen. The duck’s coat, the pigeon’s crest, and the perfect angles of tree branches overshadowed any piece of fashion or art created by man. The reason was simple – before we created things, God created the world.
With the launch of this new website, I am reminded about how the name “Lily of the Valleys” was chosen. The answer is in Song of Songs.
“Like a lily among the thorns,
So is my love among the daughters.”
– [Song of Songs 2:2]
Song of Songs is a poetically written exchange of love between, historically, Solomon and his Shulamite beloved. It is also a potent insight into the love that intimately unites God and His church, the Bride of Christ. Song of Songs contains many descriptions of how God helps the church to see herself as He does. One description used is “lily of the valleys”. In Song of Songs 2:2 (above), God shows us how beautiful He has made us to be. We are unique, delicate, and beautiful amongst the thorns. He has seen us and chosen us specifically to lavish His love upon. In the preceding verse, the Shulamite (or the church), recognises how her lover sees her. She says,
“I am the rose of Sharon, And the lily of the valleys.” – [Song of Songs 2:1]
A few Bible commentaries offer their views on the symbolism of being a “lily of the valleys”. (Sourced from http://biblehub.com/songs/2-1.htm)
- Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary – “Believers are beautiful, as clothed in the righteousness of Christ; and fragrant, as adorned with the graces of his Spirit; and they thrive under the refreshing beams of the Sun of righteousness. The lily is a very noble plant in the East; it grows to a considerable height, but has a weak stem. The church is weak in herself, yet is strong in Him that supports her. The wicked, the daughters of this world, who have no love to Christ, are as thorns, worthless and useless, noxious and hurtful. Corruptions are thorns in the flesh; but the lily now among thorns, shall be transplanted into that paradise where there is no brier or thorn. The world is a barren tree to the soul; but Christ is a fruitful one.”
- Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible – “The church may also be compared to a “lily of the valleys”, as she is, in the next verse, to one among thorns. This is a very beautiful flower; Pliny (z) says it is next in nobleness to the rose; its whiteness is singularly excellent; no plant more fruitful, and no flower exceeds it in height; in some countries, it rises up three cubits high; has a weak neck or body, insufficient to bear the weight of its head. The church may be compared to a lily, for her beauty and fragrance, as to a rose; and the redness of the rose, and the whiteness of the lily, meeting in her, make her somewhat like her beloved, white and ruddy; like the lily, being arrayed in fine linen, clean and white, the righteousness of the saints; and like it for fruitfulness, as it is in good works, under the influence of divine grace, and grows up on high into her head, Christ Jesus; and though weak in herself, yet strong in him, who supports her, and not she him: and the church may be compared to a “lily of the valleys”; which may not describe any particular lily, and what we now call so; but only expresses the place where it grows, in low places, where plants are in danger of being plucked and trodden upon; though they may have more moisture and verdure than those in higher places; so the church of Christ is sometimes in a low estate, exposed to enemies, and liable to be trampled and trodden under foot by them, and to be carried away with the flood of persecution, were it not guarded by divine power; and, being watered with the dews of grace, it becomes flourishing and fruitful. “
While there can be much discussion on the origin, and meaning of the phrase “lily of the valleys”, I am reminded of this. Jesus’ blood washes us clean, so that we can stand in the presence of God and experience the fullness of His love towards us. In every circumstance, regardless of how we might see ourselves, God calls us beautiful, and loves us with His perfect love.
As most art, and other creative ventures will now be hosted by Lily of the Valleys, lostnowfoundk will continue to focus on writing – devotionals, encouragement, testimony and meditation on the Word. The two blogs will continue to link in to one another, and I hope you will experience the beauty of God through both His word, and His Spirit. We have a visible God who speaks though every avenue; one who is personable, creative, and passionate about pursuing us.
May the Lord cause our ears to be sensitive to the sound of His voice, and anoint our eyes to see His face. In whatever we do, let us give our all to God for “all things were created through Him and for Him.” [Colossians 1:16] God is our inspiration, and He is our life.
“… He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.” – [Colossians 1:18]
Check out our first post on Lily of the Valleys – K here: