Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lessons In The Valleys: The Lily Of The Valleys

Lessons In The Valleys:
The Lily Of The Valleys


I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.
Song of Solomon 2:1

Jesus Christ here identifies Himself as the rarest and most beautiful of flowers, the rose of Sharon. Red in the Bible typically pictures sacrifice and shed blood. Jesus was our sacrifice and shed His blood for our sins on the cross of Calvary. This makes Him the most beautiful of Saviours. Yea, He is altogether lovely! (See Song of Solomon 5:16)

Isaiah 33:17 Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.

"'Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report,' all are to be found stored up in our Well-beloved. Whatever there may be of beauty in the material world, Jesus Christ possesses all that in the spiritual world, only in a tenfold multiplication. He is infinitely more beautiful in the garden of the soul and in the paradise of God than the rose can be in the gardens of earth, though it be the universally acknowledged queen of flowers." - Charles Spurgeon.

Jesus also calls Himself the lily of the valleys, representing sinlessness, spotless purity, and perfect righteousness. He is identifying Himself with us in His humility – of the valleys. The Son of God became a man so He could die for the sins of men, as the perfect, sinless sacrifice. He left Heaven’s glory to do for us what no one else could do: save ours souls. He took on our infirmities so that He could identify with us in our struggles and afflictions. (See 1 Timothy 3:16; John 14:30; Hebrews 2:9, 16-18; 4:14-16; 1 Peter 2:22)

2 Corinthians 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.

Psalms 45:1-2 My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the King: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer. Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into Thy lips: therefore God hath blessed Thee for ever.

As the Rose of Sharon, Jesus brings a wonderful fragrance, an aroma into our spirits that this world cannot take away. Thy name is as ointment poured forth. (Song of Solomon 1:3; see also Proverbs 27:9; Ephesians 5:2; 2 Corinthians 2:14-16) In all our trials, the very mention of Him, the savour of His name, brings joy and comfort that is diffused throughout our lives.

As the Lily of the Valleys, Jesus is extremely precious to our souls. Unto you therefore which believe He is precious. (1 Peter 2:7) He is our precious cornerstone, our precious sacrifice, our precious Saviour, and the precious object of our faith. (See 1 Peter 2:6 and 1:18-19) But it seems to me that Jesus would be the most precious to us when we are going through the valleys in our own lives.

Jesus is the Lily in all our valleys:

1) The Valley of Decision – Joel 3:2, 14 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for My people and for My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted My land. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.

This valley of Jehoshaphat (the LORD judges) was also referred to as the valley of decision. It is here that the Lord Jesus Christ will judge the nations at His second coming. (See Joel 3:12) While this passage refers to a literal future judgement, in a very real way, this life is our valley of decision! All of us are faced with a decision in our lives that will affect us eternally: what will you do with Jesus? Will He be your Saviour or Judge in that coming day? That decision will depend on what you have done with Him now.

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

If you believe that Jesus Christ is the only Saviour and have turned to Him for salvation; if you believe that He died upon the cross for your sins, that He was buried and arose physically three days later; that He paid the complete penalty for you when He shed His blood and died in your place; if you have repented of your sins and are trusting in His finished work of redemption, if you have rejected your own self-righteousness (which is as filthy rags in God’s sight – see Isaiah 64:6), and received Jesus Christ as your Saviour, He becomes your righteousness (see Jeremiah 23:6 and Romans 10:1-4); then you have passed from death unto life and need not fear any future judgement. Christ has already borne the judgement your sin deserves!

If you have received His gift of pardon and everlasting life, then you will face Him as your Saviour. If you reject the salvation found only in Him, then one day you will face Him as your Judge - and that judgement will be eternity in Hell. Choose Christ today before it is too late! Choose life in Him while you still have breath to make that decision.

Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

Jesus is precious to believers because He is their security, their advocate, their righteousness, their redemption, their life. (See 1 Corinthians 1:30 and Deuteronomy 30:20) Those who have chosen to receive Christ have lives that are a whole lot sweeter than those without Christ. (See Exodus 15:23-25) Notice, I said sweeter, not easier. Those with the Lily of the valleys in their lives have peace, joy, hope, and assurance that the unsaved do not have.

2) The Valley Of Trouble – Hosea 2:14-15 Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.

Jesus is precious to us because of the hope He offers us when we wander astray from Him. When we insist on going our own way, He does what is needed in our lives to hedge our way with thorns (Hosea 2:6), convict us of our sins, show us the emptiness and futility of pursuing pleasure in anything other than the Himself (Hosea 2:7), and offer us the hope of restoration when we return to Him.

3) The Valley Of Weeping - Psalms 84:5-6 Blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.

Jesus is precious to us in our times of sorrows because of the comfort He gives us, and the reminder that we are only passing through this valley and not dwelling here permanently. He gives us this comfort in several different ways: through His presence, through the indwelling Holy Spirit, through His Word, and through the compassion and sympathy of other believers.

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

John 14:16-18 And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

Acts 9:31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.

Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

Psalms 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction: for Thy word hath quickened me.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

Romans 1:12 That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.

1 Corinthians 14:3 But he that prophesieth (preaches the Word of God) speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

Colossians 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;

Isaiah 40:1 Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith your God.

4) The Valley of the Shadow of Death – Psalms 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.

He is precious to us when we are faced with death or overwhelmed with the fear of it because He has promised to be always there with us. He will never leave us alone.

Hebrews 2:14-15 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Hebrews 13:5-6 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

5) My High Places - Psalms 18:32-33 It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places.

Habakkuk 3:17-19 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and He will make my feet like hinds' feet, and He will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.

While the above passages do not specifically mention valleys, I often think of the victories (the mountaintop experiences) that we have in Christ. A valley is a low spot in-between two mountains. Jesus Christ is precious to our souls because He can give us the hinds’ feet we need to have the victory through each and every circumstance in our lives. Even when walking or passing through the valleys, they do not need to be times of discouragement and defeat, but they can be times of victory where we are surefooted and confident in the Lord. He is the God of the good times as well as the God of the bad times; He is the God of the mountains as well as the God of the valleys! (See 1 Kings 20:28) He is still in control when we go through trials and afflictions. Like a Refiner, He will use whatever trials He knows best to purify us; and like a Potter, He will mold these clay pots according to His perfect will. Let Him have His way with you – His way is always best!

Psalm 18:30 and 32 As for God, His way is perfect… He maketh my way perfect.

Psalms 138:8 The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: Thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of Thine own hands.

2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.

Romans 8:35, 37-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of His knowledge by us in every place.

1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

I will end this study on this final note:

Our Heavenly Father is working out all things in our lives to conform us to the image of His precious Son, Jesus Christ.

Song of Solomon 2:1-2 I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among thorns, so is My love among the daughters.

In this world, true believers are like Christ. He is the Lily; we are as the Lily. He is molding us through each and every circumstance in our lives to be more like Himself.

Romans 8:28-30 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.

1 John 3:1-3 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.

Philippians 3:20-21 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself.

Psalms 17:15 As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness.

He’s not finished with us yet!

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Truly, Jesus is the Lily of the valleys!

(Poem taken from Streams In The Desert)

"I have been through the valley of weeping,
The valley of sorrow and pain;
But the 'God of all comfort' was with me,
At hand to uphold and sustain.

"As the earth needs the clouds and sunshine,
Our souls need both sorrow and joy;
So He places us oft in the furnace,
The dross from the gold to destroy.

"When He leads thro' some valley of trouble,
His omnipotent hand we trace;
For the trials and sorrows He sends us,
Are part of His lessons in grace.

"Oft we shrink from the purging and pruning,
Forgetting the Husbandman knows
That the deeper the cutting and paring,
The richer the cluster that grows.

"Well He knows that affliction is needed;
He has a wise purpose in view,
And in the dark valley He whispers,
'Hereafter thou'lt know what I do.'

"As we travel thro' life's shadow'd valley,
Fresh springs of His love ever rise;
And we learn that our sorrows and losses,
Are blessings just sent in disguise.

"So we'll follow wherever He leadeth,
Let the path be dreary or bright;
For we've proved that our God can give comfort;
Our God can give songs in the night."

(Author Unknown)

Study written August 10th/04
Jerry Bouey

Other studies in this series of Lessons In The Valleys:

The Valley Of Trouble

For a list of studies that use the Song of Solomon as the springboard:

Song Of Solomon

2 comments:

Sean Payne said...

Amen Brother, thank you for posting this, it is encouraging.

Deborah said...

Great message, Bro. Jerry. Thank you for sending me the link!

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