My Beloved: His Lips
You would imagine that when describing her beloved, it wouldn't be too long before the Shunammite had something to say about what he has to say. And sure enough, she makes two statements: one about his lips and the other about his mouth, both of which are used elsewhere in scripture as metaphors for words (Prov. 12:13; 15:2). "His lips are like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh" (Song 5:13) and "His mouth is most sweet" (5:16).
Let's use these phrases to examine the words of our Beloved, the Lord Jesus.
Firstly, what does the Shunammite mean by, "his lips are like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh?" I don't think it's stretching the metaphor to assume that he had 'a way with words,' unparalleled amongst his contemporaries. As we examine the life of the Lord Jesus in the gospel records, we are not surprised to learn that this was also the case. Says Luke; "all bare Him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceedeth out of His mouth." The Saviour had just preached His first public sermon in His home town of Nazareth, and in so doing had claimed that certain pivotal Old Testament scriptures were about Him: "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears" He stated. But what most impressed those who heard Him were His 'words of grace' (Darby). There was something about the way He spoke that attracted the people, to the point that they were confused: "is not this Joseph's son?" You can hear their incredulity: 'He is a carpenter!' 'He has had no education!' But yet there He was speaking 'words of grace.' As the lips of the Shunammite's beloved dropped sweet smelling myrrh, so our Lord Jesus dropped 'words of grace.'
Next the Shunammite says: "His mouth is most sweet." There are numerous occasions when the Lord Jesus used His words to bring blessing: words of healing; words of compassion; words of sympathy. But what is truly remarkable is that His enemies specifically targeted His words as a means of bringing about His downfall, but with absolutely no success. Luke tells us that the Pharisees were "laying wait for Him, and seeking to catch something out of His mouth, that they might accuse Him" (Lk. 11:54). Later we read that they set up a conversation with Him so that they "might take hold of His words, that so they might deliver Him" (20:20) but yet we read that "they could not take hold of His words...and they marvelled at His answer, and held their peace" (20:26). Such were the guileless words of the Lord Jesus, that there was nothing they could hang an accusation on. How different with us! It's not long before our words cause offence, or trip us up. His different is our Beloved. Says Peter, "who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth" (1 Pe. 2:22).
As we remember Him again this morning, may we be thankful for our Beloved with "His lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh."
Mervyn Hall is in fellowship with his wife in the assembly that meets in Hebron Gospel Hall in Bicester (UK) and is employed as a business consultant to the Healthcare industry.