“Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother’s children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.” (Song of Solomon 1:6)
The next segment of our look at the love expressed in Song of Solomon comes from verse 6, “Look not upon me...” Thus far, the bride’s pleas have been positive to her man, her Beloved. But here, she puts forth a negative plea, “Look not upon me…”
This plea has a behind-the-obvious meaning; it is not that the woman did not want her lover to look at her. But she did not want her lover to look upon her with disdain because of her color, which was indicative of her status in life as a servant. Also she tells him she had left tending to her own vineyard because she was taking care of others’ vineyards; it wasn’t because she was not a diligent person.
She attributes her color to working out in the sun as a servant; which her mother’s children made her do. The fact that her mother’s children made her leave her own vineyard and tend to theirs, reveals that she was the “baby” child of the family and was subject to the older children’s commands; also that this subjection was not willing, but was forced (she had no other choice).
Being black in color was not the issue at all. Her issue was what her color indicated; what she perceived her beloved would think. Her color indicated that she was a slave, working out in the sun, and that this is the reason she was black. Then in defense of her position as a servant, she stated that she was “made” to tend to her older siblings’ vineyards. And this was the same reason why her own vineyard was not kept.
But notice, this is her perception of what she thought her lover might think of her; that she was a servant of others, and thus not able to keep her own vineyard. But nowhere does the text indicate that her present situation had any bearing (or carried any weight) as to how the man viewed her position.
This is where the truth lies in this verse; in our preconceived perception of what Christ thinks of us in our present situation.
We need to understand that Christ is God. Christ knows all and sees all; being the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last. God is our Creator, Controller, and Consummator. He sees we are but dust (Psalms 103:14). He sees our depravity; and He also sees all our sins from beginning to end.
Praise God that He does not look at our parents as to their physical traits or their status or their spiritual condition. He does not look upon us because of our physical traits or our status in this world. And He does not look upon us as sinners; for we are redeemed out of the rule of sin and death. But He does look on us through His Eternal Purpose in Christ Jesus (Psalms 103:10-18).
He sees His Atonement applied to our sin debt. He sees even our failures after we are covered in Righteousness. But praise God, He sees His own Substitution, Sacrifice, and Salvation for us in Him. We stand not as a servant; but as a Son of God, and as a Friend (Romans 8:14-16; John 15:15).
The woman in our verse has not been revealed, as of yet, her Beloved’s true view of her. She is still looking at self and her own self-worth and her own works. This is where so many of God’s Children are today; they are still walking by sight and not by faith. They are ashamed for Christ to look upon their inner man, because they are not completely dependent upon Christ and His Righteousness. If God’s Children are ever to come to rest in Christ, they must realize, “But by the grace of God I am what I am...” (1 Corinthians 15:10)
And they must see:
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;” (2 Corinthians 3:5)
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13)
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” (Romans 10:4)
There are a multitude of verses that the Child of God can read to see that Christ does not look upon our flesh. But He looks upon His own Righteousness; with which He has covered all His Children though His vicarious (substitutionary) and expiatory (satisfaction, appeasement) Sacrifice on the Cross. (See Isaiah 53:1-12; Romans 3:24-25; 5:1-21; Ephesians 1:7; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 1:18-20; 2:24.)
Child of God, it is the height of pride to think that we ever could, in our flesh, please God. Because of our original sin nature received through our father Adam (Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22), we cannot please God.
This way of thinking is first a deception of our old man to trick us into depending upon the flesh for victory. And that cannot be, for our Victory is in Christ (1 John 5:4; Romans 7:24-25).
Secondly, it cheats the Child of God of assurance, confidence and peace in Christ and in His Grace and Mercy.
Thirdly, it takes away from the power of Who God is (Proverbs 19:21) for He is a Covenant-keeping God. What He has purposed will be performed; for He is God. He is all powerful. He has all knowledge. He is omnipresent. He is the Creator, Controller, and Consummator of all things. God told Moses, “…I AM THAT I AM…” (Exodus 3:14). There is no other God besides Me.
Fourthly, this kind of thinking takes away the need for the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Christ for us, in paying our sin debt; without which we would forever be in spiritual death, or spiritually separated from God. No, a thousand times no; for we sinned in Adam. We are born in a spiritually dead condition (dead in sins and trespasses). We are completely separated from the love and communion of God. And our old nature, our old man, is bent to always sin (Ephesians 2:1-3).
Therefore, we had to have a Savior. We do have a Savior and His name is Jesus (Isaiah 53:1-12). As our Substitute, He took on the penalty for our sin. He satisfied God on the Cross as the Sin Offering, the Burnt Offering; totally consumed by the wrath of Almighty God; thus paying our sin debt and satisfying a Holy God. Hallelujah!
Child of God, rest and relax in the Grace of God. Know that God does not look upon your earthly position of sin; but He looks upon the Righteousness of Christ that you wear before Him. God looks at us as Perfect in Christ.
Therefore, our plea to our Beloved (Christ) should be: Look not on me, but upon me because I am clothed in Your Righteousness; for I am one included in the Seed on Calvary’s Cross. I am Yours and You are mine by the Eternal Purpose of God in Christ. I am Blood-bought, Blood-washed by the Perfect Lamb of God. Look past my position and my works; and look to Christ in whom I dwell; and He dwells in me. Look not on who I am in the flesh, but who I am “in Christ Jesus.”
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus…” (Romans 8:1a)
Hallelujah! Amen and Amen!
Child of Grace, this is how we are viewed by God, if He dwells in us. Therefore, speak to Him in assurance, confidence, and peace: “Look at me; for what You see is Your Glory on me and in me. Amen!”