The Most Beautiful Bride

Key Verse: “My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.”
—Song of Solomon 6:9

Selected Scripture:
Song of Solomon 6:4-12

IN THE KEY VERSE OF OUR lesson, the “dove, my undefiled” is used as a symbol of the purity of the church. The phrase, “she is the only one of her mother,” further indicates that symbolic reference is being made to the bride of Christ. There is only one true spiritual bride, the “choice one of her that bare her”—that is, the Sarah feature of the Abrahamic Covenant. (Gal. 4:22-26) Jesus’ bride is fully and completely in his heart, and he loves her exceedingly. She, in turn, desires to be like him in heart, mind, and being. She strives to be humble, gentle, peaceful, and completely filled with love for him. The bride keeps herself undefiled from the world and its ways. She does this by daily going to the throne of heavenly grace in prayer for assistance, that she might be presented as “a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle.”—Eph. 5:27

The Apostle Peter says, “Be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” (II Pet. 3:14) We also note these important words from the psalmist, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight.” (Ps. 19:14) The Prophet Isaiah describes the preparation which takes place in advance of the marriage of the spiritual bride to the bridegroom. “God … hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.”—Isa. 61:10

Similar thoughts concerning the bride of Christ are given prophetically in Psalm, chapter 45, where the marriage scene is symbolically described. There Christ Jesus is shown as the “king” who greatly desires the beauty of his bride. The bride, Isaiah says, “is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold,” and she will be “brought unto the king in raiment of needlework.” She will have beauty of character and purity in heart, and be given a unique, special place of honor. In addition, “the virgins her companions that follow her shall [also] be brought … with gladness and rejoicing.” They all “shall enter into the king’s palace.”—Ps. 45:11-15

This is in agreement with the custom of past times. When a wedding was held, the father of the bride would present, along with his daughter, a maidservant who would accompany or “follow” her and, after the marriage, continue to be associated with her from that time forward. Sometimes, more than one maidservant would be presented, as pictured in this psalm. While the bridegroom, when speaking of his family, would only refer to one person as his wife, he would include as part of his extended family, or household, the bride’s maidservants. It is the faithful body of Christ who becomes his bride, and joint-heirs with him of all God’s heavenly promises. The “virgins her companions” will attain an honorable position and “serve” God “day and night.” They will be “before the throne,” and not on it, as will be the bride, who will share in all the glories, honor, and the immortal nature of the bridegroom.—Rev. 7:15; 3:21; Rom. 2:7