“Go forth, O daughters of Zion,
and gaze on King Solomon
with the crown with which
his mother has crowned him
on the day of his wedding,
and on the day of
his gladness of heart.”
Song of Songs 3:11 NASB
Who could ever know in just a single gaze
All the glory of Your face –
All the glory of Your face? 
The Song of Songs is a multi-faceted depiction of the Bridegroom King disguised as Shepherd Lover, and the processes of the becoming bride and bridal company portrayed through the life of the Shulamite and the Daughters of Jerusalem. Woven throughout is the glorious aim of the One who sits on the throne – to share it in that Day with His Bride made ready.
When last we met in The King’s Chair, Part 2 and prior to that in Like Stately Pillars, Part 2, all eyes were on this One coming up out of the wilderness like columns of smoke, sacrificing myrrh and frankincense. What had He been up to?
There is nothing like the Lord’s way with us in the wilderness to educate us on what is what. 
The Shulamite, our biblical model of the bride of Christ comprised of individual believers who have answered His call to come away with Him, finds herself at the end of chapter three of the Song at another significant point of transition. She is still on her way to her second confession of love. Suffice it to say, she has not yet arrived. There remains more Song to be sung before she or we get to SS 8:14.
Before we go all ‘wise and anointed’ with our knowledge of how her story ends, we would do well to remember that we emulate her. It is rare that we fully discern while we are in the midst of the Lord’s dealings all that He has been up to and why.
As the Shulamite’s story unfolds there is a humility that accompanies hindsight and a future that unfolds in response to faith, based in believing what we do not yet see but on which we set our hope. (Hebrews 11:1)
When her gaze wavers, so does she. When our gaze wavers from a single eye fixed on our Beloved, so do we. One of the richest lessons of wilderness wisdom we can learn is His repeated admonition to us, ‘keep your eyes right here,’ as our Dove fixes us with His gaze, willing us to respond in kind.
The longer and deeper we gaze into His glorious countenance, our two wavering eyes become single and united, inciting His further approbation (favor and personal activity). We respond. He responds more.
“…you have made my heart beat faster with a single glance of your eyes…” Songs 4:9 NASB
Our desire to look elsewhere begins to fade as we are overcome to become overcomers.
When we come to see Him as He is with revealed understanding in the present, then with the humility of hindsight we begin to see Him as He has ever been: Faithful. True. Always there, having never left us.
Though we have wandered from Him in the wilderness and that sometimes of our own making, He has been near all along. Waiting just beyond the lattice for us to notice Him and respond with our very life.
No one loves the wilderness years. But it is those years whereby Love leads us through the wilderness with lessons and dealings, and into the land of pruning and reduction, planting and gathering everything His bride will need in the Day of His appearing. Those who will be led (evidenced by an obedient heart and will yielded to Him) will be brought forth with Him – perfumed with His grace, alight with His glory.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11 NASB
But first we must gaze on the King. There are evidences of His grace and glory shining brightly on and in His becoming bride around the world. What a blessing to already admire Him in so many as the Body is growing up into Him, the Head. Ah, but there’s the catch: the ever-ready Admiration Society, also known as the Daughters of Jerusalem. They mean no harm but often get in the way of the Lord’s dealings.
If the becoming Bride is going to remain betrothed with a single eye free from distraction and discord, she must learn the ongoing lesson of developing an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying that flies in the face of human viewpoint and reasoning, followed by acting upon and ordering her steps by His Word.
If your will is to be part of the bride of Christ, you will be brought face to face with this dilemma.
There is no shortcut, no way around, no avoiding this critical part of the journey. Companions are just that; companions in this life. They don’t originate Life. They may be life-giving, inspiring and all manner of wonderful examples of Christ, but they are not Him. Don’t confuse the two. He alone is your All in All.
You will, however, find you are not alone. He will not leave His betrothed bereaved; His heart longs for companionship too. He who leads to Himself is surrounded by others who have come away with Him.
He has come to us so we may gaze on Him. As we do, everything comes into single-eyed focus.
~ Gracefully Free
 Lyrics credit: The Diamond Turns – Paul Baloche on Desert Rain
 before Vineyard Days, I wrote Desert Days; it is by no means complete but was penned during a season where the Lord showed Himself strong and mighty and serious about bringing His beloved out of the desert into His glorious Kingdom of Love.
©2016 Nancy C. Bentz – Author’s permission granted to forward this devotional piece in its entirety, including this copyright line. Comments and subscriptions to this blog are welcome.