"He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love." Song of Solomon 2:4
The Song of Solomon is also known as the Song of Songs. This book was written early in King Solomon's reign, probably around 965BC.
Union and Communion
Our relationship with God is to celebrated and sung about. The Psalms and Hymns are essentially celebrations of God's love for us, and our love for Him.
As the Psalms are about worship,
Proverbs deal with wisdom,
Song of Songs deals with our love for God and His love for us.
Wisdom, worship and love are to be received with gratitude and celebrated with joy.
"Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness."
The Song of Songs illustrates God's passionate love for His people through a love story based on an actual romance of King Solomon. In the Song of Songs we see:
Seeking His countenance,
Surrendering the will,
Reflecting His beauty,
The perfection of the Bridegroom,
Sharing the Divine nature and
The main themes are:
The Heavenly Bridegroom
His love covers all defects of the bride (4:7). Love covers a multitude of sins.
He rejoices over her (Isaiah 62:5)
The Bridegroom gives His life for the bride (Ephesians 5:25)
The Bridegroom will come to claim the bride as His own (Matthew 25:6)
The bride loves the bridegroom (2:16)
She feels her unworthiness (1:6)
She has been purified and dressed in matchless garments (Revelation 19:8)
She wears the jewels of His Divine grace (Isaiah 61:10)
She issues invitations to the wedding (Revelation 22:17)
The Marriage Feast
Prepared by the Father for the Son (Matthew 22:2)
Costly preparations are made for the guests (Matthew 22:4)
Invitations to this Marriage Feast are a great honour (Revelation. 19:9)
The invitations are scorned by many (Matthew 22:5)
The invitations include all classes (Matthew 22:10)
Neglect of the wedding garment leads to exclusion from the Feast (Matthew 22:11-14)
Love is shown in actions and attitudes. Love is far more than a feeling, it is an act of the will.
Relationships require mutual affection, commitment and duties. Love must be exclusive, enthusiastic and enduring.
The Biblical Definition of Love
"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up, does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…" 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Marriage is God's Design
Love involves a warm and enriching experience. Marriage is a picture of God's love for His Church. Marriage is God's design. Song of Songs affirms that marriage must be a life-long partnership of exclusive, enthusiastic, and enduring love between a man and a woman.
The Song of Songs is a spiritual allegory and analogy, an affirmation of Biblical marriage, and a celebration of the covenant between God and His people.
The Song of Songs combats two great extremes: Aestheticism and Hedonism. Both those who deny pleasure (the aesthetics) and those who seek to indulge in pleasure (hedonists) are unbiblical.
The Shepherd is Also the King
The bride discovers that the shepherd who won her love is actually the king. Moses was a shepherd before he became a leader of God's people. David was a shepherd before he became King of Israel. Our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd of His people, is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Song of Songs leads us into the Holy of holies as we celebrate God's love for us and our love for Him.
The bridegroom represents Christ and the bride represents the Church. Throughout the Bible, marriage is presented as an analogy of God's relationship with His Church. God is presented as the husband and Israel as His wife. He courts her in Egypt and marries her in the wilderness, when the Covenant is established. When Israel goes after other gods, she is described as an adulteress. God courts his people, wins her, loses her, still loves her, and works to bring her back again.
In the New Testament the Lord Jesus is depicted as the Bridegroom, looking for the bride and on the last page of the Bible, the bride eagerly makes herself ready with the robes of righteousness and calls out: "Come!"
Song of Songs can be divided up in this way:
Chapter 1: The bride's love and devotion for the king. Do you love God? Are you devoted to Him?
Chapter 2: The bride's delight in the king's love and embrace. Do you delight in Devotional worship?
Chapter 3-5: The bride's dream of her lover's disappearance and her joy at finding him again. Are you conscious of distance in your relationship?
Chapter 3:6-11: The bridal procession and greetings in the palace garden. Have you publically committed yourself to Christ?
Chapter 4: The King adores His bride and she replies by inviting him into her garden.
Chapter 5: Another dream of the King's apparent distance and then His return.
Chapter 6: The beauty of the bride is celebrated.
Chapter 7: The mutual love between bride and groom is celebrated.
Chapter 8: The unquenchable love and indissoluble union of the bride and groom are celebrated.
Do you love God with all your heart?
"Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is as strong as death… Many waters cannot quench love, nor can floods drown it. If a man would give for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly despised." Song of Solomon 8:6-7. Love cannot be bought, or sold. We accept God's love as undeserved favour – grace. We give our love unreservedly, wholeheartedly.
Christ's rebuke to His Church
"…I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen, repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place – unless you repent." Revelation 2:4-5. Have you lost your first love? Remember. Repent. Repeat.
"By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:35
"This is My Commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." John 15:12
"Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good." Romans 12:9
"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God." 1 John 4:7. The mark of a true Christian is love. The mark of real love is action. It is not so much what we say, but what we do.
"As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love." John 15:9
"The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: 'Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you." Jeremiah 31:3
"I will seek the one I love… when I have found the one I love, I held him and would not let him go…" Song of Solomon 3:2-4
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
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