by Chad Allen, Lead Pastor
Our last week of the 30-day challenge for April lands us in a spicy book… the Song of Solomon! Keep in mind that we are just working our way through the Bible reading plan and this wasn’t done intentionally! But, being in this book for a week can have some interesting results, such as possibly contributing to the anticipated baby boom from sheltering in place! But in all seriousness, there are some unforeseen benefits that await us by spending a week in this great book of Hebrew poetry. Here are a few tips for you as you begin this book:
- This is a love story. Commentators have spent centuries debating it’s author, the identity of the characters in the song, and whether the interpretation should be limited to a love story between two people or if God has a greater application in mind, extending the meaning to include God’s love for His people. I would encourage you to see this primarily as a tasteful but intoxicating love story of a couple as they celebrate their passionate love and marriage.
- This song celebrates marriage. We live in a world that has lost its moral compass when it comes to what a pure, committed, enduring, and beautiful union between a man and woman should look like. This song demonstrates what a holistic marriage looks like, one that celebrates physical attraction, sensual intimacy, and a heart that is fused and committed to their beloved. And God has created all of this! This book is God’s endorsement of a passionate marriage relationship. Reading through the Song of Solomon helps cast vision for the single who longs for their future mate, creates anticipation for the engaged couple as they commit themselves to purity so that they can enjoy their wedding night, and also can renew sparks for the married couple who has had the romantic fire die down because of the challenges of life.
- God is passionate about His bride. Although the Song of Solomon is a love story between and man and woman, the reader is also reminded of how marriage is a reflection of God’s love for His bride, the church. It is a mystery how Jesus so fiercely and faithfully loves his sinful bride. But when we journey through Ephesians 5:31-32, we are reminded of the love and passion Christ has for us, the church. So it’s not out of bounds to think of God’s love for you and me, the bride He has purchased with His blood. And just as we see deep longing between these to lovers in the Song of Solomon, God wants us to deeply long to be with Him, and He goes to mind-blowing lengths to demonstrate His love for us. God created us to be in relationship with Him. He went to the cross to demonstrate His love for us. He has given us His Spirit to bind us together and to sanctify for Himself a people that will be faithful to Him.
So explore, and try to figure out what doves, flowers, gazelles, pomegranates, spices, and goats have to do with expressing your love and attraction to you beloved or future beloved. And look for insights into how God loves you and has created you to love and long for Him.
To help you in understanding some of the ancient and Eastern imagery, here are a few online commentary links I recommend: