Though it’s most commonly referred to as the “Song Of Solomon”, the Hebrew title (and I believe, most fitting title) is actually “The Song of Songs”. This Hebrew title literally means “The Best Song”. Point being, of the 1,000+ “songs” penned by the wise King Solomon (ref 1st Kings 4:32), the Hebrews considered this one to top the charts!
Quite simply, the “Song of Songs” is a love song that highlights the deep, genuine love and intimacy experienced within the context of a marriage relationship as well as the rocky moments that come to pass when two imperfect people unite in the lifelong covenant of marriage. The Song of Songs is real, it’s revealing and it’s raw (as is, you know…life). Due to it’s very intimate and descriptive content and nature, many are uneasy with even casually reading through a few passage and a lot of Preachers / Teachers avoid it like the plague!
In my view, that’s a shame. I personally believe that the modern church cultures unease concerning the Song of Songs isn’t so much because of the book itself but it’s due to our own misconceptions about sex itself.
You see, in large part, we’ve bought into our cultures view of sex in place of Gods view so when this book remains the one portion of our Bibles without notes in the margins and highlights…well, that really says more about our deceived hearts than the book itself. Because we’ve bought into the lie that sex is dirty and unholy, the content of this book causes many of us to avoid it all together or see the whole thing as a great big allegory (which brings about some really faulty and dangerous theological ramification which we’ll address toward the end of our study).
As we study through the Song of Songs over the next several weeks, I pray that you’ll begin to see physical intimacy as God desires, a beautiful and gracious gift from God that is to be enjoyed within the context of marriage. I pray that we’ll see how the elegant, descriptive and poetic language found in the Song of Songs actually serves to elevate the relationship between a man and his wife, and the intimacy involved in that relationship to a much higher level than this world could ever offer as we discover together that passionate marital sex is affirmed as part of Gods plan for His people.
The goal I have for this study is to ensure it’s not too technical or scholastic. I’m just writing the notes as I read them (and as the Spirit leads). I don’t want this to be something that we just don’t view as applicable as that’s not the case AT ALL! I’m no deep theologian so it’s not going to come across that way. If you’d like to dig a little deeper, I can point you to resources written by much smarter people than I so just ask. Another thing…The exact context of this book is often debated among scholars. Questions like “When did Solomon write this? As he experienced it or as an old man looking back?” are often posed when addressing the Song of Songs but we’re not here to debate that during this study. So, let’s focus on what we do know before diving in….
King Solomon was Israels richest and wisest King. He possessed a vast estate which included many vineyards throughout the nation. One of these vineyards, in particular, was located very near the foothills of the Lebanon Mountain range. While visiting this vineyard, the King met a country girl who captured his heart with immediacy. Her name was Shulammite. Of course, the now smitten King made visits as often as possible to the vineyard and began to court the young woman who had his heart. He pursued her with reckless abandon until finally, after much thought regarding the question of “Could I really be content marrying a King?”, Shulammite accepted his proposal.
The Song Of Songs takes us down the road of their relationship. From the “stars in our eyes” gazes that no doubt existed between lovebirds, the unbridled passion of their honeymoon night, to serious sexual tension, marriage trouble, making up and so on….this is a roller coaster ride to say the least.
So, buckle up. Lets go
1 Solomon’s Finest Song. 2 Oh, that he would kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is more delightful than wine. 3 The fragrance of your perfume is intoxicating; your name is perfume poured out. No wonder young women adore you. 4 Take me with you—let us hurry. Oh, that the king would bring me to his chambers. We will rejoice and be glad for you; we will praise your love more than wine. It is only right that they adore you.
A Love Story As It’s Being Written – Hollywood has it’s own version of how a love story goes and it’s skewed at best. We’re led to believe that the “Happily Ever After” mindset is the most crucial aspect of a relationship. How the relationship gets started however (according to Hollywood) matters not. Here, in the first several verses of his song, the King gives us sound principles for starting out right.
At this point in the story, the wedding procession hasn’t arrived at the vineyard to pick up Shulammite and bring her to Jerusalem, where her fiancé resides. This first chapter chronicles, very honestly, the emotions and desires of a young couple in love.
There’s A Healthy Desire (1-2) “Solomon’s Finest Song 2 Oh, that he would kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is more delightful than wine”
It’s been very wisely said that marriage is the context in which passion and pleasure is truly set free! I wholeheartedly agree with that statement!
On that note, I’d also have to say that the universal expression of that passion & desire is the kiss. In fact, many people believe a truly passionate kiss to be a more intimate act than sex itself! I remember once reading the testimony of a former prostitute that had been converted to Christ who made it a point to say that as she prostituted her body to men, she’d never kiss as she felt that you couldn’t kiss someone without loving them..
In verse 1 & 2, we see that it’s the kiss of Solomon that Shulammite desires! The touch, taste, intimacy of a passionate kiss was in her mind, powerful and intoxicating!
To underscore the passion of Shulammite here, and hopefully bring some practical application to a couple who may be reading this…Do you want to know what to look for when a marriage is in trouble? Do you want a surefire warning sign that the passion that God intends for a husband and his wife is simply not there? Easy…It’s the absence of the kiss. We’re not talking about peck on the cheek here either. I’m talking about long, passionate, intimate kissing. When that’s absent, there’s trouble. Mark that down (and husband, go kiss your wife!).
Though not married, Shulammite can’t wait to be. There’s a healthy desire!
There’s Care About Our Own Presentation (3) “The fragrance of your perfume is intoxicating….”
While Shulammite mentions the cologne of Solomon, it’s not a stretch to assume that Solomon went to great lengths to “keep himself up” for his young fiancé’ and judging by the words of Shulammite, it was greatly appreciated!
For those married, we’ve been here before! In that courtship with our now spouses, we wanted to put our best foot forward. To look our best for the benefit of the one we loved! We went to great lengths to present ourselves in a manner that would appeal to our significant other. Solomon is doing the same here…and it’s working!
The trouble we get into after we’ve “landed the fish” is that remaining appealing to our spouses often takes a back seat. After all, “we’ve got them” now, right? Sadly, we eventually let ourselves go.
The healthy marriage takes a cue from young Solomon here! Our appearance does matter! We should desire our spouses to desire us and work to that end!
There’s The Matter Of Our Reputation (3) “….your name is a perfume poured out…”
When you see those words, “Your name” in the Scriptures, it’s speaking of more than a moniker that personally identifies us. It’s speaking of personal character and reputation. It’s what others think of you. Shulammite is not only physically attracted to Solomon, she admired him as well! She respected him.
Often, while talking with young men and women about who they’re dating, they’ll ask me what I think about “so and so”. I usually ask them what his/her friends and family have to say about the person and the answer to that question is more often than not, very revealing. I explain to them that young love is pretty blinding and it’s good to hear an honest opinion from a trusted, Godly family member or friend before committing to any person as they often will bring things to light that we cannot see ourselves.
Shulammites friends adored Solomon (as we’ll see even further in a moment!). His reputation mattered to him so he carried himself with dignity and respect. She really, really like that (keep that in mind, young man)!
There Is A Level Of Trust (3-4) “….No wonder young women adore you. 4 Take me with you—let us hurry. Oh, that the king would bring me to his chambers. We will rejoice and be glad for you; we will praise your love more than wine. It is only right that they adore you”
Go ahead…read that again.
OK, yes. You read it right! Shulammite said that its “no wonder young women adore you!” She goes on to say at the end of verse 4 that “It’s only right that they adore you”…In other words, she says, “I can’t blame them!”
Notice that there isn’t a hint of jealousy there. Shulammite doesn’t see the other women as competition because she is absolutely secure in their relationship. She trust her man.
If you’ll indulge me, I’m going to get a tad personal here…in your relationship, is there jealousy? Do you view yourself in a competition with the other men or women that your spouse may come into contact with? If so, there is a major problem. There is a lack of real, tangible trust.
If that’s you, I want to encourage you to have a honest conversation with your spouse. It won’t get better with time. This MUST be resolved if you’re going to have the kind of marriage God desires for you to have!
If not married but in a relationship that heading in that direction, do you have the kind of unabashed security Shulammite had? I’d counsel you not to enter the covenant of marriage until you do. It matters that much!
If I haven’t scared you away so far, we’ll pick up here next Tuesday!
Grace and Peace – Pastor Kyle