The love expressed in “Song of Solomon” is done in such a visual manner that it stays with one.. To think that the triune God could have this kind of love for us individually and corporately is hard to grasp. It has to be more than understanding a doctrinal fact. This love has to be experienced, felt, intuitively known. Martyn Lloyd-Jones calls it an “ocean of love.” Charles Spurgeon says, “Would that our hearts were capable of holding more, and reaching further” (August 7, “Morning and Evening”).
Have you been in the garden this week with your Brother? (See the previous blog.) Have you thought about how this brother died in your place? Have you thought about the inheritance you will share with him –“spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:3)? One day all of creation will “obtain the glorious freedom of the children of God” (Romans 8:21). With this liberation from the pull of sin will also come the resurrection of your body (Romans 8:23; I Thessalonians 4:13-18). You will live eternally in “heavenly places” and remain your unique self. Your brother, the only Son of the Father, will rule as King. and you will enjoy the special privileges of being the King’s dear sister. You will have full access to his court with all of its pleasures and wealth. There is much hope and delight in thinking on these things. And, yet, there is more.
Now this great king looks at you with utter delight and love. His love is expressed in the language of romance between a King and his bride. You are his bride. Instead of seeing you as the rather plain sinner you are, he thinks of you as beautiful, gives you jewels to make you look even better. This poem is all about love between male and female; gender is very much a part of this relationship. He even thinks you are as beautiful as his prize horse! You have no fancy clothes or pearls or money for facials and manicures (Song of Solomon 1:6; 1:8;15)—nothing to lure a king. But, he falls in love with you and pursues you and asks you to come enjoy his garden with him alone. And my, you do like being loved. “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine’ (S of S 1:2) is your response. His love makes you feel beautiful: “I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valley” (2:1). “My beloved is mine, and I am his; he grazes among the lilies (2:17). And then, of course, he thinks you are even more beautiful. “Behold, you are beautiful, my love, behold, you are beautiful!” ..”.You are altogether lovely; there is no flaw in you.” …”You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride” (4:1; 7;9). What beautiful, romantic imagery to show you how much your Savior loves you and how much you love him in response.
This reminds us of what our Christian marriages are to be like: romance sustained by admiration and self-less love and pursuit by the groom; faithfulness; time for each other; enjoyment of physical intimacy; not letting daily duties drag the lovers apart; lilies and roses; delicious fruits; perfumes; wine, honey, and milk. Doesn’t it stir your own longings for this kind of relationship just to read about it?
Paul explains this love affair as being according to the will of the Father who started it all by decreeing that you should be holy and blameless before him in love in spite of your many sins (Ephesians 1:4). This kind of love was to be for the praise of God’s glorious grace which he lavished upon you so that you could get a glimpse of this great mystery of love and redemption and hope of physical resurrection into eternal life. No wonder his son calls you his sister and his wife. This is not incest, but an image of the closeness of your relationship with the one who died in your place. How would you respond to an invitation like this?
I came to my garden, my sister, my bride.
I gathered my myrrh with my spice,
I ate my honeycomb with my honey;
I drank my wine with my milk
Eat, friends, drink, and be drunk with love! (5:1)
What would you say? “Yes!” Won’t you come aside this summer to take some time remembering these love images and applying them to yourself? Stay awhile in “Song of Solomon.” Charles Spurgeon has over 30 days of devotional thoughts from the “Canticles” in his “Morning and Evening” devotional. That is enough for the month of July! (My edition has an index in the back which lists each reference. There are over thirty. Here are a few: August 7,22, 25; Sept. 3, 24, 27,29,) You can buy “Morning and Evening” HERE.
An English professor at Cambridge preached several sermons on this Song that are helpful in application. I would bet Charles Spurgeon read these sermons before he wrote “Morning and Evening.” If you want to go deeper into “Song of Solomon,” order “The Love of Christ” by Richard Sibbes HERE.
The Lord Jesus Christ is your true husband. He loved you enough to die for you. Do you have assurance that God has accepted you as his child, that you are part of the church, the Bride of Christ? Why not rejoice in the plan of God to have you live in his presence…holy and blameless under a canopy of love and grace? It is a love affair to remember.
Eat, friends, drink, and be drunk with love!