Doing things God’s way
How and why did I chose this book to preach: Guidance is needed! We need guidance & inspiration to have Biblical relationships with Christ & a spouse.
Why is Biblical Marriage important? Scripture defines Biblical Marriage as one man and one woman under one God. THIS IS THE ONLY sanctified place of sexual intimacy for humans according to God’s revealed Word. This is God’s ideal for humans.
Why is a Biblical relationship with Christ important? Love is under the sovereignty of God, just like everything else! With this Scripture, God is showing us how to do it HIS way! The fierceness & strength of pure love is God’s ideal for our relationship with Him.
So it‘s about God’s ideal for marriage and His ideal for relating to Him. Understanding the Song’s literal meaning regarding the ideal marriage enables us to understand its allegorical implications. They are meant to work together pointing us to good theology and good doxology.
Why is it Scripture?
Song of Songs was included in the Hebrew Canon because it affirms the ‘radical monotheism’ of Judaism. This absolute exclusivity is expressed in Biblical marriage, one man & one woman under God, that is also seen in the writing of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Jeremiah and Amos. New Testament wise, it matches Christ’s teaching of ‘The Wedding Feast of The Lamb’ and other such imagery.
Why it is needed? It is the ideal God has for us. There are lots of examples in scripture for of how marriage is done wrong & relationship with God done wrong. This is how it is supposed to be: Shalom. This ideal marriage is an earthly picture of the eternal reversal of the punishment of Eve in Genesis 3:16 (“your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you”), the woman in the Song declares, “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me.” There is mutuality, honoring and ‘how God would have it’ about this love that places the lovers back into the Garden. God’s love redeems!
Our passage today deals with the longing and desire for the kind of love God designed for us. It speaks of new beginnings and plans that will soon be brough to fruition. The growing of these two into one flesh in right relationship with God, the consuming love we are to share with Christ.
Song of Songs 2:8 – 3:11
(Bride) 8 The voice of the man I love! Here he comes, bounding over the mountains, skipping over the hills! 9 My darling is like a gazelle or young stag. There he is, standing outside our wall, looking in through the windows, peering in through the lattice.
- Sound is an emotional trigger
- The gazelle or stag symbolizes vitality and exuberance
- He has come to where she is but doesn’t barge in
(Bride) 10 My darling speaks; he is saying to me, “Get up, my love! My beauty! Come away! 11 For you see that the winter has passed, the rain is finished and gone, 12 the flowers are appearing in the countryside, the time has come for birds to sing, and the cooing of doves can be heard in the land. 13 The fig trees are forming their unripe figs, and the grapevines in bloom give out their perfume. Get up, my love, my beauty! Come away!”
- This is what she imagines she hears the groom say: Spring is Here!
- The garden, the vineyard, the trees the birds all declare it!
- Spring denotes the blooming of their love, headed to the apex: Marriage!
- She receives an invitation into the fullness of the relationship
(Groom) 14 My dove, hiding in holes in the rock, in the secret recesses of the cliff, let me see your face and hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.
- She is elusive, she is shy…
- The groom acknowledges the humble posture of the bride
- He asks her to reveal herself (The Ultimate Gentleman)
- The groom waits for the bride to be intimate at her pace
(Bride) 15 “Catch the foxes for us, yes, the little foxes! They are ruining the vineyards when our vineyards are in bloom!”
- Little Foxes represent things that could damage their growing love
- ‘Little things’ if left unaddressed, can ruin the bloom of God ordained love
- Don’t let the little things go unaddressed! Key principal for all relationships!
- Take preventative measures to protect this love from anything that could harm it.”
- The bride asked the groom to do this. We ask Christ to do this
- A proactive approach to dealing with issues is God’s way
Some examples of ‘little foxes’
Uncontrolled desire that drives a wedge of guilt and mistrust between the couple.
Mistrust and jealousy that strains or breaks the bond of love.
Selfishness and pride that refuses to acknowledge wrong and fault to one another.
An unforgiving attitude that will not accept an apology.
(Bride) 16 My darling is mine, and I am his, as he pastures his flock among the lilies. 17 Before the daytime breeze rises and the shadows flee, return, my love, like a stag or gazelle on the hills of Beter.
- The exclusivity of belonging solely to the other
- She considers herself the ‘flock’ of the groom
- The place where he keeps her is sweet and lush
- When He is not there she longs for His return
(Bride) 3:1 Night after night on my bed I looked for the man I love. I looked for him, but I did not find him. 2 “I will get up now and roam the city, through the streets and the open places, I will look for the man I love.” I looked for him, but I did not find him.
- This is a dream the bride has (previous sequence?)
- She has dreamed of being His bride
- Then she goes everywhere to find him
(Bride) 3 The guards roaming the city found me. “Have you seen the man I love?” 4 Scarcely had I left them, when I found the man I love. I took hold of him and would not let him go until I had brought him to my mother’s house, to the bedroom of the woman who conceived me.
- Last place to check was with the guards: did he leave the city?
- When she finally finds him she is fiercely possessive
- She wants to take the groom to the beginning of her story and lay everything out
- She is ready to become totally intimate with the groom…
(Bride) 5 I warn you, daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and deer in the wilds, not to awaken or stir up love until it wants to arise!
- The warning is like before: This God given gift must be handled with care
- It must happen on God’s timetable, not ours
- We must respect the power of what God wants for us, in marriage and in HIM!
6 Who is this, coming up from the desert like a column of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, chosen from the merchant’s crushed spices? 7 It is Solomon’s litter, escorted by sixty valiant men chosen from Israel’s finest; 8 all of them wield the sword and are expert fighters; each one has his sword ready at his side to combat the terrors of night.
- This is imagery of King Solomon representing God
- God can appear unapproachable, guarded and unreachable
- There is power against evil, it is His
9 King Solomon made himself a royal litter of wood from Lebanon. 10 He made its columns of silver, its roof of gold, its seat of purple cloth; its inside was lovingly inlaid by the daughters of Jerusalem. 11 Daughters of Zion, come out, and gaze upon King Solomon, wearing the crown with which his mother crowned him on his wedding day, his day of joy!
- HE has placed himself in this spot, it is His rightful place
- We do well to approach Him in awe and wonder, but approach we must
- Tie in to the King’s wedding day and the joy of that. (Wedding feast of the Lamb?)
The ideal is needed to guide us: in Marriage and in our life with God.
There is a proper way to approach Marriage and to approach God.
Exclusivity is God’s ideal for marriage AND His relationship with us.
God gives us an exciting vision, but we must cooperate with Him to properly experience the fullness of what He desires for us in marriage and our walk with HIM.
We are called to be intentional in the addressing all relationship issues, with God and in Marriage.
Putting God in His proper place will enable everything else to be properly aligned.
Are you convinced this book is ‘God breathed’ and a guide for us in marriage and our relationship with Christ? Why or why not?
How exclusive is your walk with Christ? How exclusive is your relationship with your spouse?
How can you look at your walk with Christ as a new beginning today?
What are the ‘Little Foxes’ you need to attend to in your marriage or in your walk with Jesus?