We continue with our two track reading of song of Songs.: The ultimate example of God gifted marriage & relationship with Christ
Last time on Song of Songs…
Our Bride is remembering a time when she was younger
She was swept up into a chariot, the chariot of a Prince!
The community / God’s people were concerned for her
They warned her as she went, about even the ‘appearance of evil’
So now she is presumably alone with the Prince:
Song of Songs Chapter 7
(Prince) 1 How beautiful are your feet in sandals, you daughter of princes! The curves of your thighs are like a necklace made by a skilled craftsman. 2 Your navel is like a round goblet that never lacks spiced wine. Your belly is a heap of wheat encircled by lilies.
- His praise is tied to man made things: sandals & necklaces
- The ancient beginnings of the importance of women’s shoes…
- The prince starts at the ground & goes up: Shepard started at the top
- He is quick to focus on a certain area…
- The belly is symbolic of the desire of the flesh
For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven… ~ Philippians 3:18-20a
(Prince) 3 Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle. 4 Your neck is like a tower of ivory, your eyes like the pools in Heshbon by the gate of Bat-Rabbim, your nose like the tower of Lebanon overlooking Damascus.
- Same description of breasts, must have been a popular comparison
- Ivory Tower has connotations of aloofness, detached…promotion of vanity
- These were fish pools outside the gates of the capital of the Amorites
- These gates were known for the multitudes that passes through them
- The tower is figurative, Lebanon was meant to be part of the ‘Promised land’
- It represents something desired but not obtained, another form of aloofness
- The promotion of
(Prince) 5 You hold your head like Mt Carmel, and the hair on your head is like purple cloth — the king is held captive in its tresses. 6 How beautiful you are, my love, how charming, how delightful!
- He calls himself ‘The King’, and he is ‘captivated’ by posture & appearance
- He is enamored by the ‘Image’ she projects, who she is from a distance
- He is not looking at who she really is, just her image
- Beautiful / Charming / Delightful… Bla bla bla! Empty flattery
- It is all promotion of self-centered image-consciousness
(Prince) 7 Your appearance is stately as a palm tree, with its fruit clusters your breasts. 8 I said, “I will climb up into the palm tree, I will take hold of its branches.” May your breasts be like clusters of grapes, your breath as fragrant as apples, 9 and your mouth like the finest wine.
- The world says: ‘Your Appearance’, not who you are, is what matters
- He mentions her breasts again, still no mention of the eyes…
- Now the prince states his intention, ‘I will climb’… ‘I will take hold’
- This is not about anything but his desires
- This is how this world does relationship: it is about what I can get out of it
(Bride to Prince) May the wine go straight to the man I love and gently move the lips of those who are asleep. 10 I belong to my darling, and his desire is for me.
- The wine, her kisses have only one destination: straight to the man I love
- As they go to their proper and single destination, that will gently change the speech of the prince who is ‘must be dreaming’ if he thinks she willing to dance for his army
- In case the Prince didn’t get the more veiled comment she make it very clear
- I belong to the groom because he cares about 1st and foremost about ME!
That is the end of the scene…
SUMMARY UP UNTIL NOW
The bride & groom (Christ & His Church) declare their love and devotion
They begin the process of uniting, but when the groom came for His bride…
She was unresponsive, caught up in herself
She let the world / sin get between her and her beloved…
But she admitted her wrong, and in doing so repaired the relationship
And she declared her allegiance and their unity
She resisted great temptation to ‘Dance for Two Army camps’…
The glitter and riches wanted to have their way with her, she chose to be faithful
She would will have many more temptations to resist as a faithful Bride
So we are back to where the bride and groom are ready to approach union
(Bride to Groom) 11 Come, my darling, let’s go out to the country and spend the nights in the villages. 12 We’ll get up early and go to the vineyards to see if the vines have budded, to see if their flowers have opened, or if the pomegranate trees are in bloom. There I will give you my love.
- She wants them to go away together, to a simple, basic and undistracted place
- Together they will see that everything has blossomed and now is the time
- It is the setting where she will give herself fully to her groom
(Bride to Groom) 13 The mandrakes are sending out their fragrance, all kinds of choice fruits are at our doors, fruits both new and old, my darling, which I have kept in store for you.
- The fragrance of the Mandrakes announces the time is right
- The garden is fully in bloom, the consummation of their union is near
- The fruits of their love are at the door, not quite there, just over the threshold…
- All kinds of fruits: physical, emotional & intellectual
- Old & New: the bride and groom bring their past and anticipate the future
- What make it all perfect is that she has kept it all in store for just her groom
- The value of their love is bound up in the exclusivity of it
Our world promotes self-centeredness, which divides our marriages & our relationships with Christ.
Image-consciousness turns relationships into nothing more than self-fulfillment; the opposite of what biblical marriage & biblical relationship with God are about.
In a biblical relationship with Christ you trust He cares for you! In a biblical marriage you trust your spouse cares for you.
The full depth of love with Christ & in biblical marriage happens in simplicity; devoid of self-centered image-consciousness.
The exclusiveness of what is kept for our Lord or our spouse, is what brings all the richness to the relationship!
What things, activities or relationships promote self-centeredness in you?
How image-conscious would you say you are? What makes you image-conscious?
What has happened in your life that makes you not trust Christ cares for you?
Where in your life is there a lack of exclusiveness with God or with your spouse?