All of our text today is spoken by The Groom. What we are going to hear is the way God intended a man to be attracted to and protective of his one and only bride. We are also going to hear how God feels about each and everyone of those who have become HIS bride, how he sees and cares for those who have surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ.
This epic poem, uses the most important of all human relationships to show how bringing that desire, passion & fulfillment completely under Jesus Christ’s control is a picture of how it was in the beginning, and how it will be in heaven. One of the constant themes throughout this ‘Song’ is how much better love is when we let God take the lead, that we submit to His timing. That the ideal love relationship must not be awakened before the right time. That the special things a man and a women can share in marriage are meant to be kept until the proper time, as God reveals.
This principal goes for everything; when we put our lives under Jesus’ Lordship we become what HE created us to be: His perfect, special, secure and fruitful Bride. This is how we are meant to be, in this exclusive, intimate with our Creator. ‘Shalom’
The CSNY song ‘Woodstock’ has a line: ‘We’ve got to get ourselves, back to The Garden’. We have God given desire to experience Shalom, to walk with God like Adam & Eve did in the Garden. God wants to take us back to The Garden, That is why Christ came! This book is scripture because it helps complete the picture of God’s redemptive story.
Song of Songs 4:1-15
(Groom) 1 How beautiful you are, my love! How beautiful you are! Your eyes are doves behind your veil. Your hair is like a flock of goats streaming down Mount Gilead. 2 Your teeth are like a flock of shorn sheep that have just come up from being washed; each of them is matched, and none of them is missing.
- The repetition is on purpose
- Imagery drawn from the experience of a shepherd
- Doves are a symbol of purity
- She is veiled, the totality of her beauty is still unknown; she is not his yet…
- Hair like goats on a mountain….picture it
- It was rare to have nice teeth…
(Groom)3 Your lips are like a scarlet thread, and your mouth is lovely. Your cheeks are like a pomegranate split open behind your veil. 4 Your neck is like the tower of David, built magnificently, on which hang a thousand bucklers, each one a brave warrior’s shield. 5 Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle grazing among lilies.
- Using the things that were familiar in that world
- Scarlet thread was rare, woven into temple curtains & High Priest’s Ephod
- Pomegranate: soft and round yet behind the veil; they are not fully known yet
- Tower of David was a Citadel, the description speaks of splendor & strength
- The ‘lilies’ is a place of security and sweetness
(Groom) 6 When the day’s cool breeze comes up and the shadows lengthen, I will get myself to the mountain of myrrh, to the hill of frankincense.
- Lengthening shadows denote the end of the work day
- He will seek the sweetness of His Bride when work is done; a fitting reward
(Groom) 7 Everything about you is beautiful, my love; you are without a flaw. 8 Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, come with me from Lebanon. Come down from the heights of Amana, from the heights of Senir and Hermon, down from the lions’ lairs and the leopard-haunted hills.
- It is a subjective vision, to see your Bride as flawless…
- If we are ‘In Christ’ God doesn’t see sinful you or me, He sees His perfect Son!
- The groom wants the bride to come to him, choosing to leave her world
- Mountains are a place of excitement and danger, the valley is secure & sweet
- ‘Leave and Cleve’ In marriage and ‘In Christ’
(Groom) 9 My sister, my bride, you have carried my heart away! With just one glance, with one bead of your necklace you have carried my heart away. 10 My sister, my bride, how sweet is your love! How much better your love than wine, more fragrant your perfumes than any spice!
- Calling her ‘Sister Bride’ is telling her how multifaceted their relationship is
- Protection & Loyalty for a sister, Union & Exclusivity with your Bride
- She carries his heart away, he is naturally attracted
- Her love is what the Groom desires the most, it’s more intoxicating than wine
- The reaction of his senses to her is beyond any other experience
- This is How God sees you Christian: desirable for all the right reasons
- THIS love of a Bride & Groom can illustrate the love of God & His people
(Groom) 11 Your lips, my bride, drip honey; honey and milk are under your tongue; and the scent of your garments is like the scent of Lebanon.
- Kisses and words come from the lips
- He only calls her Bride now for these things are shared only with that one.
- Mystery & intrigue, the scent of the unfamiliar…
(Groom) 12 My sister, my bride, is a garden locked up, a pool covered over, a spring sealed shut.
- Again the dual title invokes secure care and exclusive passion
- Water is what gives every growing thing life
- This water is not available to everyone, it is held for a one of a kind purpose
(Groom) 13 You are an orchard that puts forth pomegranates and other precious fruits, henna and nard —14 nard with saffron and aromatic cane, cinnamon and all kinds of frankincense trees, myrrh, aloes, all the best spices.
- V13 is sometimes over sexualized… (shoots or limbs translated as thighs)
- Literal translation: ‘Your shoots, a paradise of pomegranates…’
- To Him she is all things stimulating to the senses
- In this God ordained love she is a place where everything is put right: Shalom
- The Big Idea: in God ordained marriage we can get a glimpse of ‘The Garden’
(Groom)15 You are a garden fountain, a spring of running water, flowing down from Lebanon.
- As they trust each other and enter into intimacy, the life giving goodness flows!
- When joined God’s way the spring is to be released and the Garden thrives
The Groom compares the beauty of his bride to the beauty of God’s creation from the perspective of a shepherd. This is how the ‘Great Shepherd’ sees His bride.
The Groom’s daily toil is rewarded by ‘The Sweet Heights’ of his Bride. The mountains are exciting & risky, the valley is safe & peaceful. He calls her to come to him and find security.
Sister Bride is a name that expresses incredible protective care & loyalty along with passionate unity and exclusivity! This is who Jesus Christ sees His followers as!
Our sexual intimacy is precious to God, He desires us to share it exclusively in the confines He prescribes (Biblical Marriage). In the same way He wants us to be intimate with Him exclusively.
This is a picture of how a ‘God Prescribed Marriage’ can give us a vision of what a return to the Garden of Eden Heaven will be.
What are some ways you can practice being a beautiful part of God’s creation?
How do you respond to Jesus Christ seeing you as His unique ‘Sister Bride’?
Since Christ enthusiastically enjoys your honest love, how can you express it more?
What would it look like for you to be a garden spring of running water in your relationship with God?