THE SONG OF SONGS

Have you read the Song of Songs or Song of Solomon lately? It is unique among all the Books of the Bible. The uniqueness of the Book has often caused people to wonder and even challenge its place in the Bible. Through much of history even those who accepted its place in Scripture couldn’t believe it could possible be taken as really about the love relationship between two people that often involved very sexual scenes and descriptions. The result was that for many years the Jewish scholars taught it was an allegory of God’s love and relationship with Israel. When the church was established, most early scholars among the Christians took the same interpretation but applied it to the love of Christ for the church. If you look at some of the older songs that were popular years ago such as “The Lily of the Valley” or “The Rose of Sharon” you see the application of some of the love poems in this book applied to Christ and the church. The point of being called the “Song of songs” is that it is the epitome of what a great song would be.

I often encourage married couples or those getting married to make a habit on their anniversary of reading the book together with the husband reading the parts that are spoken by the man and the wife reading the parts spoken by the woman. Why would God put such a graphic set of love poems in the Bible? I’m sure I don’t know all the reasons, but one thing for certain is that God wanted us to know he wanted us to see love, marriage, and sex in the marriage as something He is for and is part of his plan for those made in his image and likeness. While this book is unique the message about the love and sexual relationship in marriage isn’t unique at all. God made the woman and brought her to the man and they were both naked and unashamed. The plan of God was that they would become one flesh. It was sin, that caused them to begin to see something about themselves that needed to be hidden. God’s command to them and to the generations after them was to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. I don’t know of a way that could be done without there being sexual relationships going on. In the New Testament Paul told the Christians in Corinth that marriage was God’s plan to prevent immorality and that the wife’s body belonged to her husband and the husband’s body belonged to his wife and they were not to withhold themselves from one another. In Hebrews 13:4 it says, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure.”

One huge lesson every Christian needs to get is that while sexual sin is a huge problem in the world and that we need to keep ourselves away from such sin, that sex in the marriage is holy, right and good and meant for the pleasure of the couple to pull them closer together.

Song of Songs is a series of love poems most of which were written by the young woman who says of herself that she is dark and lovely. While Solomon is mentioned in the book and the first verse declares it to be “Solomon’s Song of Songs” it is questionable if he is the actual author of the poems attributed to the man in the book or if it is of the type poems that Solomon wrote. It is very much about a young couple expressing their love for each other in powerful ways. It isn’t given in chronological order so one can’t simply read it and think it is telling the story of the couple from dating to marriage to their life together.

We should certainly learn that love needs expressing. It is obvious this couple knew how to tell each other how beautiful, handsome, and desirous each was to the other. They described the fragrances of each other and their longing for each other. In these poems it also described how the brothers of the young woman wanted to protect her from going too far in her affection before the marriage. They sent her out to take care of their vineyards to the neglect of her own. Later it mentions them attempting to build a wall around her. This is about the family trying to be sure the girl doesn’t become sexually active before her marriage. She ultimately tells them that she has a wall of her own.

It also describes two different instances when the couple had arguments, after their wedding and both involved the sexual relationship. He wanted to have sex at one point when she didn’t and he gave up and left then she became interested and sought to find him. It is a way of describing what goes on in any marriage and that even when people love each other dearly it doesn’t mean that everything goes smoothly or that their sexual relations always go right. But the poems emphasize their coming back together each time making up and their love growing even more.

It is far too easy in marriage to get into our routines and stop taking the time to tell each other of the love we have, describing the beauty of each to the other and allow the love to grow dim. Read the Song of Songs one more time and think about how to express your love and devotion in marriage.

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About leoninlittlerock

Preaching minister for Central church of Christ in Little Rock. Author of over 20 books including: When a Loved one Dies, Spiritual Development, Skid Marks on the Family Drive, Challenges in the church, To Know Christ and A Drink of Living Water.
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