Today we would be looking at the the Songs of Solomon chapter 1
Song of songs is a book of the Bible you come across at wedding ceremonies. A phase from this book is almost incorporated into most church wedding ceremonies.
The book describes the joy and mutuality, beauty and power, agony and ecstasy of human sexual love. It speaks of marriage as it ought to be –
The setting of the Song of Solomon gives recognition to wedded love. It declares the sacredness of the marital relationship and that marriage is a God–given institution. It shows us what real love is. It talks of its beauty, power, agony, ecstasy and the eternal quality of true love.
Today we see a lot of sexualization which many people seem to think is good. but knows little about true love.
This book depicts the beautiful intimacy of marital love between a man and a woman from courtship to marriage. Allegorical the communion of Jesus Christ- the Redeemer and the individual believer. The whole of the book of Song of Solomon is a song. A poem.
However, it is interesting that the Bible has a whole book honouring erotic love in marriage. It shows what a high view the Bible has of sexual intimacy in marriage
In this study, the tools we would use are
- Who, What, When, Where, and How tool
- What does it mean?
- How does it apply to me today?
So let’s dig in and turn the bible to the first chapter of Song of Solomon
Who What Where and How tool
The poem is set in the countryside as the illustrative comparison used in the poem are flock of sheep, herd of goats, the field for grazing and vineyard.
The “Who” are
the main male speaker aka the beloved. The main female speaker aka the lover, Others aka the daughters of Jerusalem, friends and the watchmen.
To understand poetry, one must understand the times and elements and allegory used in the poetry.
The lover proclaims love for the beloved.
It is compared to wine, but it is more lasting.
The lover does some self assessment. She sees in herself what others would not term lovely but in spite of her flaws, she comes to the conclusion that she is beautiful.
Her friends call her beautiful as they describe where her beloved(Bridgeroom) was.
She is to follow the tracks of the sheep, there she would find the shepherds.. She is to go along with her young goats.
The Bridegroom gives high praises of his bride. The bride gives praises to the groom
The bridegroom speaks of their house with Cedar. the beams of cedar and rafters of firs
Using the – What does it mean tool?
This book is a book of songs. And the intention of the songs is to stir up love.
The lover compares their love with wine, and comes to the conclusion that their love is more lasting. She works her family’s vineyard showing she knows all there is to know about wine. The delight of wine is momentary, its intoxicating effect wears off. The love she describes here is not an infatuation. But she tries to tell her friends she has the real deal. Eternal love]
The lover goes on to access herself. She sees in herself what others would not term lovely or pretty but in spite of her flaws, she comes to the conclusion that she is beautiful. The narrative she tells herself is that she is beautiful. She would not describe herself based on the opinions of others.
It was after the lover’s self acceptance of herself as beautiful that Her friends call her beautiful as they describe where her beloved (Bridgeroom) was. [Her confidentaince acceptance of her beauty, as caused others to see her beautiful]
She is to follow the tracks of the sheep, there she would find the shepherds.. She is to go along with her young goats. She has her own herd of goats. She is enterprising. Not only does she know how to take care of a wine yard, she also knows the business of goats.
Allelogiral: this chapter also celebrates the love of God to mankind.
What does it mean for you and me today
The differences between the temporary nature of infatuation/lust and the eternal nature of true love.
Society, social media, culture may have their definition of beautiful, or love, but as the lover in this poem, we should not allow society and others to define beauty for us or define who we are. It is only the creator of a thing that can define what that thing and the purpose why the creator made it.
Ps says you are fearfully and wonderfully made
The lover shows some level aptitude. She is not what is termed as “sit don look” . A “sit don look” is a person who is idle, lazy and doesn’t take responsibility for herself. The lover worked in the vineyard and also knew how to take care of goats.
I should not be lazy and you should not be lazy either. Its our responsibility to work at our God given talent and opportunities.
Looking at the intention of the Song of Solomon, the intention of these songs are to stir up love. It shows the actions taken to sustain this love.
The lover desires a closeness to the one she has found. The lover took decisive action to find the beloved.. As believers do we take the decisive actions to follow Christ?
As an individual christian, how is my relationship with Chrsit. As Christ is the bridegroom of His Church his bride. Would I or would you describe our love for Chrsit as this bride (The lover)?
If we claim to love Christ and follow him. The question at the end of this chapter, is do I or do you take decisive steps to sustain the love we have for Jeuss Christ. Revelation 2:1-7
Calls the individual christian to return to their first love.
The poem shows us the intensity of the love the Bridegroom Jesus wants from his lover – the individual Christian and the church.