FEARLESS YEARS

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SONG4

LIFE LONG LOVE

This queen has experienced a trial by fire.  It will not matter if her world is fair and comfortable, or troubled by storms and madness.  She stands on the rock of ages by faith, knowing that her love is there for her.  He is there for her, and now they are prepared for everything that life will bring.  The honeymoon introduced their outward beauty, and now they have a lifetime to discover the beauty of the heart.  The winds of change will not move them.  The king celebrates her beauty here.

Song of Solomon 7

1 How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince’s daughter! the joints of thy thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman.  2 Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor: thy belly is like an heap of wheat set about with lilies.  3 Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins.

A young man may notice these physical charms, but a husband has time to savor them.  And only a husband should indulge such appreciation, and only of his own wife.  This is holy matrimony, as opposed to the unholy indulgence of our modern world.  We might notice the symbolism of life in sweet wine, grain, and newborn livestock.  The natural man may be inspired by carnal things, but the king sees the hope of life.

4 Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine eyes like the fishpools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim: thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus.  5 Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple; the king is held in the galleries.  6 How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!

The king admires her features, and yet I doubt that her hair is actually purple.  But purple was a royal color, perhaps the honor in denoted by this comparison.  I would not tell your queen that her nose is like a tower of Lebanon though.  In their day these all surely compared to things of good stature and honor.  If your queen does have purple hair do make a big deal of it anyway!

7 This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes.  8 I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples;  9 And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.

The queen may be tall like the palm tree, and her breasts sweet and fruitful.  And breasts like clusters are scary because men are already half-mad over just two.  Their enthusiasm would be chilled if women had babies in litters like puppies.  It seems that the groom is vulnerable to wine, which can both make one drowsy, and still inspire courage to utter such prose to women.  If it is the wine that is talking, it is working because she is ready with her answer.

10 I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.  11 Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages.  12 Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves.  13 The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved.

The queen knows that she belongs to her king, the Lion of Judah.  She invites him back to the villages where she tended the vineyards.  She knows that her work should yield sweet fruit and she is prepared to give him the fruit of her love.  She has laid up a garden of the fruit of her whole life work, and it is good.  She will inherit the salvation of faith and works.

Can we understand a life of faith and works that makes us the bride of Christ?  Can we understand that this early experience is only the entrance exam to an eternal garden?  The hatred of sisters, the abuse of lost watchmen, are only a brief separation from the Lord of eternal life.  There is a reward for the keeper of the garden.

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SHIELD MAIDEN

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SONG10

HORROR MOON TO HONOR MOON

The bride has been left behind by her bridegroom.  She is in a world that does not know their own king, and these women ask where her lover has gone.  They didn’t seem to know the king of Israel, and the watchmen before had attacked their queen.  Her world had descended into madness.  Can she stand in a world of chaos?

Song of Solomon 6

1 Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women? whither is thy beloved turned aside? that we may seek him with thee.

Have these women been converted to desire this king of kings, or are they only mocking her as if this king is only her fantasy?  She is prepared to answer them boldly.

2 My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.  3 I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies.

Somehow she is confident that her lover is in a good place.  She has faith in the face of her loss, the substance of things hoped for, but not yet seen.  She had no idea if her king survived this madness, but she had the words of Job, who was also afflicted:

25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:  26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:  27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.  Job 19:25-27

Perhaps she understood as her king would later explain to others:

1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.  John 14:1-4

If he was in his garden, she trusted that he was hers, and she was his.  No conversation or mockery shook her faith.  She was certain of his faithfulness and the place that he was preparing for her.  With this he himself spoke up as he gives testimony of her faith.

4 Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners.  5 Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me: thy hair is as a flock of goats that appear from Gilead. 

The bride of Solomon is here presented as the bride of Christ, an army with banners, an irresistible force.  He is overcome by the eyes that are the light of her truthful soul.  He identifies her hair again by these goats, which must be graced with a fine coat that all would know.

6 Thy teeth are as a flock of sheep which go up from the washing, whereof every one beareth twins, and there is not one barren among them.  7 As a piece of a pomegranate are thy temples within thy locks.

Well, clean white teeth, perfectly matched and flawless are attractive.  Pomegranate has both white and red parts and offers lots of health benefits.  It is mentioned for a second time in this verse so I guess the bride would understand the value of this comparison.  Perhaps we should understand that he is using the highest praise of his time for his love.

8 There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number.  9 My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.

When Solomon mentions all of these queens, is he recounting his own many wives and concubines?  In his youth he collected them, but in his senior years he had too many of them.  Still in this there is only one who stands out.  As God honored the sons of Abraham he made great nations of them, including Ishmael.  All of these are represented in religions today, and yet one is to stand out.  The sisters of this one once hated her, and now they bless her?  One day the sons of Abraham and the world will all bless the bride of Christ.

10 Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?  11 I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley, and to see whether the vine flourished and the pomegranates budded.

Who else?  The Army of the Lord, the bride of Christ.  Can you imagine looking in the mirror and seeing this image?  This is what he sees.  Or is it?  We can probably find a reason to repent on a daily basis.  But this is our motivation to pass the entrance exam that is this life.  Do indeed the fruit of the spirit flourish in this garden?  The bride of Christ was the tender of the vineyards and the flocks herself.  She knows they prosper.

12 Or ever I was aware, my soul made me like the chariots of Amminadib. 

Is she discovering that her status is elevated by her good soul here?  She was unaware of being compared to these chariots of Amminidib, who might be the same person as Amminidab, who was an ancestor of Christ.  So many bible “scholars” suggest that these were fast chariots, yet there is no support for that in the scriptures.  Wouldn’t it be fun to be an expert on things that are not in the bible?  Be pleased to see what is in the bible here, because the word is available to simple folk too.

13 Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee. What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies.

The king, the faithful subjects, and the heavens want her to make an appearance.  And what is that appearance?  Will she be surprised to find that she is indeed, the Army of the Lord, and, in him, even two armies?  Are we surprised to be this bride, this wonder woman?

If this is not the prophetic vision of the church of Jesus, then Solomon married a shield maiden,  the precursor to a UFC fighting woman.  What a farm girl indeed!

SEPARATION

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SONG5

HONEYMOON TO HORROR MOON

There are occasions that should never happen.  When God gave us free will he also gave us a map to safety.  This is a message that can be a song of joy or a discordant noise of nightmares.  When we are given the greatest gift of salvation we should not be slow to answer the call of the living God.

Song of Solomon 5

1 I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.

Here the king announces his arrival in his garden.  He has had food and wine and invites indulgence by his friends.  We know of another king who invited his friends to a garden after enjoying the Passover feast.  And here the bride is as sleepy as they were in that garden.

2 I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.  3 I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them? 

The bride is asleep but her heart is awake?  I think she may be experiencing a dream sequence…or is she?  She hears the king knocking at the door and calling with invitations to pleasure.  So sister sleepy-head is struggling with sweet slumber and the challenge of getting dressed again.

4 My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.  5 I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock.  6 I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.

Her great love is at the door and her passion is awakening as she moves to the door.  She is getting ready with perfumes and anticipation as she opens the door.  As the door opens she discovers that he is gone.  If she took time to dress and perfume herself, is this a commentary on attempting to please God by works?  By faith he loves her.  Being slow to respond has come with a cost, so she searches for him in the streets.  She finds men to ask about him.

7 The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.

The watchmen stuck and wounded the queen?  At that time Jerusalem was much smaller than it is today.  Even today, a queen should be known by everyone in town.  This would be like the Buckingham Palace guards attacking Meghan Markle or the Queen.  Does this sound normal to you?  What kind of a world are we seeing here?

8 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I am sick of love.  9 What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women? what is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us? 

Now the wounded bride is desperately looking for her king, asking women she meets in the way.  They can’t seem to figure out who her lover is that makes him so special.  The guards don’t know the queen, and these women don’t know their king.  This world is a bit mad.  Is the world today ready for the tribulation?  Can we live in a world where the Lord has withdrawn?  She describes the king she remembers.

10 My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.  11 His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven.  12 His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set.  13 His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.

The queen of Solomon describes her handsome king in detail.  She knows his features as they are engraved in her heart.  She knows that he is no average man, and these women should know him too.  The world should know that here we see a warning to answer when the king knocks.

14 His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl: his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires.  15 His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.  16 His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

She knows his features, his strength, his beauty, his truth, his heart, and his absence.  This is who he is, truth and beauty.  And she knows that he is gone.

UNION

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SONG6

HONEYMOON

If Solomon cannot see through the eyes of his woman, his eyes can certainly see her!  A honeymoon is a memory forever, and Solomon sees his bride as messiah will see his church.  God has given us a physical and spiritual union so we can begin to understand a  godly relationship.  If our natural desire is good, the supernatural attraction he has for us is still greater.  In this chapter God is showing you how your faith appeals to him.  This is a promise for the church that will give birth to faith in many generations to come.  The believer is so different from those who have not accepted his invitation.  You stand out as a beacon of light and beauty to the Lion of Judah.

Song of Solomon 4  

1 Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes within thy locks: thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead.  2 Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which came up from the washing; whereof every one bear twins, and none is barren among them.

I cannot follow the commentators who break this down in Hebrew, and I doubt the writer was being deeply theological at this time.  I imagine that he used comparisons that she would understand.  They were doubtless the most famous and beautiful goats and sheep in the land.  But we can understand that he sees beauty in the body of his disciples too.

3 Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech is comely: thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks.  4 Thy neck is like the tower of David builded for an armoury, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men.

Is he sharing words that describe her beauty, or is God talking about a church that is a strong tower of faith?  Can we slip between the carnal love and the spiritual love like the flow of a dream here?  The passion of the bridegroom also reflects on the bride of Christ.

5 Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies.  6 Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.  7 Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.

As an old man I have had wonderful dreams like this only to awaken to my usual empty bed.  But in that waking moment I have also understood that I have just received a far greater contact than my honeymoon of nearly 30 years ago.  To be sure I can remember how inspiring her form was, but this was more.  She is there with him, and he is our God.  Until the day broke, I too had been at that mountain of myrrh with them.  And he found no spot in me…because HE is my cleansing grace.

8 Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions’ dens, from the mountains of the leopards.  9 Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck.

So he speaks to his wife now to come from that mountain country, probably to join him in Jerusalem.  As Yeshua Ha Meschia invited the disciples to come from their familiar places, he invites us to join with him as he did with them.  We are one in him, and he calls us from the places where life was challenged by the beasts of the wild.  You are his church that tended the flocks and the vineyards.  As the eye is the light of the soul, yours  have charmed his heart, you are his.

10 How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices!  11 Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon.

As he is charmed by his bride, her love is sweet.  Any young husband will discover that a wife is a true friend, which itself is as a sweet fragrance.  Their closeness is celebrated in the touch of their lips, as the church is celebrated in the sweetness of truthful lips.  The robes of righteousness are always fresh without offense.

12 A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.   13 Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard,  14 Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices:  15 A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.

Messiah describes his church as a protected garden, separated from the world and its troubles.  She produces all the finest fruits and spices and goodness abounds in her.  He sees us as a well of living waters, and we may remember his reference to living water at another well much later.

9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.  10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. John 4:9-10

This woman too joined us as his bride at that time.  Samaritans, publicans, and sinners all became his bride, a garden of living water in him.

16 Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.

Now the bride invokes the wind to encourage the fruit to grow.  She invites her Lord to enter her garden and indulge the good fruits of life.  Our messiah will indeed soon enter a garden that will lead to all the fruit of our very salvation.

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/oldtestament/section14/

https://overviewbible.com/song-of-solomon/

https://www.biblestudytools.com/song-of-solomon/

https://www.studylight.org/commentary/song-of-solomon/3-1.html

 

 

THE REAL KING

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SONG3

THE FEAST

I previously noted that men may not see through the eyes of women.  Actually, it may take some time just to get us housebroken!  This is another reason why I suggest that this may be a dream of an older Solomon.  He can actually feel her joy and relate to her concerns.  He has had some time to know women a little better.  You might think it would sink in a little faster than needing 1,000 weddings to get it right!  But like his father David, Solomon may finally be able to understand some spiritual revelations here.

Song of Solomon 3

1 By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not.  2 I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not.

Wow, she can’t sleep without this guy.  She goes on a night patrol and can’t find him.  This is a woman who has devotion, but no doubt.  Wouldn’t a modern girl start by checking out the local bars?

3 The watchmen that go about the city found me: to whom I said, Saw ye him whom my soul loveth?  4 It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother’s house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me.

Now she encounters a police patrol and checked to see if they had seen the king.  After a brief conversation she went on to find him.  So now they are back together, and she introduces him to her mother.  I see her getting serious now.

5 I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.  6 Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant? 

Other commentators have been here before me, and I am not alone in a suggestion I present here.  This woman has cared for the fields that others neglected is now caring for the greatest person in her life or ours.  We present her as a type of the church.  She charges the young women of Jerusalem not to awaken him before his time.  She recognizes this king as being more than Solomon, indeed a representative of the coming messiah.

7 Behold his bed, which is Solomon’s; threescore valiant men are about it, of the valiant of Israel.  8 They all hold swords, being expert in war: every man hath his sword upon his thigh because of fear in the night.  9 King Solomon made himself a chariot of the wood of Lebanon.  10 He made the pillars thereof of silver, the bottom thereof of gold, the covering of it of purple, the midst thereof being paved with love, for the daughters of Jerusalem.

While some struggle with the suggestion that Solomon is a type of the Christ, I submit that as an old man he is being shown what the messiah is to be like.  His father David presented the savior as a son of his own in Psalm 110.  Indeed, Jesus referred to that Psalm when he revealed himself to be that son of David.

35 And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the son of David?  36 For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.  37 David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son? And the common people heard him gladly.  Mark 12: 35-37

Solomon would know that he was not the messiah, but in this (dream? vision?) he is able to know both the mind of Christ and the mind of the bride.  Solomon did not labor to make himself a chariot, but the son of God made all things for the daughters of Jerusalem.  At this point the song celebrates the revelation of messiah and his bride, the church.  You believers are acknowledged here as being the faithful keeper of his vineyards.  God is welcoming you to the wedding supper of his son.

11 Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and behold king Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart.

If Jesus had a mother, she was more than just the woman Mary.  All faith is birthed by the church that shares the hope of faith in Jesus Christ.  The wedding supper of the Lamb allows the church to crown the King of Kings in what is actually her own wedding.  All other prophesies are crowned by this one event.

You may consider the thoughts of other commentaries in this.  I consult others, but I hope that God will give each of us his own revelation of his glory.  Feel free to let these add to your understanding, but allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you as well.  Here are a few of the observations that are available to you today:

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/oldtestament/section14/

https://overviewbible.com/song-of-solomon/

https://www.biblestudytools.com/song-of-solomon/

https://www.studylight.org/commentary/song-of-solomon/3-1.html

 

Young Love

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SONG2

ANOTHER CHANCE

As I write this it is Easter Sunday.  Others have seen an allegory of God’s love for man in these songs.  I previously shared that I may disagree with those who believe that this was written in Solomon’s youth.  No one ever forgets the passion of a true love, and this could have been a memory, or even a dream.  My late wife has returned in my dreams to leave me with a hope for our reunion.  It is never too late to return to love, our sins can be forgiven, and we can expect the promise of that reunion in heaven.

Solomon may have wasted his youth, but he has already reminded us to follow God.  He missed that path in his youth, but it is still available to all of us.  No one is separated from love if they are faithful to God.  The passion of this young woman is recounted by the author as if he knew her very heart and soul.  He knew that she was faithful, and that she would always be there for him.  His knowledge of this woman’s heart is unlikely to have been available to a young man.  He ascribes words to her that are as if he was within her heart, seeing through her eyes.  Perhaps he could only see this if it was given to him by God himself.  I believe that this may be old Solomon, seeing now that his love is real, living, and still waiting for him.  He has recognized a spiritual connection in what may be either a memory or even a dream from God.

Song of Solomon 2

1 I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.  2 As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.  3 As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.

This young woman is not suffering from low self-esteem.  Something makes her realize that she is special, a beautiful flower among others who are but thorns.  An she sees her lover as a tree with good fruit.  She knows that he is a source of sweet life, not bitterness.  He is the source of her hope, her confidence.

4 He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.  5 Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love.  6 His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me.  7 I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.

She was invited into his palace as a guest of honor and love.  Clearly she is smitten, and they indulge some intimacy, if not the impatient lust of our modern generation.  If she charges the other women to allow him to sleep I expect that this union was public and not entirely carnal.  Go ahead, mock me, but morals were still in place in the Old Testament.

8 The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.  9 My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice.  10 My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.  11 For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; 

She observes a young man who invites her to rise and enjoy the day.  He observes that this is the spring time and the storms of winter are past.  This Easter day I have awakened to three inches of snow, only to see it melt away before evening.  We can almost see through her eyes too as this is being written.

12 The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;  13 The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.  14 O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely. 

We have flowers coming, the buzzards migration has arrived, and the frogs may sing, but I have never heard a turtle!  A turtle dove perhaps?  At this time the fig bears fruit, unlike the one Jesus cursed on that Passover in Jerusalem.  All is well in the land at this time.  She calls him as if he were a dove in the rocks, or one of the little birds that built a nest under our freeway overpass.

15 Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.  16 My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.  17 Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.

There are animals that can ruin a vineyard, and this Shulamite has tended vines before.  But here they may be the issues of life that cause strife in a relationship as well.  This couple anticipates bearing fruit in life and they guard against divisions.  She encourages him to run from the shadows of doubt or strife.  She sees in him the grace and beauty of the deer or antelope that we see on our Wyoming mountains.  He should flee the doubts that might divide them.  Indeed, there are many kinds of foxes, and another prophet points these out:

Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord God; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts. Ezekiel 13:2-4

Indeed this woman leaves no room for doubt.  In the previous chapter we learned that she had been the only one of her sisters to do the work of their fields.  God honors those who are workers for the harvest, and she has proven herself by good works.

Solomon could not know the passion of a woman, but he could understand the admiration of a believer for his God.  God cannot expect us to understand his love for us unless he gives us a relationship that reveals spiritual intimacy.  He has given us a physical love that should develop into that spiritual familiarity.  This relationship has not been consummated yet, but the potential of this passion is being revealed.

JOYFUL SNARE

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SONG1

ANOTHER CHANCE

I previously shared Solomon’s experience with aging.  He warns us that missing a relationship with God in our youth will drain us by the time we are old.  Has he missed that great relationship?  As I age, I have only memories and dreams of the romance of my youth.  I can’t catch the girls or remember what to do if I did.  Then if I remember anything, it is only that I can’t do it anymore!  Is it too late for Solomon too?

Some say Solomon wrote this in his youth, when passion was in full flower.  But my memory of love is fresh 13 years later.  Solomon relates a romantic encounter in this book, and I wonder if it was a real person, or a dream.  Was it someone special who now only comes in his dreams?  Or is it someone we never expected at all, a portrait of a very special relationship, higher than our wildest imagination?  This woman begins the conversation with the expression of her passion for him.

Song of Solomon 1

1 The song of songs, which is Solomon’s.  2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.  3 Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee.   4 Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee.

This young woman is targeting Solomon.  Whether Solomon is writing this as a young man or old, he knows who initiated this engagement.  God may bring people together, but he sparked the interest in this woman first.  His name is as ointment, it must reflect a pretty good reputation to her and to the other virgins.  If they are invited to his palace they will rejoice.  They will rejoice if they are still virgins and worthy of the house of the king.

I remember joining a small church to help with the youth.  The leaders were a bit disorganized so I was a bit reluctant about joining a small church with challenges.  Unknown to me there was one single parent, and the church secretary was complicit in introducing us.  The gals are dangerous when they find a target!

5 I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.  6 Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother’s children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept. 

This girl is self-conscious about her dark complexion, but why?  She knows that she is attractive, as do the other virgins.  She has lived as a worker in the fields, gaining a great sun tan in this work.  Her family relegated the farm chores to her so she was not able to advance her own prosperity.  Does she know that is actually an asset with this king?  He was raised in a palace as a prince, surrounded only by spoiled princesses who had never worked in the sun.  This woman radiated the glow of health and well tanned fitness.

My late wife managed single parenthood and built skills to advance her career.  She had developed a faith in an unseen provider that gave her a special glow.  She was the steward of a righteous household.  She too was a reflection of her Lord, a beauty more than I expected.

7 Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?  8 If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds’ tents. 

Indeed Solomon has noticed this farm girl and wonders about her life.  Why should he visit the other virgin’s flocks instead of hers?  If she doesn’t know why he should visit her, then she is free to go on her own way.  He drops a compliment to sweeten the deal though…a bunch of them in fact!

9 I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh’s chariots.  10 Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, thy neck with chains of gold.   11 We will make thee borders of gold with studs of silver. 

I assume the Egyptian chariot horses were famed for their strength and beauty.  It would be unwise to make comparison to an army mule!  Did she have freckled cheeks and gold chains on her neck?  He offers to add to her adornment to seal the deal.

12 While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof.  13 A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts.  14 My beloved is unto me as a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of Engedi. 

She knows that her perfumes are working on him, as his charm is also working on her.  The urban dictionary refers to camphire as henna to mean a woman who puts others first.  The flower grows in Engedi and is valued for fragrance and colors.  Whatever this charm is she has hopes of entertaining him well.  They see only good things in each other.

The relationship of a man and woman promises an intimate closeness.  This is not possible where suspicion or doubt exists.  Such closeness also involves vulnerability that cannot tolerate any unrighteousness.  There is no fear in these offers, only trust.  I am happy to report that my 16 years of marriage never experienced any great breach of trust.  Love will cover a multitude of sins, but the grace of God kept us from all disappointment.

15 Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes.   16 Behold, thou art fair, my beloved, yea, pleasant: also our bed is green.  17 The beams of our house are cedar, and our rafters of fir.

Is she still talking or is it he?  Either the house is fancy or they are celebrating in the glory of the great outdoors.  Young lovers have an energy that is not challenged by nature, indeed it is nature.  Solomon had observed such wonder in his Proverbs.  Three wonders were not for humans, and he must have still been too young for the latter.  It appears that innocence is about to end.

18  There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not:  19 The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.  Proverbs 30:18-19

Passion can carry us into love like the wind moves a ship through the ocean.  If God is willing the journey is will not be rocked by storms.  We sail in this life as perfect vessels by divine design.  Arriving on the far shore will deliver a cargo of treasured memories.  Solomon is about to get under way in the journey of a relationship.

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