Call to worship: Psalm 2
Text: The Song of Songs 1:1-17
In the Song of Songs, the Holy Spirit, by way of wise-Solomon, gives us 'the most sublime song.' It's the greatest love-song in existence, and it starts rather steamy. The bride longs for the physical intimacy overflowing from the experience of the bridegroom's most precious love. But in light of that, she is, perhaps, quite the opposite of what we might think at first. Properly understood, there is not a hint of impropriety. She's not a lusty dame. She's a bridegroom's beloved, and he's loved her with love-winning particularity. Alas, she is humble and hard-working, modest but motivated to be with her 'shepherd-king.' And as such, he meets her insecurities with his reassuring words. She longs to be with him, and he longs to be found by her. The way made, the embrace renewed, he adorns her with his tender words. She is his queen. And their shared affection for one another, their mirrored love, finds, as a good and lovely effect, a 'green couch.' Their love and devotion to one another, soul and body, is aromatic of Edenic love and life. They breathe each other in with the sweetest (and most fiery!) intimacy, the curtains close (for now), and so begins The Song of Songs, a song that ultimately preaches to us, as biblical marriage and marital intimacy do, about the relationship of love, the best and most soul-satisfying love, between Christ and His church, between us and our loving Lord. With respect to it, is it our prayer: draw me after You, let us run?
- The greatest Song. (1:1)
- A Romanee-Conti love. (1:2-4)
- A shepherd's touch. (1:5-11)
- A green couch. (1:12-17)
- Draw me after You, let us run.
- Read The Song of Songs 1:1-17.
- What are some of your favorite (or most famous) love songs? In 1:1, what does Solomon claim about this song? In light of His original intention, found in Genesis 2, what kind of love song would God love? As this Song is in the canon of Scripture, can it affirm sexual immorality? What clues do the editorial titles to each section give to demonstrate the context of the intimacy in this Song? As he was notorious for his sexual immorality, can we trust Solomon? Why or why not?
- In 1:2-4, the poem starts rather steamy. Why does she want him to kiss her with the kisses of his mouth? Are her desires for physical affection raw, or are they the effect of something she's experienced? Husbands, can your wife say that your love for her is better than wine? Are we interested in listening to her in order to better it, specialize it, make it more appealing to her? Would 'others' affirm our love for her as a model of righteousness, something to be itself loved?
- In 1:5-11, we receive more insight into the bride. What does she reveal about herself? How does it (humility, modesty, etc.) make her more (truly) beautiful? Does she show some insecurity? What is her utmost desire? What appearance does she not want to give? How does the bridegroom respond to and reassure her? Husbands, how do we use our words with respect to our wives? Single ladies, if you're looking, for what sort of man are looking? Men like her brothers, or a man like her bridegroom? Inconsiderate men, or a gentle man? Husbands, is our verbal adornment of our wives worth echoing?
- In 1:12-17, they've come together. Where is the king? Are they close? What might tip you off? Why does she highlight the scent of things so much? What example are we to derive from their verbal (and complimentary) 'mirroring'? Husbands, when was the last time you told your wife that she was beautiful? Really? What does it mean that, note, 'our' 'couch is green'? Spouses, is your 'couch' green? In what ways does this first chapter find touch-points between Christ and the church, between us and Christ, between you and Christ? Give it some thought this week.