Let My Beloved Come to His Garden

Brian Mahon - 7/24/2022


Call to worship: Genesis 2:18-25

Text: The Song of Songs 4:1-5:1


The bride and her groom consummate their marriage. He delights in her figural beauty. He sees, and he says. To him, she is altogether beautiful. To be sure, while emphasizing her body, her beauty is more than bodily. She's captivated his heart with her sisterly, marital, romantic love. He can hardly stand to be kept from intimacy, but she is a garden locked, a spring locked, a fountain sealed. She is his, but his desire isn't forcible. It's submissive to her will. She must open to him. Alas, she's given him the key. She invites him to take pleasure in his garden---and he does! The consummation of their marriage is affirmed by holy 'others,' good, right, true, and glorious. Throughout, his descriptions vividly communicate that she (her person, body, and love) are like Eden, the Temple, the Promised Land. Sex according to God's rules is a foretaste of Heaven! It's a blessing from God to enjoy rightly, a signpost to God's most intimate presence with us, a most amazing gift, between husband and wife, that, in the end, always leaves wanting that eternal more. May God be glorified for it---and for the greatest Gift He's given to reconcile us to Himself.

Sermon Outline:

  1. Seeing and sa(y)voring this promised land: covenant-commendation. (4:1-7)
  2. Enriching one's pulse for this promised land: covenant-captivation. (4:8-11)
  3. Entering and enjoying this promised land: covenant-consummation. (4:12-5:1)


Discussion Questions:

  1. Read The Song of Songs 4:1-5:1.
  2. How would you describe the section, 4:1-7? What is the bridegroom doing? How much 'ground' does he cover? By the descriptions he gives, to what does he seem to be likening her body? Think on the biblical connotations for doves, flocks, a scarlet thread, pomegranates, the tower of David, mountains of myrrh and frankincense? In scoping out his wife's naked body, where do his thoughts run? If it's not clear here, it only gets clearer!
  3. To what does Solomon transition in 4:8-11? Note the repetitive wording. About what does he want us to be assured? What is captivated? What captivates it? What does it mean that his bride's his 'sister'? And his 'sister' is 'bride'? How does he describe his longing for her kisses? Again, anything (under her tongue) that communicates that intimacy with her is a 'place' to him?
  4. How does Solomon have the bridegroom describe his bride in 4:12-15? What might a garden with a spring-fountain of flowing, life-giving water imply? What about it being locked up and sealed? Would you say she's been unguarded with her 'sacred spaces'? For whom are they? To whom does she open? What's implied in her invitation in 4:16? Is her garden hers only? At her invitation, what does the bridegroom do? How do 'others' show their approval of it?
  5. How does this book (and this chapter) address your heart on the issue of sex? Is it good or bad? Dirty or delightful? When is it one or the other? How do the bridegroom's descriptions of her, her body, her love, etc. as temple-garden-promised land---how does that reform our perspective on each other's bodies, on the consummation of marriage, on the nature of God-pleasing sex? To what does the marriage bed point?
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