I Am My Beloved's, and My Beloved is Mine

Brian Mahon - 7/31/2022


Call to worship: Revelation 3:14-22

Text: The Song of Songs 5:2-6:3


In these verses, Eden is temporarily interrupted. The ideal is welcomed to 'the real,' even if, perhaps, in a dream. For the first time, the bride and her groom seem to have contrary desires. We don't know why, but he's late to bed, and she's feeling inconvenienced by his overtures. Still, he puts his hand to the latch, and her hesitancy is overcome. She rises to open to him, her heart thrilled, her hands dripping with myrrh. However, by the time she arrives, a nightmare begins. He's gone. She can't find him. She goes about the city again, only this time she's beaten by the watchmen. She adjures those daughters to help her in the hunt, implying (perhaps) that she has done wrongly. They ask what's so great about him (that she pursues him so). The short answer is he's hers and, thus, he's the best. She describes him in divine and Christic terms. Accordingly, they want to join the search-party but, just as soon as they lend their hand, good news! They're together again. Eden is regained. And whatever division there was, for whatever reason it existed, it's all mended; and their covenant-union is reaffirmed. What is your beloved more than another? How might we answer that concerning our spouse? How might we answer that concerning, in truth, the best Husband, Jesus Christ?

Sermon Outline:

  1. The bride's nightmare: Eden interrupted. (5:2-6)
  2. The bride's cross: Eden resumed. (5:7-6:3)
    • Her self-sacrificial love for her beloved. (5:7-8)
    • Her effusive praise for her beloved. (5:9-16)
    • Her covenantal reassertion for her beloved. (6:1-3)


Discussion Questions:

  1. Read The Song of Songs 5:2-6:3.
  2. In 5:2-6, do your best to describe this scene and its details. If you had to interpret, what's going on here? What is her worst fear? How is this scene a break or interruption from the first four-plus chapters of The Song? What does that interruption imply about marriage in a world fallen?
  3. In 5:7-8, what does she experience in her search for him? Again, if you had to interpret what happens to her, what would you say? How does understanding the literary type, i.e. poetry, (maybe) help us here (as opposed to this being historical narrative)? What's the poet seeking to communicate? Do you think the bride perceives the nightmare to be more or less his or her doing? What in this section gives some (if any at all) insight?
  4. In 5:9-16, how do the daughters of Jerusalem respond to her adjuration? How does the bride respond to their question? What are the specifics of her description of him? What is the summary? What do you make of the imagery? What's the poet communicating by it about the beloved? Is such detailed praise, such attention to detail, easier to keep or lose in marriage? Why does it come up here?
  5. In 6:1-3, those daughters are convinced of the worthiness of this beloved to be sought out just so. How does the text surprisingly end? (I'll take all the insight you can afford me at this point, haha)! But think, where did we leave them in 4:12-5:1? Where do we now suddenly find them together? What does she reaffirm in 6:3? How has she changed it up a bit from 2:16? What might that new emphasis imply? What role does this belonging play in the resolution of the nightmare? How might this passage speak to us about Jesus?
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