Song of Songs: Love and Unity
1:1-17, 2:16, 7:10, 8:7 (Pastor Heo)
1:1 Solomon’s Song of Songs. 2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth— for your love is more delightful than wine. 3 Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes; your name is like perfume poured out. No wonder the young women love you! 4 Take me away with you—let us hurry! Let the king bring me into his chambers. We rejoice and delight in you ; we will praise your love more than wine. How right they are to adore you! 5 Dark am I, yet lovely, daughters of Jerusalem, dark like the tents of Kedar, like the tent curtains of Solomon. 6 Do not stare at me because I am dark, because I am darkened by the sun. My mother’s sons were angry with me and made me take care of the vineyards; my own vineyard I had to neglect. 7 Tell me, you whom I love, where you graze your flock and where you rest your sheep at midday. Why should I be like a veiled woman beside the flocks of your friends? 8 If you do not know, most beautiful of women, follow the tracks of the sheep and graze your young goats by the tents of the shepherds. 9 I liken you, my darling, to a mare among Pharaoh’s chariot horses. 10 Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings, your neck with strings of jewels. 11 We will make you earrings of gold, studded with silver. 12 While the king was at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance. 13 My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh resting between my breasts. 14 My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi. 15 How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves. 16 How handsome you are, my beloved! Oh, how charming! And our bed is verdant. 17 The beams of our house are cedars; our rafters are firs.
2: 16 My beloved is mine and I am his; he browses among the lilies.
7: 10 I belong to my beloved, and his desire is for me.
8: 7 Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned.
Do you like this book? Solomon’s Song of Songs.
In the Hebrew Bible, that is the title – based on the first verse. KJV says “Song of Songs which is Solomon’s.”
This means, song for/by/about Solomon. “Song of Songs” means the most beautiful song. Like Holy of Holies, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, God of Gods.
1 Kings 4:32 – Solomon spoke 3,000 proverbs and wrote 1,005 songs. But among ALL the songs, this is the greatest of all.
Solomon wrote 3 books in the OT:
- Song of Songs
Traditionally, it is accepted that:
- Song of Songs = in his youth,
- Proverbs = in his middle years,
- Ecclesiastes = in his old age.
- Love = in youth,
- wisdom = in middle age,
- without God everything is meaningless = in his old age.
Only God makes life meaningful and beautiful and eternal.
Yes, Solomon is the champion of wisdom in history – but now, because of the grace of God, we can be wiser than Solomon if we realize NOW (not at the end of our lives) that only Christ makes our lives meaningful, perfect, and eternal. May God bless us to be wiser than Solomon in this way.
About the book
Song of Songs is a love song. It is a collection of love poems – for the most part addressed by a man to a woman and then a woman to the man, in rotation.
- There are 8 chapters with 117 verses.
- The first half (1-4) is the beginning of love between the two.
- Second half (5-8) is the growing and deepening of their love.
In this story, Solomon is the bridegroom. He has a vineyard and there is a girl working there with her brothers. She wins Solomon’s heart and he eventually takes her into his palace as his wife. She is poor, he is rich. Her skin is dark from hours of labor outside. But, she is the most beautiful of all the women in this world to the eyes of Solomon. Love is from a subjective perspective, not objective.
gives a series of recollections of the courtship before the wedding, including the bride’s yearning for affection before their marriage (v. 2) “let him kiss me with many kisses.”
Do you also have somebody to speak of like this?
There is a continual expression of mutual love at the palace before the wedding and then the procession from the bride’s home to the palace.
Solomon praises his bride’s beauty – especially all the parts of her body – with very concrete praise (v. 1-7).
1 How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes behind your veil are doves. Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from the hills of Gilead. 2 Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn, coming up from the washing. Each has its twin; not one of them is alone. 3 Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon; your mouth is lovely. Your temples behind your veil are like the halves of a pomegranate. 4 Your neck is like the tower of David, built with courses of stone ; on it hang a thousand shields, all of them shields of warriors. 5 Your breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies. 6 Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, I will go to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of incense. 7 You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.
Their love is broadening and deepening.
This is like a One Act drama with three speakers:
- Bridegroom, and
Literally, this is a collection of love poems celebrating
- whole-relationship love
as God intended it for marriage. God established marriage in Genesis 2 including physical union between a man and woman. God said “It is not good for Man to be alone…for this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and the two will become one flesh.”
The Bible says, “God is love.” (1 John 5)
- The first expression is an expression of truth –
- The second is emphasis with big stress.
What does this mean exactly?
- Love and Union,
- Union of Love,
- Love of Union
The keyword(s) = Love, Union
“God is love” = he is creator, owner, author of love.
Yes, God’s love = agape, unfailing, absolute, unconditional love. But not only this love, also filial love (between family members, friends) and all other kinds of love are from God and in God.
“Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” (1 John?)
All love comes from God, by God as a gift from him.
Outside God, there is no true love. Without God, true love is broken.
Yes, the first couple in the Bible (Adam and Eve) – in a sinless condition (with God), their love was perfect:
- Adam “Woah man! This is bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh…” But after the fall, away from God, their love was broken:
- Adam “This woman YOU gave me made me do it…”
Outside God, their genuine love was broken immediately.
God’s love to human beings is presented through Christ – God incarnate in person.
God’s love for all people is given through Christ. “This is how God showed his love for us, that while we were still sinners, he died for us.” “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son… to die for us.” (John 3:16)
The story of Ecclesiastes and the story of Song of Songs look VERY different. It depends on our situation. We can belong to either story. It depends on our attitude toward God. What’s your level/position/status?
According to God’s Creation principle, man = between God and animals. We can ALMOST be like God, but at the same time we can ALMOST be like animals. God is always God, animals are always animals, and there is no common thing between the two. God is creator and sustainer of animals, but animals do not know that. Yet, people are between the two. People have commonalities between God and animals.
- Animals and men =
- both material, physical body, eat, sleep, breathe,
- have babies,
- come from dust, die, return to dust.
- So, man can have partial communication with animals.
- God and men =
- both spiritual –
- God is creator, men can do creative things,
- God is a person, has a personality, man is a person, has a personality,
- God and man are eternal.
- So we can have communication with God because we are created in his image and likeness.
Our position is movable – like animals or like God – it depends on our relationship with Christ.
- If a man has no relationship with Christ, he is like an animal. Ecclesiastes “Man’s fate is like that of the animals – he has no advantage over animals.”
- But, if we have a relationship with Christ, immediately, our level rises to the heights to become children of God – even the bride of Christ. This is the message given to us through this story.
The Song of Songs pictures the church as the bride of Christ. In the NT, there are many places that introduce Jesus as the bridegroom of the church. Eph 5:23 “As husband is the head of the wife, so Christ is the head of the church. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy.”
“I promised you to one husband (Christ) so that I may present you as a pure virgin/bride to your bridegroom.”
When Jesus comes again, he will come as the Bridegroom (Rev 19 “The wedding of the Lamb has come”). Yes, in his first coming, he came as the Lamb of God. We are his bride – union.
The Bible represents this union of all believers with Christ through many analogies drawn through earthly unions. Look around you. Which union is the strongest? Jesus did his best to teach us that this union between himself and his bride is the MOST powerful (as bridegroom and bride).
Sometimes, Jesus compares this union between the foundation of this building and the ground. Without the ground, how will this building stand?
- “I’m the vine, you are the branches.” (Union – how can the branches live without the vine?).
- “I’m the Good Shepherd, you are my sheep.”
- “I’m the husband, you are my wife.”
- “I’m the Bridegroom, you are my Bride.”
This is the ultimate union – between Jesus and the church.
5 points – according to biblical teaching – what union is this?
Yes, this building is a material union – wood, cement, rock, sand, nails. If this building is separated, it will be destroyed. Water is a union – H2O – if separated, it will be destroyed.
Point #1: Spiritual Union
This union between Christ and the church is not physical, mental, but spiritual.
- 1 Cor 6:17 “He who unites himself with Christ is one with him in spirit.”
- Romans “If anyone does not have the spirit of Christ, he is not one with Christ.”
The Holy Spirit is the author of this union.
- “No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord’ without the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Point #2: Vital Union
The union is a vital union
We are united with Christ in
- his death,
- his Coming, eternal life.
This is a lifetime, eternal union.
- “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live. The life I live I live by faith in the son of God.” (Galatians 5?)
Our lives are hidden with Christ in God.
- “When Jesus, who is your life appears, also we will appear with him in his glory.”
Vital union = the life of Christ = the life of church = the life of believers. This is not OUR life, but the life of Christ, our spiritual bridegroom.
Point #3: Perfect/complete union
“The church is the body of Christ” – Jesus is the head. Do you have a head? Imagine without a head, what would you be? Without a body, what would you be? Jesus is our head, and we are the body and we are individually different parts of one body.
- Yes, the Bridegroom praises each and every part of the bride’s body in the Song of Songs.
- Likewise, Jesus praises each and every part of his body (each of us).
Each part is a means and end. The hand works for the feet, and the feet work for the hands, and all parts work for the head, and the head works for all parts. The head makes the body perfect, and all parts make the head perfect. Jesus makes us perfect.
Point #4: Inseparable, unbreakable union
Yes, a union of men is breakable. But this union between Christ and the church is unbreakable, indesolvable.
- “No one can snatch you out of my hand.”
- “Nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus Christ our Lord. Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor demons, nor anything else in all creation can separate us from the love of God.” (Romans 8)
Point #5: Mysterious union
It is inexplainable, inscrutable
This union is a reality. This union is not a fiction, but it cannot be understood with our understanding. This union is real, actual, practical.
- Eph 5:32 “In the whole world, we know that the biggest mystery is the union between a man and wife – but I am talking about Christ and the church.”
How mysterious, but true. This is beyond our understanding and wisdom.
I’m doing my best to explain this union, but I cannot fully explain it. I’m hoping the Holy Spirit touches each of us directly. If you realize something, it is not from my words, but from the touch of the Holy Spirit.
So, what are the results/consequences of this union?
There are many benefits, obviously. If we are united with a president, there are big benefits, but we are united with GOD. So there are great blessings.
Let me say 4 fruits of this union:
- Eternal security/safety – nothing is able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ.
- Fruitfulness – “I am the vine, you are the branches, if a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit.”
- Endowment for service – Jesus is the head of the one body, but we are all a part of the body (eyes, nose, mouth, hands, legs, feet) – and each part has its own, unique, different job. The purpose is perfect unity – ONE body, not two.
- Fellowship with our Lord, the Bridegroom. Is it possible for the Bridegroom and bride to not have fellowship and sharing? Impossible. We are sharing with him in his victory and glory – we are “co-heirs” with Christ – he is our oldest brother, the firstfruits of many.
Are you the bride of Christ? Amen. (If you say, “Amen”, you are RESPONSIBLE for this. So, let me ask again.)
Are you the bride of your bridegroom, Jesus Christ? AMEN.
We are not worshiping God all in the same time and place – but God is receiving all worship as one – we are ONE bride, he is ONE Bridegroom. Be careful, if we love ANYTHING else more than Christ, it is terrible adultery.
As his bride, we must proclaim, profess, his absoluteness, exclusiveness, incomparableness. Only through our permanent bridegroom can we enjoy pure satisfaction, beauty, eternity, joy, security, peace.
May God bless all of us. He is coming SOON as our Bridegroom.
Then, when he comes, this story, the Song of Songs, will be our story and song forever and ever.
May God bless all of us through his Word.
Now, it’s time to respond to our Bridegroom – meditating on the union we have with him.
- forever union.