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SONG OF SOLOMON

AN ANATOMICAL STUDY!

how the book is structured!

 

A STUDY OF MATURING LOVE IN THE SWEETEST BOOK OF THE BIBLE!

 

 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15

 

 

 

 

 

LESSON 1 ... INTRODUCTION

The "anatomy" of Scripture!

Each Book of the Bible has a special "pattern" it follows.

After all, God does things "decently and in order."

Here's one example. The Gospel of John is built around seven or eight "miracles" Jesus performed, called "signs" by John. And those "signs" are written that sinners might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. That's the "anatomy" of the fourth Gospel! Know those miracles, and you know the "structure" of John's biography of Jesus. Basically, all 21 chapters are expositions of those great events, or at least complementary to them.

But now today we are going to look at another Book of the Bible. An Old Testament selection this time, the "Song of Solomon" I mean. Let's see if we can find its "anatomy!" It's underlying structure.

Within seven lessons or so, the pattern should begin to fall into place. And it is beautiful, too!

To begin with, Song of Solomon is a first-class inerrant portion of God's Word! It is not inferior to any other portion of Scripture at all. It is divinely inspired! "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." 2nd Timothy 3:16-17

Solomon called his little Masterpiece the "Song of Songs" at first. That's how the Book begins, "The song of songs, which is Solomon's." This formula, "_______ of ________," indicates a superlative thought in Hebrew. The very best of something! The Bible is full of such Semitic imagery. "Holy of Holies!" Also "King of Kings! Lord of Lords!" Even "Vanity of vanities," from Ecclesiastes! And here in Song of Solomon 1:1, as mentioned, we have "song of songs." The best of the best!

Solomon wrote 1,005 songs in total. And of them all, he rated this Song we are about to study foremost! The best! Superb! Solomon also, according to 1st Kings 4:32, wrote 3,000 proverbs! A prolific writer!

Also note that the Song of Solomon is a love story! A God-written Love Story! Between a young man and a young lady!

The young man, undoubtedly, is a picture or symbol or type of the Heavenly Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ! And the young lady, the Bride, is a picture of the Church!

Paul definitely presents the marriage relationship as such a "type." He wrote: "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." Ephesians 5:25-27, pretty clear!

In the Song of Solomon, many wrongly say, we just have a loose and unorganized collection of various love poems. No order or logic, they assume! They suggest the speaker is often indiscernible and the overall message incomplete.

Not so!

I believe it is an observable fact that the Song of Solomon progresses in a timely and spiritually accurate sequence.

In the Book we see a developing love!

A growing love!

Not his love for her as much as her love for him!

For, remember, he is a picture of Jesus. And Jesus' love for His Bride is already perfect, with Him being the very Son of God!

But the Bride's love for the Bridegroom ... nearly with each passing chapter ... matures and deepens and increases, just as our love should do toward our Lord, Jesus the Christ!

We are, the Lord willing, going to take five looks at such love. One per day, until we reach the climax in Song of Solomon chapter eight.

Join us for the journey.

Because it is so Scripture saturated, it will be a blessing!

Like Moses said to his Father-in-Law, "Come thou with us, and we will do thee good." That's because of God's Word! "Come thou with us, and we will do thee good: for the LORD hath spoken ...." Numbers 10:29

He's still speaking!

And His Word is still doing people good!

Amen!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2 ... LOVE, ITS BEGINNING STAGE!

The first stage of love is easy to discern.

Always.

And it is not necessarily wrong, either.

Perhaps it is just "necessary."

In order to reach level 5, what one might call full maturity, it is essential that level 1 be experienced.

Here it is, as seen through the ears and eyes of the Bride. She just exudes love for Him, the Groom, but with a special nuance. Yet she's still a picture of the Church loving her Lord. Especially early in their relationship!

"Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine. Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee. 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. I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon. 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. 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?" Song of Solomon 1:2-7

First of all notice the personal pronouns, 1st person personal pronouns, in the Text! In counting them one finds at least fifteen!

"Let Him kiss ME!"

"Draw ME!"

"I am comely!"

"My mother's children were angry with ME!"

"Why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of Thy companions?"

In a kind sort of way, I would like to say that this love is rather self-centered! There's more about her than about Him in this paragraph. Her feelings! Her desires! Her condition!

But, wait a minute.

That's generally the way love begins, even love for Jesus!

He saved ME!"

"I'M going to Heaven now, not Hell!"

"He answers MY prayers!"

"He meets MY needs!"

"He heals MY body!"

To put it succinctly, the Bride later says, "My beloved is mine." Just that! He is MINE!" Song of Solomon 2:16

What Jesus is to ME!"

"Let Him kiss ME!"

It feels good! It's thrilling when He comes by and shares His Presence! I'll sit here and wait for Him!

Yes, "His Love is better than wine," but TO MY TASTE!"

And "His ointment" smells so good when "poured forth," smells good TO ME!" His very Name is fragrant! I like it!

Even her remark "I am black, but comely," while certainly not wrong, is a bit unbalanced. She is saying that sin, her sins, have bespotted her and made her less than presentable! But at the same time she asserts her "comeliness" too! The Hebrew word "naveh" means "beautiful!" She can see why he would be attracted to her!

Even her desire to be with Him when He "feedest" His flock, surely a reference to Church attendance when viewed spiritually, she desires such a noble thing lest SHE "be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?" Lest SHE be at a less desirable place! SHE will determine the venue!

I am not "nitpicking" today, just trying to talk about that first level of love! The time when one lover is still infatuated with the fact that her mate notices HER! Or his mate notices HIM!

Now, don't misunderstand.

Make much of Jesus!

Thrill over His Love to you and for you!

Enjoy His Presence and Fragrance and Approval!

Prove again and again His answers to YOUR prayers!

But just remember, there is more to love than this!

Song of Solomon 1 describes the "Honeymoon" level of the relationship! He gave ME a ring! He has prepared ME a home! He will provide MY needs! He has given ME His Name! Now I, with a capital I here, am secure! Jesus is all I need! Christ in ME, the hope of Glory!

But let me show you where her love must go!

To another level!

I can word it simply, quoting Song of Solomon 2:16 again, "My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies."

Chapter 1 ... He is MINE!"

Chapter 2, still to come ... "and I am His!"

Love and relationship and communion are not one-way streets!

He is all to ME!

But I am to be dedicated to HIM also!

In today's lesson, verse 4, she spends time in His Chambers! Before the Book ends, as she grows in her love for Him, she wants to accompany Him to His fields, to see how the crops are faring!

Less self focus!

More Jesus focus!

Less her feelings!

More His!

Stay with us now!

True, some Christians have never progressed beyond chapter 1, the "feel good" stage! The "You for ME" stage!

And if saved, they're going to Heaven for sure!

But they are missing so much!

What does Jesus want!

Where do His interests lie?

What delights Him?

Those things come as we grow in the Lord!

It's an exciting journey, too!

Lord willing, stage 2 tomorrow!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, LOVE'S SECOND STAGE, THE MOUNTAINS AND HILLS!

The Lord was so very sweet to the lovely Song Of Solomon "Bride!" Back in chapter 1, picturing the first "stage" of Bride-to-Bridegroom love, she enjoyed his company and his kisses and all his benefits, all in reference to herself of course! Particularly did she enjoy spending time in his "chambers!" Such comfort! Such exhilaration! Yes, but nearly, what self consciousness!

I have no doubt that a Believer in Jesus Christ can live for years on such "touchy-feely" love! To be thrilled with Jesus is great! One living here will never lose his or her "first love!" It's a great place to be! But yet, there is more!

Song of Solomon chapter 2 tells us about it.

Remember that in chapter 1 she was with her Lover! By His side! In His chambers! Near her Shepherd! Feeding heartily! That's you and me with Jesus, folks!

But when chapter 2, the second paragraph, comes, Jesus has obviously gone away! To another place! Watch the Text. "The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills. 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. My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away." Song of Solomon 2:8-10

Jesus is not in His chambers now! He is not feeding the flock either!

He is over yonder! In the mountains! The noun "har" in Hebrew means high hills as well as mountains. The term here represents some of the "difficult" places in the Christian life! Hard to climb! Certainly not as comfortable as the lavish rooms of home! Or the green pastures of the table lands! The less steep "hills," using the Hebrew word for "bowls or cups," here turned upside-down, are smaller mountains ... but still more difficult places to follow Jesus!

Jesus is, I believe, trying to lead her onward, forward! Away from the comforts of home and out into the circumstances of life, the places where more trust and faith will be required!

Look at the mild hint of "separation" that has developed! The Lord stands "behind our wall!" He is looking "through the windows!" He longs for her to come with Him further!

Listen! We're ready for some more Scripture! "My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; 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; 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." Song of Solomon 2:10-13

"Come away!" The verb "halak" here is an imperative, a command! "To walk, to travel, to accompany someone!"

"Come with Me," says Jesus!

It's Springtime!

Birds are singing!

Trees are growing!

Flowers are blooming!

Fruit is coming, lots of it!

This Springtime represents Resurrection Power! Always! Jesus is alive!

But, equally always, before Spring is Winter!

And before we can truly know Jesus in "the power of His Resurrection," we must know Him "in the fellowship of His Sufferings!" That paradigm is in Philippians 3:10.

Come to the hillsides with Me!

Let's climb the mountains together, the challenging places of life!

But, look!

Jesus is not really climbing the mountains! He's leaping over them! Remember back in verse eight? "The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills." Wow! "Leaping" is "dalag," or "jumping!" It's a piel verb, adding even further intensity to the action! These peaks, these "problems," are no hindrance to the Resurrected Lord Jesus! He's "skipping" or "springing" across the hills! He wants us to enjoy that power too! "Come go with Me," He invites!

Leave behind all the ease and comfort and self-centeredness ... let's tackle the hard places! Let's shout all over the mountaintops! I will be with you! I'll help you learn to leap and jump and skip!

And, know what?

She comes!

Praise the Lord!

She is going with Him!

Forget the chambers for a while! Forget the comforts of the Palace!

If He's in the mountains! I shall so treasure being with Him that I'm going too! He's that precious!

How do we know she is coming?

"Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away," He just asked.

Next, look where she is! He's talking now, "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." She is His "dove!" Song of Solomon 2:14

She's now in those hills, the mountains, the rocks, the clefts ... with Him!

And she is ravishingly beautiful to Him there! Both in her looks, her "countenance," and in her sound, her "voice," her conversation, her talk, which is sweet to Him!

And so we leave them today!

Together!

Believer and Saviour!

She says, at last, "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." Song of Solomon 2:17

She's accustomed to the mountains now! Those hard places, if He is present, become holy ground! The word "Bether" just means "separation," cut in half, that kind of idea.

To walk the hills with Jesus will surely take me away from the world! A life of distancing myself from the flesh and the devil and his ungodly ways!

The mountains?

Less comfortable than the Palace!

But step two in the process of spiritual growth!

And, oh, so sweet, when Jesus is there!

Is anyone today willing to take this "yoke" upon himself or herself?

If so, you will "learn" much of your Lord, your Lover, in the days ahead!

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Jesus, in Matthew 11:29.

Come away!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, STAGE 3, HIGHER AND HIGHER!

The old song, written back in 1900 I believe, is simply entitled "Deeper, Deeper." It's opening words are: "Deeper, deeper in the Love of Jesus, daily let me go; Higher, higher in the school of wisdom, more of Grace to know!"

Its chorus sings: "O deeper, yet I pray, and higher every day, And wiser, blessed Lord, In Thy precious Holy Word!"

This hymn summarizes stage 3 of spiritual growth, according to the Song of Solomon anyway! It is discovered in chapter 4.

First the lovely Bride is ravished with His Love, His Person, His Presence, but only or primarily as it benefits her, herself! "Let Him kiss ME!" Then, "Into His chambers He took ME!" Also, "He feeds ME!" That's love's first stage.

Then, hopefully, comes stage two! It's an invitation to leave the comforts of the Palace, Home to the royal couple, and go with Him to the mountains! To experience His Power in the hills and peaks, during the "hard times" of life! Learning that Jesus is everything! That a whole life, even if spent in the "wild" with Him, in the mountains of "Bether," that is, "separated" from the world, that whole life is acceptable! Maybe even desirable!

Wow!

Now, stage three! Deeper, deeper!

No, make that "Higher, Higher!"

The Bridegroom longs for her company, even as things become more difficult yet! Remember, Jesus wanted the company and fellowship of His Disciples, three of them, the "inner circle" of Peter and James and John, even when He was in Gethsemane! And He was disappointed when they slept, instead of praying with Him in His Hour of need!

Higher, higher?

Here are His words to her, the Heavenly Groom to the Bride, Jesus to us: "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." Song of Solomon 4:8

In chapter 2 it was just "mountains and hills." Now He's more specific! She's already made it to "Lebanon," a Hebrew noun meaning "whiteness!" That's the "separation" mentioned in chapter 2! "Bether," those mountains! She's already there!

But, "Higher, Higher!"

"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."

"Amana" means "support," that which is firm and unmoving! Sure! Certain! It's so rare that I can only find it three times in the whole Bible, "Amanah." Yes, the more difficult things become, the more SUPPORT He gives! And way up there at the very "top" of Amana, He is close by her side! "Top" is "rosh" in Hebrew, the very "head or summit or chief" part of something! At the summit ... with the Chief! At the top of Amana ... with the Ruler of the world!

"Shenir" means "snow," still clear and pure and spotless! He wants us to come be with Him there! Remember, ya'll, "No pain ... no gain!" Those mountains are "tough," but His Company is "priceless!" The Groom is making his Bride holy!

Paul gladly accepted "pain" and "hard times" ... that He might ... "know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death." Philippians 3:10

With Jesus, the Cross comes before the Crown!

The mountains?

Here's Paul's evaluation: "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Romans 8:18

And get this, "Hermon" means "sanctuary!" As in, "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." Climbing any peak to be with Jesus, even treacherous Hemon, would be worth it ... to rest with Him in His SANCTUARY! This is far better than just His "chambers" way back in chapter one!

The noun "lions" is spelled "ariy," from "arah," meaning "to pluck" or "to gather," especially used in reference to grapes! Sweet grapes! "Vine and the branches" grapes! Then the action is used in reference to other forms of food too, like the red "meat" the lions love so much! So now we have both the main course, the meat ... and dessert too, eating with our Lord ... in the high places!

Yes! Up on those mountains, high as they are ... food awaits! Good food, spiritual food, rich food! Remember Psalm 23. The "table lands" are up high, in the hills, where the best nourishment awaits! "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies," enemies like lions and leopards! But you're safe ... "in the arms of Jesus!"

"Leopards" means "pure!" The whole geography of verse 4 is that of holiness and cleanliness and dedication to the Bridegroom!

"Come up even higher," Jesus invites!

And He's still calling!

Calling His Bride!

"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."

And ... if she comes?

She will hear even more of His Love!

Things like: "Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee." And, "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. 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! 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. A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard, spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices: a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon."

This is high praise, from HIM to her!

Look how she's grown now!

This is the girl who two lessons ago only wanted to lounge around His chambers and let Him kiss her, enjoying the good things of the palace! Its smells and tastes and sights!

But now, she's in the mountains, the rugged mountains with HIM! Leaping and skipping and shouting and having a wondrous time!

It's not all about HER now!

It's all about HIM!

Wow!

Come back tomorrow!

We will see her grow even more!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, STAGE 4, WHATEVER COMES!

The further I have waded into these Scriptures, the more I have seen about the Bride's love for the Groom, a growing love!

Based on Song of Solomon 6:13, she might best be called the "Shulamite" lady, from "shalam," meaning "to be at peace!" The ineffable Groom is King Solomon himself, at least that's the case on these Pages! Their historical identities aside, she is a "picture" of the Church and He typifies the Lord Jesus Christ, especially in His awesome Glory! The lone time Jesus mentioned Solomon, this "glory" was emphasized too! "Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." Luke 12:27

Today we were scheduled to be in Song of Solomon chapter 7, in a powerful Paragraph about maturing love! But, we just can't go there yet!

That's because yesterday a Verse powerfully jumped off the pages of the Bible and apprehended me!

Here it is: "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." Song of Solomon 4:16

Here's the setting for our Scripture, it's context.

She has left the comforts of the King's chambers, willingly now, and realized that love is more than self-centeredness ... following her Bridegroom to the mountains, the peaks that represent hardship and difficulty and the various trials of life.

Not just the hills, either! She is with Him way up yonder, in the "high places." Enjoying it too!

And the Groom now speaks of her in more detail than ever before! I know it's poetic, but also truthful! "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. 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! 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. " Song of Solomon 4:9-11 records some very Eastern metaphors and similes, figures of speech. But any way it's studied, He is praising her indeed! Jesus is thrilled when the Church follows Him wherever He goes!

Then, immediately, another metaphor. He is still talking, "A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed." She is His "garden!" The "enclosed" part suggests exclusiveness! Privacy! She is His alone! In Hebrew "naal" means "to lock, to bolt, to shut up!" And the root idea behind "garden" is "ganan," not surprisingly, "to defend, to cover!"

As His garden, she is a place of sweet fragrance! "Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard, spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices: a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon." I once preached a sermon, comparing these "fragrances" to the Fruit of the Holy Spirit! They "match" well, almost miraculously well!

The more heartaches, the higher the difficulties, seemingly insurmountable "mountains," plus ... the closer she walks and talks and runs and leaps with Him ... the more fruitful she becomes! By His estimate, anyway! Beautiful too!

These fruits and flowers and trees all emit fragrances too! And these pleasant "smells" are pictures of our testimony, our witness to the world that's all around us! Fenced off, but still there! Fragrance can travel over fences you know!

Now ... here comes today's Point!

And it's nearly startling!

It's a giant leap of love, maturing rapidly now!

She, knowing how much she means to Him, asks something. She prays! But she is not seeking something for herself anymore! Chapter 1 is far behind us! Her petition is to please Him!

"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." Song of Solomon 4:16

Let's talk about this request.

It's both amazing and thrilling!

Not to mention challenging!

"Awake" means "to rouse, to incite, to stir up!" It's an imperative verb too. And the first word in the sentence! Thus, very important! Let the wind "get up!" Let it blow!

All it will do is spread my sweet fragrance, rather, His sweet fragrance, around the community, the neighborhood, the countryside! Witnessing to a lost and dying humanity that Jesus saves! That Jesus transforms! That Jesus "sweetens" all areas of life! Talk about testimony!

But ... the "north wind" is cold and bitter and blustery, again picturing the biting times of life! The hard times! The "north wind" also can mean an absence of recent blessings! "The north wind driveth away rain," says Proverbs 25:23.

Fierce times!

The "south wind" is different! It is warm and soft and comfortable, picturing the sweet times of life. Showers of blessings! "How thy garments are warm, when he quieteth the earth by the south wind?" Job 37:17

Look at what she is asking!

Hard times, come!

Sweet times, come!

Whichever is fine, as long as my Beloved, my Lover, My Bridegroom is pleased! As long as He can thus enjoy His garden!

Here it is again: "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, folks, that's growth!

She's willing to experience anything ... to thrill His Heart!

Unselfishness personified!

Dear Shulamite, we admire you so much!

Christian friends, are we there yet?

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

The elliptical expression "thou south" implies the presence of the word "wind" afterward, "South wind, you sometimes blow too! At His Pleasure!"

The noun "spices" is "besem," kin to our word "balsam." It in the Bible always means "sweet." Think of that! The bitter north wind extracting sweet spices from our lives! Thus pleasing Jesus! Thus reaching the lost!

To "flow out" utilizes "nazal," a verb suggesting "pouring and gushing" in the King James Text. It can technically mean "to ooze, trickle or drop" also! Continuous action too!

But why all the suffering? Why such wind, such uncertainty? And why such stark optimism?

That "my Beloved may come into His garden, and eat His pleasant fruits," of course!

All we experience is for Him! Hard things and easy things! Bitter things and sweet things!

"Beloved" is based on a primitive verb, "to boil!" This is emotional, hot, fervent, undying love by now!

Notice that she no longer belongs to herself even! Her very "being" is no longer her own! She is "His" garden! "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." This is Paul in 1st Corinthians 6:19-20.

His garden!

The verb "eat" is interesting. "Akal" means "to consume." Jesus thrives on His fellowship with His people, His children, corporately ... His Bride! We have similarly partaken of our Lord, at the point of our salvation. By faith, figuratively. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you." John 6:53

Here is Jesus reciprocating!

Loving His saints!

"Let my Beloved eat His pleasant fruits!"

It ought to excite us no end that we might be of service to Jesus! That we might please Him! Even, dare I say it, "thrill" Him, "nourish" Him, "glorify" Him!

Lastly, the adjective "pleasant" is "meged," implying "precious" every bit as much as "pleasant!" In fact, the lexicons say "excellent!"

Precious to Jesus?

Excellent to Him?

No wonder she invited the wind to blow!

Either from the cold north!

Or the balmy south!

It just doesn't matter anymore, as long as He is pleased! As long as true spiritual fragrance is dispersed!

This love relationship started back in chapter 1 of Song of Solomon. There, it was mostly about pleasing her!

Now, it's all about HIM!

As it should be!

 

 

LESSON 6, STAGE 5, LEARNING FROM OUR MISTAKES!

The fifth chapter of the Song of Solomon is so realistic. It presents another episode in the process of a growing love, maturing love!

Let's examine it. Symbolically, Jesus speaks first: "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." Song of Solomon 5:1 still pictures the Bride as a garden in the eyes of the Groom! He is so pleased with her that He wants others to meet her too. His "friends" could even be a veiled reference to the Trinity. Father and Son and Holy Spirit, God communing internally over the beauties and excellencies of the Church!

Not only can we as Believers in Jesus enjoy His Presence, His Person! He can enjoy us as well! He is our "Portion!" Yet, somehow, we are His "portion" too! Yes, He has an "inheritance" in us! Listen to Paul at prayer, just one of his requests for the Ephesians: "That ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints ...." Ephesians 1:18

Next in Song of Solomon 5 something happens!

She has been resting one night, already in bed, and she hears a voice! "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." Song of Solomon 5:2 tells us that He has come by to see her.

Obviously He has been outside for some time.

He wants entrance into her chambers.

She, though drowsy, is aware of what's occurring. Do remember too, they are married.

But she is hesitant about getting up and letting Him inside, at least she is slow to do so! "I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?" This is spiritual lethargy, a bit of laziness!

He wants to fellowship!

She wants to rest!

She does not want to dress all over again, or soil her freshly washed feet, or be inconvenienced at all!

He does not, of course, yell or get angry! Next: "My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him." Song of Solomon 5:4 shows a picture of our Lord "leaving His calling card," so to speak! He could have forced his way inside, but did not. When He slipped his hand through the little latch opening in the door, He apparently had pleasant smelling fragrance on it! He left her a scent of kindness and graciousness and sweetness! I say that because, when she finally touched the lock of the door, her "hands dropped with myrrh, and her fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock."

All He wanted was fellowship and communion and precious time in His garden! Every Believer reading these lines today knows what I mean. Nothing is as sweet as "time" with the Lord! This is Revelation 3:20 in preview: "I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Amen!

This is not talking about salvation. This has reference to those sweet, specially holy times spent one-on-one with Jesus! The old hymn writer described them best: "And He walks with me and He talks with me! And He tells me I am His own! And the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known!"

He wanted "in!"

She refused!

How very typical!

We, members of the Church, often fail to commune with Him like He desires! We're too busy! Or already at sleep! Other things are just too important!

But, and here's more proof of her spiritual growth, she eventually thought better of her initial decision. Or indecision!

"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. I opened to my beloved ..." Song of Solomon 5:5-6

Now forgetting herself, coats and feet and sleep aside, she needs to be with Him! She knows what's ahead, if fellowship can be renewed: "He speaks and the sound of His Voice ... is so sweet the birds hush their singing! And the melody that He gave to me ... within my heart is ringing!"

More of Jesus!

More of this Sweetness!

He is now to her the "altogether lovely One!"

That verb "opened" is interesting. "Pathach" means "to loose" something, "to untie or free" it. Although here this is not the case, when it's formed in Hebrew as a piel verb, it means "to engrave!" These "opening to Jesus" experiences have the potential of changing one's life, forevermore! Of "engraving" Him upon our hearts!

What two lovers have not had a little "broken communion" from time to time? And since He is a picture of Jesus and Jesus is spotlessly perfect ... no fault for this event can be laid at His feet. The error must be hers! This makes it "ours" since we are part of the Church of Jesus Christ, part of His Bride, born-again children of God!

When we fail to fellowship with our Heavenly Bridegroom, especially at those precious times when He drops by, when He chooses intimacy, when He hungers for us ... we must immediately rectify the problem!

This she is trying to do!

Her love has grown that much in just a few short chapters! It has not been too long ago that she was saying of Him: "He is MINE!" Now she is saying, in so many words, "I am HIS!"

It's His schedule, not mine!

It's His convenience, not mine!

His desires count, much more than mine!

But, lovely as her actions are, when she opens the door ... He is gone!

Some moments spiritually have to be "seized" immediately! Redeem the time! Each second must be valued, especially when Jesus comes by!

"I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone ...." Song of Solomon 5:6

But, more proof of her developing love, she remembers one thing and takes action on another! "My soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer."

She recalls the sweetness of His Voice! His words overcame her! The verb "failed" is "yatzsa" and means "to exit, to go out, to go forth!" She was outside of herself, in English, "ecstatic!" Joyful! Enraptured!

Consequently, she begins an immediate search! The verb for "search" is "baquash," so intense a desire that it is once translated "begging" in the King James Bible!

The Lord is teaching her a lesson! He does so with each of us! Using the word for "child training" four times, Hebrews 12 tells us: "My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father CHASTENETH not?"

The Bride widens her search!

She goes into the city!

At night!

The watchmen question her!

They mistook her motives!

Still she searched!

And, by the next chapter, she has certainly renewed that sweet fellowship with her Lord! In the mean time, she thinks about what she's missed, due to her temporary laziness and selfishness! "My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand. His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven. His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set. His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh. His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl: his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires. His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars. His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend."

Amen!

And how do we know the fellowship, the intimacy, was restored? The communion between Bride and Bridegroom?

The beginning of Song of Solomon chapter 6 expounds: "My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies. I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies."

He's back again!

And this time, she's not asleep!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7, STAGE 6, "IN THE HARVEST FIELDS!"

These Bible Studies from the Song of Solomon, on the Bride's increasing love for the Bridegroom, have involved more lessons that first imagined.

Her love has matured and deepened so beautifully and at times, so very dramatically, that certain Passages just can't be omitted!

Today we study Song of Solomon 7:10-13. Listen to her again! "I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me. Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages. 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. 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."

Back in chapter two, He was inviting her to go to the mountains, symbolic of enduring ... then enjoying ... life's more difficult places, with Him by her side of course! And she was reluctant to go, at first! She was initially so at ease, so very comfortable ... in His chambers!

But now, by chapter seven, she is inviting Him to go somewhere! Out to the fields! A place in which He has great interest, but not necessarily her! She's now living for His pleasure!

Her words again. "I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me. Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages. 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. 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 noun "desire" is "teshuqah" in Hebrew, meaning a "longing or craving!" Its verbal roots include "shuq," likely meaning "to overflow, to be abundant!"

Back in chapter one, it was all about her desire, make that her desires, plural!

But in chapter seven, it's all about His desires!

That's maturity in a relationship! To quit focusing on MY wishes, MY needs, MY feelings ... and to begin concentrating on those of my MATE, that is, my husband or wife!

And, using the same verb too, she asks Him to "come" with her ... to His fields of labor! Watch! He said back in chapter two: "My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away."

Now she similarly says: "Come, my beloved, let us go forth ...." The best place to "learn" to love ... is from Jesus! No one loves like Him!

The "come" verb is "yalak," an imperative both times, "to walk, to proceed, to move." She will go anywhere now ... if He is there! The issue is no longer her comfort, but His Presence!

And do remember that "beloved" incorporates a vibrant word for emotional attachment, "dod," from a root verb meaning "to boil!" Intense love!

"Field" is "sadeh" in Hebrew, farmland, from a verb meaning "to spread out." And eight times in the King James Text "sadeh" is associated with "wild" things! Some of this land is still undeveloped.

"Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages."

The verb "lodge" is "lun," just "to spend the night, to stop over!" This world is not her home. She's just passing through! She's from a royal city! Merely a pilgrim on earth! But still, she's interested in his productivity!

Simon Peter later mentions this "pilgrim" status: "Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul." 1st Peter 2:11

The noun "villages" translates "kaphar," from the very verb used for "making atonement!" It means "to cover!"

Spiritually speaking, reading "between the lines," she's interested in "souls being saved," or so we would express it today!

She continues: "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." Song of Solomon 7:12

Grapes and pomegranates, both Old Testament pictures of fruitfulness on the pragmatic side and love on the poetic side!

Both have been said to possess aphrodisiac properties too. The word is taken from the name of the so-called Greek goddess Aphrodite! She, to the pagan mind, is associated with "love." See Genesis 30:15-16 where "mandrakes" serve to enhance love!

She, the Bride, will turn "work" time into "love" time as well! Some of the sweetest times any Christian will ever have with His or Her Lord ... is while work is being performed, work for Him!

To go anywhere "early" indicates earnestness and diligence.

To "see," when the verb "raah" is used, means "to carefully inspect!" She's wants to become an expert "fruit examiner!" Because that's where HIS interest lies! This is beautiful!

And get this! The noun "vine" is from "gephen," derived from an unused root word meaning "to bend!" The little vine bends and grows and wraps itself around the trellis, as trained by the husbandman! Jesus, according to John 15, the the Real Vine! God the Father is the Farmer, the Husbandman! And we are the little obedient branches! A fruit-bearing context indeed! 

By this same definition, Jesus "wraps Himself" around His Father too! Here's a case where a Greek word means exactly the same thing as its Hebrew counterpart!

To "flourish" is "to break out, to spread, to blossom, to spring, to grow!" The word is "parach," used 36 times in the Bible.

The "tender grapes" are those still in budding form! Blossoms and buds, they did arrive early in the season! Whereas those of Jeremiah's day did not! "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved." Jeremiah 8:20

"Appear" translates "pathach," meaning "to open wide." But when in the Hebrew "piel" stem, as here, it means "to engrave!" That makes sense too! I've often observed that the conditions in which a soul was saved, those very elements had a great impact on the rest of his or her Christian life! As if they literally "engraved" something in their souls!

People saved in "singing" environments love singing, often fanatically so!

People saved during personal "soul winning" times, often love to witness that way, above all other ways!

People saved in "Revival Meetings," can't get enough of them!

Well, back to our Text!

And "pomegranates" surely indicate fruitfulness, prodigal fruitfulness! Have you ever seen the innumerable seeds in one of those things?

This girl, the Bride, has been transformed!

By her Lover!

She's not the same lady we met back in chapter one!

Don't misunderstand. She is indeed the same lady, but seems so different now! She has been overwhelmed by Her Bridegroom! By His sheer Person, His Grace, His Being!

What a blessing!

Growing love!

I'd say she is close to maturity by now!

As Paul would put it: "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine ...." Ephesians 4:13-14

Amen!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

Another thing or two from our Text.

All kinds of ideas are flooding my mind today!

It the fields, in the vineyards, the Bride boldly says to the Groom, "There will I give thee my loves." Wow! To "give" is to "bestow freely!" And the noun is plural, "loves!" This is powerful! Don't tell me the Lord does not enjoy our spiritually "flirting" with Him! Our making "much" over Him! Our "bragging" on Him, "exalting" Him! Here remember Elisabeth Barrett Browning's famous poem, "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!" Well, the Bride just preceded the authoress!

Then verse 13, Song of Solomon 7:13. "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 noun "mandrakes" is built upon the Hebrew word for "love" anyway. "Mandrake" in Hebrew is spelled "duday," while "love" is "dod." The word "pleasant" means "excellent or precious," in Hebrew "meged."

"New" means "fresh" and "old" means "stored," literally "yashan." Reminds me of Jesus' words in Matthew 13:52. "Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old."

All new growth in the vineyard comes from old dead growth anyway! This years sprouts grow out of last years apparently dead wood! Life out of death! Resurrection!

Her desire to take Him to the fields is not a whim! She has already stored for Him precious fruits and produce and, probably, other surprises too! This very day from the precious Word of God the Holy Spirit will "feed" you things, things old and new! Old things like the Cross and the Blood and God's amazing Grace ... things fundamental to our Faith! And also new things, like that fresh insight from the Verse Pastor used last Sunday! A clear definition for that puzzling word! A Verse you've read but never realized its power ... until now! That's new and fresh food!

"Laid up" translates "tzsaphan," meaning "to treasure, to hide, to keep a secret, to esteem or value!"

Talk about growing love! She has it! We also need to grow in our love for Jesus! "God, grant such we pray!"

And to top it all, she closes, "O my Beloved!"

 

 

LESSON 8, STAGE 7, OTHERS!

As one would suspect, the last chapter of Song of Solomon, which would present the culmination of mature love, is awesome!

And a bit complicated too!

We might take this last chapter, the eighth, in two lessons.

While the first five verses certainly give us a valuable lesson, nearly returning us to the frolicking love of the first chapter, we shall begin with the fifth verse today. But that "first love" remains precious! In verse 1 she longs to love Him publicly, not just privately! She is not ashamed of Him at all! But verse 2 reminds us this is not merely a physical thing! She longs for His instruction! Going to Church ... to be taught! Verse 3 represents the very "Touch" of God in our lives! Don't live without That! And verse 4, Her Lover now at rest, she demands that He be left alone! Let Him be at Peace!

Again, the fifth verse gets us started. And there a question is posed, posed editorially. "Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?" The implication is that she, the Bride, a picture of the Church, is leaving the wilderness behind! The "wilderness," or "desert" as "midbar" often means, is emblematic of those dry, barren places of life! Some day they will be left behind!

Hard times come and go!

Jesus goes with us into such trying experiences!

And leads us out of the same!

And what we better learn to do in those terrible times is, simply stated, to "trust" Him more! To better "lean" on Him for everything!

And "leaning" here is not a sign of weakness either! "Raphaq" is a verb that means "to support." Jesus strengthening us, day by day! Through the dry times!

Some day we shall come out of that wilderness for the last time too! At the Rapture! Still ... leaning on our Beloved!

Mature love!

Next, growing love learns to see Jesus in all his unlimited beauty and glory, often comparing Him to various Bible metaphors and symbols and word pictures. Here He is an apple tree! "I raised thee up under the apple tree: there thy mother brought thee forth: there she brought thee forth that bare thee." That specific tree is shady!  How refreshing Jesus is to us weary humans! That tree is sweet in its fruit! Still sounds like our dear Lord! And nourishing! Spiritually we "eat" Jesus, the Bread of Life, and "drink" Him, living Water! Apple trees are pleasant, fragrant too! Jesus, as we saw way back in chapter one, is as well! "Thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee." Song of Solomon 1:3, Yes!

Then Song of Solomon chapter 8, verses 6 and 7, emphasize security! Our safety in Jesus! Our peace! She prays! "Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned."

We learned early as Christians that we Believers have been "sealed," sealed by the Holy Spirit of God, protected until  the "day of redemption!" Forever! Here's Paul teaching us in Ephesians 1:13, "After that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of Promise." But now, we learn, Jesus is sealed too! With us! ""Set me as a seal upon Thine heart, as a seal upon Thine arm,"  she asks! That word "seal," in Hebrew "chotham," often just means a "signet ring." A wedding band! Jesus' "Heart" symbolizes His great Love for her, for us too! And His "Arm," His omnipotent Strength!

And His Love, His almighty love, His everlasting love, is ... more word pictures ... "strong as death!" His "jealousy" for her, pure and sinless by the way, is as "cruel," meaning "stubborn," as the grave! Jesus' care for us, His concern, is fixed, steadfast, unending! As sure as death ... so His Love! As certain as the grave ... so His care!

She's growing!

Now see the heat, the passion of this mighty Love! "The coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame," nothing lukewarm here! Jesus in Revelation 3:15, to the Laodiceans: "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot." This in Song of Solomon 8 is very hot, flaming hot love!

Love that is unquenchable!

The mixture of fire and water here is unique! Often in the Holy Land those folks would burn their lamps all night, but always in a saucer of water, lest an accident occur! The water would then "quench" the fire, in such an emergency situation! When the New Testament tells us not to "quench" the Holy Spirit, Himself being the Fire of God, such a word picture is in view too. Jesus' blazing, fervent Love for us will not malfunction! It will never be quenched! It's accident proof! "Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it." Song of Solomon 8:7, we are back to His Love for her!

In the King James Version of the old Scofield Reference Bible, or somewhere like that, I remember reading that the "word pictures" for love in Song of Solomon are very revealing. When the Groom's love for the Bride is illustrated, it is always more glorious than her love for Him! His Love for her is obviously much stronger and fuller than her love for Him! True!

We shall never out-love Him!

In fact, "We love Him, because He first loved us," 1st John 4:19 teaches.

His love for us; awesome!

Our love for Him, faltering, but growing!

Amen!

How valuable is such Love? "If a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned." And this "house" they have in mind is a royal Palace! Solomon's house, 13 years in its construction! See 1st Kings 7:1, thirteen long years!

Lastly for today, comes the "little sister" paragraph. We shall study it using Bible typology. "We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for? If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver: and if she be a door, we will inclose her with boards of cedar. I am a wall, and my breasts like towers: then was I in his eyes as one that found favour." Song of Solomon 8:8-10

Here's a sure sign of maturing love! Concern for one's brothers and sisters in Christ, a yearning to see them grow in the Lord too!

Her "sister" is a fellow Believer in Jesus! In the family! With the same Heavenly Father of course! 

The "breasts," in Hebrew spelled "shad," are one's means of nourishing others! Helping the young believers to grow! Feeding them the milk of the Word! Each of us should want our brethren and sisters to be mature enough to  edify and encourage and build up the family of God!

No breasts ... still immature!

This little sister some day will be "spoken for," the Lord "needing" her in a place of service. Like Dorcas making dresses! Or Martha cooking meals! Or Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus, learning just like the Disciples! Or Phoebe serving the Roman Church! Or Priscilla helping her husband Aquila teach the young preacher Apollos! Acts 18:26, "And Apollos began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly."

The "wall" and "door" word pictures are interesting too.

If she is a "wall," she represents protection and separation and security! All three duties walls perform rather well!

We need more saints who function as "walls" at God's House!

And "doors," not so good, are openings for the world to invade, or for saints to slip outside!

Yes, "We have a little sister. If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver: and if she be a door, we will inclose her with boards of cedar." Enclose the "door!" Honor the "wall!"

Then, to close today's lesson, the Bride gladly proclaims. "I am a wall, and my breasts like towers: then was I in his eyes as one that found favour." Now there is nothing "dirty" or "suggestive" about this holy sentence, the Word of God. 

She is a wall; separating, protecting, providing security to those inside the fold! Standing for the Faith, yea, defending it too!

Her breasts are like towers, quite sufficient to feed and nourish and edify younger Believers! "Exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." Hebrews 13:3

We leave her delighting in the "favour" the Lord has placed upon her, grace indeed! "I in his eyes as one that found favour."

And the word "favor?" It's "shalom!" How glorious!

That is, "completeness, peace, soundness, welfare, safety, quiet, prosperity" even! He is all we need!

Shalom!

It's yours ... in Jesus!

Growing love!

                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 9, MATURITY!

The ending paragraph of Song of Solomon, its last four verses, are just as interesting as its first paragraph!

And it represents her final recorded words in the Book. "Solomon had a vineyard at Baalhamon; he let out the vineyard unto keepers; every one for the fruit thereof was to bring a thousand pieces of silver. My vineyard, which is mine, is before me: thou, O Solomon, must have a thousand, and those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred. Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken to thy voice: cause me to hear it. Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices." Song of Solomon 8:11-14

Based on the motif we've been using, that of her "maturing love" for Her Bridegroom, this is the highest level of all!

Let's watch it carefully.

The first two verses of the pericope, the paragraph, speak of money, of silver. Obviously some sort of business transaction has occurred. Solomon, the Groom, owns a huge vineyard, a field of grapes. That's a picture of Jesus owning the whole world! Psalm 24:1 says it. "The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein." Listen to the Lord in Psalm 50:10. "For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills."

But the Groom, the King, allows His vineyard to be "kept," to be "farmed or maintained," by a group of selected laborers! That's a picture of you and me working in the Lord's harvest fields!

And, in keeping with the business model here, the Lord expects a return on his property! We who work for Him are to bring Him "interest."

He has been so good to us, we want to present back to Him some day something in return, "crowns" perhaps to place at His feet as we adore and worship Him eternally!

This is not so much labor forcefully required ... as much as it's labor joyfully given! Given to our Heavenly Lover because we want to do so! Jesus once taught a Parable concerning this very fact. One worker was initially given five "talents," a certain sum of money, which he invested carefully. Then, when His Lord returned for the time of reckoning, this faithful one presented his Master ten talents! That's 100% profit! 

If we truly love Jesus ... we apparently will long to do all kinds of little "extra" things to show that love! After all, He has saved our souls from Hell!

But the Bride wants to do more!

To go even further!

She not only wants to please the Groom, a thousand pieces of silver, but also those who have labored with her. "Those who keep the fruit" of her vineyard! Likely the same as her "companions," mentioned in verse thirteen.

We want to serve the Lord!

But we also want to be a blessing to those who are co-workers with us here on earth! This reminds me of Psalm 84:6 where the "pilgrim," passing through the valley, digs a "well" for others who will come that way! "Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools." Amen!

Being a blessing to those around you!

This is mature Christian living!

More concerned about others ... than oneself!

Do notice however that the Groom gets 1,000 pieces of silver, while the early laborers only get 200 pieces! "That in all things He might have the preeminence." Colossians 1:18

Again, this whole "pieces of silver" section feels like a "rewards" situation of some kind. It reminds me of the coming Judgment Seat of Christ. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." 2nd Corinthians 5:10

Truly the Believer who lives with that in mind will be faithful to our dear Saviour!

Verse 13 is her cry to hear His Voice! "Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken to Thy voice: cause me to hear it." The verb "hearken" is again "qashab," to "prick" the ear, to "incline" the ear! Carefully listening! And the verb "hear" is "shama," to "listen" in order to obey!

She is so in love with Him ... that just His Voice thrills her immensely! "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me," Jesus in John 10:27.

Then verse 14 is nearly a plea for His constant presence! "Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices." In so many words, she pleads: "Come, Beloved! Come quickly to me!"

"Make haste" is "barach," literally "to hurry, to run, to fly!" And He indeed is going to come back some day ... in the air!

The verb here is an imperative, she is insisting on His coming to her soon! Lovingly of course! Something like, "Honey, I can't live without You!"

The "roe" or "young hart," male members of the deer family, are lovely animals and, obviously, pictures of Christ. They are clean animals! Swift of motion and very surefooted! Loving and pleasant! They hate serpents, killing them often! Known for their longevity too!

"Spices," a noun in Hebrew, means "pleasant or sweet of smell." I think it's a picture of the Second Coming of Jesus! When He returns to earth! The millennial kingdom!

Earlier in the Song of Solomon, at 4:6, the mountain of "myrrh" is mentioned, a type of Jesus dying on the Cross!

But we close with the Bride longing for the mountains of "spices," delightful and precious as they are!

John closed His last Book, Revelation, that way too! "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." Revelation 22:20

Love on the highest plane ... craving Jesus with all one's heart!

What marvelous growth the Lord has effected in the Shulamite's life! 

From a rather selfish love, all about "her" ... to a rather mature love, now all about "HIM!"

Praise His good Name!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

                                                                         

What a precious Book the Song of Solomon is! When viewed through the right lens, it presents a beautiful portrait of Christ Jesus our Lord! He is the Heavenly Bridegroom, after all!

 

 

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