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Song of Solomon Chapter 1 Song of Solomon Chapters 2-3
Song of Solomon Chapters 4-6 Song of Solomon Chapters 7-8
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Song of Solomon 7:1-13

 

“How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince’s daughter!  the joints of thy thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman. 2 Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor:  thy belly is like an heap of wheat set about with lilies. 3 Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins. 4 Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine eyes like the fishpools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bath-rabbim:  thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus. 5 Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple; the king is held in the galleries. 6 How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights! 7 This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes. 8 I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof:  now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples; 9 And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak. 10 I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me. 11 Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages. 12 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. 13 The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gate are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved.”

 

Introduction

 

[Audio Version: http://resources.ccphilly.org/WED882]

 

“The Lord willing, we will finish this Song this evening, and the next evening Communion.  Any of you read ahead?  Numbers are up, there have to be seven or eight, I appreciate that.  You guys have to help me with this, again, it’s probably the hardest Book to teach, and the simplest to imbibe, to take to yourself as a believer.  We have undertaken our study of this Song in the context of Christ and the individual believer, his love for us.  There are those who see it as an ancient eastern love song, and certainly there is a historical background to it.  There are those, I think, who have ruined it, painting it as a Christian Kama Sutra, which I don’t believe that it is.  It is a book of love, certainly, the ancient rabbis saw it as a picture of Jehovah [Yahweh] and Israel.  Again Aqqaba said that all of the Scripture is holy, the Song of Songs is the holy of holies.  It was read on the Passover, it had deep meaning both to the ancient rabbis and the early Church fathers, who saw it as a picture of Christ and the Church, because of the references in Ephesians 5 and different places in the New Testament.  So we’ve kind of undertaken a study from that direction.  I would challenge you to sit alone with it and read it for yourself, and really allow it to speak to you as an individual.  Some of the imagery is difficult, it is allegorical and we view it that way, typical, again, no mention of Jehovah, no mention of God, no mention of theology, no mention of salvation or of redemption, never quoted anywhere else in the Old Testament or the New Testament, but never excluded by the rabbis as they put the Old Testament canon together, never excluded by any of the counsels in the Church as they put the New Testament together, never excluded from the picture of the Scriptures, so it’s always been included, 8 chapters, I think there’s 117 verses, 470 words that speak of intimacy, 47 of them not found anywhere else in the Bible.  So it is a very interesting in-depth I think picture of the intimacy between, for me at least, me and my Lord, between the believer and Christ.  We have come as far as chapter 7, these two last chapters will wrap this Song up.

 

Christ Views His Bride As A Beautiful Woman In The Dance Of Mahanaim

 

Where it says “How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince’s daughter! the joints of thy thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman.  Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor:  thy belly is like a heap of wheat set about with lilies.” (verses 1-2) you wouldn’t give these type of compliments to a girl today, because they had ancient connotations, don’t try these.  [Some are pretty suggestive, like the “the joints of thy thighs” will definitely get you a slap or punched.]  ‘Your belly is like a heap of wheat set about with lilies,’ “Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins.” (verse 3) you don’t want anything asymmetrical, that’s good.  “Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine eyes like the fishpools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bath-rabbim:  thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus.” (verse 4) fishpools of Heshbon,’ try that and see where get, ah, by the gate of Beth-rabbim, ‘and thy nose is like the tower of Lebanon,’ that will get you nowhere, ‘which looketh towards Damascus.’  “Thy head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple; the king is held in the galleries.” (verse 5)  Now look, there was no break between chapter 6 and chapter 7.  At the end of chapter 6, if you remember, there is a cry “Return, return, O Shulamite, return, return, that we may look upon thee.  What will ye see in the Shulamite?  As it were the company of two armies.”  It indicates the dance of Mahanaim, at Mahanaim, you remember when Jacob there, there were two companies, one angelic, one human, it begins the picture that there is a divine side to everything, there certainly is in this love and in this picture of the Shulamite, it pictures her in the dances of Mahanaim.  Then, chapter 7 verse 1 hinges right in there, “How beautiful are thy, literally, are thy steps,” she’s being viewed in this dance, and there’s a human side to it, there’s a divine side to it, with her and the things of heaven and her Lord.  “How beautiful are thy steps,” don’t you hear ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings of Good News,’ we hear those things in the New Testament [and that phrase is a direct quote from the Old Testament], ‘with our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace,’ here we have “How beautiful are thy steps with sandals, O prince’s daughter!  the joints of thy thighs” it’s ‘her hips like jewels,’ “the work of the hands of a cunning workman.” (verse 1) this picture of her moving and dancing in this dance of two companies, the dance of Mahanaim.  “Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor:” it doesn’t say ‘it’s a goblet’ it says “it’s like,” notice all the “likes” here.  Your thighs are “like,” your navel is “like,” your belly is “like.”  It doesn’t say your belly is a heap of wheat, it says it’s like that, ah, your breasts “like,” your nose “like,” so this is, it’s telling us it’s typical or allegorical throughout.  “Thy navel is like a goblet” King James says which wanteth not liquor” the idea is, it never wants for wine, the purpose of it is what it’s supposed to be, there’s no lack in its beauty, it always fulfills its purpose, ‘belly like a heap of wheat, set about with lilies,’ ah, ‘your two breasts again, the ability to give nurture, to give life, are like young roes that are twins, your neck is a tower of ivory,’ just a beautiful picture of a long slender neck.  ‘Your eyes are like the fishpools of Heshbon, by the gates of Beth-rabbim.’  Archeologists tell us in the excavations, Heshbon, which remember Reuben, Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh stayed over on the other side [of the Jordan River] in the area of Gilead.  It was in the territory of Gad, Heshbon was famous for its pools, they wanted to stay there because of grazing capacity, there were so many rivulets and streams coming down into these pools that could be seen from the higher ground in Heshbon, and evidently there were these two beautiful fishpools by a particular gate of Bath-rabbim there, the daughters of the king, or the daughters of many, that gate there with these two beautiful pools, open to the sunlight, not deep like wells, that reflected and it absorbed the light, they were shining, they were deep, soft, so there’s a beauty to this if you understood a little bit about Heshbon.  This is not for fishermen to think about, this is a different context.  ‘Your eyes are like the fishpools of Heshbon by the gate of Beth-rabbim,’ “Thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus.” (verse 4c) the idea is, it stood guard, it was discerning, looketh towards Damascus, it was a place of discernment, of watching, when your nose is like that it’s discerning in its savoring and so forth.  “Thine head upon thee is like Carmel,” one of the places of victory, Elijah of course had confronted the prophets of Baal, Carmel, “El” is God, “Carm” is the vineyard, “the vineyard of God.”  ‘Your head is like the vineyard of God,’ this place that was esteemed in Israel.  “and the hair of thine head like purple;” (verse 5b) now interesting, because earlier, twice we heard “your hair is like a flock of goats on mount Gilead,” speaking of the blackness, raven black hair, blowing in the wind, and this here it says there’s almost a purple hue to it, your hair here in the deep blackness of it, there’s almost a red hue in it.  And it ends by saying, look, the king is held in the galleries.” (verse 5c) the idea is, in the Hebrew, ‘the king is captivated,’ he’s held in that sense, bound, but not against his will, ‘he’s captivated by all of her beauty.’  You and I, it’s hard for us, I think, to make that our own, because we’re so aware of our failings, the thoughts that we have that we shouldn’t have, the attitudes we have, the things in our own lives that are not Christlike, and the enemy is always right there to help us and remind us of those things that are wrong.  And usually there’s other Christians to help us remember those things too, in one sort or another.  And the problem is, usually what they’re observing is true.  You know, Satan accuses the Brethren day and night, it doesn’t say what he accuses them of isn’t true, it just says that it continues.  But because of the blood of the Lamb and the word of the testimony, none of that matters.  And here it says, you know the king, in the dance here there’s two sides to this, there’s a heavenly side and there’s the earthly side.  Again, we talked about Balaam and Balak, of Balaam wanting to curse the children of Israel, saying, “How lovely are thy tents O Jacob, there is no iniquity found in thee,  he’s filled with the Spirit of God, and here heaven’s side of this, this believer is described and it says ‘the king is captivated in the galleries, observing all of this beauty.’  And I ask you guys, hey, anybody read ahead?  You were too tired from shoveling snow.  Well so am I, I’m sore, things are sore that haven’t been sore in a long time.  But when you sit with this and let it speak to you, you think, ‘Lord, I’m sitting alone here with you, are you actually captivated?  You’re the God that calls things that are not as they were, you’re the only one that can look at me and tell me that I’m justified, sanctified and glorified.  Are you captivated, Lord?’ we have beautiful pictures.  “How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!  This thy stature is like a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes.” (verses 6-7)  like a palm tree” beautiful, tall, where nothing else grows.  like a cluster of grapes,” the idea is to nurture, to give life [and we in the Body of Christ, the Bride, should be a nurturing people toward others, both for their physical and spiritual well-being].  “I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof:  now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples.” (verse 8)  there’s just sweetness to this.  You know there is a saying in the Middle East that the palm tree has its head in the fire and its feet in the water, it’s the only reason it can grow in the desert somewhere and produce dates, is because its head is in the fire, but its feet in the water [and we’re in a spiritual desert, but yet if we have the water of God’s Holy Spirit in us, we can produce that fruit that all the dwellers in the desert can see and feed off of.  The analogies are endless.]  The palm tree finds a source, and you know, it should be a picture of the believer, like a tree planted by rivers of water.  Sometimes we feel like our head is in the fire, where we’re in a place where it’s difficult to produce fruit, but where’s our roots?  He said ‘Anyone who thirsts come to me and drink, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.’  Are our roots in that living water, are they deep enough? that this world doesn’t knock us down every time the wind blows?  There’s something stately about this, it says your beauty is like that of a palm tree and so forth, standing in the midst, there’s this sweetness to the smell of thy breath and so forth.  “The roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.” (verse 9) [this alludes to French Kissing, which from the historical view, the Song of Solomon, as part of the word of God, says is ok in marriage, that’s my take.]  This is a difficult translation, “causing the lips of the ancient to speak.”  Of course a beautiful picture, I guess, ‘of the roof of thy mouth is like the best wine for my beloved, it goes down sweetly,’ we could look at the last supper of the Lord, and he will cause the lips of the ancient to speak. 

 

The Bride Speaks, Realizes The Lord’s Desire Is For Her -- We Have To Have That Sweet Fellowship With Jesus Christ

 

“I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.” (verse 10)  Now we have an interesting picture here, because look in verse 11, you have “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.” (verses 11-12) and I have these “us’s”, 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, and so forth.  There’s a picture here of maturity as this goes on.  Some see it as a marriage and a love song, say this is after the engagement, wedding, there’s a maturing of the marriage, of the love, certainly there’s part of that here.  But before she was saying ‘I am my beloved’s, my beloved’s mine, he feedeth among the lilies,’ she took note of the way he was, and now she says ‘I am my beloved’s,’ and the thing that she’s come to is ‘his desire is towards me.’  you know, ‘he watches me because he can’t take his eyes off of me.’  He said to her before, ‘As I look at you you’re terrible as an army with banners, you’ve overcome my heart,’ he says to her.  And here she’s come to the point where she realizes ‘He gazes upon me, I am my beloved’s and his desire is towards me,’ you know, she’s taken hold of that now.  Before she said ‘I’m black, yet I’m comely, I have these problems and yet, I’m like the tents of Kedar which are black, but I’m like the curtains of Solomon in all the beauty and royalty.’  And now she’s come to the place where she says “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.” (verse 10)…I listen to an interview with Saed, where he did an interview, and she asked him what it was like in the prison in Iran for those years, and he talked about the beatings, he talked about different things, but he said “I sat in cells, and sometimes didn’t sleep, 24 hours, there was nothing to do, they gave me a scant amount of food, but no magazines, no books, nothing to do.” He said “I was in with a United States Marine for several months, they put us in a cell together, at least we could talk and pray for each other.” he said, “Sometimes I prayed 20 hours a day,” he said “it was wonderful to be that close to the Lord.”  I think, I want to learn the lesson, I don’t need to go to prison in Iran, I’ll do it here, Lord, I want the correspondence course, please help me, I want to get it down, don’t send me there.  But here, “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.” (verse 10) that the cost of realizing that and cultivating it, because we’re so distracted in the world that we live in.  His desire is toward me.  And then she says “Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages.” (verse 11) you remember earlier in the Book, in chapter 5, she said ‘He came early in the morning, and I heard his noise, but I didn’t,’ she didn’t want to get out of bed to open the door, and then he was gone.  She didn’t want to rise up.  And then she goes through this whole process of seeking him, and finally said ‘I remember,’ when I first got saved, ‘he feedeth among the lilies,’ and she went and found him there again, and there was no rebuke from him.  He didn’t say ‘O miss lazy-bones, you didn’t want to get out of bed, I’m going to stand in the doorway waiting for you to open the door?’  There’s none of that.  Now, there’s no departing from him.  She’s sitting, realizing ‘His desire is toward me,’ there’s such a sweet fellowship with Christ.  You have to have that, and I have to have that.  We’ll never survive just coming to church, coming to Bible studies, being in ministry, doing stuff for Jesus.  We have to have our objective faith, things we believe, we have to develop our own personal theology, we should do that, we should have a Biblical hermeneutic, to know why we believe what we believe.  But if we don’t have the subjective side to our own personal relationship with Jesus, we can run dry, we can run dry.  Jesus said to the woman at the well, ‘The day’s coming when those who worship, will worship in Spirit and truth,’ the subjective and the objective.  And the picture here is, she’s saying ‘I’ve learned this, I’ve come to the place now where I have nothing unless I come from his presence.’  If I don’t get alone with him, I’ve got nothing else for anyone else.  And it’s the same with you, it’s the same with you. 

 

Do We Rise Up Early To Be With The Lord?

 

“I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.” and then she says “Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; Let us lodge in the villages.” let’s do this together, let us lodge in the villages, outside of Jerusalem, out into the country,’ that’s were I’d want to be, “Let us get up early to the vineyards;” it’s a great thing to say tomorrow morning.  When you wake up, and you, Redpath talked about “Blanket victory,’ you need blanket victory, because you wake up in the morning, you know you should get up and spend some time in devotion [prayer and Bible study] with the Lord.  Look, and by the way, he’s not interested in devotions, he’s interested in devotion.  Those are two different things, devotions can be very legalistic, and they can give you bragging rights, you have to tell other people ‘I get up five o’clock in the morning to spend time with the Lord.’  Look, my wife, if I get up every morning at 5 o’clock in the morning, and spend an hour with her, and then she tried to talk to me the rest of the day, and I say ‘wait till tomorrow, we had devotions this morning, we had devotions,’ she didn’t want, she didn’t get married for just devotions, she didn’t want devotions, and this is a greater love, she’s saying now ‘Let us get up early,’ see if you hear that tomorrow morning, ‘Lord, let us do this, your desire is toward me, how many mornings do you leave Lord, disappointed, because you called and I didn’t want to roll out of bed?’  Do what you need to do.  They have alarm clocks now that have different scents, and one of them is Coffee, you can set your alarm clock to put a coffee smell in the air, even if it ain’t real, cause then you gotta go down and make it anyhow, but you probably have a coffee pot with a timer on it so you can set it, do what you need to do, get all the help you can.  “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.” (verse 12) ‘Let’s look, Lord, and see where the fruit is, and the pomegranates bud forth, there will I give thee my loves.’  Lord, let’s go to the garden, I love to go the garden alone while the dew is still in the roses, and the voice I hear, the Son of God, he walks with me, he talks with me, he tells….[he mutters sometimes, undiscernible], he speaks and the sound of his voice is so sweet, birds hush their singing, the melody that he gives to me, within my heart is ringing, he walks with me, talks with me, tells me I am his own, and the joy we share as we tarry there none ever is ever known, come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses. [he was obviously reading a poem, but spoke it so low and fast I couldn’t get the gist of most of it.]  “Let us get up early to the vineyards.”  I know you guys know this.  When I think of the times, some of the most profound experiences of his presence I have is if I’m up early, and alone, I love to sit outside.  If it’s sunny in the winter I can do that, with a parka I put on.  But just somehow getting away from everything else, and just sitting there under the blue sky, sitting in his creation, let’s go to the vineyards, let’s see if the trees are budding, there’s something about walking in the stage that he set, and sitting there with him, and just I’ve been overwhelmed and moved with tears, just not being able to read, “let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranate bud forth:  there will I give thee my loves.”  And the mandrakes, which in their culture were perceived to be an aphrodisiac, to stimulate love, “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.” (verse 13)  you know, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, meekness, temperance [self control], faith, you know, the ability of our Lord to see fruit in our lives, for us to spend that time alone with him, in the fruit of the Spirit, you know, as he gives that to us.  What an interesting picture, new and old, because dried fruits tend to be sweeter, the older, hopefully as we get older and shrivel up a little, we should be sweeter.  You may have had sour grapes, you’ve never had sour raisins. 

 

Song of Solomon 8:1-14

 

“O that thou wert as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! when I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised. 2 I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother’s house, who would instruct me:  I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate. 3 His left hand should be under my head, and his right hand should embrace me. 4 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem,  that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, until he please. 5 Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?  I raised thee up under the apple tree:  there thy mother brought thee forth:  there she brought thee forth that bare thee. 6 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. 7 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. 8 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? 9 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. 10 I am a wall, and my breasts like towers:  then was I in his eyes as one that found favour. 11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon; he let out the vineyard unto keepers; every one for the fruit thereof was to bring a thousand pieces of silver. 12 My vineyard, which is mine, is for me:  thou, O Solomon, must have a thousand, and those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred. 13 Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken to thy voice:  cause me to hear it. 14 Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices.”

 

When We Want To Be Open About Our Love For Jesus, We Find We Have To Keep Silent

 

So, this picture of all of this, and then the heart cry of the woman here (in chapter 8), the picture pictures the believer, listen, “O that thou wert as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother!  when  I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised.  I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother’s house, who would instruct me:  I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate.  His left hand should be under my head, and his right hand should embrace me.” (verses 1-3) in the culture, and in cultures today, look, I have had people in this church from the Middle East, one’s from Pakistan, and another time from Egypt, who actually commented to me, that he saw a young couple sitting in church with their arm around each other during Sunday morning services, that actually leaned over and kissed each other, and that’s an offense, that public display in the culture, you never do that.  And I’ve had to say to them, I agree, sometimes you think, This is not a drive-in movie theater, this is church, cut us a break, this is an hour service, would you please behave yourself?’  But the idea here is ‘if you were my brother, we could walk in the open, arm in arm, and I could kiss you, I wouldn’t be despised, there would be no shame, it was acceptable between siblings,’ but completely unacceptable in the culture for those that are engaged and often even for a husband and a wife to show affection in public.  So, the cry here, look, you know this, how many times do you go to your relatives house on Christmas, and they cut you a little bit of a break, the only break they cut you is they let you say grace, ‘that’s gonna be your two minutes to talk, besides that we don’t want to hear about Jesus.’  And then you end up saying grace, you’re preaching the Gospel and an altar call over the turkey, that’s why they don’t want to hear from ya.  But how many times when we’re around people, and we want to talk openly about the love we have for Christ, and they don’t want to hear it.  How many times have we in our environment, some of you in colleges, some of you in different environments, and you just want to be completely open about your love for him, and the intimacy you enjoy, and you can’t do it, they don’t want to hear it, it’s not proper, you know, you’re stepping on someone’s toes, you’re not politically correct.  You know, we live in that world.  And she’s crying in her own culture, ‘I wish you were my brother, nourished from my mother, then when I would find you without I would kiss you, I wouldn’t be despised, I could openly show my affection and we would have no fear of walking that way, I wish it was like that.’ 

 

‘Wait Till Love Comes, Don’t Go Hunting For It’

 

And this charge comes again, “I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake my  love, until he please.” (verse 4) in each one of these exhortations, the Hebrew reads like this “I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up nor awake love,” there’s no “my,” you see it in italics, “that you do not awake love itself until it please,” not “he.”…love is such an intriguing powerful force, don’t go hunting for it, you’ll find it, it’ll come.  God, when he creates us, he gives us the capacity to love.  He gives us the vulnerability to love, because, when you finally fall for someone, the hardest part about love, is you’ve made yourself completely vulnerable, you have put yourself in a place where that person can crush your heart, if they cheat on you,  betray you, or they’re mean to you.  The vulnerability that love creates is to be cherished in the right environment.  Because it can be in our lives one of the most hurtful things.  And here, the exhortation is “I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake love, until it please” it’ll come, it’ll come.  We hear it in the church all the time, I hear a young girl say ‘All the guys in the church are weird,’ that’s no excuse for dating an unbeliever.  We usually have 25 to 30 weddings on the books, somebody’s finding somebody.  They can’t all be weird, unless everybody else is happy marrying weirdos.  [Guys will say] ‘But all the girls in the church that are Christian girls are all weird,’ no that’s not true.  God put together Abraham and Sarah, God put together Isaac and Rebekah, you watch the process, how involved it can be.  So don’t go hunting.  I know you might have a license, it doesn’t apply to this.  Don’t go hunting.  Trust him.  The logic is in Romans chapter 8, “how shall he not also freely give us with him all things, he that spared not his own Son,”  If he’s already given the best, he’s already given his only Son, what’s he going to do, gyp you on a husband, or a wife?  The logic of the cross says he hasn’t withheld.  He has given his best.  And everything else is, when you find a husband or a wife, it’s to be a reflection of that best relationship that he already has not withheld.  So here, the exhortation again, “I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake love, until it please.” (verse 4) it comes.

 

We Should Go Through Life Leaning On Jesus With All Of Our Might

 

The question now, “Who is this the cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?  I raised thee up under the apple tree:  there thy mother brought thee forth:  there she brought thee forth that bare thee.” (verse 5)  This question, it’s an interesting picture.  Look, coming up from the wilderness, in Israel, is not the forest, it’s the desert.  ‘Who is this who is coming through this incredible difficult terrain?’ and the picture is ‘leaning upon her beloved.’  We’re a picture of the Church, what God has brought us out of, how he’s redeemed us, and “leaning” is the Hebrew word that means “to lean on something with all of your weight,” it’s a word that’s used in the Tabernacle, Temple, when the worshipper, it says, would cut the throat of the lamb or the bull, and lean upon the head, that’s the word there, he would lean with all of his weight upon the head of the sacrifice.  And here the idea is, ‘Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, the desert, the place of torture and difficulty, in the wilderness of Judea, leaning  with all of her weight upon her beloved?’  That’s the way we should do it, that’s the way we should go through life.  That’s the way we should cross all of our deserts and all of our difficult terrain, because it will come, this is earth, it ain’t heaven.  But it should be leaning upon our beloved with all of our might.  “I raised thee up under the apple tree:” just seems to be a picture of the place where there’s another voice saying ‘I gave birth to thee there, brought thee forth.’ 

 

The Power Of The Love That Binds Jesus And The Believer Together

 

And now the cry to our beloved.  “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 be utterly contemned.” (verses 6-7) or held in contempt is the idea.  So now, to her beloved, our appeal to the Lord is “Set me as a seal upon thine heart,” you know, it tells us that we have been sealed, Ephesians chapter 1, with the Holy Spirit of Promise until the day of redemption, that is the earnest of our salvation.  The earnest is the arabone, the arabone in modern Greek is the engagement ring, that that seal is the earnest of the Day that’s coming.  Here, the cry is ‘Lord, set me, let me be like a seal upon your heart.’  Of course, the high priest would wear the plate with each of the stones of the different tribes of Israel upon his chest.  The cry to her beloved is ‘Let me be like a seal upon thine heart’ of which is permanent, never removed, ‘let me be as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon mine arm,’ “upon thine arm,” a picture of strength, let me be there Lord in the midst of this.  And then when she talks about love, she gives four characteristics of it, she says ‘Here’s the reason that I want to be like a seal upon your heart, and I want to be like a seal upon your arm, upon your strength.’  The reason is, 1) ‘Because love is a strong as death.’ and death is unavoidable, death is, no matter how many bioflavonoids and polyphenols we eat, is going to take us down, death is strong.  She says, ‘Love is as strong as death.’  100 people born, 100 people die, nobody has beaten the odds, there’s an irresistibility to it as it were.  2) jealousy, which is a part of love, nobody can love without being jealous.  God forbid that you put somebody in that position, if you make a covenant with them and put them in the position of being jealous, it says that part of love, ‘jealousy is as cruel as the grave, and the coals thereof are like coals of fire which have the most vehement heat,’ is what the King James says.  The Hebrew says ‘even the flames of YA, Yahweh, they’re like the flames of God, the jealousy can burn like that.’  ‘Lord, set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, because I’m in love with you, Lord, I mean I’m in love with you, and love it’s as strong as death, Lord, I have no fear of death, because love is as strong as death.  Yes, maybe death is unavoidable, but love, Lord, is that strong.  And jealousy, Lord, is as cruel as the grave, it’s powerful, the jealousy of it is like a burning, like a holy flame, Lord, the flame of YA.’  3)  ‘Many waters cannot quench it,’ the idea is, it endures.  There’s a quality of love.  It may be like the flames of YA, jealousy, but ‘waters can’t quench love, neither can floods drown it.’  Isaiah is going to say, ‘I have redeemed thee, called thee by my name, you’re mine…passes through the waters, the rivers shall not overflow thee, the flames shall not kindle upon thee, for I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.’  Just remarkable.  So here it says, ‘there’s no waters that can quench love, neither can there be floods that drown it or put it out.’  4) ‘If a man would give everything he owns, everything that’s in his house, for love, it would be held in contempt.’  You know, Jesus said, ‘If you gain the whole world, and you lose your own soul, what have you got?  If you seek to save your life, you lose it, if you lose your life for my sake, you find it.’  Here it says if you give everything you can imagine, everything you could possibly have, and compare that to love, it would be held in contempt.  Again, look, you go through this, for me, and I read ad-nauseum, I love to dig, I love to read.  But the two little paperbacks I love, Jesse Penn Louis, who wrote on her sickbed, in her introduction she says ‘I never, ever thought I’d ever write anything on the Song of Solomon, but I’ve been laying here too sick to get out of bed, and writing on this Song of over a month, and it was there’ as God laid it out, he spoke to her.  Saed saying ‘There were days I prayed 20 hours a day in prison,’ and Watchman Nee’s commentary wrote in 1945, first addition of it, when he was under persecution, which was mounting in China, and some feel that he had finished notes, he was in prison I think for 20 years finally after that, and he died.  But again, it says they’re not sure he had more than one commentary he had ever read, but he writes about the love, this guy being in prison and persecuted writes about the love between Jesus and the believer.  This woman lying on her deathbed not knowing if she’s going to get better writes about the love of Jesus and the believer.  Saed saying ‘I was beaten, it was cruel, but there are days I prayed 20 hours a day and he was so close, his presence was so amazing.’  Here, this one is saying “Set me as a seal, let me be a stamp upon your heart, my picture, my name, let me be like a seal upon your heart, that’s permanent, upon your arm, Lord, be strong for me, because love, I can’t escape this, it’s as strong as death, jealousy is as cruel as the grave, like the coals of fire, as the flame of YA.  Waters can’t quench love, Lord, neither can floods drown it out.  And if somebody would give everything they have for this relationship with you and try to trade it away, it would be held in contempt.’”  What would you trade away for, what would you trade your relationship with Jesus for?   you know, Judas did it for 30 pieces of silver.  What would you trade away your relationship with Jesus Christ for?  People do it all the time.  We hear about it all the time, backsliding, prodigals.  And you know what, they come to the place where everything they thought they wanted, they hold in complete contempt, when they think of what it was like to be with Jesus, what it was like to worship, to sing his praises.’  Then they come back like something the cat drug in.  And the Lord puts his arms around them and welcomes the prodigal home.  It says if you trade everything you have, do you think it is worth more than what it is to be in a love relationship with the Lord?  It’ll all be held in contempt, that love can’t be put out, it can’t be destroyed [cf. Romans 8:35-39, read it for yourself].  It can’t be earned, it comes free, everything else we would try to have in this life is held in contempt compared that that. 

 

Are You A Wall Or A Door?

 

Now verse 8, not an easy verse, “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?” who “we”?  I read that, who is “we”?  The idea is, you have a younger sister, she has not yet matured, she’s not ready to be spoken for in marriage, she’s not ready to enter into this.  ‘What shall we do for her?’ you know, caring for somebody else, that’s immature, you can do what you want with that verse.  The interesting thing here is the answer it seems from the Lord in verse 9, he says, “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.”  “If she be a wall,” what do you mean “if she’s a wall”?  You said she’s a sister, what do you mean “if she’s a wall”?  And again, we are here in typical and allegorical language.  If she has a  character of separation, that’s what a wall does, it separates, it protects, it creates safety.  If she has that kind of character, she hasn’t yet matured, but we see that, we’ll build upon her a palace of silver.  Silver is always a picture of redemption.  We’ll enlarge that, we’ll beautify that, we’ll use that.  She may be immature, but can you look into her and see the good things, the worthwhile things that are there, can you encourage those things?  Again, we raised four kids, they were all completely different.  You have your second kid and you think, this kid is opposite from the first.  How can that happen?  It’s the same gene pool.  And the third one comes, and you realize, ‘I always thought opposite had two directions, and there’s at least three,’ I understand that now.  But they’re all different, they all have different gifts, they all have different tendencies, the creative genius of God is intimately involved in each of them as they’re formed in the womb, the warp and woof of their character [see https://unityinchrist.com/Psalms/Psalm%20139%201-24.html], and you nurture that, you cooperate with that.  It says if she’s a wall, and we’ll build upon her a palace of silver.  Take note, when someone, does that have that character, ‘No, I can’t get involved, no, that’s not right,’ they’re a wall, and encourage that, build on that, see that strength, you’re going to need it in your life, they may provide it for you someday.  On the other hand, it says, “and if she be a door, we will inclose her with boards of cedar.” (verse 9b) if she wants to let people in [sexually it’s talking about, also with wrong standards], there’s an openness, then it says, ‘Let’s incase that with boards of cedar,’ cedar was incorruptible.  OK, if she has that ability to be open and to be courteous, let’s make sure she only lets in the things that are right, let’s inclose that with boards of cedar, that are incorruptible, to make sure that doorway is used the way God wants to use it, it’s only open to the right things, because we tend to be open to all the wrong things sometimes.  [Pastor Joe has a slightly different take on this than I do, I believe verse 9b is implying open, loose standards.  He’s being a little bit less severe in his interpretation, it applies either way though.]  Then she says, “I am a wall, and my breasts like towers:  then was I in his eyes as one that found favour.” (verse 10)  ‘I’m a wall, I’m in full maturity,’ and then it says “then was I in his eyes as one that found favour.” or peace, the idea is, it’s favour in that God blessed me.  She said ‘I realize Lord, I’m a wall, I’ve come to maturity,’ and she said, as she was thinking, ‘You can’t help somebody else without helping yourself, it never happens,’ you can’t preach the Gospel to somebody else without being blessed yourself.  You can’t encourage somebody else without encouraging yourself.  She realized ‘Lord, I’m a wall, I’ve come to maturity in this, all of a sudden I realize that I had favour, I had peace in his eyes.’ 

 

Solomon’s Vineyard And Our Vineyard, We Each Have One

 

Now it seems to flip to the historical reality here, where it speaks of Solomon, because Solomon had a vineyard, I’m sure he had more than one.  But he has a vineyard Baal-hamon, which we don’t know the location of, which means ‘the lord of the multitude,’ that’s where he has his vineyard, interesting, whatever that may happen to mean.  And it says “he let out the vineyard unto keepers; every one for the fruit thereof was to bring a thousand pieces of silver.” (verse 11b)  That’s what you would do, you would lease if for part of the gain.  And “every one for the fruit thereof was to bring a thousand pieces of silver.” So this is quite a vineyard, a huge vineyard.  And Solomon let it out to vinedressers, they, what they had to bring to him out of the fruit that was gathered, in the harvest, was a thousand pieces of silver, everything above that they could keep.  So she says that’s the way he operated, he had this vineyard, he let it out, he was paid.  Then she says, herself, the Bride, the believer, “My vineyard, which is mine, is before me:  thou, O Solomon must have a thousand, and those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred.” (verse 12) there’s a joyful acknowledgement, I have my own vineyard, you’ve given me territory to be stirred over, and you have to be the first one to receive the benefits of that, I acknowledge you Lord, in the fruit of that, to be able to give back to you, the life you’ve given me, the life you’ve blessed me with, to you Lord, I have to give this, to those who help I want to be gracious,’ wonderful picture, of something we should all reflect, I believe. 

 

‘Cause Me To Hear Your Voice Lord, Make Haste, Come Quickly Lord’

 

And then he ends with these two verses “Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken to thy voice:  cause me to hear it.” (verse 13) the Hebrew is beautiful, it’s “Thou dweller of gardens,” that’s how the Lord is, is identified, ‘Thou dweller of gardens,”the place where fruit is produced.  “Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken to thy voice:” it is “Thou dweller of gardens, companions hearken to thee, to thy voice,” and then her prayer is, notice this, “cause me to hear it.” your voice, ‘Lord, cause me to’ not wait for me to learn, ‘cause me, take me by the hand, and lead me in the way everlasting.’  I always think of the Young Frankenstein movie, Whatever you hear, do not open the door, I’m going to go in there, and just do not listen to me.’  It’s almost ‘Lord, take me by the hand, lead me in the way everlasting, and if I start kicking and screaming, do not listen to me.’ And as soon as we get into a situation ‘Why’d you bring me, let go of me Lord, let me out of here!’  No, it’s a much different picture than that, “Cause me to hear your voice,” what an instructor he is.  And because of our stubbornness, sometimes, it needs to be hard.  We pray more desperate prayers in desperate times.  We listen way more intently when things are difficult, I believe.  We read the letter to the seven churches in the Book of Revelation, and each one ends, “Let him who has an ear hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”  ‘Let him, singular, who has an ear, singular, hear what the Spirit saith, is presently saying, right now today, to the churches, plural. Let the person who has an ear, hear what the Spirit is saying, cause me to hear your voice, Lord, you that dwell in the gardens, cause me, make me to hear that Lord, teach me.’  It’s something, again, that we have to cultivate, sometimes I get really frustrated, because life is busy.  And some of those things are, they’re certainly godly stewardships.  But your day can get eaten alive, you know.  And I’m no good if I don’t spend a little bit of time in the morning, with this [his Bible] open, and my cup of coffee, and get something, I’m just better off.  I may not be as good as I should be, but I’m better than I would be without it.  Just to meet with him in the morning, if I meet with him in the morning, I’ve less to repent of when I go to bed at night, it just works that way, for me.  And it says ‘Those who seek me early, those who seek me with all of their heart will find me.’  And the plea here at the end of this great love song, is ‘Lord, cause me to hear your voice.  You can have all the glory, you can get all the credit, cause that to happen in my life.’  Are we all agreed on that?  You know, the disciples, in Luke chapter 11, the only thing they asked Jesus to teach them, they don’t say ‘Hey, that was really cool, teach us to walk on water, we’d really like to do that.  Teach us to raise the dead, hey, rebuke the wind and sea thing, how do we do that?  Cleansing the lepers.’ The only thing they ask him, because they watch him get up early and go to be alone with his Father, and when they hear him pray, he’s not praying canned prayers.  When you grow up, ‘God is good, God is great,’ that’s good, we’re glad you pray, but that’s a canned prayer, you know.  You go to some funerals, five times you’re saying ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name…’ they listened to Jesus, because the Jews had prayers for birth, prayers for death, prayers for Feast days, they had canned prayers.  And when they [the disciples] listened to him, he was pouring out his heart to the Father, they heard something they never heard before.  So in Luke 11, they say to him “Lord,” King James says “teach us how to pray”, that’s not what the Greek says, the Greek says ‘teach us to be praying, cause us, teach us to be praying men, we see it in you, make us like that.’  They understood that all of those other things that he demonstrated on an earthly plane, flowed from that communion with his Father.  ‘Teach us to be praying, don’t leave it to me, Lord.’  That’s a great prayer every morning for all of us, ‘Lord, teach me to be a praying man, teach me to be a praying woman, cause me to hear your voice, don’t leave it up to me, cause me to hear it.’  Great  request, he gets all the glory, no flesh glorified in his presence.  And then the Lord [by context, I think the Bride is saying this to the Lord, her Groom] says “Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices.” (verse 14) like this gazelle moving up to the high ground, make haste, in the Bible, the Book of Revelation ends, twice in chapter 22, verses 7 and 20, ‘Behold, I come quickly, behold, I come quickly, my reward is with me, behold, I come quickly.’  Here, at the end of this love song, “Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices.” (verse 14)  So, the Song.  You can do with it what you like, it is one of, if not my favorite books in the Bible, because nobody rolls over it, it is left between me and him, and I have read and read and read and read, and nobody agrees.  It is wonderful to just sit with the words on the page, and the One who put them there, and let them rise up off the page and speak to me as the Bride of Christ, as a blood-bought son or daughter.  My encouragement to you, to do that, and become familiar with these 117 verses, they’re unparalleled in Scripture.  But, read ahead, we come to Isaiah now.  You know, these long prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, those are long prophets.  But Isaiah is the prophet of the first person, that’s what I love about Isaiah, because Isaiah’s the one who puts to the page, ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name.’  Ezekiel and Jeremiahs says, ‘The LORD has called you,’ Isaiah’s the one that writes in the first person and says I have called thee,’ and you realize, as Isaiah has put his quill to the page, he’s inspired.  When he lays the quill down, he’s no longer inspired, but what he put to the page is still inspired and inspired forever, it is inerrant, it is alive.  And Isaiah is the prophet of the first person, and when you sit alone and read it, you will hear him saying I have called thee, by thy name, thou art mine,’ can you hear the page saying that you, and realize it is the Eternal Word of God, inerrant?  It will talk to you.  So you have two weeks to read 66 chapters, [chuckles], we’ll talk about it in two weeks, and I’ll say ‘Have you read Isaiah?’ and one of you will lie and say ‘I have’ and everybody else will…no, no, no, just read through the first few chapters, get yourself familiar with Isaiah, we’ll take Communion next week, and let’s stand, and let’s pray together…[transcript of a connective expository sermon on Song of Solomon 7:1-13 and 8:1-14, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]

 

related links:  

 

We’re all different, as God has created us in the womb.  see, https://unityinchrist.com/Psalms/Psalm%20139%201-24.html

 

For this website’s commentary on the Book of Isaiah, see,  https://unityinchrist.com/kingdomofgod/Book%20of%20Isaiah.pdf

 

Audio Version:  http://resources.ccphilly.org/WED882

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