Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The king's song (1)

There is a little book in the Old Testament called The Song of Solomon. 1 Ki 4:32 says Solomon spoke 3,000 proverbs and his songs were 1,005. Of all the songs that Solomon wrote, this is apparently the song.

In the whole book the name of God is nowhere mentioned, and some people wonder what it's doing in the Bible at all. Examine it, and it's one of the most spiritual books in the Bible.

It appears to be a love story between the king and a Shulamite maiden. Consider it an allegory of the spiritual relationship between the Christian believer and her Lord. As you read it, imagine, if you will, that the Shulamite maiden is the believer, the king is the Lord Jesus Christ, and the daughters of Jerusalem are other believers.

In the first chapter, the believer is newly come to faith, aware of her love for the Lord but not even aware of where to go for fellowship with Him ("Tell me, O you whom I love, Where you feed your flock, Where you make it rest at noon").

By the second chapter, she is aware of her risen Lord, wonderfully victorious out there in the world ("Behold, he comes Leaping upon the mountains, Skipping upon the hills") but content to wait in her own home until He comes to her.

She has some difficult experiences, sometimes at the hands of those she would least expect ("The watchmen who went about the city found me. They struck me, they wounded me; The keepers of the walls Took my veil away from me").

Through the book, you can see how her faith grows. In the second chapter, it's "My beloved is mine, and I am his." In the sixth chapter, it's "I am my beloved's, And my beloved is mine" - more concerned now that He should have all of her than that she should have all of Him. And in the seventh chapter, it becomes just "I am my beloved's, And his desire is towards me."

He invites her "Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, With me from Lebanon. Look from the top of Amana, From the top of Senir and Hermon, From the lions' dens, From the mountains of the leopards" - to the spiritual heights, where together they can look out at all the Promised Land below.

Until eventually she can say "Come, my beloved, Let us go forth to the field; Let us lodge in the villages. Let us get up early to the vineyards; Let us see if the vine has budded, Whether the grape blossoms are open, And the pomegranates are in bloom."

God wants us to come to the place where we are concerned not just with ourselves, our own family, our own church, our own town (though certainly that), but where He is able to share His heart with us regarding all He is doing, everywhere.