• Paul Wallace

Song of Songs 2:2-17

You live fully in me and now I live fully in them so that they will experience perfect unity, and the world will be convinced that you have sent me, for they will see that you love each one of them with the same passionate love that you have for me. -John 17:23 TPT

Jesus prays that we will realize that the mighty love the Father has for his Son is the same love he has given to us. God wants to share the love within the Trinity with you! Love is what binds the Trinity together, Father of Love, King of Love, and Spirit of Love. A loved based theology must fill our hearts as we go through 2019 (life) with lots of twists and turns in our path.


Our Love for Christ

The Father wants us to pour out our love on his Son. The Father looked ahead and said, “Son, believe me, it will be worth it. Not only will she move your heart with her beauty, but O, she will love you! She will love you with an eternal love! Trust me, Son—it will be worth it!” The cross extravagantly cries, “Anything for love!”

The great issue for mankind is this: “Will you love him?” It’s not simply, “Will you believe him?” Because even the demons believe and tremble. The haunting question of all time continues to be the one that Jesus posed to Simon Peter after Peter had denied him. Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?” He didn’t ask Peter, “Do you believe in me?” or “Will you keep following me?” or “Will you preach for me?” He asked the great soul-searching question that each one of us must answer. “Do you love me?”


The great issue for mankind is this: 'Will you love Him?'


Jesus didn’t die so that people would dissect and analyze the benefits of the gospel and then, based on their assessment of the data, make a rational choice to believe that Jesus is the Son of God. No, he died for much more than that. He died for your love. He will never be satisfied with anything less than your freewill, non-coerced, voluntary affections and desires.


The Fire of Love

The fire of God’s love needs to be fed. It must grow each day, gathering strength in our souls. A fire is maintained by burning more things. If we don’t feed it, it may die. This is why we have a book in the Bible to fuel that flame. The book ends with a flame of God’s fiery love coming over our hearts—what began with a cry for a kiss ends with the solar flare of God’s love sealing our heart. Yes, this fiery love is found in the Song of Songs.


Every one of us is coming up “out of the wilderness leaning into our Beloved.” Through the pain and difficulties of our lives, the passion still burns. We still long to be with the One we love. This fire must be stirred continually with fresh desires to know him and live in nearness to him. I have found that a study of the Song of Songs will ignite even the feeblest heart. When we realize how beautiful we are in his eyes, the mountain of our pride melts like wax and we draw near to him. He promises to draw us into deeper encounters in the days to come, so get ready my friend. Your love life is about to be kindled. Your passion to be one with Christ is about to be intensified. The fire of his love is what we need the most. So, become highly flammable as you come before him!- By Brian and Candice Simmons – The Passion Translation Project

Song of Songs 2:2 (ESV) As a lily among brambles, so is my love among the young women.

Solomon takes his expressions of love even further than the first chapter. He says she is a lily among brambles. He explained what he meant to be sure she got the point. "So is my love among the young women." In other words, when she is among the young ladies, she stands out like a flower in a patch of weeds. That is how special she appears to him, and that is how special you are to God! If only a few enter the narrow gate, and they are those who are clothed in Christ Jesus, the application to each of us who are in Him is certainly valid (Matthew 7:13,14). As you walk in this world, God sees you as a lily among the brambles. Will you let your heart receive this truth?

Song of Songs 2:3 (ESV) As an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the young men. With great delight I sat in his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.

The woman, with more words than the man, responds in kind by telling him how she values him. North of my home, in the middle of an enormous patch of blackberries is a wild apple tree. I've climbed through the thorny bushes to get at those tangy apples in late summer, and so have bears. But here the picture is of a woman in forest that happens upon a lone apple tree loaded with apples. That is how she sees him as special among all young men. To be with him is like sitting in the shade of its dense leaves, relieved from the heat of the sun, and then enjoying the sweet fruit that is in abundance.


Married couples must maintain this view of how uniquely beautiful their spouse is. It keeps the marriage intact by warding off glances toward others and the lying fantasies that follow. Spiritually related to how we see our relationship with Jesus, it keeps us from idolatry and its lying fantasies.

Song of Songs 2:4 (ESV) He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.

This verse causes me to lean toward this being about Solomon as king. Shepherds don't have banqueting houses. The shepherd theory would say it is metaphorical and that the banquet is the shepherd's love. Maybe. Either way, the woman feels so special, the guest of honor, like the queen in gold of Ophir in Psalm 45, with the people of Tyre seeking her favor with a gift, the richest of the people. Love has made her feel that she couldn't be more honored.

Song of Songs 2:5 (ESV) Sustain me with raisins; refresh me with apples,for I am sick with love.

At this feast, she asks to be nourished with raisins and apples as she if faint with love. His presence with her and his honor of her make her knees weak. Is that how you feel about Jesus love and honor of you? You are seated with Him in the heavenly realms, is there a higher place of honor. Isn't His banner over you, LOVE, the greatest love (John 15:13).

Certainly, there is concern that too much emotion in the church can be distracting. However, most services have too little. The emotion we are reading about is so intense as to be overwhelming. Maybe we need to pass out raisins and apples to sustain us through these classes. When you think of how greatly you are loved, does it make you lovesick for time with Jesus?

Song of Songs 2:6 (ESV) His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me!

Take a moment to take it in. Jesus' embraces you. His eyes of love peering into your eyes. Men, let me help you with this part. Imagine your best friend was even better than he is. Imagine he died to save you - pushed you out of the way and took the hit that killed him. Then one day you see him alive. He runs up to you and gives you the hug of a long-lost friend. You know he'd do anything for you. Here he is. Alive! That is a bit of how this woman felt toward the king.

Song of Songs 2:7 (ESV) I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field,that you not stir up or awaken loveuntil it pleases.

This chorus appears four times in the song (3:5; 5:8,9; 8:4). Hughes takes it to be an admonition from the Shunammite women to the young virgins to keep this passion in check until they each find the right man and the right place, which is marriage. While the Proverbs tell sons to take a cold shower and watch out for the cougars and hookers, Song of Songs tells the young ladies that love is wonderful, but until the time is right, take a cold shower. Keep your passions in check (Eccl 3:5).


And yet, something more subtle may be going on that you would only see (better "hear") in Hebrew. A number of Hebrew scholars have noticed that the Hebrew word for "gazelles" is sebaoth, which could suggest the name "Yahweh of Sabaoth" (the Lord of Hosts or Armies). And the Hebrew words for "wild does" are ayeloth hassadeh, which sound similar to "El-Shaddai" - Christ-Centered Exposition, Exalting Jesus in Song of Songs.

Song of Songs 2:8-9 (ESV) 8  The voice of my beloved!Behold, he comes, leaping over the mountains, bounding over the hills. 9 My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.Behold, there he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, looking through the lattice.

The first line reminds me of a missionary woman who survived being a Japanese prisoner of war. She endured horrendous conditions for years. She learned her husband was beheaded. She drew near to God through the trials and saw God do miracles. When she was finally liberated, she boarded a ship to the USA. Finally, she reached a phone to call her mother and let her know she had survived. Her mother answered with normal greeting, "Hello." In hearing that one word, she knew it was her mother's voice. A flood of emotion poured out from her at the sound. She later said it was so similar to the times the Lord spoke to her in her hour of need. She knew His voice, and the sound of it in her spirit had the same effect. In this song, the One she loved was speaking words of love. Do you know the voice of your beloved?


She describes him as a gazelle or young stag leaping and bounding through the mountains and hills to arrive at her home. It speaks of his virility and passion to be with her. He is described not as a lion or some other ravenous beast, but as a powerful eager young stag. He is peering in, hoping she is there. Young love stands outside the house tossing tiny pebbles up to the window of her room, hoping not to rouse the parents but to see the face he loves and that she will sneak away to be with him.

Song of Songs 2:10 (ESV) My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my beautiful one,and come away,

She opens the window and hears his words of love and invitation. He calls her his love, his beautiful one. Can you hear her heart pounding as she hears these words? The passion and excitement of young love is what the Lord has for us and what He wants us to have for Him. Do you remember it? It is what marriages should endeavor to keep alive. It is what we must keep alive or we will become like the church of Ephesus that abandoned its first love (Revelation 2:4). They didn't lose it; they forsook it. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. “Abandoned” is a forceful form of the verb to go. They chose to leave it behind. We do that in marriage, and we do that with Jesus. But we can return to Jesus, for God says return to me and I will return to you (Zechariah 1:3).


Invitation to a New Life

Song of Songs 2:11-13a (ESV) 11  for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. 12  The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. 13a  The fig tree ripens its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance.

The time was right. Spring brings new life and invites us to get out and see the beauty of the flowers and hear the birds singing. The first ripe figs so sweet to the taste are waiting to be plucked. Grape vines in blossom promise an abundant harvest for wine. When the right time for love has come whatever the season, it is springtime to the lovers. It should ever be springtime in our relationship with Jesus who makes all things new (Revelation 21:5). In Him, winter is past, beauty surrounds us, there are pleasant delights and the promise of even more in the future (Psalm 16:11).


Brother and sister in Christ, our loved One is coming. He has set a date when He will peer through the lattice of the clouds and call out to us, "Arise my love, my beautiful one, and come away. Winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The time of singing has come." And how we will sing at the wedding feast of the Lamb.

Song of Songs 2:13b (ESV) Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.

And again He repeats, calling us His love, His beautiful one, and invites us to rise to new life and come away with Him. Why wouldn't we? What better do we have to do? Did he ask twice because she was hesitant, knowing where this would lead? Are we reluctant, because we fear where intimacy with Jesus in prayer might take us, abandoning ourselves to Him?

Song of Songs 2:14 (ESV) O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the crannies of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.

A dove in the cleft of the rocks, unreachable, playing hard to get, but so lovely. The king invites her to come down, poetically describes her beauty and his longing to look upon her face and hear her voice. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. When we don't take time to be with the Lord, this is how He feels. He is calling to us for He longs to be with us and hear our prayers. Can you accept that this is how He feels about you? Can such love from our Creator be true? If you doubt it, look at the cross.


Let me see your face also means to give me your full attention as in the Aaronic blessing, "make His face shine upon you." It means to look and listen and focus upon you. The groom wants this from YOU, his bride. Will you come down?

Song of Songs 2:15 (ESV) Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom.”

What is it that keeps us from spending that time with Him? The little foxes, those distractions that dart into our minds and keep us from being fruitful, They ruin the fruit (intimacy) that we should have been sharing with our beloved. Take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. The vineyard (our relationship with Him) is in bloom. There is so much potential for the future. Don't let those little foxes ruin that!

Song of Songs 2:16-17 (ESV) 16  My beloved is mine, and I am his; he grazes among the lilies. 17  Until the day breathes and the shadows flee,turn, my beloved, be like a gazelleor a young stag on cleft mountains.

The bride responds with the reassurance that they belong to one another (Hosea 2:19,20). The second line of 16 could be translated, "He pastures his flock." In other words, he is at work, caring for the flock of Israel. She can't wait until the sun sets and he comes running to her and turns all his attention to her. Thankfully, we are Jesus' business. He never leaves us or forsakes us. He is big enough to give each of us full attention at any time. We don't have to wait until the day is over. He is always with us (Hebrews 13:5). But how much do we appreciate that wonderful reality? Are we like this adoring bride?


The verse has also been interpreted as sexual intimacy. As I've already pointed out, this can be a metaphor for those intimate times in prayer when Jesus showers His love and forgiveness upon us. Do you see your times of prayer as duty? If so, no wonder it is hard to get around to it. But if we see it as a love feast with Jesus, we will be much more eager to enter into that prayer closet and shut the door and forget about the clock.

Questions

  1. How does our appreciation of Jesus uniqueness keep us from idolatry?

  2. What is the chorus saying to young women?

  3. Verse 8 – Do you know His voice?

  4. Do you hear the invitation of verse 10?

  5. Are you playing hard to get with Jesus?

  6. What are your little foxes?

  7. Can you say 16a from your heart?

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