Song of Solomon (1:1-8): Finding Mr. Right

Finding Mr. Right

Song of Solomon 1:1-8

Background

We have to remember first and foremost that the Song of Solomon is a song. It is “The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s” (Song of Solomon 1:1). The thing that we need to keep in mind as we go through this study is since it is a song, we are not going to be given detailed narrative regarding this romance being told chronologically. There will be aspects of the song that will describe a flashback, as Shulamite is remembering things in her past. Events of where she and Solomon were dating, if you will.

Proceeding forward, please keep in mind that markers will be given along the way that will reference things that are occurring considered to be present or past for the characters. In this particular scene we will be looking at Shulamite’s wedding feast.

An Arranged Marriage
It is interesting to know that Solomon and Shulamite’s marriage was arranged, as is most marriages of the world. However, we do not think about that here in the United States because we pick our mates and we have a western culture mindset to marriage.

Around the world, families will normally get together of the same worldview, in the same class, and put their kids together. Sometimes against the kids will, in the sense that they might not have been their choice as a spouse. What they begin with will sometimes grow into love.

How do I know that?

“In 26 million yearly marriages in the world based upon a family arrangement, only 6% get divorced.”

 

In the United States, 55% of marriages end in divorce. Now I’m not here advocating for arranged marriages. My marriage wasn’t arranged. When we think about marriages and what draws people to be married in many cases is the same element that draws people to divorce. That is physical attraction.

In his book, Thomas Nelson, on The Book of Romance, which is a pretty good commentary on the Song of Songs, he says, “What’s wrong with our system of dating and marriage the same thing that is so exciting about it. It is based upon physical attraction.”

There’s nothing wrong with physical attraction, but love and beauty go much further than what is on the surface. We’re going to see that this morning as we contemplate Shulamite’s words as she reflects upon her love for Solomon.

The Scene
The dialogue that we are privy to here in the opening verses is like a television show. If we were to fade in to see what the characters are doing, the first verse is one of three reflections that we find on Solomon and Shulamite’s wedding day. The scene takes place shortly before the wedding feast and this woman is speaking to the young women at the feast known as the daughters of Jerusalem. She expresses her anticipation of the wedding night to these young women.

Song of Solomon 1 – New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Young Shulammite Bride and Jerusalem’s Daughters

The[a]Song of (A)Songs, which is Solomon’s.

[b]May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!
For your (B)love is better than wine.
3 “Your (C)oils have a pleasing fragrance,
Your (D)name is like [c]purified oil;
Therefore the [d](E)maidens love you.
4 “Draw me after you and let us run together!
The (F)king has brought me into his chambers.”

[e]We will rejoice in you and be glad;
We will [f]extol your (G)love more than wine.
Rightly do they love you.”

[g]I am black but (H)lovely,
(I)daughters of Jerusalem,
Like the (J)tents of (K)Kedar,
Like the curtains of Solomon.
6 “Do not stare at me because I am [h]swarthy,
For the sun has burned me.
My (L)mother’s sons were angry with me;
They made me (M)caretaker of the vineyards,
But I have not taken care of my own vineyard.
“Tell me, O you (N)whom my soul loves,
Where do you (O)pasture your flock,
Where do you make it (P)lie down at noon?
For why should I be like one who [i]veils herself
Beside the flocks of your (Q)companions?”

Solomon, the Lover, Speaks

8 [j]If you yourself do not know,
(R)Most beautiful among women,
Go forth on the trail of the flock
And pasture your young goats
By the tents of the shepherds.

There was Physical Attraction (Outward)
The text mentions two characteristics of attractiveness that can be found in every Christian. These are physical attraction that is outward and spiritual attraction that is inward.

Solomon writes in verse one, “The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s” (Song of Solomon, 1:1). He is the actual one writing the introduction. Next,  we get to see the dialogue of his bride. She says, “May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine” (Song of Solomon, 1:2). 

Now it is important to note here that as we go through this letter, there are different words in the Hebrew that are used for the term love. Many may be familiar with the Greek text which is the New Testament.

Greek Words for Love

  1. [agape] – Steadfast commitment of the will toward the well being of another.
  2. [phileo] – Brotherly love.
  3. [eros] – Erotic love.
Did you know? 
The City of Philadelphia comes from two Greek words translated, giving it the name ‘Brotherly Love.’

 

Now in the text, we see the Hebrew word [dod] being used which means sexual love. He says this in reference to “your love is better than wine.” This would be the equivalent for the Greek word [eros], from which we get our English word erotic.

As Shulamite continues to speak of Solomon, we find the Hebrew equivalent to the Greek word [agape] being used when she says, “Therefore the maidens love you.” (v.3) This is not the sexual connotation word for love, but instead refers to his loveliness.

I. She Found Him Physically Appealing (v.2-3a)

There are two things that we can discern from the soliloquy from Shulamite about her husband and about her lover. First there is the physical attraction which is outward in appearance. Then there is a spiritual attraction. She is attracted to his character.

A lot of times when fathers ask their daughters, “Hey what do you think about this young man at church or this young man at school?” The daughter may respond with, “Oh dad, he’s a hunk.” The dad thinks, “A hunk of what?” Because, beauty is only skin deep. Parents who love their children are only concerned about the character of those with which their children date or associate with. This is the same thing. Not just with parent-child relationships, but even if you’re out on your own and single. We need to be concerned with the character of those with whom we choose to associate.

Consider what Shulamite says in reference to his outward appearance. Now, she found him appealing. There is no doubt about that. But, we’re going to see what it’s actually his character that is something that is really important to her.

She says, “May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your [erotic] love is better than wine. Your oils have a pleasing fragrance.” (Song of Solomon, 1:2-3a) Again, the word there comes up which has more of a sexual connotation. Now people in this time period did not take regular baths like we do now. Often times in the Middle East, and still today, there is a strong sense of the oils that they use on their bodies that are used to remove any type of odors. She is saying that your cologne smells really good.

How many times have you been walking in the mall and there is that one store that basically hits you over the head with it’s smell. It smells good. But sometimes, you just want to say that it is a little too much too. When there are flies dropping out in the hallway, they probably need to consider that. But what she is saying is that Solomon has a nice smell and is clean.

Spiritual Attraction (Inward)
Shulamite is attracted to Solomon physically, but there is also a spiritual attraction. She found Solomon’s character as equally appealing as his physical attributes.

I. She Found his Character as Equally Appealing as his Physical Attributes (v.3b)

Consider what she says, “Your name is like purified oil; Therefore the maidens [quality of attraction] love you.” (Song of Solomon, 1:3b) In the sense of the quality of attraction, everybody wants to be around this guy because his name, which is representative of his character, is like purified oil.

How does Shulamite know this about him? Much in the same way you would know something about a person through watching them. Being able to assess their spiritual quality and character. To be able to do this you must have full discernment that you are not deceived by mere outward appearance. You are able to listen to people, see how they think, how they reason and act. This requires biblical discernment. Just look at what Solomon writes in the Proverbs.

a. Biblical Discernment – What kind of character is to be valued? (Proverbs 2:6-8, 10:9, 12:4)

“For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.” (Proverbs 2:6-8)
“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.” (Proverbs 10:9)
“A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay [or cancer] in his bones.” (Proverbs 12:4)

 

Character is everything. As a matter of fact, when it comes to the scripture, John MacArthur notes this:

“According to Scripture, virtually everything that truly qualifies a person for leadership [in any endeavor] is directly related to character. It’s not about style, status, personal charisma, clout, or worldly measurements of success. Integrity is the main issue that makes the difference between a good leader and a bad one.”

– John MacArthur [1]

The reason Shulamite was loving Solomon is because he was a man of integrity and a man of character. And she knew it. Why? Well she had biblical discernment. But to assess the quality and character of a person means that we also watch their attitudes and actions. How does a person respond to the issues of life?

b. Observation of Person’s Attitudes and Actions – How does the person respond to the issues of life?

This is an important one for dating particularly. If you want to know how that person is going to be when with you 24/7, not just when you go on dates or at social events, than paying attention to their responses can reveal a lot. How the individual deals with the issues of life is going to be reflective of how they deal with you one-on-one behind closed doors in your own home.

Behavior in Stressful Conditions: How does this Person Acted when Pressed Upon?

  • How do they act when stressed out?
  • How do they respond to the pressures of life?
  • Do they become angry easily?
  • Do they withdraw?
  • Do they last out?
  • Do they back out?
  • Do they tell you to seek revenge?
  • Are they vindictive?
  • Are they mean or cruel to others?
  • Are they mean-spirited?

These are the things that you need to go through in your own mind. Why? Because while you’re dating, everybody can look good for a hour. The real person is at home in a cage. When you say, “I Do,” that’s what you’re going to be privy to. The real person. When you are dating, you are involving yourself in a relationship with people, particularly those who may be prospective spouses. You need to take a mental note of those little observable details.

How your potential spouse deals with those issues will be how they deal with the issues that you bring to the table as well. Another way to assess a person’s character is consider what other Christian say about this person.

Reputation: How do other Christians view this Person?

What do other people say about this person? Do they have a good reputation in the church? That was something that Shulamite might obviously ask. “Your name is like purified oil; Therefore the maidens [quality of attraction] love you.” (Song of Solomon 1:3b-4) In other words, all of the ladies through that Solomon was an ideal person.

She says, “Draw me after you and let us run together! The king has brought me into his chambers.” (Song of Solomon 1:3b-4) Again, she’s foreseeing something that’s going to be happening later on that evening.

“We will rejoice in you and be glad; We will extol your love more than wine. Rightly do they love you.” (Song of Solomon 1:3b-4)

Obedient to Authority: How do People Respond to those in Authority over Them?

How is a person that potentially may be a mate react with people of authority? Are they rebellious? Do they submit to authority? When in a relationship, how they are in reference to authority, can bleed over into the marriage as well. It is really a source of conflict. If people are not willing to ultimately submit to God, to follow his precepts and commands, than this can become a source of conflict in a marriage.

I am not talking about the world as a whole. I am talking about Christians. One of the things particularly when it comes to counseling, having sat down with couples in the past, is that their issues rarely revolve around non moral issues. Things like the toothpaste. One puts the cap on, the other one likes to leave it off. There’s no right or wrong issue. That’s a non-moral issue. But that does become a source of conflict. Those are easy counseling sessions.

The ones that are difficult is when the husband or spouse begins to talk about things that may appear at fact value to be non-moral issues, but then once you start talking about it, what you find is that the spouse or husband or the wife in their heart is suffering from a deep sin problem that has to be addressed. Are they going to be willing to be obedient to authority? To confess that sin? To repent of that sin? To restore that relationship and move on.

If they’re willing to be submissive to authority, they will. If not, most often it is going to end in divorce.

As you pick a spouse, or potential spouse, we need to observe those things like these traits. Consider for example how Abraham picked a wife for his son. Turn over to Genesis 24:1. Abraham was married to Sarah. They had a son Isaac. Sarah was deceased at this point in the narrative. Abraham was extremely old and decides it is time for Isaac to be married. Now, they reason I’m telling you this story is because I want you to notice when it comes to Rebekah, how she responds to what is going on in this narrative. Ideally, she is a person of noble character.

“(1) Now Abraham was old, advanced in age; and the LORD had blessed Abraham in every way. (2) Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he owned, “Please place your hand under my thigh, (3) and I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live.” (Genesis 24:1-3)
At this time, Abraham’s living in the promised land and what he’s wanting to do is putting his hand under his thigh, is making the person take an oath that he’s going to find Isaac the right woman. He says in verse 4:
“(4) but you will go to my country and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son Isaac.” (5) The servant said to him, “Suppose the woman is not willing to follow me to this land; should I take your son back to the land from where you came?” (6) Then Abraham said to him, “Beware that you do not take my son back there! (7) “The LORD, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my birth, and who spoke to me and who swore to me, saying, ‘To your descendants I will give this land,’ He will send His angel before you, and you will take a wife for my son from there. (8) “But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from this my oath; only do not take my son back there.” (9) So the servant placed his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter.” (Genesis 24:4-9)
Now remember, God had told Abraham at the time he left from his home to travel across the fertile crescent over in the Ancient Mideast and he settled in the land of the Canaanites. So, this is where he is living. He was not supposed to associate with the Canaanites. He was supposed to pick a wife from his family. He is getting direct revelation from God about this matter.
“(10) Then the servant took ten camels from the camels of his master, and set out with a variety of good things of his master’s in his hand; and he arose and went to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor. (11) He made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at evening time, the time when women go out to draw water.” (Genesis 24:10-11)
At least he has a plan. He understands that all the women come out in the evening time. The best place to a make a selection would be to have all the women come out. He is not going to send a postcard saying to all the available females, meet me in such-and-such place so that I can observe and pick one to bring back.
He is watching it to see who shows up at the watering hole. Now he prays:
“(12) He said, “O LORD, the God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today, and show lovingkindness to my master Abraham. (13) “Behold, I am standing by the spring, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water; (14) now may it be that the girl to whom I say, ‘Please let down your jar so that I may drink,’ and who answers, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels also’—may she be the one whom You have appointed for Your servant Isaac; and by this I will know that You have shown lovingkindness to my master.” (Genesis 24:12-14)
Why is he making this a criteria? Now imagine, camels are pretty large animals. He is traveling with ten camels. He makes a test for her. He’s saying, it is not enough that she demonstrates kindness to me, but I want a girl who’s willing to show hospitality all the way. Who is also going to be willing to water these camels in addition to offering me water. Did God answer his prayer? You better believe it.
“(15) Before he had finished speaking, behold, Rebekah who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor, came out with her jar on her shoulder. (16) The girl was very beautiful, a virgin, and no man had had relations with her; and she went down to the spring and filled her jar and came up. (17) Then the servant ran to meet her, and said, “Please let me drink a little water from your jar.” (18) She said, “Drink, my lord”; and she quickly lowered her jar to her hand, and gave him a drink. (19) Now when she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw also for your camels until they have finished drinking.” (20) So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, and ran back to the well to draw, and she drew for all his camels. (21) Meanwhile, the man was gazing at her in silence, to know whether the LORD had made his journey successful or not.
(22) When the camels had finished drinking, the man took a gold ring weighing a half-shekel and two bracelets for her wrists weighing ten shekels in gold, (23) and said, “Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room for us to lodge in your father’s house?” (Genesis 24:15-23)
Now we might think that to be somewhat unusual, but back in ancient times it was a sign of hospitality to take strangers in and let them stay with you. So he’s merely asking the question in keeping with the accommodation of the day.
“(24) She said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.” (25) Again she said to him, “We have plenty of both straw and feed, and room to lodge in.” (26) Then the man bowed low and worshiped the LORD. (27) He said, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His lovingkindness and His truth toward my master; as for me, the LORD has guided me in the way to the house of my master’s brothers.”
“(28) Then the girl ran and told her mother’s household about these things. (29) Now Rebekah had a brother whose name was Laban; and Laban ran outside to the man at the spring.” (Genesis 24:24-29)
Once again she is showing hospitality here. Persumably Laban was the eldest brother because it was not her father that works out the marital arrangement, it is actually him. So he is the one who speaks with the familial authority.
“(30) When he saw the ring and the bracelets on his sister’s wrists, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, “This is what the man said to me,” he went to the man; and behold, he was standing by the camels at the spring. (31) And he said, “Come in, blessed of the LORD! Why do you stand outside since I have prepared the house, and a place for the camels?” (32) So the man entered the house. Then Laban unloaded the camels, and he gave straw and feed to the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him. (33) But when food was set before him to eat, he said, “I will not eat until I have told my business.” And he said, “Speak on.” (34) So he said, “I am Abraham’s servant. (35) “The LORD has greatly blessed my master, so that he has become rich; and He has given him flocks and herds, and silver and gold, and servants and maids, and camels and donkeys. (36) “Now Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master in her old age, and he has given him all that he has. (37) “My master made me swear, saying, ‘You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live; (38) but you shall go to my father’s house and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son.’ (39) “I said to my master, ‘Suppose the woman does not follow me.’ (40)“He said to me, ‘The LORD, before whom I have walked, will send His angel with you to make your journey successful, and you will take a wife for my son from my relatives and from my father’s house; (41) then you will be free from my oath, when you come to my relatives; and if they do not give her to you, you will be free from my oath.’
“(42) So I came today to the spring, and said, ‘O LORD, the God of my master Abraham, if now You will make my journey on which I go successful; (43) behold, I am standing by the spring, and may it be that the maiden who comes out to draw, and to whom I say, “Please let me drink a little water from your jar”; (44) and she will say to me, “You drink, and I will draw for your camels also”; let her be the woman whom the LORD has appointed for my master’s son.’
“(45) Before I had finished speaking in my heart, behold, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder, and went down to the spring and drew, and I said to her, ‘Please let me drink.’ (46) “She quickly lowered her jar from her shoulder, and said, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels also’; so I drank, and she watered the camels also. (47) “Then I asked her, and said, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ And she said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him’; and I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her wrists. (48) “And I bowed low and worshiped the LORD, and blessed the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who had guided me in the right way to take the daughter of my master’s kinsman for his son. (49) “So now if you are going to deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me; and if not, let me know, that I may turn to the right hand or the left.” (Genesis 24:30-49)
Basically he is saying, tell me if you’re going to let this deal go through so I can make other arrangements.
“(50) Then Laban and Bethuel replied, “The matter comes from the LORD; so we cannot speak to you bad or good. (51) “Here is Rebekah before you, take her and go, and let her be the wife of your master’s son, as the LORD has spoken.”
(52) When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed himself to the ground before the LORD. (53) The servant brought out articles of silver and articles of gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave precious things to her brother and to her mother. (54) Then he and the men who were with him ate and drank and spent the night. When they arose in the morning, he said, “Send me away to my master.” (55) But her brother and her mother said, “Let the girl stay with us a few days, say ten; afterward she may go.” (56) He said to them, “Do not delay me, since the LORD has prospered my way. Send me away that I may go to my master.” (57) And they said, “We will call the girl and consult her wishes.” (58) Then they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” And she said, “I will go.” (Genesis 24:50-58)
Now remember, she’s living in a foreign place. She has never seen Isaac. After all, he could be a dog. She doesn’t know anything about her cousins or relatives and so forth. Yet they’re asking her, will you go? Will you go be this young man’s wife, and she said I will go.
“(59) Thus they sent away their sister Rebekah and her nurse with Abraham’s servant and his men. (60) They blessed Rebekah and said to her,” (Genesis 24:59-60a)
This is the family that is blessing her. Notice what they say. If you think about the progressive revelation of history, you see that this blessing they pronounce comes true.
“(60) May you, our sister, Become thousands of ten thousands, And may your descendants possess The gate of those who hate them.” (Genesis 24:60)
Ultimately that descendant would be Christ. He will sit on the throne of his father David. The New Testament tells us and of his kingdom, there will be no end.
“(61) Then Rebekah arose with her maids, and they mounted the camels and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and departed. (62) Now Isaac had come from going to Beer-lahai-roi; for he was living in the Negev. (63) Isaac went out to meditate in the field toward evening; and he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, camels were coming. (64) Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac she dismounted from the camel. (65) She said to the servant, “Who is that man walking in the field to meet us?” And the servant said, “He is my master.” Then she took her veil and covered herself.” (Genesis 24:61-65)
She took her veil and covered herself which was a common custom. This was the man she was about to marry. But notice her question. Who is the man walking in the field? Ladies, you’ve all done that, right? Particularly when you were single or a young man comes in. What is everyone saying? That is exactly what she’s doing. The minute Isaac is identified, she must have been very pleased because immediately the veil goes up.
But what I want us to know is to notice about her in this narrative. Every time she has a response or a decision involving people, her character comes through. In reference to hospitality, it comes through. In reference to the needs of another person, whom at the time she does not know and is not privy to the plan that Abraham and his servant worked out, she demonstrates character by meeting and exceeding his needs.
When it comes to ultimately the authority, the family was aware that this is the Word of God. She submitted to the Word of God because Isaac and Rebekah were married. She is a woman who is obedient to authority. So we men and women, must ask ourselves the question.
Are we obedient to authority as well?

 

Shulamite found Solomon’s character very appealing. Moreover, she like Rebekah, found her value and her obedience.

II. She Found her Value in her Obedience (v.5-6)

How did Shulamite demonstrate her obedience? Well I’ll tell you how. She mentions it here. She says, “I am black but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, Like the tents of Kedar, Like the curtains of Solomon. Do not stare at me because I am swarthy, [or black] For the sun has burned me.” (Song of Solomon 1:5-6)

You may be thinking, well how did she get this condition? She mentioned something that is actually a negative. In our culture today, it is just the opposite. In her time and in many cultures of that day, people who were dark-skinned, and by that I mean people who work out in the sun and so forth, were viewed as being someone of lower status or lower class. The reason they say that and think that way, is that people who were pale skin, were indoor folks. Which means they are affluent or people of means.

Today, we’re a culture that likes to go to the beach and participate in many activities that take us out in the sun. For us, we look at potential spouses or girlfriends and boyfriends and like to see a tan. It is now the opposite. Shulamite is saying, I’ve been out working in the sun so much that now my skin is really dark. Why is that? Her brothers sent her to work out amid the caretaker of the field and she did that at the expense of her own beauty. But she’s a woman who also likes to work.

As we saw with Rebekah in Genesis 24, she was a woman who also liked to work and did not mind being out in the sun in the grit and grind. Something that was viewed as a negative should actually be viewed as a positive.

“We have other examples of hardworking women in the Scripture.” Ruth was a gleaner, Rachael was a shepherd, Zipporah [Moses wife] was a shepherd and the woman in Proverbs 31 “strengthens her arms.” I tell young men routinely, “Marry a girl with some grit in her!”

– Tommy Nelson [2]

If you are able to find a lady or a man who’s not afraid to get their hands dirty that means, they are willing to all in. They are going to be committed.

III. She had a Genuine Desire to be with the Man she Loved (v.7-8)

Consider what Shulamite says, “Tell me, O you whom my soul loves, Where do you pasture your flock, Where do you make it lie down at noon? For why should I be like one who veils herself Beside the flocks of your companions?” (Song of Solomon 1:7)

She is having a flashback by asking the question. Her intent is wanting to be with her spouse, wanting to be with her lover. Though she is thinking about a time when they were perhaps dating. When Solomon was the shepherd king, he would take his flock out to pasture. She was reflecting on going out to visit him during the noon time. For shepherds in that part of the world, noon time would be extremely hot. They would pasture under the shade trees and relax for a few hours which would provide the perfect opportunity for him to commune and converse with Shulamite. She is looking back at that moment and she is longing to be with him. As spouses if you have been married for a long time, we tend to lose that spark sometimes.

There was a couple in a vehicle traveling to a location. They were riding around the night which started really, really good. She was sitting close to him in a bench seat, but as time went on they begin to move further and further away. Why? Because you get so used to that person being there that you begin to take them for granted. This is when couples will begin to have a sense of frustration in their relationship. They get so directed upon their desires and wants that they begin to overlook their spouse. They do not view them the way they once did.

The point to take away is to cherish your spouse. Desire your spouse. Sometimes you have to want to do that. When you first start dating that is all you really can think about. But, we need to be able to know that after 10 years, 15 years, can you still think about your spouse. Do you still treasure your spouse? Do you still hold them in high esteem where they are the most important thing to us in reference to human relationships.

“A more literal rendering might be, “whom my soul (my inner being) loves.” Here the young woman mentally addresses Solomon, her husband. She pictures him as the shepherd of Israel. one who veils herself: Solomon, as king, was busy with affairs of state. The young bride does not want to veil herself as a prostitute would in order to get his attention, nor does she want to be left alone. She desires to be his true companion.”

– Earl D. Radmacher [3]

Shulamite and Solomon are not going to let the worries, problems, and issues of life come between them and begin to drive the wedge to where they are separated. In verse eight, some commentators have ascribed it to be different people. Some people say that it is Solomon who’s responding. He acts as though he is answering the question she just asked. “If you yourself do not know, Most beautiful among women, Go forth on the trail of the flock And pasture your young goats by the tents of the shepherds.” (Song of Solomon 1:8)

In other words, if you do not know where your lover is then go find him. Maybe he’s a shepherd, go follow the sheep. He will take you to them. That is the response there. Some people have said this is Solomon responding. Others have said that this is the young maidens because they are in the castle. They’re on their wedding day at the wedding feast and they are responding. This is the view I personally take.

“The palace women, in response to her question, appear to say that she must just go and hunt for him—follow the sheep and you will find the shepherd. The main thrust of the whole paragraph speaks of both character and desire. She is a totally lovely person in that she is not afraid of hard work even if it spoils her body. And her one desire is for her royal lover.”

– John A. Balchin [4]

Points to Ponder

What can we take away from this? The two characteristics are the two traits. What is it that she found so appealing about her spouse? He was appropriately dressed and a good looking guy. Secondly, because of his character. As Christians today, how we would apply the principles of what we could discern from these few verses would be this.

1. Don’t assume the world’s standards in beauty. Outward beauty is fleeting but godly character endures.

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)
“You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:5-7)

 

In Proverbs, you can see the type of women listed that should be praised. First Peter the Apostle tells us about pride and anxiety. The thing to takeaway here is to concentrate on being a Godly person and pray that God would send someone in your life that is full of Godly character if you are single. If you are married, work on Godly character. You’re not ever going to be able to change your spouse whether it’s a man or a woman, husband or wife, by complaining at them. Pray for them to be Godly because God will make and can make the changes.

2. There is nothing wrong with singleness or marriage but if you want to be married then be a person worthy of marriage.

I am not advocating that you must be married in order to be complete or whole. Paul makes that clear in 1 Corinthians 7. But if you choose or desire to be married than don’t worry about trying to pick up Mr. or Mrs. Right. Work on being Godly and pray that God will send that person into your life.

3. Do not consider marrying a person who is not a Christian. Opposing worldviews will ultimately cause conflict.

Lastly, opposing worldviews will ultimately cause conflict. Moreover, it is a direct command of scripture as written by Paul in 2nd Corinthians.

“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)
“A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 7:39)

 

The answer to that question in 2 Corinthians is that it doesn’t have a relationship. It doesn’t have fellowship. Therefore, don’t do it.

BIBLIOGRAPHY


[1] Pamela Williams quoting John MacArthur, Bible Verses About Integrity: 20 Important Scripture Quotes. Accessed February 24, 2018. https://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/bible-verses-about-integrity-20-important-scripture-quotes/#ixzz582VYv2zc.
[2] Tommy Nelson, The Book of Romance: What Solomon Says About Love, Sex, and Intimacy (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1998), 14.
[3] Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen, and H. Wayne House, Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Commentary (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1999), 795.
[4] John A. Balchin, “The Song of Songs,” in New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition, ed. D. A. Carson et al., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), 621.

FOOTNOTES:

[a] Song of Solomon 1:1 Or Best of the Songs
[b] Song of Solomon 1:2 BRIDE
[c] Song of Solomon 1:3 Lit oil which is emptied (from one vessel to another)
[d] Song of Solomon 1:3 Or virgins
[e] Song of Solomon 1:4 CHORUS
[f] Song of Solomon 1:4 Lit mention with praise
[g] Song of Solomon 1:5 BRIDE
[h] Song of Solomon 1:6 Or black
[i] Song of Solomon 1:7 Some versions read wanders
[j] Song of Solomon 1:8 BRIDEGROOM

CROSS REFERENCES:

(A) Song of Solomon 1:1; 1 Kin 4:32
(B) Song of Solomon 1:2; Song 1:4; 4:10
(C) Song of Solomon 1:3; Song 4:10; John 12:3
(D) Song of Solomon 1:3; Eccl 7:1
(E) Song of Solomon 1:3; Ps 45:14
(F) Song of Solomon 1:4; Ps 45:14, 15
(G) Song of Solomon 1:4; Song 1:4; 4:10
(H) Song of Solomon 1:5; Song 2:14; 4:3; 6:4
(I) Song of Solomon 1:5; Song 2:7; 3:5, 10; 5:8, 16; 8:4
(J) Song of Solomon 1:5; Ps 120:5
(K) Song of Solomon 1:5; Is 60:7
(L) Song of Solomon 1:6; Ps 69:8
(M) Song of Solomon 1:6; Song 8:11
(N) Song of Solomon 1:7; Song 3:1-4
(O) Song of Solomon 1:7; Song 2:16; 6:3
(P) Song of Solomon 1:7; Is 13:20; Jer 33:12
(Q) Song of Solomon 1:7; Song 8:13
(R) Song of Solomon 1:8; Song 5:9; 6:1

Get Free Email Updates!

Signup now and receive an email once I publish new content.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Next articleA Basic Introduction to the Eternal Decree of God
Dr. James Brooks, a gifted Bible expositor and licensed Southern Baptist minister, is our teaching leader. He is a graduate of the College of Biblical Studies, Houston; Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary (M.A.R.); Grace School of Theology (M.Div.); and The Master's Seminary (D.Min.), under the leadership of Dr. John MacArthur and Dr. Steve Lawson. In class, James leads students through a systematic and comprehensive study of Scripture, posing questions and issues that challenge us to "dig deeper." His style is warm, friendly, and interactive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here