Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Conversations of a Courtship

Read Song of Solomon 1.

The wise king wrote 1,005 songs (1 Kings 4:32) but of all of them, this is his "Song of Songs."  Through the years many have taken various views on the book, but it is important to maintain a consistent view of interpreting Scripture.  All of Scripture must pass the tests of historical, grammatical, and literal contexts with the whole of the Bible.  Indeed, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16)

Jack S. Deere stated it well in the Bible Knowledge Commentary: "The purpose of the book is to extol human love and marriage.  Though at first this seems strange, on reflection it is not surprising for God to have included in the biblical canon a book endorsing the beauty and purity of marital love.  God created man and woman (Genesis 1:27; 2:20-23) and established and sanctioned marriage (Genesis 2:24).  Since the world views sex so sordidly and perverts and exploits it so persistently and since so many marriages are crumbling because of lack of love, commitment, and devotion, it is advantageous to have a book in the Bible that gives God's endorsement of marital love as wholesome and pure." (BKC pp.1009-1010)

The elements of the conversation between these two are the same for all healthy relationships prior to marriage.  These same exchanges can help maintain a healthy marriage also.
1 Her desire for him. (vv.1-4)
The bride anticipated the time when she would finally be alone with the king.  She longed for his kisses and expressions of his love.  But it was not only his physical attraction that wooed her.  It was his "name," reputation or character, that motivated this longing for him.  At the end of verse 4, a chorus of unidentified others, possibly family or friends, confirm the rightness of this relationship.  Having conducted a few score weddings, it is crucial that a couple have wise counsel and support of others around them.

2. Her feelings of inadequacy. (vv.5-7)
The bride expressed some insecurity about herself and her background.  She explained that she did not grow up as a daughter of privilege.  Her sun tanned appearance was the result of working in her family's vineyard and pasture.  In other words, this girl was a commoner about to marry a king.  Would she be looked down upon or would she be truly accepted?

3. His verbal reassurance. (vv.8-11)
"If you do not know by now...," is the reply.  The soon-to-be groom tried to allay her fears with his statements of love and affirmations of how beautiful she is to him and others.  The comparisons he used do not convey the same message very well to the western mind.  But in the style of Solomon's day, these were romantic things to say.  The voices of others quickly added that jewelry would be made and given to her for even greater compliments to her beauty.

4. Her sighing. (vv.12-14)
Like an intoxicating fragrance, this man was constantly on her mind and stirred an increasing desire for him.

5. His specific appreciation. (v.15)
Solomon simply responded with how attracted he was by her beautiful and peaceful eyes.

6. Her feelings of confidence. (vv.16-17 and 2:1)
The bride thought he was handsome and charming.  Further, she seemed pleased with the environment of their courtship.  Then she made the bold statement of her sense of self-worth.  Common flowers, but she felt beautiful and admired because he said so.  His opinion was all that mattered.

7. His confirming words. (v.2:2)
To him, she was a beautiful flower.  All the other women he considered thorns.  There was no one else for him but her.

Two actions are required for such a conversation: men who will express their love and women who will receive it.

No comments:

Post a Comment