Connecting with the Song of Songs 1

The Song of Songs which is Solomon’s.

Solomon wrote 3000 proverbs, many of which made it into scripture. He wrote 1005 songs (see 1 Kings 4:32) but only one of them ever made it into the bible. The Song of all Songs is the greatest song of them all.

It’s a song about love.

God is love (1 John 4:16). God doesn’t feel love. God is the definition of love. If you want to know what love is look to see what God is like (see John 15:13).

God is three in one. The love of the three for each other is so perfect that they look like one. Three in one (see John 17:21). One God, three persons. They are the greatest picture of the mystery of how love creates oneness.

Before the beginning, as an expression of their love God created. There are two pictures which, I believe, illustrate this in a way we can comprehend.

Firstly, God was like an artist or apoet creating a piece of art out of deep feeling. He loved and so He created as an expression of that love.

Secondly, like a couple wanting to bring children into the world as an expression of their love God created.

In sum, He created to express what was in His heart and He created to share His love.

Both of these elements were done as a picture of the greatness of His heart, as a “this is who I am” statement (Colossians 1:16; Ephesians 3:10; plus many others).

He created vast masterpieces of space, galaxies, suns, moons and stars. He created minute detail - atoms, protons, neutrons, electrons and even smaller particles that we have yet to discover. At the centre of His creation He made male and female, humans in His own image (see Genesis 1:26). Love itself breathed into our lungs and gave us life (Genesis 2:7).

Song of Songs puts it this way - He kissed us with life (Song of Songs 1:2). Love is the fuel of our life and without it we have none.

“In Him was life and that life was the light of men.” – John 1:4

He gave us consciousness and consciences and hearts and minds and physical bodies and free will because He longed to share Himself with us. Each of these uniquely human characteristics He gave so that we could have relationship with Him the way He has relationship with Himself (see Psalm 8:3-8 and John 17).

All of heaven, angels, demons and principalities wondered: Why does an almighty, Holy God who is so vast, so complex lavish so much of His power and love upon His creation (Ephesians 3:10)?

But they also wondered: How does He win the affections of His creation? How does He even explain who He is to His creation? It’s like a human trying to explain his existence to a bacteria. From what I see in the Bible this is what God is like in comparison to us (God is 'Holy-other-than' see Isaiah 6 and Revelation 4). And He has to reveal himself without violating the free will of humans in any way. He download knowledge into us without our permission. He can't force us to know Him. Otherwise it's no longer a love relationship.

But the Lord of Glory had a plan. He would set His people in the midst of an epic story. In that story God would create relationships and pictures and illustrations that point to what He’s like so that His people would be able to come to know Him and experience His personhood for themselves.

One of these illustrations that God has set us in is Parenthood. We all parents and God is a Father (see Matthew 6:9). He cares for His people as a father and mother care for their children. In experiencing our own parents and in becoming parents ourselves we gain a experiential picture of what God is like.

Another illustration is marriage. God is a bridegroom (see Matthew 2:19). He longs for His people like a bridegroom longs for his bride. Genesis to Revelation, in every book of the Bible there can be found this longing of God, “I want to be with my people” (see John 17:24).

There are three key parts in the story of God's creation.

The first part was the rebellion of His people against Him. In their rebellion God’s creation turned away from Him and were captured by an evil being. Yet this was allowed into the story to magnify the glory and power of God as God had already anticipated a plan to win in the end (see Revelation 13:8).

The second key part in the story was an incredible twist. The God of the universe put on human form, came to the earth and set His people free by dying in their place. All of heaven gasped as the plan unfolded from manger to cross to resurrection. The message was clear from this part of the story is this: God has a heart like a bridegroom longing a bride. This longing is so deep that it would even cause Him to lay down His life to win her love even when she hated Him. Just before Jesus went to the cross He prayed John 17:24 - 

‘Father, I desire, that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am...’

With His final breath He breathed out John 28:30 ‘It is finished.’ He finished the work on the cross to set His people free and win their affections, affections He longed would be as deep and all consuming for Him as His are for us (Matthew 22:37-40). Then Jesus returned to His Father’s house to prepare a place for His bride to be with Him (see John 14:1-3).

The last key part in the story is all that is left to happen in our story - for the bride to make herself ready and for the bridegroom to return for the wedding.

So we come to the Song of Songs. The Song of all Songs. The Greatest love song of them all. The Song that tells the story of how a Bridegroom woos a bride and how a bride makes herself ready in response to the Bridegroom’s extravagant love.

J. Ratclifffe - Author of The Song Jesus Sings: Drawing near to the heart of God through the Song of Songs

Photo by Aron Visuals from Pexels

 

 

Joel Ratcliffe
Hi! I'm an Aussie, former missionary kid, writer, adventurer, friend, brother, son and follower of Jesus. Glad you found your way here into this adventure of mine!

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