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, the greatest song of 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 desired to create. An artist or poet creating out of deep feeling or a couple wanting to bring children into the world as an expression of their love, to share their love with another – these are small pictures into why God created you and I, I believe. Out of the overflow of His heart the Trinity wanted to share His love/life (see Genesis 1:26 and John 1:4). He created as an expression of His heart. He created to share His love. He created 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 created humans in His own image (see Genesis 1:26). Love itself breathed into our lungs and gave us life (Genesis 2:7). He kissed us with life (Song of Songs 1:2). Love is the fuel of life.
“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 to us because He longed to share Himself with us. He created us as the the only being in His vast physical universe with whom He desired to have relationship (see Psalm 8:3-8).
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)? 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 can see of God in the Bible I feel that that is what God is like in comparison to us (think Isaiah 6 and Revelation 4 definition of ‘Holy’). And He has to do all this without violating the free will of humans in any way.
But the Lord of glory had a plan. He would set His people in the midst of an epic story. In that epic story God would create relationships and pictures and illustrations that point to what He’s like so that His people would experience for themselves a little of Himself.
One of these illustrations is Parenthood. God is a Father (see Matthew 6:9). He cares for His people as a father cares for his/her children. In experiencing our own fathers 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 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 point 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, 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 to be like His own (Genesis 2:18 – a helper comparable). 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 point in the story is all that remains now - 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 a bride makes herself ready because of 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