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The Love between Christ and His Churches as Depicted in Song of Solomon

Introduction

2.16_1Let me first point to and comment on Song of Solomon, 2.16: “My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.” This Song of Solomon expresses the highest spiritual state of the relationship between the Lord Jesus Christ and the believer. There is no other book of the Bible which portrays this relationship any better that this little book, and there is no higher plane than this right here: “My beloved is mine and I am his.” This is one of the deepest, most profound of all theological truths which our Lord Jesus Christ put into seven simple words: “Ye in me, and I in you” (John 14.20). The bride says, “My beloved is mine, and I am his.” The Lord Jesus said, in effect, ‘Down here I took your place when I died on the cross. I am in you. Now you are to show forth My life down here in this world.” Of course, we can only do that in the power of the Holy Spirit. But we are in him  up there–seated in the heavenlies, accepted in the Beloved, joined to Him, risen with Christ. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sittety on the right hand of God” (Colossians 3.1). How wonderful! Of, my friend, if you are a child of God, why don’t you tell Him that you love Him?

Summary of Song of Solomon

Ep.5.25“Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it” (Ephesians 5.25). This love is depicted in Song of Solomon which is a picture of the beautiful love relationship between Christ and his churches (and between the believer and the Lord Jesus Christ). Song rebukes asceticism, but also condemns lust and unfaithfulness to the marriage vow. It is a beautiful song of marital love and the love between Christ and His churches.

“As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters” (Song 2.2). “Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes within thy locks: thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead” (4.1). The word “love” speaks of the bride, and “beloved” refers to the bridegroom in Song of Solomon. The Shulamite girl in Song of Solomon gave her heart to the shepherd. “As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste” (2.3). After she gave her heart to him, they were madly in love. “My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies” (2.16). They had a wonderful, personal relationship.

Song2.1-4One time he took her to dinner as he traveled through the country. “He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.” This shepherd spoken of in Song was a shepherd who did not have any sheep that she could see. “Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions” (1.7). Then one day he announced that he was going away but that he would return. “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (Jn. 14.1-3).

The days passed and she waited. Finally, her family and friends began to ridicule her. “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (2 Pe. 3.3-4). Yet, she trusted him, loved him and dreamed of him. “By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not” (Song 3.1). Church, is this a picture of your love for our Savior? Do you long for him? Or do you occupy your time with another lover or lovers – the state of your incorporation, the federal government and your 501c3 status, your big buildings (a New Testament church, a heavenly spiritual organization, can own nothing), your security at the expense of Bible doctrine, etc.?

One night she lay restless upon her couch when she noticed a fragrance in the room. In that day it was a custom that a lover would put some myrrh or frankincense in the opening to the door handle. She smelled the perfume and went to the door. “I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock.” Notice that she was alone in her room when this happened – she was not with another lover.

Song2.8One day, she was working in the vineyard with the vines, putting rocks under the vines so that the little foxes would not get to the grapes. “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” While she was doing this, down the road there comes a pillar of smoke. “Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant” (3.6). She is busy, and she does not know King Solomon. Someone tells her he is asking for her: “The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills. My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice.  My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away” (2.8-10). This is the promise of the Lord Jesus. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (Jn. 10.27-28). “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thes. 4.16-17). He promised to come again for us. “For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away” (Song 2.11-13).

By the way, how much is your church involved with the world? Do you use worldly ways to do the work of Christ? Is your church incorporated and thereby entwined with worldly rules for operating? Do you and your church submit to the rules of 501c3 in order to obtain worldly favor? Do you bring in people into your church who are not saved? Do you use non-Biblical methods to entertain them? After all, you can keep goats only if they are entertained. Does your church music and light shows put the best of nightclubs to shame. Do you need the help of the lost to pay your bills? Do you have a staff and employees? is your church run like a business. Is it incorporated? Does it have 501(c)(3) status?

Do you try to impress him with your worldly riches, possessions, methods, and alliances? “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.” “Contemned” means loathed, despised. God is not asking for our money, our service, and our methods. If we don’t love Him, He despises the so-called Christian work we try to do, our humanistic methods, our unholy affairs with civil government and others, and the money we give.

Song of Solomon, 2.16: “My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.” This Song of Solomon expresses the highest spiritual state of the relationship between the Lord Jesus Christ and the believer. There is no other book of the Bible which portrays this relationship any better that this little book, and there is no higher plane than this right here: “My beloved is mine and I am his.” This is one of the deepest, most profound of all theological truths which our Lord Jesus Christ put into seven simple words: “Ye in me, and I in you” (John 14.20). The bride says, “My beloved is mine, and I am his.” The Lord Jesus said, in effect, ‘Down here I took your place when I died on the cross. I am in you. Now you are to show forth My life down here in this world.” Of course, we can only do that in the power of the Holy Spirit. But we are in him  up there–seated in the heavenlies, accepted in the Beloved, joined to Him, risen with Christ. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sittety on the right hand of God” (Colossians 3.1). How wonderful! Of, my friend, if you are a child of God, why don’t you tell Him that you love Him?

8.14One final note (from Dr. McGee). Song of Solomon 8:14 (the last verse in the book) “Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices.” The bride is saying to the Lord of the vineyard “Return?” Over in the book of Revelation the last thing she says is ‘Even so, come Lord Jesus.’ My friend, I don’t believe you can honestly say that unless you know Him, unless you love Him, and unless you make Him known. Can you look up and say, ‘Come Lord Jesus, I want you to come’? Paul said that God will give a crown to those who love His appearing. And to love His appearing means to love Him—even as a bride eagerly anticipates and prepares for the coming of the bridegroom, her beloved.

“Let us conclude this marvelous Song of Solomon with the lines of Herbert:

“Come, Lord, my head doth burn, my heart is sick,
While thou  dost ever, ever stay:
Thy long deferrings wound me to the quick,
My Spirit gaspeth me night and day,
O show thyself to me,
Or take me up to thee!

“Yet if thou stayest still, why must I stay?
My God, what is this world to me?
This world of woe? hence all ye clouds, away!
Away! I must get up and see.
O show thyself to me,
Or take me up to thee!

“We talk of harvests; there are no such things,
But when we leave our corn and hay.
There is no fruitful year, but that which brings
The last and loved, though dreadful day.
O show thyself to me,
Or take me up to thee!”

A believer and a church cannot honestly say, “Return,” without loving Him, knowing Him. Loving and knowing Him means seeking to please Him with every bit of one’s existence. Forgive me when I make an application. A church who places herself under any head other than the Lord Jesus Christ (incorporates, gets 501c3 or 508 status, or becomes a legal entity in any way) or knowingly compromises her relationship with her betrothed in any manner does not know and love the Lord Jesus Christ.

“He is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend.”

Do you know of a church who loves the Lord Jesus?

Click the following for one of Dr. McGee’s great teachings from Song of Solomon: The Song of Christ’s Return; The Dove of the Clefts of the Rock. This teaching is from Song of Solomon 2.10-14. “Rise up, my love my fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. O my dove, that art  in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places  of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.”

 

Song 1

1.2There are five brief songs in the book. In the first song, the bride and bridegroom are together in a wonderful relationship. “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine” (1.2). The kiss was the pledge of peace, a token of peace. Solomon’s name means peace. He was a prince of peace and ruled in Jerusalem, the city of peace. the Shulamite girl is the daughter of peace.

His Kiss

The kiss indicates the existence of a very personal, close relationship. Christ communicates His message to us through the Word of God. He speaks to our hearts through His Word. “Let him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth.” The one who has ears to hear and has heard Him speak peace—peace through the blood of His cross by forgiveness of sin—can take the next step. If you have been reconciled to God by redemption in Christ, He entreats the kiss of the solemn, nuptial covenant. It is the kiss which seals the marriage vow between Christ and the believer.

His Love

“For thy love is better than wine.” Wine speaks of that which brings the highest joy to the heart. “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit” (Ep. 5.18). This is talking about something that we know little about. We play at church. We talk about being dedicated Christians simply because we are busy as termites, and often have the same effect. We need to come to Peter’s attitude when he wrote: “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1.8). “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:  Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation” (Hab. 3.17-18).

“Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee” (Song 1.3). The ointment is the perfume. When Christ began His life on earth, myrrh was brought to Him as a gift. When he died, myrrh was brought to put on His body. There was a fragrance in His entire life on earth from His birth to His death. Oh, the fragrance of His love for us when He died upon the cross!

His Drawing Power

“Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee” (1.4). This is the expression of one who is in love with Christ, who desires a close relationship with Him. We say, “Draw me,” because we cannot attain that state. If you are a child of God and have never experienced that wonderful relationship, then listen to the bride, and give her response, “Draw me.” God will answer your cry.

We did not seek after god. God sought after us. “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day” (Jn. 6.44). Jesus said to His own, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” (Jn. 15.16). We need the Spirit of God to give us the Water of Life.

“We will run after thee.” We want to run after Him, but He will have to give us the legs to do it. He must give us that enablement, that divine enablement. He must draw us. “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12.1-2). “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Is. 40.31).

His Chambers

When we cry “Draw me, we will run after thee,” He responds—“the king hath brought me into his chambers.” The chamber is the secret of His presence, His pavilion. It is the secret place away from the noise of the crowd. It is like Christ’s invitation: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Re. 3.20).

We withdraw and cry out with Isaiah, “Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts” (Is. 6.5). But “the king hath brought me into His chambers”—He provided a redemption. He made the supreme sacrifice.

Believers need more joy in their churches and lives. “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (Jn. 10.10). “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full” (1 Jn. 1.4).

God wants to make love real to us. He wants to manifest His love to us. That is a lot better than crawling up on a bar stool. “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Ep. 5.18). “We will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine.

The upright love thee.” The upright are those who belong to Him. They have said, “Draw me.” They are to run to the race of life, looking for Jesus, the author and finisher of their faith.

The Christian life is a love affair. We love him because He first loved us enough to give Himself for us. If you don’t love Him, be honest and chuck the whole thing because it is all meaningless. The believer’s loving response is, “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is” (Ps. 63.1). “To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary” (Ps. 63.2). This is the bride’s secret place of communion. “Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips” (Ps. 63.3-5). “Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice” (Ps. 63.7). “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not” (Mt. 23.37)! This is a great picture of His love and the great desire to protect the helpless ones from harm.

The Sunburned Slave Girl

I am black but comely, O he daughers of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon. Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother’s children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept” (Song 1.5-6). She is sunburned, but beautiful. Black is beautiful when the heart is right with the Lord. No one can come into the holy presence of God without the covering of the righteousness of Christ to protect him.

We are ugly; we are sunburned. We are not attractive to Him as we are, but He says that He is going to make us His beautiful bride. That is the beautiful picture given to us in Ephesians 5. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Ep. 5.25-27). Many believers do not wash themselves in His word. Pastors and churches, for example, do not study and apply the Bible doctrines of church and separation of church and state.

The Pasture

I offer the above study to demonstrate the application of the book as to the relationship between Christ and his churches. For a full study, see Ecclesiastes & Song of Solomon by Dr. J. Vernon McGee which is online in audio form at: http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/thru-the-bible-with-j-vernon-mcgee/series/. Most of these studies were taken from Dr. McGee’s teachings.-


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