And now we’ve reached the final installment of reflecting on Song of Songs.
To recap, we’ve seen thus far:
- Awakening Love: Song of Songs 1
- Love’s Benefits: Song of Songs 2
- Love Renewed: Song of Songs 3-4
- Love Refined: Song of Songs 5:1 – 6:3
In this final episode we will see how the bride has been transformed throughout these 8 chapters. She has paradoxically been satisfied in new ways while longing for more than she had before. Those who know Jesus will recognize that feeling: being filled with Christ yet always longing for more.
- The King/Lover gives his fullest description of her beauty: “your feet … thighs … navel … belly … breasts … neck … eyes … nose … head … locks … stature … breasts … breath … mouth …” (7:1-9a). Earlier he could rightly speak of her beauty in Him. Now he can add more as she is becoming more beautiful and maturing more through the process (just as God says that those who are perfect in Him are YET being perfected SIMULTANEOUSLY: Heb. 10:14). This description begins with her feet. Before (in chap. 2) she was unwilling to go toward Him. But a change happened in ch. 5 where she did arise from her bed and walked toward him. Yet he was (temporarily) absent. She kept walking and would not be satisfied until she found Him. Then, upon finding Him, He begins by seeing her feet as beautiful — which also ties to our heart to seek and save the lost with Him (as will be seen later): “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Rom. 10:15 cf. Is. 52:7).
- In response, she wants to satisfy His longings and desires: “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me.” (7:10). Notice the progression: “My lover is mine and I am his” (2:16) –> “I am my lover’s and my lover is mine” (6:3) –> “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me.” (7:10). She increasingly is thinking less of self and more of Him, and how to satisfy Him.
- Now, she is the one telling Him to “Come,” with her (7:11). Specifically, she wants to go with Him to look for new life. In the wake of new life, “There I will give you my love,” (7:12). She recognizes that this new life is the only thing that satisfies Him. She wants to find it in herself and in others, and wherever they find it together, she wants to offer it to Him: “that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised” (2 Cor. 5:15) “present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life” (Rom. 6:13).
- In 8:1-3 she is looking for new ways to more fully express her love for Him. For instance, if they were brother and sister they could have openly kissed (though obviously not in a passionate way) without anyone thinking twice about it. She senses the confines of the state they are currently in. Like the bride of Christ who is betrothed to Him, “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,” (1 Pet. 1:8). In other words, we love what we know of Him. We were given the down-payment of His Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 1:22; 5:5; Eph. 1:13). Yet we still groan to be more completely with Him (see 2 Cor. 5:1-9).
- In 8:5 we have the 2nd mention of one coming from the wilderness. The first time was Solomon on his wedding day (see 3:6). There we only saw Him coming in full power, with a place of rest prepared for His beloved who would sit and yet travel with power with Him (see 3:9-10). Now we have the bride herself joining Solomon as one coming out of the wilderness (just as God’s people, Israel, were also taken by Him out of the wilderness; Exodus – Deut). But notice that she is “leaning on her beloved” (8:5). This is the ultimate maturity. Not greater independence from God, but greater DEPENDENCE on God. We are the “weaker vessel” (1 Pet. 3:7) who must rely on our Husband, Christ to bring us out of the wilderness of sin, Satan, and darkness.
- 8:6 recounts her earlier beginnings with Him (compare 2:3).
- She now has seen the power of Christ’s love toward her, that it is more trustworthy and powerful than any force against her (8:6-7, compared with Rom. 8:38-39).
- As a more mature bride, she is able to counsel others who are also developing in their love (8:8-9).
- It is good to be a wall toward all other lovers, instead of a door (8:8-10). In such a way we keep our spiritual, “marriage bed…undefiled,” (Heb. 13:4).
- She recognizes that ALL of her fruit belongs to Solomon: “you, O Solomon, may have the thousand [pieces of silver],” (8:12a). The worth of the entire vineyard is “a thousand pieces of silver” (v. 11), and she sees that it all belongs to Him.
- She also sees that there is value in others helping to steward and guard our fruit to be kept for Christ alone, and not given to false lovers (think of overseers, or people discipling others): “the keepers of the fruit two hundred,” (8:12b). These are like the ones guarding their little sister (8:8). The bride recognizes the value they play in helping give the full increase to Christ (typified by Solomon). What’s interesting is that when someone takes what doesn’t belong to them, they are supposed to return the full value of it, and, “add a fifth to it,” (Lev. 6:5). In like manner, it seems, the bride is recognizing that her/our vineyard never belonged to us. We trespassed in using it on our own, for our own purposes (compare Song of Songs 1:6). So she, under conviction of this sin, sees that the full value should be given to Him who owns the vineyard, and then adds a fifth to it, for those helping Solomon get the full fruit He is due (compare Lev. 6 – “trespass offering”).
- Finally, He prods her to say one more thing to Him (8:13), and the last words she speaks to Him are the sweetest yet: “Make haste, my beloved,” (8:14). These match, precisely, the last words of the Bride (in cooperation with God’s Spirit) at the end of the Bible: “The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.'” (Rev. 22:17).
Thus, she ends her journey as a matured bride: (A) recognizing the value of those tending to the next generation of brides (8:8 cf. 8:12b), (B) Speaking wisdom to the next generation of brides (8:10), (C) seeing that her Lover/King/Christ deserves the full increase of his fruit in us (8:12), and (D) being fully in love with Him, left longing for more (8:14).
May it be Lord Christ – “Make haste, our beloved…Come.” (Song of Songs 8:14; Rev. 22:17).