WARNING: The following material is intended for mature audiences. While this is a Bible study, the Song of Songs is written with references to sexual themes, intimate textual innuendos, and suggestive figurative language that may not be suitable for some audiences. Viewer discretion is advised. It is recommended that you approach this book from God with pure motives and pray that His will in preserving these song lyrics can be a blessing to you. It is advisable that if you have been enjoying this podcast with young ears present that you refrain from doing so at this time. Wait until you are in a private setting to continue. Thank you for taking this word of caution into consideration as we begin today’s episode.
"I am the rose of Sharon, The lily of the valleys." "Like a lily among the thorns, So is my darling among the maidens."
We have just finished a discussion of the desire that our two lovers are eager to share, in their secluded paradise, under the trees and beautiful scents of nature, away from the civilization of the city and its cultural norms. Chapter 2 begins with our lovers in a duet of praises for each other. This text starts out with the girl referring to herself as a lily of the valley and the rose of Sharon, which may give us the impression that she is praising herself. But she is doing the exact opposite. The text here expresses her insecurities again, as we will explain in this session.
Sharon was a plain near Mt. Caramel and the rose as we know it is not the flower of our text, but rather a crocus. The crocus (pictured above) was held in a poorer light. The lilies were in the valley by the thousands and were common. She is saying that there are many more like her and that she is not one of a kind. While these flowers were beautiful, they again, were not the same flower that we think of today. They would be usually in two clusters of six-petal trumpet-like flowers at the top of one thin stem. Perhaps the girl was fishing for comments from her lover. Even flowers that bloom in great numbers can be beautiful in a solo arrangement. Jesus said, “See how the lilies of the field grow” and then said, “not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these” (Matt. 6:29). One of these flowers is beautiful by themselves and that is exactly what the lover is about to tell her. If indeed Solomon is the man in our story, the beloved actually makes a pretty praiseworthy statement about herself. We will need to verify if that can be confirmed.
The lover responds, “like a lily among the thorns, So is my darling among the maidens” (verse 2). She is fairer to her lover than all of the other maidens. In contrast, they are thorns when compared to his flower. This could also have reference to her upbringing since she was a flower in disguise (forced into work and mistreated), yet now she is his beautifully arrayed bloom and he is delighted with his beloved. This is a common theme in today’s romance stories. A young girl is enslaved to step-parents and their children, to work and serve, until one day her beauty captures the eye of a prince and he takes her away to a place of romance and love, and they live happily ever after.
In these song lyrics, we are capturing the hope of every man and woman in love. While we divulge our own insecurities, we anticipate that our lover will offer heartfelt reassurance that we are one of a kind. We want to know that even though there are thousands upon thousands of other people in the world that have desirable qualities, that in comparison, all others are thorns or thistles. We need to know that we hold the attention of our spouse and that is spite of the natural beauty of another human being that could attempt to distract us, nothing could captivate us like the one that we adore. While there will always be other flowers, we can only pick one.
When we do not feel like we are unique in our relationship with the Lord, we are reminded of Scriptures that tell us just how special we truly are to Him. From the time that we were fashioned in the womb, we were uniquely made by the Lover of our souls and he had the opportunity to form us in such a way that we would be his very own special creation. He cannot fail to love the work of His own hands. He knows the number of hairs that grow on your head, and He is keenly acquainted with every part of your beings. He is wild about you. The Lord cherishes each soul that He has made, and even though Jesus loves us all the same, we understand that there is something special in each of us (gifts, talents, features, etc.) that draws Him near to us when we are willing to draw near to Him.
1. Do you feel that it is wise to express your insecurities to your lover? Is it okay to draw out compliments? Should we offer reassurance to our spouse of what makes them special to us?
2. Can you name any insecurity that you struggle with in your relationship?
3. Why do you think it is important to let our spouse know that they have our whole devotion? How does this compare to our relationship with the Lord? (See Matthew 6:24)
4. When you consider that Solomon was not even clothed like a lily of the field, how does this relate to the care and love of the Lord for His creation?
5. How does it make you feel to know that the Lord of heaven and earth is your eternal love and that you are cherished for who you are?