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.
SESSION ONE: Our Song
1:1 “The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s."
CYCLE ONE - Introduction / Title When a couple falls in love they will often adopt a modern song that they claim is “our song”. Something special about the words represents their love. What is your song? When did you start sharing it together? What is it about that song that means something to you and your spouse? For me and my wife, we selected the song by Rascall Flatts, "Bless the Broken Road". In this song, lead singer Gary LeVox sings the following words: "I set out on a narrow way, many years ago Hoping I would find true love along the broken road But I got lost a time or two Wiped my brow and kept pushing through I couldn't see how every sign pointed straight to you Every long lost dream led me to where you are Others who broke my heart, they were like northern stars Pointing me on my way into your loving arms This much I know is true That God blessed the broken road That led me straight to you Yes, He did! I think about the years I spent, just passing through I'd like to have the time I lost, and give it back to you But you just smile and take my hand You've been there, you understand It's all part of a grander plan that is coming true But now I'm just rolling home, into my lover's arms This much I know is true That God blessed the broken road That led me straight to you That God blessed the broken road That led me straight to you." These words are special to our marriage for a number of reasons, which are not necessary to share now because the meaning that we share together is not the main point of this session. The words of this country hit were co-written by Marcus Hummon, Bobby Boyd and Jeff Hanna in 1994. This song was recorded by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band that year, and then in 1995, by one of the co-writers on his personal album. To the expressed regret of the author, in spite of recording these words and putting them to music, it did not have much recognition or success until over 10 years later. When Rascal Flatts recorded this song in 2005, it was #1 on the Billboard Country Music charts and won a Grammy Award for the best country song. The words were worthy of honor and consideration in 1994 but did not make an impact until they were produced by an artist that could get the lyrics in front of the crowds. Now, this song is sung by the masses when it comes on the radio because everyone knows the tune and admires the lyrics. I believe this is true of the Song of Songs. It is worthy of a worldwide sharing and is already the best Song by designation. We just need to get the message out to as many people as possible, so that the Divine author gets the accolades, and we as the performers reap the awards of proclaiming and becoming the participants in the story of love. No matter where you are when you hear the familiar words of your favorite love song, and the music that drives the tune, they bring back memories, stir up a renewed love, and have even led couples to start dancing together or at least holding one another, singing each word softly. Above all else, they want to share in the moments that made that song special to them, when they claimed it as their very own. Even if you have a song that you treasure with your spouse, I assure you that after this study of the Song of Songs, that you will esteem and hold in high regard another set of lyrics together. This Song is Divine! Love Awakening was written for everyone that knows that there is a love to be shared that is new, thriving, and full of life. This is what we refer to as love fully awake. While many of us are very much in love with our covenant partners, we tend to allow the pleasure of that love to subside over time. This is not because we no longer have a love for our life-long partner, but because we let love go back to sleep, or in some cases take a period of complete hibernation away from the active investment of that love. It is time to wake up and enjoy the pleasures that God intended for you to share in your marriage. King Solomon, wrote many songs (I Kings 4:32). He has 1005 songs attributed to his name, but many have stated that this song is what made him well known as an artist. This is what put Solomon on the #1 chart list. Others have shared that this could have been a Song written for Solomon and his new wife and that it was attributed to Solomon as a record of the romantic love that he shared with his spouse as they are captured from the onset of the courting relationship to the marriage bed, and beyond. In my estimation, this is the Song written for every man and woman in love and not by or specifically for Solomon at all. However, you view the lyrics, songwriting in the ancient Hebrew language was a beautiful art form. Most importantly, this song was inspired by God and is included in the Canon of Scripture, so that we would learn the wisdom of God on how a union between a husband and a wife should be fulfilling and satisfying each and every day. Sing it aloud in your heart, and bring its lyrics to life, through love! From the dawn of creation, God spoke into existence every living thing. I get the picture that God was using lyrics to create. One fact that we know for certain, is that God spoke, "Let there be...", and it was so. Specifically, with the institution of marriage, God intended for the man and his wife to be close and intimate with one another. The Garden of Eden is very similar to the plot of the Song of Songs. Most of its scenes unfold in God's creation among the trees of a garden or out in an open range of planted fields with wild animals, rivers, hills, and valleys. From Genesis chapter 1 we get the idea that God made man and woman together. The Genesis 1 account ends by saying that all of creation was very good (Genesis 1:31). We learn that Genesis 2 is a parallel account to Genesis 1 and in it, we are told there was a gap between the creation of man and woman, among other details. In that 2nd chapter, we learn that the only feature that was not good about the creation of all things was that man was alone. There was a period where God made all living beings with a comparable mate, but for man, there was no created being like him. The woman was not a part of creation from the beginning. God said that it was not good for the man to be alone and God set in motion a plan to make a helper suitable or comparable to him. In the context of Genesis 2:18-24 the text states, “So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept.” The first time that God woke Adam up, there was no helper for him. Now God puts Adam to sleep for a Divine surgery and with a rib that God removed from his side, he made a partner for Adam. He woke them up and brought his newest creation to the man and Adam’s response says it all, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” Something woke up in Adam that he had no experience before with a being on the earth, and it was love. God wraps up this scene by telling us something important, “For this reason, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” This is how the second chapter of Genesis, the first book in the Bible, comes to a close. At weddings we spend a great deal of time reiterating the parts of this passage about how a man should leave home and cleave to his wife, becoming one flesh with her. Yet, there is one part of this text that is rarely researched. We see that the man and his wife were naked and were not at all ashamed. Nakedness is only shameful because of sin. Prior to eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which God commanded them not to eat, Adam and his wife, Eve, could roam the Garden of Eden completely naked. It was the original nudist colony but they did not know the difference, because that was all that they had experienced. Their desire was for each other. But we also learn that the fruit that they were commanded not to eat was desirable and eventually they gave in and ate. After sin, they were found hidden in the garden behind the trees. They were not merely hiding from God, who knew exactly where they were prior to him calling out for them, but they also hid from one another. They knew that they were naked. When God asked them who told them that they were naked, it was obvious that they had gained this knowledge through the forbidden tree. If there is an embarrassment for you to be naked in front of your spouse, it is due to the lasting effects of sin and forgetting God's original purpose for marriage. God wanted a man and a woman to marry, have a pleasurable fulfillment with one another as they expressed their love, becoming one flesh. Since clothing was out of the question, they had full access to one another. It was a desire that led the first man and woman to eat of the tree of which they were commanded, that in the day that they would eat of it, they would die. The desire was not the sin, but the partaking of the forbidden fruit, that was sinful. The text tells us that Eden was filled with everything that man needed to thrive and enjoy the pleasures of life. Once a woman was brought to the man, they were able to desire and please one another while using the provisions that God gave them to flourish. No satiation was left unfed by God and it was up to Adam and Eve to simply follow God's decree. When the first man and woman were told that the tree would make them like God, knowing good and evil, they desired its fruit to make them wise to this new level of knowledge. They both ate and as a result were separated from God and eventually were put out of the Garden of Eden with curses on their future life on earth. The man would work the ground and sweat profusely having to deal with thorns and thistles, while the woman would have increased pain in birthing children. From that point forward her desire would be for her husband. The innocence of Eden was now guarded by an angel with a flaming sword to keep them from entering again. I explain all of this to share a few insights. Heaven is the only other place where we will once again have access to the Tree of Life and a home with God. Remember that desire is not wrong, but controlling those desires to the obedience of God is necessary if we want to go to heaven someday. There will be many desires that we have in this life that must be avoided because once we give in to them we would be violating the commands of God. If we learn anything from the Song of Songs, we will see the Divine way that lovers should interact. If we incorporate the spirit of these lovers into our marriage, we get a foretaste of heaven, but in reality we get to revisit Eden and understand how God wanted us to be intimate with our spouse. Listen to the Song!
It should be stated at the onset that there was no mention of children in the Garden of Eden, when the man and his wife were first brought together, only that God wanted man and his wife to become one flesh in a sexual union, purely for their pleasure and the fulfillment of their desires. We will find this to be true of the Song of Songs. In all of its pleasurable scenes, there will never be one mention of the necessity to produce offspring. Children are absent from the book apart from the fact that we are viewing two young lovers. While having children, "being fruitful and multiplying", was a part of the marital relationship, there is nothing in the text to indicate that this "one flesh" union was only for the purpose of procreation. We know eventually in Genesis 4 the chapter begins, "Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived..." While children are a blessing (heritage) from the Lord (See Gen 4:1; Psalm 127:3-5), there is no telling how much time passed where Adam and Eve simply enjoyed marital love, prior to conceiving Cain, then Abel, and eventually Seth, among other brothers and sisters. Marriage is first for pleasing our spouse and enjoying them, naked and unashamed. While in our modern-day, nakedness still carries with it the shame of the Genesis account, when we marry, we should know that God intended for us to be naked and free of judgment, without poor self-esteem, having to cover up before our spouse. While Adam and Eve used leaves to cover themselves, God in a redemptive act stripped them naked again (revealed their sin) and then clothed them with animal skins as a sign of redemption. The first animal sacrifice was made and blood was shed for their atonement. While the consequences of sin remained, a price was paid for their sin. It is time to break free and we can no longer allow Satan to keep us in the chains of sin, but to use the freedom given to us by God to explore the bedroom like our own private Garden of Eden sharing intimacy with our spouse. The Song of Songs was written and the stage is set in a garden so that we get to revisit the purity of God's original plan for the man and his wife to be naked and unashamed in Eden. Rejoice in the Song of Songs as it returns us to the lyrics that God spoke in the creation and the one-flesh union between lovers, wherein we also get a taste of heaven. Anytime that we walk in accordance with God's will, we also reap the benefit of having God walk with us in the cool of the day, where instead of reprimanding us, He is rejoicing over you in joyful song. This is "Our Song"! SPIRITUAL APPLICATION: The Bible paints a picture of the Lord rejoicing over His people with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). God sings or shouts with joy over you and your marriage when you follow His commands! Let that sink in! It is clear that singing is an art form that started in creation, as God spoke into existence every living thing with such a methodical and ordered poetry. Then after making us, He issues a set of Divine ordinances. When we obey them, He is pleased. We can please God! But singing continues from the foundation of the world into heaven where there are praises that are shouted by the multitudes to the Creator as a result of His Divine love (Revelation 15:1-4). We sing to each other, then! While man and God have a spiritual romance that is comparable to a platonic love (strictly spiritual and emotional), the relationship that God designed to mirror his passion for mankind, is reflected in allowing us to experience a companionship for mutual fleshly fulfillment, that illustrates what spiritually occurs between us and our Maker, in our spirit. The Lord through His word reveals His love for all mankind, and we find spiritual wholeness when we allow His word to be planted in our hearts and it conceives and we become children of God. We become one spirit with the Lord at this point in a spiritual betrothal. This is our promised hope, that we are espoused to Christ until the day when all of our spiritual passions and desires are made a reality in heaven, where we enter into our everlasting union with the Lord. The love that you share on this earth with your spouse, is to be a model of the Divine passion that God has for you. In a marriage, a couple is symbolically singing a song that proclaims lyrics to a world that is aching to hear the chart that God is using to make sense out of love, desire, and passion on this earth. QUESTIONS: 1. What is it about poetry or song lyrics that cause lovers to be inspired to pursue love?
2. Why do you think that God gave us this Song to learn about the passions and desires of love?
3. With glimpses of Eden in the Song of Songs, what do you think are the barriers to getting back to the place where we can be naked and unashamed with our spouse?
4. What significance do you take from God rejoicing over you with singing as one of His own special people?
5. What benefit do you feel can be gained from being "engaged" or espoused to Christ, while for the moment we await our wedding day and are engaged in an earthly marriage?
6. Do you see marriage as a way to proclaim to the world, the love of the Lord? Why or why not?
7. Take a moment to reflect on the words of the song that you share with your spouse? Discuss why those lyrics mean something to you.