Updated: Dec 7, 2020
“Where has your beloved gone, O most beautiful among women? Where has your beloved turned, That we may seek him with you?” My beloved has gone down to his garden, To the beds of balsam, To pasture his flock in the gardens And gather lilies. “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine, He who pastures his flock among the lilies.”
After all that the beloved has said about her lover in her dream, the daughters of Jerusalem have been so intrigued to search for the lost lover with the beloved girl. While she is doing nothing more than letting her true feelings be expressed in a dream, we can see how the “daughters” play into the insecurities of the girl's dream. While the daughters of Jerusalem may have been moved to desire to see the lover by the eloquence of the young girls’ description, they may also have wanted to interfere with the relationship. Anytime you have more than two people in a physical relationship you have trouble. That is why the Bible warns us to be faithful to our spouse and avoid sinful sexual encounters outside of marriage. In verse 2 the scene changes so dramatically that we would have to assume she has been dreaming. Only dreams allow such radical changes in plot and scenery in such a rapid way. As soon as the daughters ask about her lover, the beloved is able to speak with her lover as if he is once again in her presence and the search is over. He was never lost in reality…only in her mind and in her nightmarish dreams. She says her lover has been intimate with her (gone down into his garden, into beds of balsam, pasturing his flock, gathering lilies). While the shepherd lover may have had a literal flock and even a garden as reflected in chapter 1, verse 7, “Tell me, you whom my soul loves, Where do you pasture your flock, Where do you have it lie down at noon? For why should I be like one who veils herself Beside the flocks of your companions?” This is for certain a poetic way of mentioning the love that they often share. In Song of Songs 4:12-5:1, we see this imagery that she is the garden that he enters and finds all these wonderful pleasures in, “A garden locked is my sister, my bride, A rock garden locked, a spring sealed up. Your shoots are an orchard of pomegranates With choice fruits, henna with nard plants, Nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, With all the trees of frankincense, Myrrh, and aloes, along with all the finest spices. You are a garden spring, A well of freshwater, And streams flowing from Lebanon.” “Awake, O north wind, And come, wind of the south Make my garden breathe out fragrance, Let its spices be wafted abroad. May my beloved come into his garden And eat its choice fruits!” “I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride; I have gathered my myrrh along with my balsam. I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey; I have drunk my wine and my milk. Eat, friends; Drink and [k]imbibe deeply, O lovers.”
She mentions the commitment that they have to one another by saying, “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine”. Notice the reversed order from 2:16, which stated, “My beloved is mine, and I am his; He pastures his flock among the lilies.” The order has not been viewed with great significance other than proving that this is a poetic song.
While some have connected Solomon’s harem to the plural word usage in 6:2, we must see that this would create confusion regarding his sincere love for her and her alone. While having multiple wives became a practice among many ancients even in the Bible, Jesus points us to look back at Eden where there were one man and one woman for life in the covenant of marriage.
While Moses permitted divorce, allowing certain reasons for a certificate to be given, we are taught in the word of God that the only reasons for divorce are death which naturally separates two hearts, but also infidelity that leads to sexual immorality. In Matthew 19:1-9 we find the words of our Lord, “Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” They *said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?” He *said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning, it has not been this way. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” The disciples *said to Him, “If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.” But He said to them, “Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.”
It was the apostle Paul who enjoined to this that death could end the covenantal responsibility when a spouse dies. In Romans 7:2-3 we find, “For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man.” Another practice that we find in the Bible was polygamy, which was entertained by many in the Old Testament, yet it is not the ideal relationship that God expects from us today. We are told, let each man have his own wife and each woman have her own husband. The two become one flesh in marriage and enjoy an exclusive love. This is a biblical standard that needs to be restored in our culture. What we find instead is that people are in a gender identity crisis (not just male and female the way God created us either), entering into gross homosexual behavior and violating the covenant of marriage in countless shameful ways by flippantly entering into divorce and stepping out into adulterous practices. Listen, God established the institution of marriage. If you don’t respect the laws governing that covenant relationship, don’t enter into marriage. It is a disgrace for us to vow before God to be true to our spouse for life and then violate His will for that union.
SPIRITUAL APPLICATION: Some seekers are sincere, while others will try to interfere with our relationships with the Lord. There are some who want to downplay our love for Christ, but others will try to convince us that we are foolish. There are many who will try to make us feel insecure in our relationship with the Lord. We hope for an intimate relationship with Christ and just as we begin to doubt that He is near us, we are quickly reminded that by diligently seeking Him and drawing near to Him, that He draws near to us and rewards our search with spiritual love.
You belong to your beloved spouse and they belong to you. This is the only way that we will develop healthy, faithful marriages. Put away doubts and fears of infidelity by making this commitment to one another in your home.
QUESTIONS: 1. What can happen in your relationship with your lover that plays on your insecurities? 2. How would you compare the physical relationship that we have in marriage with the relationship that we have in Christ? What does the Lord do to express spiritual intimacy? 3. If you could put into lyrical expression the love of Jesus for His bride, what would you say? 4. Do you think it is easier to convince others of how much the Lord means to you in words or, in our actions? While the gospel about Jesus is preached, do you think it is important to show passion and pursuit of the Lord in accompanying our message?
5. How does this relate to our love relationship with the love of our life?
This concludes our episode for today. If you enjoyed the message, you can join me next time in a study of Song of Songs 6:4-10 in a message titled, “Beauty That Is Over All”.