I opened my email this morning and was chagrined to see that today’s Old Testament selection was the first two chapters of Song of Solomon. I know it is probably considered unseemly to admit to not liking a book of the Bible, but it is true all the same. I do not like Song of Solomon.
First of all, I am not your typical woman. I am not a fan of the romance genre in any capacity. It is entirely unappealing to me. In the positive column, this is actually a blessing as it renders me somewhat immune to all of the ‘Jesus is my boyfriend’ nonsense that is marketed to women in the church today.
“How beautiful you are, my darling, How beautiful you are! Your eyes are like doves behind your veil; Your hair is like a flock of goats That have descended from Mount Gilead” (Song of Solomon 4:1). It is a little hard to relate to. I mean, if my husband told me my hair looked like a flock of goats, it wouldn’t be a compliment. Frankly, after being in bed for 6 weeks more or less, it is an accurate description!
Preferences aside, my bigger issue is taking marital advice from someone who violated God’s design for marriage 999 times. *insert unamused expression here*
My objections notwithstanding, God decided to use King Solomon to pen this book, and it is a fool’s errand to disagree with God. I fully acknowledge and submit to His sovereignty in all things so that leaves me wondering why. What is the point of Song of Solomon, and why did He pick a notorious violator of the marriage covenant to write it?
Contrary to some theologians out there, I do not believe Song of Solomon is a picture of Christ and His Church. I believe it is a picture of Biblical marriage, the way God intended it to be. God has set very definite parameters for sexual love and that is between a husband and wife. But knowing that we are sinful creatures who are prone to be legalistic as well as lawless, it seems reasonable that Song of Solomon is included in the canon to assure us that sexual expression within a marriage is healthy and good.
In regards to sexuality, people seem to swing to one extreme or another. There are those who want to abuse the gift by going against the boundaries God has set; likewise there are those who see sex in all forms as sinful. Paul had to address this in the Corinthian church where new Christians who came out of the pagan lifestyle were so sensitive to leaving their former sinful lives behind that they had a hard time believing that sex within marriage was good. It reminded them too much of their sinful sexual escapades prior to salvation. God in His wisdom knew this would be the case, and therefore provided us with a beautiful picture of sexual union within marriage in the book of Song of Solomon.
The other reason that I can see for Song of Solomon is a warning. Solomon was blessed by God more than any other King in history. He was given wisdom and wealth in excess. He was chosen to pen several books of the Bible. And yet, he fell into grievous sin. It is a warning to all believers: just because you have been blessed by God, and even though you may be currently obedient to Him in all areas of your life does not mean that you have it mastered. Solomon was allowed to write the book showcasing Biblical marriage and then he went on to sin 999 times against God and his first wife. Woe to you…
GotQuestions put it well in an article:
It is never God’s will that anyone sin, but He does allow us to make our own choices. The story of Solomon is a powerful lesson for us that it does not pay to disobey. It is not enough to start well; we must seek God’s grace to finish well, too. Life without God is a dead-end street. Solomon thought that having 1,000 wives and concubines would provide happiness, but whatever pleasure he derived was not worth the price he paid. As a wiser Solomon said, “God will bring every deed into judgment” (Ecclesiastes 12:14).
It is also an encouragement. Praise the Lord that we have Jesus as a perfect stand in of righteousness for us! We may not commit adultery 999 times, but we all sin every day. Thankfully our salvation does not rely on our perfection because none of us would be saved. Solomon sinned big time. But God still used him, and He can use you too.