3

Because of the fragrance of your good ointments, Your name is ointment poured forth; Therefore the virgins love you. Song of Songs 1:3 NKJV

I have written about the fact that God reveals Himself by His name throughout the scriptures. At the bottom of this post are some links to other posts going through some of the Old and New Testament Names of God and what they reveal about Him.

But today I want to share 2 things from other sources about that Name that is "as ointment poured forth."

My previous Pastor, Chet Klope, and I were chatting about the book Les Misérables by Victor Hugo a while back. It is one of his favorite books of all time, and I had never read it. My son had given me a 3 month audible.com subscription for Father’s day, so I got it in my head to download the audio book and give it a listen.Les Mis

Just a few chapters in I ran across this:

"Oh, you who are!

"Ecclesiastes calls you the All-powerful; the Maccabees call you the Creator; the Epistle to the Ephesians calls you liberty; Baruch calls you Immensity; the Psalms call you Wisdom and Truth; John calls you Light; the Books of Kings call you Lord; Exodus calls you Providence; Leviticus, Sanctity; Esdras, Justice; the creation calls you God; man calls you Father; but Solomon calls you Compassion, and that is the most beautiful of all your names."

Victor Hugo. Les Misérables (Kindle Locations 642-645).

Isn’t that wonderful? Chet told me that I would hear the gospel on every page, and I am so in love with the Bishop today. It is now one of my favorite books of all time too!

This short passage made me think again of the sermon I have somewhere on audio cassette. I know - old school, right? It's Oral Roberts preaching a sermon called the 4th man. Today I found a website that had a transcript of a portion of the message that thrills me every time I hear it.

Check this out:


Who Is The Fourth Man?

Oral Roberts Sermon (c. 1956)

Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

Who is the Fourth Man?

I tell you that…

In Genesis He is the Seed of the Woman.

In Exodus He is the Passover Lamb.

In Leviticus He is our High Priest.

In Numbers He is the Pillar of Cloud by day and the Pillar of Fire by night.

In Deuteronomy He is the Prophet like unto Moses.

In Joshua He is the Captain of our Salvation.

In Judges He is our Judge and Lawgiver.

In Ruth He is our Kinsman Redeemer.

In I and II Samuel He is our Trusted Prophet.

In I and II Kings and I and II Chronicles He is our Reigning King.

In Ezra He is our Faithful Scribe.

In Nehemiah He is the Rebuilder of the Broken Down Walls of our human life.

In Esther He is our Mordecai.

In Job He is our Dayspring from on high and our Ever-Living Redeemer.

In Psalms He is the Lord our Shepherd.

In Proverbs and Ecclesiastes He is our Wisdom.

In the Song of Solomon He is our Lover and the Bridegroom.

In Isaiah He is the Prince of Peace.

In Jeremiah He is the Righteous Branch.

In Lamentations He is the Weeping Prophet.

In Ezekiel He is the Wonderful Four-Faced Man.

In Daniel He is the Fourth Man in the burning fiery furnace.

Who is the Fourth Man?

In Hosea He is the Faithful Husband, forever married to the backslider.

In Joel He is the Baptizer with the Holy Ghost and Fire.

In Amos He is our Burden-Bearer.

In Obadiah He is the Mighty to Save.

In Jonah He is our Great Foreign Missionary.

In Micah He is the Messenger of Beautiful Feet carrying the Gospel.

In Nahum He is the Avenger of God's Elect.

In Habakkuk He is God's Evangelist, crying, "Revive thy work in the midst of the years."

In Zephaniah He is the Savior.

In Haggai He is the Restorer of God's Lost Heritage.

In Zechariah He is the Fountain Opened in the House of David for sin and uncleanness.

And in Malachi He is the Sun of Righteousness, rising with healing in His wings.

Who is the Fourth Man?

In Matthew He is the Messiah.

In Mark He is the Wonder-worker.

In Luke He is the Son of Man.

In John He is the Son of God.

In Acts He is the Holy Spirit.

In Romans He is our Justifier.

In Corinthians He is the Gifts of the Spirit.

In Galatians He is the Redeemer from the curse of the law.

In Ephesians He is the Christ of Unsearchable Riches.

In Philippians He is the God Who Supplies All Our Needs.

In Colossians He is the Godhead Bodily.

In I and II Thessalonians He is our Soon-coming King.

In I and II Timothy He is our Mediator between God and Man.

In Titus He is our Faithful Pastor.

In Philemon He is a Friend that sticketh closer than a Brother.

In Hebrews He is the Blood of the Everlasting Covenant.

In James He is the Great Physician.

In I and II Peter He is the Chief Shepherd who soon shall appear with a crown of unfading glory.

In I, II, and III John He is Everlasting Love.

In Jude He is the Lord Coming with Ten Thousands of His Saints.

And in Revelation He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

Who is the Fourth Man?

He's Abel's sacrifice. He's Noah's rainbow. He's Abraham's ram. He's Isaac's well, Jacob's ladder, Issachar's burden, Judah's scepter, Samuel's horn of oil, David's slingshot, Hezekiah's extension of life, Isaiah's man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. He's Peter's healing shadow. He's Paul's mighty wonders and miracles. He's John's pearly white city. He's the pearl of great price. He's a rock in a weary land. He's the prince of Peace and the Government of our life is upon His shoulder.

Who is the Fourth Man?

He's the root system of our life. The source of your total supply. The one who is able to deliver you from the flames of human life. The one who enables you to live by your faith and empowers you to obey Him and gives you the strength to refuse to compromise. He's the restorer of your total life. The healer from the crown of your head to the soles of your feet. The one who enables you to survive. He's the saying one, who created you in His image, after His likeness, who says we are Whosoevers, receiving Whatsoever we say. He's the one who resides in your heart. The one at the point of your needs. The one that's closer to you than your breath. He bears no greater title than a Friend of Sinners. The Friend of the now. He's wrapped in your spirit, in your soul, in your body, and in your circumstances of life around you everywhere. He's here in the now. He is the one of signs, wonders, many mighty miracles, and marvelous works. There is no other that can deliver after this sort.

Who is the Fourth Man?

I tell you…He is the God I serve. The Written Word of God manifested in the Flesh and Spirit. He's JESUS CHRIST, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS! He's my Savior, my Lord

I found this here: http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/donniemcclurkin2/message/31445

There is more to the sermon before and after, but this so ministers to my soul.

If you want to hear a recording of the whole sermon, I found it on YouTube. This is only a small portion right at the close of the message. It's a real faith builder of a sermon! The portion above is found at about 37 minutes.

Next week will open up why ointment and perfume, but for today – just soak in the wonderful fragrance of His Name!

See you next week

Ben

Post Script:

The first time through Song of Songs, one reader, Debbie, left this video in the comments, and I felt it needed to be added for keeps here -


Some other posts about His Name:

Thy Name, Part 1

Thy Name,  8 (well 9) Old Testament names of God 

Thy Name, 7 (well 8) New Testament names of God

Les Mis books photo credit: mgstanton via photopin cc

2

For your love is better than wine. - Song of Songs 1:2b NASB

How so?

How is the love of the this Shepard King better than wine?

Wine pretends to be a provider. It offers to provide joy, peace, comfort, hope, escape. But it’s provision is brief and fleeting. Its refreshing doesn’t last past the night, and in the morning what it supplied is gone, and what’s left is deeper need.

By contrast, the Lord’s love is enduring, His provision is real and lasting. The provision we receive from Jehovah Jireh supplies felt needs as well as real needs we may not even know we have, with an everlasting supply.

The joy that comes through relationship with the Lord is not dependent on circumstances.

The peace given by the Prince of Peace is incomprehensible, a peace that passes understanding.

The comfort of the Lord is not a pat on the hand and a sympathetic hug. The Lord’s comfort comes to us in the form of the Holy Spirit. He comes beside us and brings us strength for the day and wisdom to choose for tomorrow. Where wine may calm us with a false peace and comfort, that is gone in the morning, the Spirit, the Comforter, walks with us through the valley of death and provides peace and hope each step of the way.

The escape wine offers simply delays or masks the circumstances we want to flee. In the Spirit, there is a courage that faces trouble with hope based on the sure knowledge that the Lord has a plan for us and a way has been made.

Think of Jesus getting on a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee. In the midst of a life-threatening storm, he sleeps, knowing His Father’s will awaited on the other side of the lake. The assurance we have as we follow Him tells us our end is in His hands, and so, is sure.

By His love, we learn to love in like manner. His love restores our relationships and gives us the ability to love even our enemies.

His love is better than wine at every turn.

Thanks for coming by,

See you again soon,

Ben

3

For your love is better than wine. Song of Songs 1:2b NASB

What does wine say to you?

  • Luxury?
  • Desire?
  • Passion?
  • Intoxication?
  • Longing?

Our humble maiden is struck with all of this.

She looks at this Shepherd King and this lowly maiden from a nearby village is drawn into the thoughts of luxury, of the lush life, of a life with the man of her dreams in royal robes and plush surroundings.

She sees his rugged handsome beauty and she wants to spend time in His arms.

One look as He passes by stirs passion deep within her.

She imagines that drinking deeply of the scent of Him would surely intoxicate her.

She has a deep longing for intimacy with this man!

You know, for Christians our longings can be tricky. We feel like passion is a problem. We try to suppress our longings—to bury them. For centuries, longings of any kind have been frowned upon in the Christian world.

We find ourselves expressing our longings in ways that are destructive, and so we begin to repent not only for the sin but for the longings and desires themselves.

This is a problem since God created these longings and built them into who we are. They are deep inside, and if we live life suppressing our longings and passions, we end up denying the very life God intended us to live, and the wonderful things He intended us to feel and experience.

Mike Bickel and Deborah Hiebert wrote a book called “The Seven Longings of the Human Heart” where they detail 7 longings (there may be more, but this book lists 7) in every human.

  • A longing to be fascinated
  • A longing to possess and feel beautiful
  • A longing to be great and successful
  • A longing to know intimacy without shame
  • A longing for assurance of being enjoyed
  • A longing to be wholehearted and passionate
  • A longing to make deep and lasting impact

These longings are not part of out sin nature, they are built-in by our creator. They require attention and management, but not necessarily suppression.

In fact, God’s intends fulfillment for each these completely in your life, both here and in eternity.

Don’t forget, this is the God who put in the pen of David

“Thou wilt make known to me the path of life; In Thy presence is fulness of joy; In Thy right hand there are pleasures forever.”(Psalm 16:11 NASB)

This is from the God who created pleasure. What sorts of deep passionate pleasures await us in heaven. I suspect it is more than we could ever think or imagine.

Personally, I love my life here, but I can’t wait.

Fact is, God’s intention is for us to walk in a great measure of this pleasure and wonder here and now, and as we unfold this Song we will see the joy and fulfillment of partnering with the One who created us, and designed us, and bought us, and loves us all to crazy!

Come on back next week!

See you then,

Ben

Wine photo credit: keeva999 (on vacation) via photopin cc

2


Since the invention of the kiss there have been five kisses that were rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind. The End. ~ Granpa (Peter Falk) – The Princess Bride

Ah, the Kiss – Do you remember when Jacob kissed Rachel? Check this out – I bet we will see this on Hallmark Movie night in Heaven.

Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted his voice and wept. (Gen 29:11 NASB)

In Psalm 2 we are told:

Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him. (Psalm 2:12 NIV)

Now to the Song.

Here, in the song, we are introduced to the voice of the maiden. We'll learn much about her in coming weeks. But our first glimpse of her tells us she is smitten. A man, familiar perhaps and a part of her daily life, has caught her passion. She wants to know him, but they are just acquaintances. They pass one another in the village square but have not connected in any real way. You might say she is an admirer of this Shepherd King.

The opening line belongs to the maiden.

May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! - Song of Songs 1:2)

The approach we're taking to this wonderful song places us squarely in the place of a maiden crying out for a kiss from the mouth from her would be lover. I told you that the maiden represents each of us as passionate believers. Our walk of passion begins right here, with a desire for kisses from the mouth of the Lord Jesus. This may seem strange if you are a man, but stay with me here.

Let's take a slight liberty with words here, to help us understand the heart of the Spirit in these words.  May He kiss me with the kisses of His Word. There—I know I feel better already.

We are going to see in this Song dozens, maybe hundreds, of word pictures, and Here's our first.

Since, for our purposes we are going to consider this Shepherd King to be Jesus, a kiss from His mouth – would be His Word.

When we look at the mouth of the Lord in the scripture we are usually looking at His Word and His speech. For example

  • …For the mouth of the LORD has spoken. (Isaiah 1:20, 40:5, 58:14 NIV)
  • Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it. (Jeremiah 1:12 NASB)

The Word of God is food to us, bread, the bread of life.

  • In Matthew 4:3,4 Jesus tells us "man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord."
  • In Matthew 6:11, in the Lord’s prayer, Jesus asks God to give us each day our daily bread.
  • God gives us bread not stone as a good Father in Matt 7:9.
  • Matthew 26 shows us that the broken body of Jesus is the broken bread of communion.
  • John tells us that Jesus is the Word of God made flesh.
  • We understand that healing is the children’s bread from Mark 7:27.

When I speak of the Word of God, what comes to mind may be a leather bound stack of paper beside your reading chair, or perhaps the app on your communication device. Maybe you think of your pastor delivering a sermon.

But God speaks to—kisses—us in so many ways today. First and foremost he speaks to us through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus tells us His words are spirit and life. This is the kiss I'm looking for. The kiss of the voice of Jesus through Holy Spirit leading and guiding, nudging and prodding.

Kiss me with the kisses of Your word!

This divine kiss speaks of the favor, blessing, salvation, healing and reconciliation offered to us freely in this day of His favor and grace. All that is available to any man by faith through Word of God (a.k.a. Jesus.)

Hallelujah - that is some kiss!

Join me in asking the Father for the divine kiss from the mouth of Jesus.

Kiss me with the kisses of your Word.

Thanks for joining me today.

Come back soon.

Ben

photo credit: Sarah Korf via photo pin cc

As I promised – today we start in earnest.

The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's. - Song of Songs 1:1

Song of Songs

At first glance, it seems as though we are looking at the title and author. Well—yes and no.

Check out the word pattern—Song of Songs. Does that remind you of anything? George Frederick Handel used John's words when he wrote his own Song of Songs, the Hallelujah Chorus—King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:6)

King of Kings—the high King of heaven

Lord of Lords—the one Master of all.

Clearly, 'Song of Songs' doesn't say good song. It's more—much more.

This Song isn't a good song and it's not a great song, it's the pinnacle of all songs.

Hey—even if it was Solomon’s best work—and he wrote 1005 songs, (1 Kings 4:32) it would be amazing. (I was impressed when I heard that Fanny Crosby of  “Blessed Assurance” fame wrote 80 hymns.)

NO—this is THE SONG of ALL SONGS. 

An interesting contrast here – just 7 verses before the Song of Songs in another of Solomon’s writings, Ecclesiastes, we have this pattern again:

"Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher, "all is vanity!" - Ecclesiastes 12:8

…which is Solomon’s

So, who is Solomon? You can read up on him on your own. His story is the first 11 chapters of 1 Kings. For our purposes, here is what we need to know.

  • He was the third king of Israel.
  • He was the son of David (of giant killing fame) and Bathsheba (of roof bathing fame)
  • He ruled Israel in its best and most glorious days. He reigned for 40 years of peace and prosperity. Israel extended its borders without a day of war.
  • Oh, did I mention he had 300 wives and 700 concubines?
  • He amassed riches unequaled in history, the stuff of legends and Hollywood extravaganzas.
  • Perhaps most notably, he was given a greater measure of wisdom than any man before or since.

Even as a young man, when given the opportunity to ask the Lord for anything, he didn't choose long life, or riches, or even victory over his enemy. He asked the Lord for the ability to rule his people well—for wisdom.

It was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing.

God said to him, "Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself discernment to understand justice, behold, I have done according to your words.

Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you. I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there will not be any among the kings like you all your days.

If you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and commandments, as your father David walked, then I will prolong your days." - 1 Kings 3:10-14 NASB

And so we embark upon a journey to discover the greatest song ever written by the wisest man who ever lived. Are you ready?

Come back next week and we will take a look at a Kiss that will rock your world.

Thanks so much for reading today.

Ben

photo credit: vlaaDnet via photo pin cc

One last bit of background before we jump into the verse by verse (mostly) look at the Song.

The Song is a short book as compared to other books like Genesis with its 50 chapters or Isaiah with its 66. It is made up of 8 chapters and a total of 117 verses. It would not be a difficult matter to memorize the entire song.

In this short song, there are 470 unique words used by the author.

  • 47 of these words (fully 10%) are not found anywhere else scripture.
  • 51 are used 5 times or less outside of the Song.
  • 45 are used 6 – 10 times.
  • 27 are used 11-20 times.

That leaves us with 300 common words.

Since this is an ancient language, many of these unique words are not found outside the Song either. For this reason, much of what we understand about this work must be derived by context and interpretation.

As striking as these unique words that fill the book, perhaps more strange is what is missing. There is no mention of God in the Song or any of the normal names for God.  But that is not all. It also does not contain any of the major religious words of the Old Testament, such as glory, mercy-seat, throne, ark, ram, ox, bull, altar, offering, evil, law, faithful, truth, atonement, sin, honor, bless, prophet, save and many more. This Song stands distinct from all other literature in the canon of scripture. This uniqueness tends to explain why there are so many different ways people look at this song, and why we need to keep from being too dogmatic about our approach to it.[i]

My Goals:

  • Each one who reads this blog will take the Song into their own prayer life.
  • We would identify ourselves in the Song.
  • We would each see and sense God’s passion for us.
  • We would each see God’s passion for every believer.
  • Each of us will take steps toward greater spiritual maturity. I would define this as, a passion for working with Christ in His ministry toward others.

Come back next week as we start in earnest to look at this wonderful Song of Songs.


[i] The Song of Solomon – an Introduction and Commentary – G. Lloyd Carr – Intervarsity Press – 1984 pp 41-42

BenHeadshotThanks for reading today.

Come back next week.

See you next week.

Ben

4

This beautiful 8 chapter love song known as the Song of Solomon or the Song of Songs can be interpreted in various ways. Many of these approaches hold great value. No single point of view captures all that the Song has to offer. Since the song's writing about 3,000 years ago, there have been more commentaries written about the Song that any other book of the Bible save Romans. So there are a great number of ways to approach this book and they vary greatly.

It's as though the Song were a beautiful diamond cut by a master jeweler. Each time you look at this masterwork from a different angle, you discover a new facet of its beauty.

These many interpretations fall into two major categories.

Natural interpretation

The natural interpretation sees the song as an actual account based on a historical relationship. For instance:

  1. A Shulamite maiden and King Solomon (perhaps his first love)
  2. A Shulamite maiden, her shepherd lover and King Solomon–in this case, Solomon is the antagonist.

Allegorical interpretation

In the allegorical interpretation, the characters in the story are fictional representatives of real people and places. This is by far the more common way to interpret the song. The Allegorical comes in many flavors.

Hebrew commentators approach the Song in many ways. Here are a few of the more common views:

  1. God and the Messiah
  2. God and Israel
  3. Messiah and Israel
  4. Torah and Messiah
  5. Torah and Israel

Over the centuries, the Church created its own library of interpretations.

  1. God and the Church
  2. Jesus and the Corporate Church
  3. Jesus and Mary
  4. Jesus and the individual believer
  5. Jesus and a select group of believers – this can be dangerous, and even cultic.

There are some hybrid approaches as well suggesting that the Song contains actual accounts recorded for our example. Paul, of course, tells us that all the stories from the Old Testament also serve as examples for our lives.

My approach will be allegorical. I will assume the Shepherd King represents Jesus and the Shulamite depicts an individual believer.

As we approach scripture with allegory in mind, it is important to lay down a couple rules. It's a little dangerous to approach any scripture as allegory. It's important that we proceed with caution and hold on to some interpretive hand rails.

The first of these handrails is the red letters. Jesus' word's become the plumb line by which we measure all scripture. This will ensure we are not jumping into lines of thought that will lead us astray. Jesus says this:

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me. (John 5:349 NASB)

This approach turns the table on us, men. How often have we smugly insisted that the women in our lives suffer the indignity of being called 'Sons of God?' In the Song of Songs we get to be the bride of Christ. (I hope you can tell my tongue is firmly planted in my cheek.)

One other thing to note about this approach. While the Song is, for the most part, sequential, it is not entirely so. I have been born and raised in North America, and so I tend to think in timelines. But from what I have observed, much of Middle Eastern thought runs more like spokes and hubs. So there may be times when things seem a bit out of order, but stick with it. All will come together by the end of the Song.

It may take me some time, but if you dig into this little book, I promise you will get more out of it than you ever expected.

Come back next week and look with me at how unique this song is in so many ways.

Thanks for reading today.

See you next week.

Ben
photo credit: Tyler.Meyer via photo pin cc

 

This beautiful 8 chapter love song known as the Song of Solomon or the Song of Songs can be interpreted in many ways. Many of these views hold great value. No single approach captures all that the Song has to offer. Since the song's writing about 3,000 years ago there have been more commentaries written about the Song that any other book of the Bible save Romans. So there are a great number of ways to approach this book and they vary greatly.
You might think of looking at a beautiful Jewel from a variety of angles, or on different backgrounds.

Here are a few possibilities.

Natural interpretation

An actual account based on a historical relationship. For instance:

  1. A Shulamite maiden and King Solomon (perhaps his first love)
  2. A Shulamite maiden, her shepherd lover and King Solomon (in this case Solomon is a villainous character.)

Allegorical interpretation

Here the characters in the story are fictional representatives of real persons and places. This is by far the more common way to interpret the song historically. The Allegorical view can be broken down further.

In Hebrew thought historically the Song has been approached in many ways:

  1. God and the Messiah
  2. God and Israel
  3. Messiah and Israel
  4. Torah and Messiah
  5. Torah and Israel

In the Church there have been various ways of looking at this as well.

  1. God and the Church
  2. Jesus and the Corporate Church
  3. Jesus and Mary
  4. Jesus and the individual believer
  5. Jesus and a select group of believes – this can be dangerous, and even cultic.

There are some hybrid approaches as well suggesting that the Song contains actual accounts that are written (as Paul says of all Old Testament stories) for our example that we may learn from them.

My approach will be allegorical. and I will assume the Shepherd King is Jesus and the Shulamite is every individual believer.

As we approach scripture with allegory in mind, it is important to lay down a couple rules. Much of the Bible is not intended as allegory, and it can be dangerous to go this way without some important hand rails to hold onto.

The first of these hand rails is the red letters. As you can read in the article "Why the Red Letters" Jesus' word's become the plumb line by which we compare all scripture to ensure we are not jumping into lines of thought that will lead us astray. Jesus says this:

You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me. (John 5:349 NASB)

My approach will be predominantly looking at the 4 option in the last set - Jesus and the individual believer.

All you women who are sick and tired of being called "sons of God" in the New Testament, take heart. All you men - get ready to learn to be a bride and wife!

One other thing to note about our approach, while the Song is for the most part sequential, it is not entirely so. I have been born and raised in North America, and so I tend to think in a linear way, but from what I have observed, much of Middle Eastern thought runs more like spokes and hubs. So there may be times when things seem a bit out of order, but stick with it. All will come together eventually.

It may take me some time, but if you dig into this little book, I promise you will get more out of it than you ever expected.

Come back next week and look with me at how unique this song is in so many ways.

Thanks for reading today. Come back next week. If this is your first SOS Saturday, check out the Why page for this theme above.

See you next week.

Ben
photo credit: Tyler.Meyer via photo pin cc

1

Today as we begin our look at the Song of all Songs, I want to introduce the cast of characters.

Before I jump in too far, I want to state that there are dozens of interpretation of this Song. We will explore some of them next week. I mention it here because some variations of interpretation can actually change the cast of characters.

Some believe that scripture can only have one interpretation. I'm not in that camp. I believe that many of the various interpretations have great value. God’s wisdom is so magnificence that we can glean much from looking at this wonderful jewel from many different perspectives.

I did pick one. I will refer to others from time to time, but for the most part, I'll be looking at it from this perspective.

Many translations and paraphrases have blocks of text marked with the speaker named. It might say “THE BELOVED” and “LOVER” the like. These are not in the original text and they vary from translation to translation. For the most part, we'll ignore these notations.

The Song is much like a play so most of the lines are in a character’s voice. The only thing we have to determine the speaker is the context. If the descriptions given use feminine adjectives and nouns we can assume it is the man speaking, or visa versa. There are some places where groups are speaking, and so based on the context we will make suggestions as to who is speaking in such places.

For the most part, there are 4 voices in the song.

The Shepherd King

The Maiden, referred to also as the Shulamite, or the Bride

Women of Jerusalem

Watchmen

These last 2 are groups. They act much like the chorus would in a Greek play. They take on the character of different people at different times. So the voices and attitudes here may shift from passage to passage.

There are some readers who split the Shepherd King into two characters, and this can be another valuable perspective. For my part, I am going to treat them as one man.

Next week I will break down the various interpretations, and you will see where we fit in the Song.

Ben NelsonThanks for stopping by.

Come on back again soon.

Ben

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Hi all,

About four years ago (September of 2012) I started a series on this blog that ran for three years. It was a verse by verse look at the Song of Songs, also known as the Song of Solomon.

Since that time, my readership has changed. I thought many of you who see my blog today might be unfamiliar with this wonderful Song.

I will be reposting, updating, polishing, and editing as I go. I hope this series blesses you and draws us all into a deeper intimacy with our Shepherd King, Jesus.

So - here we go.

Song of Songs Saturday--Here's Why

(originally posted 9/1/2012)

A few years back I spent a couple years studying the Song of Songs. Inspired by Mike Bickel’s 1998 twenty, 1-hour teachings, I took up his challenge to live in that Song for a while. He subsequently rerecorded the series in twenty-four, 45-minute sessions. There is a link below to Mike’s website where you can download the teachings and the notes that go with it. I would highly recommend throwing this on your iPod or mp3 player of choice and give it a listen. It will change the way you think about EVERYTHING!

I got my hands on a few other books and started living in the Song of Songs for both devotional and study time. I read a number of books with different approaches to the Song, and it started to flavor everything I did.

When I started in the Song, it did not seem terribly relevant. But in short order, I found that every conversation I had somehow related back to the Song. This came as a surprise to me.

You might ask, How does this relate to the Red Letters? As you will see, Jesus is the main character of the Song. At least that is the approach I will be taking. It is not by any means the only approach, but I like it best.

I hope you enjoy this journey as much as I did!

cropped-BenHeadshot.jpgCome back next week and we'll get started.

See you then,

Ben

Here is the link to Mike Bickle's 2007 Twenty-four part series.

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Many Waters - SoS headerHurry, my beloved,
And be like a gazelle or a young stag
On the mountains of spices.

Song of Songs 8:14 NASB

The last word picture in the Song of Songs is of a gazelle or young stag running, jumping, even frolicking on a mountain of spices.

These last words belong to the Maiden and they are a call to her lover—her husband—her Shepherd King to come and be with her. The striking thing is, she want to be with Him in the adventure of life now.

Earlier in the Song, she was afraid to leave the secret place. She didn’t trust Him with her life. She didn’t trust herself—her ability to minister—to give to the body. She only wanted to be with her Love behind closed doors.

The church has grown comfortable behind its doors. The Christian has grown comfortable reading his Bible in the living room.

We think of the stodgy and scholarly as the mature Christians, but true mark of maturity is not time in study, it’s time in the field.

The mature Christian is the one with dirty hands. [Tweet This]

James said - I’ll show you my faith by my works. (See James 2:18)

Jesus said - He that does the will of God may judge my doctrine. (See John 7:17)

This mountain of spices is a picture of the Lord’s Church. Each individual believer is a unique blend of spices, a sweet savor to the Lord, with a unique mix of gifts and talents and temperament. The Lords desire and design is that we be one—blending our unique fragrances together into a mountain of spices.

And He is the gazelle, the young stag, moving about in His Church.

John the revelator saw Him walking among the seven golden candlesticks. It’s a picture of the Lord moving among His people, and they go into all the world. It the Lord—never leaving or forsaking us—as we fulfill His great command and great commission.

So the song ends with the fulfillment of the maidens deepest desires.

Draw me after you and let us run together! - Song of Songs 1:4 NASB

cropped-BenHeadshot.jpgThanks so much for coming by.

Have you stuck with me all the way through this wonderful Song of all Songs? I have really enjoyed digging through every picture together. These verses and themes color everything I think about, after living in this song for year.

Now that we have come to the end of the narrative, I would like to go back and pursue a few themes in a little more depth. So keep your eyes open and I’ll be back with more SoS Saturday posts.

Blessings,

Ben