Be sure to read my post yesterday if you haven't already. Whenever I teach hymnology, Song of Solomon is always one of the first things we study; simply because it is self-identified as the most excellent of Songs. Like most poetry Song of Solomon is filled with literary devices that add many layers and depth to its meaning.
On the surface there is a beautiful love story between Solomon and the Shulamite, but given the regard that Hebrew scripture was elevated to we can't let the interpretation stop there. Song of Solomon was one of the first books of the Old Testament that was accepted as sacred scripture and it was regarded as the Holiest of Holies. It was also often read at Passover. (A most sacred holiday if ever there was one).
If it were just a simple love story I do not believe these things would have been the case. As I said yesterday the love of God is so deep and so complex He had to explain it to us in a way that would make even a little sense to our human perception, so He chose to do it through the paradigm of a husband and wife.
I challenge you to read through the Song of Solomon before Valentine's Day (it's only a few chapters) and keep an eye out for these precious gems as you read. Remember this book is the greatest song ever written. The poetry is multi-faceted and much deeper than surface level, pray that God will open your eyes to His presence in this sacred text.
Our hero of the story is both a Shepherd and a King. This metaphor is certainly not by chance, it is of course meant to parallel the greatest of Shepherd Kings, Jesus.
The Shulamite apologizes from the onset for being tan, she does not think her appearance is lovely. Indeed before we know Christ we are marred by sin and our appearance is unacceptable to him.
The Shulamite asks why she must wear a veil within the first chapter, later she is beaten and her veil is knocked off. After she goes through this trial there is a huge change in her perception of Solomon, much like the way the trials of our life change our walk with the Lord.
In chapter 5 Solomon pursues the Shulamite, and she refuses him, giving him every excuse in the book as to why she cannot join him. How often does Jesus pursue our hearts and we turn Him away only to find pain and trouble, as the Shulamite did, right around the corner?
2:14 compares Solomon's love to a dove in the clefts of the rocks, when we are in Christ we are that perfect dove protected by the Rock of our salvation.
Solomon's love is consistent throughout the book, the Shulamite's love however goes on a journey. I know I certainly love Christ more than I did when I was first saved.
The intensity and depth of her love is finally full in chapter 8:6-7, the following verses can also be contrasted to see how her love grows and changes: 2:16, 6:3, 7:10
In the 6th chapter Solomon chooses to say his beloved is as fair as the moon and as clear as the sun. The longer we are in Christ we begin to resemble Him as our sin is taken away. It isn't by chance Solomon chooses to call his bride the moon, the moon is a reflective glory of the perfect sun. Another parallel is of course when we draw closer and fall more deeply in love with Christ we become a light in the darkness. By loving Christ more we naturally are shining His light on others.
This is certainly not an exhaustive list of all the parallels to Christ's love in the Song of Solomon, but I hope it gives you a starting point as you read so you can be blessed by the many meanings in this book.