I was reading a book about The Song of Solomon not too long ago, and I nearly threw my Kindle Fire across the room. Despite the fact I have a warranty on my Kindle, I resisted the intense urge to throw my little tablet against the wall.
The author of this book claimed The Song of Solomon was a love story and was in no way, shape, or form an allegory. In fact, the author went on to detail (very explicitly I might add) how certain portions of the book were just celebrations of marital love.
This is why I disagree. The book starts out with this: “The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s.” Song of Solomon 1:1
The phrase King of Kings, means the greatest King of any King who ever lived or will ever live; the phrase Lord of Lord’s means the greatest Lord of any Lord who ever lived or ever will live; and the phrase Song of Songs, means the greatest song of any song ever written.
The very first verse of this often misunderstood book of the Bible, identifies itself as the greatest of any song ever written.
Solomon was certainly no slouch when it came to writing. 1 Kings 5:32 says he “spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five.” What then makes this song of his so different that it would be recorded in the Word of God as not only his best song, but the most excellent song ever?
On the surface this book of the Bible is certainly a good study in marital love. By reading the Song of Solomon one can certainly glean important insight into the love between a married man and woman. This book, however, is a precious jewel with many more facets.
The view that the Song of Solomon is not a metaphor is the view of a psychologist, not a theologian or a literary expert. The Song of Solomon is first and foremost a song, and songs are a form of poetry. Poetry often uses allegory, metaphor, and a litany (also a poetic device) of other poetic devices in order to help the reader or listener better grasp the meaning behind the words.
The Song of Solomon shows Christ’s immense love towards His people in a way that we can wrap our brains around. Solomon compares Christ’s love to marital love.
Think about this:
As humans we cannot understand God. He’s infinite and He’s mighty. Our puny brains have no hope of understanding even a fraction of how awesome He is.
So what does God do? He reveals himself allegorically and metaphorically in Scripture.
For example, the Lord is not literally our shepherd, and we aren’t literally His sheep. But we can understand from the Twenty Third Psalm that we are as helpless as sheep, and the Lord loves us and cares for us like a Good Shepherd.
Likewise, God calls himself our Father so we can understand how he instructs us and raises us in loving discipline. We might not be able to understand substitutionary atonement, but we can understand being adopted into God’s family.
We’re also called servants and friends of the Lord, further deepening our understanding of how God sees us and how we relate to Him.
To think Song of Solomon is just a story of human love is a mistake.
I hardly think the song that God would consider the greatest ever written is merely about fallible human relationships. Think about it, why would a song about love between two people be the best song ever written when the Bible is filled with Praises to the King?
How could a human love song be greater than the great chorus of the ages singing “Holy Holy Holy” around the throne of the “Worthy Lamb Who Was Slain for The Sins of the World.”
The fact is, it can’t be. Human love will never be greater than the love Christ demonstrated towards uswhile we were yet sinners.
If Song of Solomon was merely a song about human love then its first verse would be a lie. Personally, I don’t believe my Bible lies. I believe the Song of Solomon paints a picture of God’s incomprehensible love in a context we can understand.
God’s love is so amazing.
It’s so indescribable
It takes an entire book of the Bible to explain!
And God does it in terms we can relate to, the love between a husband and his wife.
In John 5:39, Jesus tells His disciples to search the Scriptures. He is there in the Song of Solomon, and He’s there begging to be discovered in all of His glory.
I’m going to take some time and delve into the beautiful symbolism in the Song of Solomon over the next few days.
Here’s what I’d like to leave you with:
Our marriages are important! A Biblical marriage is what Christ uses to explain His never ending love toward us. We need to tend to the gardens of our marriage, they should be beautiful and reflect Christ.
Be honest in your heart. Does your marriage reflect Christ?
Marriage takes constant work, just as our relationship with Christ also takes constant work.
The first book you should open on marriage is your Bible. Working on your marriage begins in your heart, and it begins with your relationship with the Lord.
As Christians, what do our marriages look like to the rest of the world? Are they different? Are they more than just a sheet of paper?
Now it’s your turn. If this post was a blessing to you, would you mind sharing it?