Preserved Words Bible Studies a Part of First Love Ministries Guest Post Series
Song of Solomon
Can I say, I am His, and He is mine.
Song 2:16 My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.
We are skipping ahead in the chapters here for a reason. There is a great truth taught, and a powerful reminder to the church today, from 3,000 years ago.
A little Shulamite girl, insignificant on the pages of human history, dark skinned, sheep and goat herder, has something to teach the church of Jesus Christ!
First, was her commitment to him. She never wavered. He won her heart! All of it. He was everything to her. He was, if you will allow me to speculate here, her first love. He came into her life from far away, unexpected, and won her heart. She saw in him love for her, and she wanted to reciprocate that love… and she did! She faced disdain of others, probable anger from her own family (her brothers), ridicule from others, she was misunderstood, mocked, and even persecuted for her zeal and passion and love for him (5:7)… but not one of those stopped her! WOW!
Let me ask you a quick question here… Do you think he ever wondered about her love? Take a few moments here, and write in your journal about what you see in her love to him, in your own words. Then, I want you to think for a bit, and write something in your journal, to Jesus, and tell Him how you feel about Him. You need to do this, class. You need to do this. There is FAR too much these days that crowds Him out, and we all know it…. far too much that steals our attention, which is a way we show love! We slight Him!
I want you to stop and think of anything (or things, plural) that have taken you away from…. your first love! I want you to think about what, if anything, took her love and attention, away from Solomon. Write your answer and thoughts in your journal.
In Revelation 2, Jesus is speaking to His churches. To Ephesus, the first one spoken of, He has some words that I believe we need to ponder. The words, if taken seriously, should hurt our heart. How do you think Jesus felt when He had to speak these words?
Rev. 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
How do you think He feels today, when He has to share our love with TV, Internet, IPODS, the party life, etc.? How will we meet Him? What will honestly be said of us? Where are we in all of this?
Let me mention another here. The church of the Laodiceans. (Compare the two)
Rev. 3:17-18 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
They didn’t want Him, and had no time FOR Him… so He left! How do you feel about Him having to speak those words to that church back then? What if He had to speak them to us? Where are we…. really? I think we should keep these two churches in view.
Now, do you see a progression downward, between the church at Ephesus (the first one mentioned), and the church of the Laodiceans (the last one mentioned)? What is it? Write it in your own words?
Let me ask another question. What has happened to the “church” since Pentecost? What did that early church have?… and NOT have?
Laodicea had too much stuff, and needed not anymore, the One Who GAVE her all that stuff. All that stuff had stunted her growth spiritually, stagnated her true witness, and sullied her appearance. She had need of nothing, and that included… Him! She had gone away totally, to another love… worldly stuff. Do the words Jesus spoke to Laodicea hurt? Do you think they hurt HIM? Sometimes a little hurt is a good thing!
What if Solomon had gone back to get his bride, and found her in the arms of other men? What if she told him she only had a little time for him, now and then, and perhaps only on Sunday… and maybe not even then? “Thanks for the stuff, but you can sit in a corner!”
What is the church, without Jesus Christ? What IS the church? Bricks, mortar, pews, painted drywall, carpet….? Stop here and turn to Acts 20:28, and then Eph. 5:23-32. Did Jesus die for buildings… or the church, His people that ARE the church? How many “church buildings” are going to go up in 1Thess. 4? When Jesus spoke in Revelation 2 & 3, was He speaking to buildings… or people? And, I ask again, how do you think it hurts His heart, when He has to BEG us to spend time with Him, read the Word, pray and speak with Him, witness for Him….? Do we ever stop to think about these things anymore? He DIED for the church!
Now, I started out on this lesson with a simple teaching in mind. In Song of Solomon, there was a progression of love in the Shulamite girl. If you will read 2:16, 6:3, and 7:10, you will see it.
Those verses tell of both a deepening love and affection, and they tell of deepening assurance of love, and maturity. In 2:16 (My beloved is mine, and I am his…) she is thrilled with her new love. I believe her first true love ever. In 6:3 (I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine…) you will see that the order is reversed. She knows he is hers. There is a deepening power of the two way love! There is progression. In 7:10 (I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.) I see in her, that understanding that his love IS towards her, and it IS secure, and that she wants to respond to that love, even in the face of persecution. Here, in this last progression, she is totally consumed with his love.
Now, in 2:16, we must mention the following verse here (V17). “Bether” symbolizes separation. We’re separated from Him for now, aren’t we? She pleads that her mountain of separation be removed. He had gone and wasn’t back yet. Do we feel that strongly about wanting Him to come back, and us to be with Him…. or….? I want us to think about this! How are we progressing? My prayer is that we will recapture the thrill of first love of Jesus, and the thrill of salvation, and then feed that flame, ask Him to blow upon it, and stop quenching that flame, and spending time with other “lovers.” Then we will take that flame to a lost and dying world! Who knows, maybe that flame will catch in another Christian who is about to go down to Laodicea! Bad sad road, that road to Laodicea!